Respro are pretty much currently the only company offering anti pollution masks. They certainly have the monopoly of the market, but when was the last time you saw someone actually wearing one?

Not sure if you even need one? Then have a read of our feature about air pollution here.

The reason for this, perhaps, is the aesthetics of looking like a maniac or the apparent discomfort the wearer would endure. Breathing is hindered, and in summer you’ll feel like your suffocating…

One of the latest models from Respro, called the ‘Cinqro’ tries to resolve these issues, and bring in a bit more ‘sports styling’. It uses neoprene with plenty of ventilation holes with their ‘Powa elite valves’ which enable more gas, heat and moisture to be vented whilst you’re doing all that heavy breathing. Check out the marketing blurb below:

The Cinqro mask is the most recent addition to the Respro range. It focuses on the ‘urban trainer’, the ‘home runner’ or the multi-sport end user where breathing rates are typically higher than your average commuter.

The two new Powa Elite valves on the Cinqro mask allow for faster air flow when working out at elevated breathing patterns, i.e. when you are giving it the beans from A to B. This equates to less back-pressure, less dampness in the filter, improved filtration and lower inhalation resistance, which in turn leads to improved comfort and performance.

Finally, a graphics rebuild for the look of the mask, fits it squarely in the sports arena rather than the ‘scare the hell out of everyone’ arena.

Respro were kind enough to send us one for testing, and we found initially found the product to be very well constructed, it’s definitely not going to fall apart. The other thing that we instantly notices, is the horrible gairy colour scheme. The ‘graphics rebuild’ they talk about pretty much ruins the whole look of the mask, at least for on a bicycle. You’d get away with it on a motocross bike, but rolling down the CS7? Not really…

The mask comes neatly packaged with 2 filters. The first one (that’s already fitted) is a simple HEPA type which filters out fine respirable, sub-micron dusts, and a DACC chemical/particle filter that filters out primary pollutants associated with vehicle exhaust emissions (which is what we want!). It was a bit fiddly changing these, Respro actually recommend changing the filters every month, but it depends on lots of environmental factors. Basically, if it’s black, change it!

Even though the Cinqro provides the lowest breathing resistance of any of their models; it’s still harder to breath (as you’d expect). If you’re smashing a segment on the way to work, be careful not to pass out. It’s something that you have to get used to, but let’s not forget you can actually buy training aids (Powerbreathe) that resist your breathing on purpose with the idea that it strengthens your inspiratory muscles. So on the positive, you get a training aid AND a pollution filter in one…

It’s a shame about the styling, but the Cinqro offers a solid pollution mask that will protect you from the worst of the traffic smog, and fits surprisingly well.

So, if you’re going to get a pollution mask, get this one. Anything less and you’ll probably suffocate yourself.