Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making You Safer by Hearing What is Around You

When out cycling on the roads or riding with friends, its often difficult to hear what is around you due to the sound of the wind blowing past your ears. The photos and video below are two different products on the market, made by two different companies with safety in mind.  Both devices attach to a bicycle helmet's strap that runs just in front of the ear, thus diverting the wind sound from entering your ear. For either of these products to work properly your helmet and straps must first of all fit correctly.The first is from a company Cat Ears, which has many different models, some with a fabric covering the ears to also protect them from the cold. Cat Ears also has a line that is reflective and bright colors for younger riders increasing their safety while riding. So the name come from the hair seen on the inside of the ears of a feline.  The hair removed the wind noise so they can pick up on the sound their prey makes.  In the recording industry faux fur is places over microphones to help remove wind noise.  I have set of Original "Classic I" which resemble Elvis sideburns.  In my first ride with them I was able to hear a clicking noise my chain was making, chattering as I was pedaling along.  I stopped made a quick adjustment and off I went.  The Cat Ears do exactly what they say they do.  Even at some faster speeds I was hitting, the noise of surrounding traffic was more noticeable.  If I was to tip my head, say to look down at my pedals or water bottle, the wind obviously went around them and the wind noise was noticeable again.  
The video below is just to show how it looks attached to the helmet strap. 

(side note: After my ride I was hungry and had a crazy urge for a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich, not sure why?... thank you very much) 
The second a similar type of device I used and tested out was the Wind-Blox. The Wind-Blox also attach to the helmet strap the same way except does not have a furry feel.  The are comfortable riding just in front of the ear, also diverting the air around the ear opening quieting the wind noise.  

 I am working on testing theses at higher speeds and look forward to even testing them out on my aero helmet to quiet the wind noise allowing me to hear other cyclist, competitors and vehicle traffic.  Also, I have yet to get out on the trails on my mountain bike to test these out, but if they work great on the road I can only image they will be awesome out there.   


Dennis Tran said...

So which product would you recommend? The cat ears or wind blox? I'd like to purchase one of these and was curious on which one being more effective at blocking wind going at various speeds. Thanks.

Tim H said...

The Cat-Ears!