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Thread: windrush

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    windrush

    Does anyone have any experience with the product from Slipstreamz called a Spoiler? It's a little plastic device that somehow fits to your helmet strap and helps to divert air flow past the ear, thus reducing the noise of air rushing past your ears. I'm not overly bothered by windrush, or whatever you want to call it, but there certainly are times when I'm riding into the wind for example, or going downhill fast, that it gets a tad annoying, not to mention the reduced safety aspect of interfering with hearing traffic coming from up behind. I did a little experiment the other day while riding my bike by putting my index finger vertically along side my face just in front of my ear, and it certainly does diminish the noise of air rushing about the ears by a fair degree. So I'd imagine that the Spoiler device might work in a similar way?? The product can be viewed at http://www.slipstreamz.com.

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    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    $11.00 delivered seemed cheap enough to experiment so I just ordered a pair. I'll update this after I've tried them out. My last few rides had enough headwind to make things quite annoying so I hope they do the trick.
    For the rare occasions I want music I had considered their Slip covers to use with ear buds but thought they may be too warm in summer weather. I'm hoping I can still use my Koss behind the ear type ear phones with these but it looks like there may be a piece that covers the ear canal from the website pic.

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    Headphones with an Ipod blairing, I don't even notice wind noise.

    And this way, when people do stuff like dropping a plow, or slamming on their brakes to try and startle me, I don't even notice.
    In the words of Einstein
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    Raving looney
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    If wind noise gets to be a problem I turn my head sideways briefly to listen up. This is handy when belting towards an all-way stop where you can't see properly around the corners of the houses/whatever. Obviously I slow down as well, but listening extra is always welcome IMO. Other than that, it's just a part of being outdoors riding for me, unless it's brutally cold and I've not got an ear covering (this tends to attribute to me getting colds) then it generally doesn't bother me. The sideways 'ear' glance is all I need to get an audible snapshot of what's going on.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squegeeboo
    Headphones with an Ipod blairing, I don't even notice wind noise.

    And this way, when people do stuff like dropping a plow, or slamming on their brakes to try and startle me, I don't even notice.
    And in 20 years, you won't even need the iPod, because you'll be deaf.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flimflam
    If wind noise gets to be a problem I turn my head sideways briefly to listen up. This is handy when belting towards an all-way stop where you can't see properly around the corners of the houses/whatever. Obviously I STOP as well
    Fixed that for you. Wouldn't want to think you were one of THOSE riders.
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    Raving looney
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
    Fixed that for you. Wouldn't want to think you were one of THOSE riders.
    Hah, well *shrug* - I used to stop all the time, but since I've noticed cars don't (which really irritates me), and it takes me a lot more effort/energy to get back upto speed, if it's safe, I'll roll on through. I'm a stickler for the law/rules, but that one I've started to lapse on. Laziness is the base reason, really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
    And in 20 years, you won't even need the iPod, because you'll be deaf.
    And if the iPod isn't the cause those roaring trucks and 32mph decents will be...A headset or earplugs are a must.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flimflam
    Hah, well *shrug* - I used to stop all the time, but since I've noticed cars don't (which really irritates me), and it takes me a lot more effort/energy to get back upto speed, if it's safe, I'll roll on through. I'm a stickler for the law/rules, but that one I've started to lapse on. Laziness is the base reason, really.
    To be fair to you, I don't stop at EVERY stop sign myself. Lights, yeah. Signs, most of them, but there are a few that are in back alleys and there's hardly ever any other moving cars in sight. I stop if there are any other cars approaching. I also usually just slow for stop signs in parking lots.

    So I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here. Sorry, I was just cranked a bit when I posted that; I had just posted on my LJ about watching a cyclist in front of me run a red light the other day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
    ...
    So I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here. Sorry, I was just cranked a bit when I posted that; I had just posted on my LJ about watching a cyclist in front of me run a red light the other day.
    No worries, I get pissed at stuff like that too - my buddy runs reds (he basically rides whenever it's clear, not respecting signs/lights, etc.) and it bugs the hell out of me. I stop at reds on my commute and watch the bikes roll on past, I soon catch and pass them though.

    Oh, and I don't really agree with headphone/earbuds either - I love to hear what's going on around me, makes me feel more connected and less in need of shoulder checks (I don't have a mirror). Saying that, I've been wondering how low you can have those things and still hear it as well as the outdoors - I admit it'd be nice to have music here and there, or maybe traffic alerts on a local radio station.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flimflam
    Oh, and I don't really agree with headphone/earbuds either - I love to hear what's going on around me, makes me feel more connected and less in need of shoulder checks (I don't have a mirror). Saying that, I've been wondering how low you can have those things and still hear it as well as the outdoors - I admit it'd be nice to have music here and there, or maybe traffic alerts on a local radio station.
    I ride with ONE earbud either tuned to NPR or playing audiobooks. I have tested pretty thoroughly and it does not affect my ability to hear traffic in the least. I can still hear cars approaching on the rural roads I ride at least 30 seconds before they get to me. I can hear dogs barking INSIDE the houses, and I can hear rabbits running around in the ditches and birds singing.

    I don't turn the player up any higher than it needs to be to comfortably understand what's being said.

    The wind noise does bug me though. I bet these things have a good chance of working, because I did ride for a while with some Sony open-air behind-the-head headphones, and they reduced the wind noise to the point where even with the radio playing I could actually hear BETTER with them on than without.
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    Spoiler review

    Well I was surprised yesterday when my Slipstreamz spoilers came in the mail so soon. I had already relaced my helmet straps per the instructions so I just attached the spoilers and took a test ride.

    I did notice a difference and would rate them a 3.5 to 4 out of 5, based on a combination of effectiveness, cost, light weight, and simple unabtrusive design. I rode into about a 10-15 mph wind for a while and noticed a lesser amount of wind noise and mainly a lack of the buffeting in the ear canal. Both into and with the wind I noticed I could hear more from behind me like tire and drive train noise on the bike.

    As mentioned I redid my helmet straps to get the desired twist into the section that the clip attaches to. A word of caution if you try it - look at how the strap goes through the back of your helmet first. I have a Specialized and there is a very tight passage for the strap in the back that took me a long time and a few choice words before I could thread the darn thing back through.

    Until I saw these I was planning on getting the Slipstreamz ear covers with the headphone cavity but I think these will be sufficient and cooler in the summer. I can still use my clip type head phones with these if I want.

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    Well, I haven't tried the Slipstreamz but I've read about them in a few posts since searching on "wind noise" and the critical performance requirement seems to be that the equipment interupting the flow of air past your face needs to be extremely close to your skin or touching it (try the finger test from the Slipsteamz site, where you put your index finger up along your face in front of your ear while riding).

    Orientation of the device is important too, and I think the more perpendicular the device is to the flow, the better it will end the noise. I like a DIY challenge so I made a couple prototypes, the first out of a water toy laying around the garage (a funoodle, closed cell foam stick), and then more recently out of some softer foam rubber plumbing insulation and an old rag. Now I just need to find someone who can sew on a machine to whip me up a few sets that will look good and be durable thorugh the wash from time to time.

    I have an advantage on some of you in this aspect of wind noise reduction because I'm riding recumbent and that puts my head up at a better angle to effectively end the noise. I find riding with these (pics below) I can now hear the road noise from my tires, along with all sorts of other new noises. If you ride with music of any kind, this would let you turn the volume way down while hearing everything a lot more clearly. The tradeoff is that you have to be willing to ride with something touching your cheeks, hence the more compliant foam with the cloth wrapper for me. When you try the finger test, experiment with pulling the finger away to judge the effect of even a slight air gap on how any system like this would perform for you with your head and helmet in their normal riding position.







    Longbikes Slipstream

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    never easier, u go faster
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    Wilber, how did your experiment work out?

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    The one with the soft foam rubber and cloth wrapper works great for me, been using them for about 2000 miles now, but keep in mind I'm on a recumbent and the flow of air is more or less perpendicular to the foam pieces I made. Wish I could sew better to make a more finished looking piece, but I can never get the bloodstains out.
    Longbikes Slipstream

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
    Well I was surprised yesterday when my Slipstreamz spoilers came in the mail so soon. I had already relaced my helmet straps per the instructions so I just attached the spoilers and took a test ride.

    I did notice a difference and would rate them a 3.5 to 4 out of 5, based on a combination of effectiveness, cost, light weight, and simple unabtrusive design. I rode into about a 10-15 mph wind for a while and noticed a lesser amount of wind noise and mainly a lack of the buffeting in the ear canal. Both into and with the wind I noticed I could hear more from behind me like tire and drive train noise on the bike.

    As mentioned I redid my helmet straps to get the desired twist into the section that the clip attaches to. A word of caution if you try it - look at how the strap goes through the back of your helmet first. I have a Specialized and there is a very tight passage for the strap in the back that took me a long time and a few choice words before I could thread the darn thing back through.

    Until I saw these I was planning on getting the Slipstreamz ear covers with the headphone cavity but I think these will be sufficient and cooler in the summer. I can still use my clip type head phones with these if I want.
    Badger -

    I am not only resurrecting this old thread, but travelling in your footsteps. I saw the slipstreamz spoilers for 9 bucks delivered, and figured I should try it.

    You might be interested to know that the instructions tell you to take a digital photo of the straps in your helmet before you disassemble. They must have read your post. Fortunately, my helmet straps have the proper orientation to avoid disassembly.

    I have been unable to ride for two weeks, and got really bored. I found an old box fan, turned it up high, sat in front of it, and put the helmet on. Did the finger trick - lots less wind noise. Since I don't have the slipstreamz spoilers yet, I just turned the straps like you would if you had the spoilers on. And the noise was reduced! But not as much as when I used my finger. So, do you think the spoiler adds greatly to the effectiveness, or is it really just the strap being perpendicular to your skin that does the work? If its just a strap thing, perhaps others can be saved the 9 buck trial.

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