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  1. #1
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Headphones for commuting

    Hi again.

    The way things are shaping up is that I'll be moving somewhere where I'll have a 25 mile round trip commute up from my 15 mile round trip commute in Germany. The entire route has segregated or dedicated bike lanes.

    The question is about headphones as I'd like to continue working on my German (moving to England from Germany) during the ride. Does anyone have recommendations for which headphones would work well with audiobooks or verbal podcasts (in German, of course.)

    Thanks.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  2. #2
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on the source, but I listen to npr radio in the morning and audio books on the way home (22m round trip) and use some inexpensive skullcandy's. I like having a mic so if I need to make or receive a phone call I just pull over. I only use one side (right ear) and these work just fine for me.
    I'm slow, go around

  3. #3
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    Anything that doesn't have noise reduction. You need to be able to hear that noise. I just use a cheap $5 pair of earbuds, in my right ear (Keep the road-side ear clear).

  4. #4
    Senior Member wsgts's Avatar
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    I have been using my Bose for about 1500 miles now, both touring and commuting (mostly commuting). Never had a problem at all, even in high winds I can still here my "Game of Thrones" audio books. Just hate it when someone calls...
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  5. #5
    Member kinkicycle.com's Avatar
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    UberGeek-"Anything that doesn't have noise reduction. You need to be able to hear that noise. I just use a cheap $5 pair of earbuds, in my right ear (Keep the road-side ear clear)."

    Exactly what I was going to write, very, very good advice. One of my personal bugbears is seeing riders on the road with headphones in both ears, it's not big, it's not clever and in many places it's quite rightly illegal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ratell's Avatar
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    I used the slip from slipstreamz for a while.
    http://www.slipstreamz.com/content.asp?subID=8
    Makes it even easier to hear around you. It would work well for spoken word.
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  7. #7
    Pedo Grande Popeyecahn's Avatar
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    I listen to the road noise. Doesn't help me with learning other languages though... I guess if I were to use them I'd leave the left ear open as Ubergeek has mentioned.
    And tell my mama I'm a hundred years late
    I'm over the rails and out of the race...

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I used [generic] Ear Buds, they fit OK, ( I can still hear background traffic approaching )
    if you feel they are loose, do as the pros do.. a strip of tape,
    keeps their radio monitor earbuds from falling out.



    My use was an empty rural river bottom road at the Hour
    every one else had discontiinued thinking and turned on the home TV.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-17-13 at 12:33 PM.

  9. #9
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    You may want to consider these: http://www.aftershokz.com/Default.asp

    They work via conduction and let you hear everything around you.

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    It's fine riding with headphones, you should never rely on what you hear to inform your decisions while riding, only ever use your eyes. I'm sure there is plenty of hearing impaired persons who enjoy riding, is anyone to say they shouldn't be able to enjoy cycling?

  11. #11
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Yeah. I'm not a huge fan of using earbuds while riding. However, it looks like I can do most of the commute (except for the last 1km at each end) separated from traffic and most of the commute on a dedicated bike-only path. I think the new position will keep me very busy and I don't want to lose my German skills. Hopefully, I'll catch a break and my new Polish colleague will speak some German so that we can use it when we don't want the colleagues following along ... it's will also keep us both in practice

    Anyways, it seems that the cheapest option may be the best.

    Also, I may do a few upgrades to the MTB since I'd like a little more speed and won't have stop/go traffic like in Frankfurt (on average 30 stops per commute).
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  12. #12
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phughes View Post
    You may want to consider these: http://www.aftershokz.com/Default.asp

    They work via conduction and let you hear everything around you.
    Wow. Those look quite interesting. I'll take a look at how they work.

    Thanks
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  13. #13
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I'm sympathetic to keeping up on your German but I think that listening to music or language or anything has bad idea written all over it for two reasons. First, you will be paying attention to something other than riding which means your reaction times will be slowed. MUPs have their dangers too. Second, you can't hear (or at least you can't hear as well as you should) anything coming up behind you. Your ears are your friend when riding but not if you are listening to something else. There are other ways to keep up with your German.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjquick View Post
    It's fine riding with headphones, you should never rely on what you hear to inform your decisions while riding, only ever use your eyes. I'm sure there is plenty of hearing impaired persons who enjoy riding, is anyone to say they shouldn't be able to enjoy cycling?
    You should rely on all senses available to you: Sight, sound, smell, and touch.

    Ask a deaf person how valuable it would be to be able to hear a bus coming behind you.

    Hearing gives you your first early warning. You can hear a siren long before you can see it, often. You'll feel your wheel out of true long before you see it. You'll smell that horrid burned rubber smell before noticing your brake pads are shot.

  15. #15
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    i agree with most of the above posters.

    i think i'll just listen to german while at the gym (30-60min/day) and just ride the bike without headphones as a decompression/disconnection phase of the day.

    anyone have an idea about the level of snow/ice in notherneast England (particularly near Darlington).
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I don't understand these questions. Would you wear headphones while driving a car? Leave the headphones at home and pay attention to your surroundings.

    edit: Sorry acidfast, didn't see your last reply. You've made the right decision.

  17. #17
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I don't understand these questions. Would you wear headphones while driving a car? Leave the headphones at home and pay attention to your surroundings.

    edit: Sorry acidfast, didn't see your last reply. You've made the right decision.
    no, but i would listen to the radio (to work on my German.)

    edit: however, i usually refuse to drive and have usually maintain a 50:50 split of cycling:subway commuting over the course of the year (usually don't ride when there's ice on the ground).
    Last edited by acidfast7; 06-17-13 at 09:18 AM.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
    You should rely on all senses available to you: Sight, sound, smell, and touch.

    Ask a deaf person how valuable it would be to be able to hear a bus coming behind you.

    Hearing gives you your first early warning. You can hear a siren long before you can see it, often. You'll feel your wheel out of true long before you see it. You'll smell that horrid burned rubber smell before noticing your brake pads are shot.
    So deaf people cannot cycle? Anosmic people cannot cycle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjquick View Post
    So deaf people cannot cycle? Anosmic people cannot cycle?
    Add to that those who have lost limbs, like the guy I sometimes see who is missing his arm, he rides fine even though his supposed ability to feel any little problem with the trueness of his wheels is diminished......

  20. #20
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
    Anything that doesn't have noise reduction. You need to be able to hear that noise. I just use a cheap $5 pair of earbuds, in my right ear (Keep the road-side ear clear).
    Good advice if a cyclist likes to listen to noise. I prefer to listen to my audio books while I use my eyes and mirror to ride safely.

    Any headphone that is comfortable should work well, has for me for the last 13 years and have listened to hundreds of audio books. Recommend using a dedicated mp3 player rather than a smartphone for better sound quality, portability, and no interfering phone calls while riding.

  21. #21
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    also, i think i'll ditch the listening idea until i get used to the route.

    in addition, i think i'll take a slightly more urban route because i'll have train stations present as a back-up in case i have a mechanical failure.

    the dedicated bike paths go directly through the fields, which is nice on a weekend, but a slightly more urban route leaves me with the options of the train and/or taxi if i need to get to the uni to lecture in the morning.

    thanks again and keep the good advice coming (those devices listed above are def quite interesting).
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    no, but i would listen to the radio (to work on my German.)

    edit: however, i usually refuse to drive and have usually maintain a 50:50 split of cycling:subway commuting over the course of the year (usually don't ride when there's ice on the ground).
    Yeah, and frankly, in some ways I bike better when wearing headphones. Many times when *not* wearing headphones I've thought I could hear what I wasn't looking at, only to suddenly have a car/bike/etc appear out of "nowhere". When I'm wearing headphones I *know* that I can't hear them, so I always look. (After a couple of close calls I started always looking when not wearing headphones to.)

  23. #23
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    At the risk of starting a flame war, I'd say don't listen to the fearmongers. Headphones while riding is fine. You can hear traffic even with both in -- especially if you're listening to spoken word, instead of constantly-pumping music turned up to 11.

    I listen to spoken word/podcasts/radio shows etc exclusively, and I do find it works well to listen right-ear-only (if you have a half-broken pair of buds around!)

    Also I recommend silicone-tipped earbuds, rather than solid plastic jobbies. At least for me, the solid plastic ones don't like to stay in -- or maybe I just have freakishly-small earholes.

  24. #24
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I used [generic] Ear Buds, they fit OK, ( I can still hear background traffic approaching )
    if you feel they are loose, do as the pros do.. a strip of tape,
    keeps their radio monitor earbuds from falling out.
    Where do they put the tape? Over their ear holding the whole thing in? On the earbud to make it bigger/frictionier?

  25. #25
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Yeah, and frankly, in some ways I bike better when wearing headphones. Many times when *not* wearing headphones I've thought I could hear what I wasn't looking at, only to suddenly have a car/bike/etc appear out of "nowhere". When I'm wearing headphones I *know* that I can't hear them, so I always look. (After a couple of close calls I started always looking when not wearing headphones to.)
    let's see what happens.

    right now, i am selected a place to live based on commuting distance to work coupled with bike-friendly routes and back-up plans. thankfully, northern rail (northern english trains) allows full-sized bikes on their commuter trains, so if I have a serious issue I can walk 1-3 miles to the train station.

    that should let me live 12-15 miles away from work without any fear of missing work.

    in addition it seems like there are some kick ass programs in the UK to cover the cost of new equipment anyways:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_to_Work_scheme
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

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