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  1. #1
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    I need a quieter helmet

    Wind noise has always been a problem for me. When headwind plus speed is greater than 23mph or so, I can't even hear a pickup truck off my back wheel. I've tried earplugs, earbuds, slipstreamz, cotton taped into ears, and headbands. Even on slower rides, I often can't hear my friends even at slower speeds.

    Yesterday, I decided to see if any of the noise was coming from the helmet, so I rode a little ways without a helmet. Wow! What a difference! The wind noise almost completely disappeared.

    I'm definitely not going to ride without a helmet, so I need a recommendation for a really quiet helmet. I'm not going to wear an aero helmet or a full face helmet... way too hot and too geeky. Currently, I'm riding in a Bell Alchera.

    I'm also considering taping over some of the vents to see if that helps. Any suggestions? Any helmet recommendations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    No specific recommendation, but it may be the straps contributing more to the noise than you think.

    A quick test to see if this is what's happening in your case is to twist the helmet straps on both sides and see if the noise changes or is reduced.
    Last edited by NOS88; 04-01-14 at 11:39 AM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    I once owned a helmet that made strange sounds. If I turned my head slightly or there was a crosswind, it sounded like someone was screaming at me from a distance behind me. The fix was buying a different helmet.

    You might want to test a number of helmets to see if any fix your problem.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are many quiet helmets out there. I use a Specialized B90A and can hear my stoker and everything around me fine. She sometimes has trouble hearing me, though. I think I'll get her a pair of those Cat Ears.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    It's my experience that most all of the noise comes from wind going directly over the ears. The helmet has little influence on this except for its straps that pass in front of the ears. Having these lie flat can help a bit, as can putting a twist in them so that they act as spoilers. I've tried both the Slipstreamz Slip and the Spoiler products and felt they didn't make enough difference to be worth the trouble. Cat Ears might work, but I haven't tried them.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  7. #7
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    You are riding way too fast. How do you do it?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  8. #8
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Haven't tried them but I can believe Cat Ears work. I've tried putting my finger along my cheek in front of an ear and the buffer effect takes away 90% of the noise (I do have sticky-out ears).
    Holding a finger from both hands in front of the ears might prove a little bit dangerous when riding so I'll see if I can get Cat Ears in the UK.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Ask the pros: Aero sunglasses OVER your helmet straps to keep them flush with your face in front of your ears.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    + 1000% !!!!!!!!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  11. #11
    Senior Member h2oxtc's Avatar
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    OP, until reading your post I had no idea there was any noise while riding. Now I hear it. I wish no one had told me.

    Hopefully I'll be able to go back to riding in the peace and quiet.

  12. #12
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for the short hijack of the thread. I was sitting in the backyard with my laptop and my neighbor's six year old was asking what I was reading on the "puter". He often comes over just to chat and watch me work on bikes. In any event, I showed him, and he saw this thread title. He looked at me and said, "I wish by bike helmet talked to me."
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    I thought it was voices in my head.
    Now I know they live in my helmet.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    +1 for the cat ears, and maybe a different helmet. It seems to me that the more you spend on a helmet, the more holes it has in it. Fewer holes would probably make less noise.

  15. #15
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    I bought the Cat Ears Classic I. They make a noticeable difference. Interestingly, one ear now has a lot more wind noise than the other. I'm going to try adjusting the strap to see if that helps. I also need to ride with a buddy to see what it's like to try to listen to another rider.

  16. #16
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    I just did the same! I'll give a report after I try em out.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  17. #17
    Team Geritol Spoke's Avatar
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    I have tried a number of things, but the one thing that finally worked for me was Cat Ears. makes me look like Sir Bradley Wiggins.

    Ride On!
    "On the road again, I can't wait to get on the road again!" -Willie

  18. #18
    Outback Cayucan
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    Cat Ears work for me. Prior to getting them last year my hearing aids & wind prevented understanding anything save "CAR BACK!"

  19. #19
    Pedo Grande Popeyecahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
    I have tried a number of things, but the one thing that finally worked for me was Cat Ears. makes me look like Sir Bradley Wiggins.

    Ride On!
    Do note that the Classic model comes in Wiggo Brown...
    And tell my mama I'm a hundred years late
    I'm over the rails and out of the race...

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I have an aero LG Course helmet. It is significantly quieter than my old Giro helmet. However, at 23mph the wind rushing over your ears is what's causing most of the noise. Along the lines of Cat Ears I use the Slipstreamz Spoiler and they work pretty well at reducing the intensity of the wind rushing past your ears. They also look quite a bit less dorky if that matters to you. You have to make sure they're stick out at ~90 degrees or so to divert the wind enough to make a difference.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    I found that LG helmets several years back were noticeably quieter than my current Giro Pneumo. I will be looking for something quieter when that gets a replaced.

  22. #22
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    I devised a quick, homemade fix:

    1. cut out a couple of pieces of cardboard, 3" in length (as long as necessary to block the length of your ears), 1.5" in width.

    2. fold lengthwise at a 90 degree angle

    3. tape the shorter length securely along the front chin strap of your helmet. The cardboard edge should extend outward at approx. 90 degrees, blocking your ears completely

    4. voila! enjoy a huge reduction in wind noise!

    5. cost: free, as long as you have some old scraps of cardboard lying around and any kind of adhesive: tape or glue. I prefer tape for easy removal.

    I could see someone artistically inclined creating a nice, stylish pair of cat ears or something similar.

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