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Headphones/Ear buds

Old 02-04-18, 11:09 AM
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Headphones/Ear buds

I was curious how many people do city/road riding listening to music. I have a hybrid and live in a small city with average traffic (nothing extreme). I have and use a mirror but am hesitant to listen to music while riding. I can always hear traffic coming and don't know how comfortable I'd be if I couldn't.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you use ear buds? If so, what has your experience been, i.e., any close calls do to the ear buds? Anyone use them and change their mind after doing so?

EDIT: to be more specific and hopefully get the replies I'm looking for:

1. Have you used them, Yes or No. If no, please spare me your opinion
2. If Yes, have you had any close calls or accidents when using them?
3. If yes, did you stop using them due to close calls or accidents?

I am ready for the, "try them and find out" responses but really just want to hear what others experience has been. Thanks!

Last edited by m7ickey; 02-04-18 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:15 AM
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Old 02-04-18, 11:15 AM
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A topic of ongoing and sometimes acrimonious debate.

Some will say it's unreasonably dangerous, others say they wear them and can still hear traffic as well as without.
Then are all the opinions in between.

When it's over and the mods close the thread, you'll be back To where you started.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:18 AM
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well hopefully I'll hear some peoples experience before they close the thread
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Old 02-04-18, 11:37 AM
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AlexanderLS, this cracked me up: "BikeForums - Home of the rudest cyclists on earth"
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Old 02-04-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by m7ickey View Post
I was curious how many people do city/road riding listening to music. I have a hybrid and live in a small city with average traffic (nothing extreme). I have and use a mirror but am hesitant to listen to music while riding. I can always hear traffic coming and don't know how comfortable I'd be if I couldn't.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you use ear buds? If so, what has your experience been, i.e., any close calls do to the ear buds? Anyone use them and change their mind after doing so?

EDIT: to be more specific and hopefully get the replies I'm looking for:

1. Have you used them, Yes or No. If no, please spare me your opinion
2. If Yes, have you had any close calls or accidents when using them?
3. If yes, did you stop using them due to close calls or accidents?

I am ready for the, "try them and find out" responses but really just want to hear what others experience has been. Thanks!
I'm happy to answer reasonable questions:
1. No, but I wear hearing aids instead.
2. No.
3. No.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:46 AM
  #7  
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****
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Old 02-04-18, 11:49 AM
  #8  
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In some locations, such as here in Chicago, earbuds are illegal for cyclists. There may be an exception for a single bud, such as are worn by many bike messengers. If you were in an accident while wearing earbuds, it might be damaging to your defense. Just saying. Personally, I don't wear them on the bike. There are some pretty quiet cars!
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Old 02-04-18, 11:53 AM
  #9  
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I wear an earbud in my right ear to listen to podcasts. It’s no more distracting than listening to the radio in a car.

If I’m on the bike trail, I’ll put both in ,particularly if I am listening to music.

Last edited by caloso; 02-04-18 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:57 AM
  #10  
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Not only do I wear earbuds (JLab Epic Air) but I have Comply noise-isolation foam tips on them. As a sighted person, I get 90% of my sensory input through my eyes, so I will continue to rely on vision to keep me alive. As many have pointed out, even if you can hear a car behind you, you have almost no chance of judging where that car is relative to you, and zero chance of doing anything about it. I see more people on bikes with earbuds in than without. The running-around-waving-hands-in-the-air-because-the-sky-is-falling crowd is almost purely limited to the realm of Bike Forums.

Just be sure to get a comfortable pair. I went through half a dozen before I found a set that was comfortable for long periods, while also blocking out wind noise.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:58 AM
  #11  
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Every ride!

And a rear view mirror!
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Old 02-04-18, 12:03 PM
  #12  
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Yes, I use them always. But - they are not "in ear" buds, they sit outside the ear (plantronic backbeat fit). They permit all ambient sound. Volume is controlled by an earpiece tap, and when on the streets I lower it to soft background level, then increase volume on MUPS. I actually find myself much more aware when I ride with earbuds, I use my eyes and turn my head a lot more often to make double sure I am safe. Never had an issue or problem as a result of the buds and, in fact, I find I am much more patient as a result.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:04 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
Might seem funny but it's no joke.
If you express an opinion that a long time community member disagrees with. They will be rude, they will violate forum rules doing so, you will get a strike when you say anything rude back.
The rules only apply to us newer community members.

It's really quite a toxic community.
Almost by definition, road cyclists are generally a bunch of ***holes (especially the "serious" kind). We're just the creme de la creme, in here. Place is full of prima donnas, too.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:06 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
Might seem funny but it's no joke.
If you express an opinion that a long time community member disagrees with. They will be rude, they will violate forum rules doing so, you will get a strike when you say anything rude back.
The rules only apply to us newer community members.

It's really quite a toxic community.
Weird.... I find this one of the nicest forums around. Well....except for maybe the road forum, LOL!
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Old 02-04-18, 12:06 PM
  #15  
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Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand. No! I don't wear earbuds. When I go out riding I purposefully want to rid myself of any kind of media.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:08 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Weird.... I find this one of the nicest forums around. Well....except for maybe the road forum, LOL!
You nailed it!
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Old 02-04-18, 12:08 PM
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I don't really like to ride on windy days due to the noise the wind makes - keeps me from hearing my surroundings. If, for example, I decide to get a swig of water and swerve a little without realizing a car is right on my butt - the result could be catastrophic depending on the road. Not that I always swerve whenever I take on water - it's an example. I might swerve a little just because I'm enjoying the scenery.
So "nay" on earbuds for me.

But others don't seem to mind using sight only. Do what you want.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
Might seem funny but it's no joke.
If you express an opinion that a long time community member disagrees with. They will be rude, they will violate forum rules doing so, you will get a strike when you say anything rude back.
The rules only apply to us newer community members.

It's really quite a toxic community.
Yep, that's why it cracked me up, I have run across the rudeness in some of my threads. There really are a lot of people on here willing to help you out though including me when I can. I just scroll by the rudeness (or holier than though stuff) and look for the answers I'm seeking
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Old 02-04-18, 12:12 PM
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Not in the city, and not for 30 years.
In the country , at 6pm, when most are home, so road is quiet.

Ear buds that still let me hear cars coming from behind.. 12 miles.. Books on Tape.. Cassettes from the public library ..








.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-04-18 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Yes, I use them always. But - they are not "in ear" buds, they sit outside the ear (plantronic backbeat fit). They permit all ambient sound. Volume is controlled by an earpiece tap, and when on the streets I lower it to soft background level, then increase volume on MUPS. I actually find myself much more aware when I ride with earbuds, I use my eyes and turn my head a lot more often to make double sure I am safe. Never had an issue or problem as a result of the buds and, in fact, I find I am much more patient as a result.
Good point on being more aware, I like that line of thinking
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Old 02-04-18, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
When I go out riding I purposefully want to rid myself of any kind of media.
Another good point. However, I think this would apply more to a country ride or trail, i.e., escaping the chaos type of ride. For me, riding from point A to point B in the city I'd like to jam some music.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:18 PM
  #22  
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For the past 5 years (~23,000 miles) I've used an earbud on every "solo" ride (in the curb side ear only), on road, commuting, and mtb rides. Never had a situation where the earbud caused an issue.

OTOH Group rides = no earbud, EVER, since communications from other riders can and will come from all directions.

Last edited by Riveting; 02-04-18 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by m7ickey View Post
Good point on being more aware, I like that line of thinking
I don't know if other people experience this but...on the rare occasions I drive a car I am much more active in checking rear and side views, not just using mirrors, because I bike. When I ride with people who do not bike, they pretty much look straight ahead and infrequently check their rear view. They zone out going straight ahead.

It's the same effect with headphones. They make me much more aware visually (although I actually can hear everything, but electric cars are an issue buds or not). I'm constantly surveying my surroundings. In those instances where I don't have my buds, I do tend to zone out a bit more for some reason.
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Old 02-04-18, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by m7ickey View Post
Another good point. However, I think this would apply more to a country ride or trail, i.e., escaping the chaos type of ride. For me, riding from point A to point B in the city I'd like to jam some music.
I'm the opposite. In the city--commuting and whatnot--I want ALL of my senses working for me. Although, to be honest, I don't know if wearing earbuds is inherently unsafe. They're probably not. But, I feel safer not using them and that is what counts for me.

In addition to cutting off the extra "noise" by not wearing them, I also have kind of an "existential" (for lack of a better term) beef against them. It seems that so many of us, these days, just exist in our own little bubbles without regard for one another. This is a personal quirk, I understand.
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Old 02-04-18, 02:35 PM
  #25  
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I've cycled with headphones for 15 years in the city. I believe they actually improve my hearing because they cut out the wind. They are usually supra-aural though.
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