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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering how many of you wear earplugs when riding? I find the wind noise gets to me more as I get older and I have been wearing the foam ear plugs and find they really help.
Anyone else have this trouble and if so what do you do?
 

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I wear them on longer rides.

No foam earplugs I've ever tried will block out enough sound to make riding dangerous. They just reduce decibal levels at certain frequencies to reduce fatigue and save some of the hearing I have left.

I've been told that using the wrong earplugs can have potential negative affects on one's hearing, as certain types of earplugs are engineered to only block out certain harmful frequencies. But they had to repeat it to me because I didn't catch it the first time. :confused:
 

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I never used to wear them back in the 70’s and 80’s but now wear them all the time. I use the soft memory foam type that is available as safety equipment in noisy work environments. They don’t block out sound completely, just muffle the high frequency stuff that can feel hard on the ears. I find they allow me to engage with what’s around me on the road no problem. The one thing I have to mindful of is regular camchain and tappet maintenance, the plugs will do an excellent job of hiding any top end clatter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys!
I have no problems hearing the traffic it is just a bit muted but I do find I must watch the speed a little more with out the loud engine noise to warn me if the speed is creeping up. Strangely enough the bike seems to run smoother with plugs in.?
 

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I haven't used them but keep seeing ads on FB for the noise cancelling earplugs that supposedly cut the decibels but still let you hear the world around you. I'm thinking about trying them out.
 

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If you are wearing a helmet I don't understand the need for ear plugs too?

Are you guys who are answering YES wearing Helmets?
 
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Sound is as tiring as wind buffeting is.

Having had to have hearing tests as part of my employment and having custom earplugs provided made me appreciate how much better I can function in a high noise environment with hearing protection.

A well designed and properly fitted helmet certainly help as does a full fairing bike with windshield.

I use them on the bikes and when driving our convertible on the highway. No issues with hearing my surroundings and I think I can actually hear more accurately with the earplugs.

My only regret is not using earplugs when I was younger.
 

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Yeah, none of us thought about the loudness of anything we were doing decades ago. I've been fortunate to still have 90% of my hearing despite working around loud tools and riding bikes with loud exhausts and going to well over a hundred concerts or more in my life, but I'm still not in the habit of wearing earplugs... my full face helmet does a decent job of reducing noise but as mentioned above, wind noise is still an annoyance on longer rides and they would be good for that. I need to get into the habit of wearing them at least on longer rides, certainly can't hurt
 

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if you are wearing a helmet i don't understand the need for ear plugs too?

Are you guys who are answering yes wearing helmets?
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That said, I have partial hearing loss. I have a history of doing ALL the things the audiologist asks "have you ever..." I used to laugh at people mowing lawns or driving tractors and heavy equipment with hearing protectors. Not anymore. If uninformed people still do that, they laugh at me to today! I still forget sometimes, or get in a hurry and neglect my ear plugs and I can definitely tell a difference after! :mad: Yet even with my damaged hearing I can usually hear everything around me I can without them. Perhaps not as loudly, but I know it's there. LOUD sounds however are considerably softened. The constant buzzing of my tinnitus is more of a hindrance than the ear plugs and if I'd used ear plugs all along, I may not have tinnitus today. :(

As to your helmet confusion, (you did say you don't understand ;) ) There are of course various styles of helmets. Some cover the ears some don't. Another factor is that the vast majority of helmets in use are not properly sized. If it doesn't feel like it's too tight, it's too loose. I have a FF helmet that has an annoying whistle when I turn my head. It's one of the vents, or maybe the visor, but I haven't nailed which one. 3/4 helmets scoop a lot more wind (and sound) than it feels like. 1/2 helmets and all those toy helmets some people wear to look cool are no help at all for your ears and not much more than that for your head. ;) Take an old guys advise on this one. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EARS! You'll thank me one day. :cool:
 

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Im almost deaf without my hearing aids . The wind across the aid mics cancels all sound so I take them out. A full helmet pushes against the aid and doesnt fit well and a half helmet there is to much wind. So I take them out and use a full helmet. I look around a LOT. Take care of your hearing.


Bill
 

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Do absolutely everything you can to protect your hearing. I too did not use ear plugs in my younger years. I never worked in particularly noisy environments, but mowed a lot of grass, rode a few bikes with "performance" exhausts, and went to loud concerts and races. Always wore a good quality full face helmet. The hearing difficulty started when I turned 60 - mild ringing in the left ear, a little bit of lower frequency dropout and a gradual feeling of "fullness" in that ear. Four years later, I've lost almost all hearing in the left ear and the tinnitus has ramped up to where it's constantly annoying. I've been using the foam earplugs for a few years now when I mow or ride. They do a good job of toning everything down to comfortable levels, but I can still hear everything I need to hear for safety's sake! My wife bought me a pair of silicone earplugs that I'm going to try next church service. It's in an auditorium with tile floors and not much sound deadening around. I've noticed lately it gets uncomfortably loud there, so I'm anxious to try them.
 

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I use a set of these: https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-ANC23-QuietPoint-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B004K09H32
I first bought them so I could hear the GPS telling me where to go :), but sometimes just wear them for the reduced noise. From my experience, it is the wind noise and higher frequencies they reduce, and only when the sounds are fairly steady, which, to me, are the most tiring; horns and other warnings get through pretty well. I never use them to listen to music, which would mask those warning sounds.
 

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boy oh boy! I wear ear protection for all rides!
I find it cuts down on wind noise and so I hear all the other nuances, such as horns for instance, all the better. A change in timbre in the engine for another.

by all means, if they don't work for you, its best you don't wear them. I do believe prudent choice is involved here and not one fact fits everyone's ride. Noise fatigue is another factor. on longer rides, I'm fresher at the end.
 

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I cut them in half or slighly bigger. It feels better and you also hear the traffic. It just reduces the really loud sound which gives you permanent damage, it's a must to wear ear plugs.
 

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I use a set of these: https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-ANC23-QuietPoint-Noise-Cancelling-Headphones/dp/B004K09H32
I first bought them so I could hear the GPS telling me where to go :), but sometimes just wear them for the reduced noise. From my experience, it is the wind noise and higher frequencies they reduce, and only when the sounds are fairly steady, which, to me, are the most tiring; horns and other warnings get through pretty well. I never use them to listen to music, which would mask those warning sounds.
Audio-Technica makes (or used to, anyway) a good quality stylus for a turntable, so I could see those being decent. I've never tried noise-cancelling devices but I've always wondered about how well they work.
 

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I wear them on longer rides, if just riding to work (5 minutes) I won't bother but any other ride I definitely use them. Makes riding much more enjoyable as it cuts the wind noise considerably, especially at highway speeds. I have tinnitus (probably from not wearing them all these years :D ) and find if I don't wear them it is really bad after a ride, plugs help in controlling it.
 
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