I need to block wind noise, what is the quietest helmet setup?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
dittoalex
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:21 am

by dittoalex

I have tinnitus and want to keep it from getting worse when cycling in high winds. I wear triple-flanged ear buds to isolate the wind noise, but it still gets too loud. I have tried "cat ears" but they work poorly, even at a walking pace.

Do I need to get a TT or Aero helmet without any vents which fully covers my ear?

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TonyM
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by TonyM

I don't know if it helps but all my helmets are very noisy when the straps are not 100% close to my skin/ face. I really take the time to adjust the straps from time to time to avoid the noise. Otherwise as I used to ride motorcycles I used also some ear plugs that were cancelling the noises like the wind but still were not cancelling 100% of the noise so that you could hear the honks etc....Unfortunately I can't remember the brand/ model, just that they were orange. If you are interested you may ask in a motorcycle forum.
Last edited by TonyM on Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


dudemanppl
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by dudemanppl

Ride slower

ico
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by ico

That's interesting finding that the noise is coming from the wind passing straps. Have to test myself, never thought about it...

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TonyM
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by TonyM

Last edited by TonyM on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

jever98
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by jever98

dudemanppl wrote:Ride slower


Thanks for the productive contribution. Tinnitus is a shitty condition to have.

@OP: Can't say that I found my TT helmet much less noisy. It's more that the noise is at lower frequencies.

Maybe sounds odd - but maybe active noise cancelling ear buds? Wind noise tends to be relatively regular white noise, which should work relatively well for noise cancelling ear buds. Can't say I have tried, though.
----
No longer in the industry

Marin
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by Marin

dittoalex wrote:Do I need to get a TT or Aero helmet without any vents which fully covers my ear?


I have a Giro Advantage that fully covers my ears and it's by far the loudest helmet I have - to the extent that I don't wear it for TT training, only for the race. Might be different for other over-ear aero helmets though.

zefs
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by zefs

I also use cat ears and they work great. You need to set them so that the straps are not flapping and allow wind to pass through. I would recommend the Hearing Aid model which you can cut to length of the straps if needed. Another idea would be to wear a balaclava to cover the ears (which you can combine with the cat ears)

morganb
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by morganb

Evade is noticeably quieter than any other helmet I have owned. I don't know if this is the case for other aero helmets but in general they should generate less wind noise. TT helmets just sound so different because your head is enclosed that its hard to say whether it is quieter or louder.

TheKaiser
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by TheKaiser

Marin wrote:
dittoalex wrote:Do I need to get a TT or Aero helmet without any vents which fully covers my ear?


I have a Giro Advantage that fully covers my ears and it's by far the loudest helmet I have - to the extent that I don't wear it for TT training, only for the race. Might be different for other over-ear aero helmets though.


I have heard that about TT helmets too. They can actually be louder than an open helmet.

I have found the same thing others have mentioned regarding helmet straps. My older helmets, which have straps that emanate from the interior face of the helmet that closely tracked the skin, are much quieter. Then the companies started molding the straps right into the foam so that they come out of the shell about 1cm from the head, with the claimed benefit of less skin irritation, sweatyness, etc...but in reality, they have created a fabric blade that slices the wind and makes a comparatively big racket. In addition to the straps, vent design can play a role too, and visor/camera mounts on the MTB side.

Cyclingtips had a good article on this topic, and there was some additional good info in the comments: https://cyclingtips.com/2017/08/listen- ... ring-loss/

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ergott
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by ergott

I don't care if it's dorky of me, but I do use these.

https://www.cat-ears.com/product-page/a ... y-cat-ears

I hear better and less fatigue after long rides.

sungod
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by sungod

my kask protone is much quieter than previous helmets i've used (various giro models)

making sure it's adjusted so the straps lay flat to skin is important, otherwise as noted above the noise level can go up dramatically

simplemind
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by simplemind

sungod wrote:my kask protone is much quieter than previous helmets i've used (various giro models)

making sure it's adjusted so the straps lay flat to skin is important, otherwise as noted above the noise level can go up dramatically


Yeah, I'm using the Protone as well, and as you said its pretty quiet. The straps are quite thin and fit close to the skin when adjusted tight.
Sometimes I use the Cat Ears (thin ones) and they help some, but not enough to alleviate the dork syndrome so I will only use them on a longer ride.

youngs_modulus
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Location: Madison, WI USA

by youngs_modulus

You can get a preview of the improvement you can expect from Cat Ears by extending your index finger and putting it lengthwise over your helmet strap while riding. The reduction in wind noise is remarkable.

I've been racing since I was 11 years old; I'm now 44. My hearing is terrible, and I'm not one to listen to loud music on headphones or at concerts. I hadn't connected my hearing loss with cycling, but I recently found this article, which gave me pause:

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/08/listen- ... ring-loss/

I may pick up some Cat Ears or just make some myself. I have a dedicated commuting helmet, and I don't care how dorky I look if I can hear better. I may just own it and get the furry ones. If anyone asks, I'll say they're prosthetic sideburns.

by Weenie


numberSix
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:53 pm

by numberSix

I wear hearing aids; far and away the best wind noise cancelling is from a very thin helmet cap. Kind of like a cover on a microphone. So depending on the temperature, a spandex headband might work.

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