BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

For all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmet usage will be moved here.
drossall
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by drossall »

This is a duplicate thread. [topics merged by moderator] Might be better to answer only in one place?
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by Vorpal »

Mike Sales wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 5:43pm
mjr wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:37pm My solution is to wear hats that don't have straps around the ears.
I was wondering about why this solution was being suggested to a problem I have never had.
If helmets need clumps of sponge rubber to make them tolerable, well, another strike against them.
Please no further digs about not wearing helmets. That's not what this thread is about.
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mjr
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by mjr »

Vorpal wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 7:33pm
Mike Sales wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 5:43pm
mjr wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:37pm My solution is to wear hats that don't have straps around the ears.
I was wondering about why this solution was being suggested to a problem I have never had.
If helmets need clumps of sponge rubber to make them tolerable, well, another strike against them.
Please no further digs about not wearing helmets. That's not what this thread is about.
It says it's about better hearing of traffic and the main reason some people can't wear it is the awful design of some current helmets that, for some unfathomable reason, are allowed to fill users' ears with wind noise.

I'm sure I've seen helmets that come with slender felt sleeves over the fore straps, so it wasn't a dig against using helmets in general. Just the rubbish ones.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by bikes4two »

After a lifetime of mostly riding without a helmet (a baseball style hat was my hat of choice), I now wear a Kask Mojito and the strap noise is minimal compared to my previous helmet which I'd used when riding in Spain.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the improvement on the reduced strap noise which has been intimated by others to be a function of helmet design rather than helmets per se.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by Airsporter1st »

Given that one of the arguments for wearing helmets is the possibility of insurers denying liability for the helmetless, might any kind of third-party modification to a helmet present a similar risk?
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by pjclinch »

Airsporter1st wrote: 4 Jan 2024, 7:18am Given that one of the arguments for wearing helmets is the possibility of insurers denying liability for the helmetless, might any kind of third-party modification to a helmet present a similar risk?
For some values of "might", yes it might.

But given that the addition of e.g. a light or camera mount takes a lid beyond the conditions it was tested under, is incredibly common and I've never seen any fuss made about it, I very much doubt it.
(I am not a lawyer.)

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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by mjr »

Airsporter1st wrote: 4 Jan 2024, 7:18am Given that one of the arguments for wearing helmets is the possibility of insurers denying liability for the helmetless, might any kind of third-party modification to a helmet present a similar risk?
Insurers will attempt to deny or reduce liability for anything they think might succeed. However, to do so, either they need to be able to demonstrate in court that the helmet change was material which is unlikely because helmets are expressly not designed to protect in collisions, or they need to be able to convince the cyclist's legal team to accept the reduction which means the cyclist's team is a bit rubbish.

As I've written before, I think it's absurd to use a helmet but ignore the warnings against unapproved attachments, skull caps, and so on, but I've yet to see any warnings against wrapping the straps, so I'd be OK doing that, if ever I can't take the much simpler step of preserving my hearing by not using one.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by Airsporter1st »

mjr wrote: 4 Jan 2024, 11:30am
Airsporter1st wrote: 4 Jan 2024, 7:18am Given that one of the arguments for wearing helmets is the possibility of insurers denying liability for the helmetless, might any kind of third-party modification to a helmet present a similar risk?
………but I've yet to see any warnings against wrapping the straps…….
I think that would be covered by the catch-all phrase of “the item should not be modified in any way” or similar, which seems to appear in most safety equipment manufacturer’s blurb.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by pwa »

Regardless of whether I'm cycling, or merely walking down a local lane, I often find that if I have a breeze in my face I get constant wind noise that ceases, or greatly reduces, when I turn my head to the right or the left. Of course I don't wear a helmet when walking, and usually don't wear a hat, so I think the noise is created by air turbulence around my ears. Which leads me to wonder if there might be some benefit to be had from ear covers with rear openings. I know somebody did market something like that at one time. Pebbles ear muff thing looks like a goer, in that regard.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by TrevA »

There used to be a product available for helmet straps called “ Cats Ears”. They are/were strips of furry material which reduced the wind noise, similar to a dead cat on a microphone.

Google produces this:

https://www.desertcart.co.uk/products/4 ... gJq2_D_BwE

Though they are quite expensive. I’m sure you could make your own out of some furry material.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by Audax67 »

Pebble wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:46pm silly plastic outer cracked up and blew off some time ago (don't think they are meant to be used in the sun)
Since the object of the silly plastic outer is to protect the polystyrene from UV I'd say it had done its job.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320144/
Polystyrene losses its mechanical and tensile properties due to effect of UV light and heat (Kiatkamjornwong et al. (1999)). UV light induces the production of radicals by oxidation. Radicals cause the chains of polymer to breakdown.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by mjr »

Audax67 wrote: 29 Jan 2024, 10:24am
Pebble wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:46pm silly plastic outer cracked up and blew off some time ago (don't think they are meant to be used in the sun)
Since the object of the silly plastic outer is to protect the polystyrene from UV I'd say it had done its job.
I thought the purpose of the rigid shell was to distribute a kerb corner impact across a larger area so it's more likely to crush the polystyrene instead of split it. Splitting absorbs less energy, so is less protective.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by AndyK »

TrevA wrote: 28 Jan 2024, 6:41pm There used to be a product available for helmet straps called “ Cats Ears”. They are/were strips of furry material which reduced the wind noise, similar to a dead cat on a microphone.

Google produces this:

https://www.desertcart.co.uk/products/4 ... gJq2_D_BwE

Though they are quite expensive. I’m sure you could make your own out of some furry material.
Cat-Ears, to be precise. Though they've now changed the name of the product to "AirStreamz" while still keeping the Cat-Ears name as the name of the company, just to confuse things. https://www.cat-ears.com/

They've been discussed here numerous times before:
search.php?keywords=cat-ears
And yes, they do work, and no, random bits of furry fabric don't work anywhere near as well.
The "slim" verisons look a bit more discreet, at the cost of being a bit less effective.
And they would probably benefit non-helmet-wearers too (I certainly get wind noise with or without a helmet) but you'd need a hat with a strap to attach them to. (Tilley hat, perhaps?)
This is a rare occasion where I'd suggest buying via Amazon rather than desertcart (whatever that is). Sadly as Cat-Ears still don't seem to have a proper UK distributor, they work out quite pricey.
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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by pjclinch »

mjr wrote: 29 Jan 2024, 11:02am
Audax67 wrote: 29 Jan 2024, 10:24am
Pebble wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:46pm silly plastic outer cracked up and blew off some time ago (don't think they are meant to be used in the sun)
Since the object of the silly plastic outer is to protect the polystyrene from UV I'd say it had done its job.
I thought the purpose of the rigid shell was to distribute a kerb corner impact across a larger area so it's more likely to crush the polystyrene instead of split it. Splitting absorbs less energy, so is less protective.
All sorts of different outer shells out there, from quite rigid to quite floppy.
The Main Thing is "does it pass the standard's testing regime so we can put a sticker on it?", for which there's more than one way to do it.

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Re: BETTER hearing of traffic from behind

Post by Navrig »

mjr wrote: 29 Jan 2024, 11:02am
Audax67 wrote: 29 Jan 2024, 10:24am
Pebble wrote: 29 Oct 2023, 4:46pm silly plastic outer cracked up and blew off some time ago (don't think they are meant to be used in the sun)
Since the object of the silly plastic outer is to protect the polystyrene from UV I'd say it had done its job.
I thought the purpose of the rigid shell was to distribute a kerb corner impact across a larger area so it's more likely to crush the polystyrene instead of split it. Splitting absorbs less energy, so is less protective.
My understanding is that the outer plastic shell had to be developed to help protect children in a fall. They found that plain polystyrene has a high co-efficient of drag when applied to tarmac meaning that forward sliding applied a rotation to the helmet (amplified by the helmet lever arm) and that undeveloped necks, in youngsters, were liable to worse injuries. UV protection was a bonus.
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