Avoid wind noise with Windfree
The human ear is not constructed to deal with speeds higher than 15-20 km/h. This is about the top speed that the human body can move without using a vehicle of some sort. But these days we can move much more quickly, especially on a bicycle. The ear is constructed to be able to gather as much sound as possible, but unfortunately this also means that the ear is also exposed to wind noise when we move faster than about 10 km/h. This is something that the company Windfree has latched onto, and they have developed simple wind protection that you put over your ears almost like earphones.
The wind protection has a plastic frame that goes around the neck without being uncomfortable under your bicycle helmet. The actual ear-covers are made of foam very much like thin foam rubber. The editors first impression of the product was that it was unnecessary and that one looked a little silly with a pair of earmuffs over the ears. But I realised almost immediately during the first bicycle tour what a great product this was. Suddenly, I could hear the exhilarating sound of the tires spinning against the asphalt, and the faint whir of the chain. I could hear when a car approached from behind and best of all - what my companions who were bicycling with me were saying. What is ingenious about this product as compared to earplugs is that it only removes wind noise. You hear all other sounds just as you normally would but without the wind noise. This makes my bicycle riding safer, more fun and more comfortable.
Since Windfree protects the ears from the wind, it also minimises its chilling effects. Windfree can be purchased directly from the manufacture on their website, and also in well-stocked sports shops for about 395 kr.
published in Svenska Cykling Plus, Winter 2012Hello!
Now I bought a pair Windfree.och they work really well.
I sound hypersensitive, so for me so it was very good to avoid the constant wind. I'm not as tired in the head after a bike ride.
And I hear the traffic better.
Here's an update after 2 years use of The Slip:
They have held up fine during lots of use including mountain biking and multiple road tours. I have a neoprene/velcro armband that holds my Ipod. It fits perfectly through the vents on the back of my helmet. I wrapped the armband through the helmet so the Ipod is held against the outside back of the helmet. I tied the Ipod and earphone cords into the helmet harness with twist ties. So, the Ipod, earphones and cords stay on the helmet. There are no cords dangling and I don't have to disconnect anything until I need to recharge the Ipod.
The Slip holds the earphones away from my ear but still blocks the wind so I am able to listen to music at low levels and still hear traffic. The only problem is I wear an extra small helmet so there isn't a lot of helmet strap length to work with. I can't get The Slip and earphones positioned perfectly. I had to trim off some of foam in The Slip. It also makes wearing sunglasses uncomfortable after time. But that's the price until something better comes along. I looked at the Swedish ear covers. There is no way to attach earphones to them.
One drawback of The Slip and earphones: since it is time consuming and takes a lot of adjusting to get them positioned right, it is a hassle to remove them to clean my helmet straps.