Quick Take: Cat-Ears Wind Noise Reducers

Apparel Gear

Cat-Ears easily attach to your helmet strap, come in four models and 14 different colors, ranging from safety orange to glacier white.

Why You Want

You’d like to hear more of the surrounding world during road rides, and aren’t bothered by the idea of affixing small strips of fur-like material to your helmet straps. (Cat-Ears are actually made of faux fur and polyester). The Boulder, Colorado-based company also makes a cold weather model (think ear muffs that attach to your helmet straps), which claim to both muffle noise and help keep frostbite at bay during chilly winter rides. (We haven’t tested those yet.)

Pros

Utilizing the same basic function as the fur that surrounds a cat’s ear, Cat-Ears do a credible job of turning down the volume on wind noise while on your bike. This is especially true at lower speeds, which could be a boon to the commuter crowd, who are typically less caught up with fashion, and more concerned with function, say being able to hear an oncoming bus while pedaling down a busy street on a blustery morning. Cat-Ears easily attach to your helmet strap, come in four models and 14 different colors, ranging from safety orange to glacier white.

Cons

There’s no way around it, Cat-Ears have a decidedly arts-and-crafts appearance and look kind of goofy. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine your typical Cat. 1 leg shaver showing up at the weekend crit race with a pair of these affixed to his helmet strap.

Left: Utilizing the same basic function as the fur that surrounds a cat’s ear, Cat-Ears do a credible job of turning down the volume on wind noise while on your bike. This is especially true at lower speeds. Right: We heard our fair share of friendly jokes during a handful of test rides. But they did work in reducing wind noise.

RoadBikeReview Take

Do they work? Yes, as advertised, Cat-Ears reduce wind noise while riding. We logged a handful of rides wearing the Classics Pro model and found it easier to hear traffic and carry on conversations with our riding friends. Unfortunately that made it easier to hear the occasional snicker from said friends, who couldn’t help but crack jokes about our new rapidly-grown “sideburns.”

However, Cat-Ears also makes a smaller, less Elvis-like Strap Wraps model that might represent the happy medium between lowering wind noise and maintaining some semblance of fashion sense. There’s also the Ear Covers model, which have the added bonus of keeping your ears warm during colder rides.

Rating 3 out of 5
Price: $8-15
More Info: cat-ears.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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  • Andrew Ross says:

    Reminiscent of two products.

    1) The Slipstreamz spoiler
    2) The Helmuff

    Everything old is new again.

  • Matt says:

    I notice heaps of wind noise when riding and you can test it by covering an ear as you ride. I’m going to see if a couple of bits of DIY plastic wrapped in fabric will work… and more importantly not make me look like a goofball….. or maybe I’ll just wait until my ear hair grows out and does the same job.

  • Erik says:

    One of the lames products ever, right up there with the handlebar handwarmers. Just use low-decibel earplugs that muffle while still allowing you to hear pertinent alerts. Done.

  • Sash says:

    sideburns would be a better name… less pussified!!! they could also do an furry upper lip warmer and maybe a matching furry chin warmer too at some point. Just sayin

  • John says:

    Don’t think these are going to be a must have like my helmet mirror. You don’t hear the competition coming…. you SEE them a 1/4 mile behind you before they attack. Cars are also very visible with a good helmet mirror. I agree with Erik on the low decibel ear plugs. I think they would do a better job of calming all wind noise.

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