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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lower end (~$30) bell helmet. It functions fine but I find I get alot of wind noise, to the extent that at 12mph I have to turn my head to hear if a car is coming. Do higher end helmets do a better job with this? Could you make some recommendations and let me know how much money I need to spend?

Thanks,
linuxted
 

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linuxted said:
I have a lower end (~$30) bell helmet. It functions fine but I find I get alot of wind noise, to the extent that at 12mph I have to turn my head to hear if a car is coming. Do higher end helmets do a better job with this? Could you make some recommendations and let me know how much money I need to spend?

Thanks,
linuxted
upgrade to a ghisallo. if you want to spend a little more and get an amazing helmet, go for a bell sweep. you can't go wrong with the ghisallo though, it is to bell what the pneumo is to giro-healthnet and credit agricole wore them recently. Personally, I have a Sweep and I swear by it.
ColoradoCyclist has a great deal on 05 ghisallo's:
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/comm...FNBR=437&CRPCGNBR=437&CI=1,259,437&TextMode=0

and the new sweeps:
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/comm...FNBR=437&CRPCGNBR=437&CI=1,259,437&TextMode=0
 

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Windnoise is the one thing I hate (it usually goes along with headwinds ;) ) about cycling, but for me it's the ears that do it. :rolleyes: :eek:
 

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linuxted said:
I have a lower end (~$30) bell helmet. It functions fine but I find I get alot of wind noise, to the extent that at 12mph I have to turn my head to hear if a car is coming. Do higher end helmets do a better job with this? Could you make some recommendations and let me know how much money I need to spend?
/quote]

As it was mentioned here Bell Ghisallo is very quit - I ride it for 3 year, not once was disturbed by wind noise.
 

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Could it be wind across the ears, not the helmet?

I've had helmets that cost from $30 to $120, and I don't remember any significant difference in wind noise from the cheapest to the most expensive. Try a short ride without a helmet to see if it's the wind blowing past your ears rather than the helmet. If it is, no point in throwing money at it.
 

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Could it be wind across the ears, not the helmet?
I think it is the wind over the ears. I've ridden bicycles for 50 years now, 30 of which without a helmet. I've always heard the roar. Try cory's experiment, then add this amazing twist: take your hands off the bar and cup them. Place them against your cheekbones, palms facing toward the rear of the bike. With your ears out of the wind, dead silence! You can hear the birds chirp 1/4 mile behind you. I do think it's possible that helmet design could slightly increase or diminish the air flow across the ears.

In the early 80s, someone marketed a set of clip-on ear flaps that went in front of your ears similar to those cupped hands above. I'm sure the contraption worked, but it made you look like a complete idiot. It didn't sell well. Perhaps someone here remembers the name of that thing.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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wind noise.

I think the noise problem is to each their own. i've ridden many makes and price ranged helmets. None of which ever seemed to make a difference in wind noise. I have used a Limar Crono aero fairing for TT training that covers my ears. That thing is loud. The wind howled in that thing. I'm glad they are illegal now. :)
 

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wim said:
I think it is the wind over the ears. I've ridden bicycles for 50 years now, 30 of which without a helmet. I've always heard the roar. Try cory's experiment, then add this amazing twist: take your hands off the bar and cup them. Place them against your cheekbones, palms facing toward the rear of the bike. With your ears out of the wind, dead silence! You can hear the birds chirp 1/4 mile behind you. I do think it's possible that helmet design could slightly increase or diminish the air flow across the ears.

In the early 80s, someone marketed a set of clip-on ear flaps that went in front of your ears similar to those cupped hands above. I'm sure the contraption worked, but it made you look like a complete idiot. It didn't sell well. Perhaps someone here remembers the name of that thing.
Exactly. It's not the helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mr. Versatile said:
Exactly. It's not the helmet.

Once again you folks saved me money... I'll try the experiment without a helmet.

linuxted
 

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Try this twist

Most of what we attribute to helmet noise is actually from wind over the straps. Try re-installing your straps with a single twist in the front strap. This reduces wind noise significantly. Beyond that, wind blowing across your ears makes noise.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Most of what we attribute to helmet noise is actually from wind over the straps. Try re-installing your straps with a single twist in the front strap. This reduces wind noise significantly. Beyond that, wind blowing across your ears makes noise.
Agreed! but sometimes we just might be better off doing a vincent van gough on both sides! :eek:
 

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bas said:
Agreed! but sometimes we just might be better off doing a vincent van gough on both sides! :eek:
That would only be for the extreme aero minded weight weenie... :)
 

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Tommasini
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A response to WIM & Kerry's comments

I too found that if you cover your ears that you get a huge reduction in wind noise. I followed up by using a radio with ear pods....now ipod......ok flame me but I find that the ear pods themselves block out a lot of wind noise. I now can ride and have some "pass those miles miles away" backgroung tunes (at low volume) and still hear better than those dealing with wind noise. Care to compare - drive around in your car with the driver window down and no radio, then turn your radio real low and close your window - bet the second one gives you better perception of noises you need to hear AND it's much less wear and tear on your mind. I don't ride with ear pods in a group - just alone.
 

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I tried ear plugs once. It was more annoying when I'd hit a bump and would hear the bass noise from that in my head.


Tommasini said:
I too found that if you cover your ears that you get a huge reduction in wind noise. I followed up by using a radio with ear pods....now ipod......ok flame me but I find that the ear pods themselves block out a lot of wind noise. I now can ride and have some "pass those miles miles away" backgroung tunes (at low volume) and still hear better than those dealing with wind noise. Care to compare - drive around in your car with the driver window down and no radio, then turn your radio real low and close your window - bet the second one gives you better perception of noises you need to hear AND it's much less wear and tear on your mind. I don't ride with ear pods in a group - just alone.
 

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Logic?

Tommasini said:
II find that the ear pods themselves block out a lot of wind noise. I now can ride . . . and still hear better than those dealing with wind noise. Care to compare - drive around in your car with the driver window down and no radio, then turn your radio real low and close your window - bet the second one gives you better perception of noises you need to hear AND it's much less wear and tear on your mind.
In a car, closing the window actually reduces the GENERATION of wind noise by making the car more slippery through the air. And there is no way that closing the window and turning on your car radio allows you to hear outside noise better. It reduces fatigue, but doesn't improve hearing. If you are claiming the that ear buds reduce wind noise GENERATION, your logic falls completely apart. By putting ear buds in, you are indeed blocking noise, both the kind you don't want to hear and the kind you NEED to hear. I've ridden with people who were using ear buds "at a real low level" and I've passed many more. It's self-delusion to claim that you can hear anywhere near as well as with nothing in your ears and it's REALLY bogus to claim that you can hear better.
 

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AirStreamz

I am testing out a set of these now. Seems to make some difference, but not major. They seem to reduce normal riding wind noise, but a nasty headwind is still noisy. Since my hearing is really sensitive, I find them worth the effort as the "rush" of wind is reduced.

I emailed the manufacturer and he sent a couple of sets to my LBS for me to try.....

www.airstreamz.com

The Flash
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
yup, you're right - wind noise with or without helmet

It is the wind across the ears. I never new because I don't ride without a helmet :eek:

linuxted
 

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I agree that it is wind across the ears. For me, different helmets change the way the wind crosses my ears. It is a low rumble unlike when I ride without a helemt. Could be the shape of my coconut.

TH
 

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Tommasini
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A suggestion related to the original question

Hey linuxted - please don't take this negatively, but please ask yourself why you are being concerned about helmet noise and it resulting in having to turn to check for approaching vehicles - For that original question I'll assume you are trying to pick up someone coming up from the rear. If that's so just remember that the sound of a vehicle that will pass 3' to your left and one which is about to launch you off their grill sound the same. Even if you hear them hit the brakes it's probably too late in most situations to do anything in defense. I say that because I've been there - been hit from behind. Wind noise from the helmet straps might be annoying (thus my comments about ear pods....which I should have noted in busy areas the music is off but the ear pods in the ears, out in the country the music is on....very low) but either way, if you are concerned about what is approaching from behind I'd rather suggest (1) ask yourself whether you riding in places that bicyclists have decent odds....and (2) if still concerned about what's behind consider a mirror. After being (solidly) hit from behind I altered my perception of what roads/situations are less safe. I still ride with ear buds (only alone out in the country) but now only on roads and in situations where I have a good chance to ride again. Still no guarantees though - sometimes that's life.
 
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