Latest dumb question

Discussion on riding gear for women

Latest dumb question

Postby lizmcg » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:25 pm

OK, here's my latest dumb question. It's amazing how many I can come up with! :lol:

Do any of you ladies wear earplugs? I haven't felt the need with the padding in my helmet and my short rides, but I've been reviewing some of my riding books (e.g., Proficient Motorcycling), and at least one recommends earplugs all the time. He says helmets only screen out high-frequency sounds, and low-frequency wind noise is harmful. I had to wear earplugs a few times in the past (before I had shooting earmuffs, when riding in WWII vintage USMC cargo planes, etc.), and they always itched and drove me nuts. Are they really necessary? If so, is anything more comfortable than those foam things available?

Thanks, as always.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby dbsteffy » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:03 pm

Good question. I have earplugs, the ones from the drugstore. I've tried them twice but for only short distances and they were too much trouble, in, out, remembering to put them back in, where do I carrying them, jeans pocket didn't seem appropriate. But on longer rides, especially on the freeway, I'm considering trying them again, but I forget.
I don't want to invest in a custom set until I find that the generic ones do help.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby monica » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:02 pm

My daughter the safety PhD sent me an article recently about hearing loss in motorcycle riders. I bought some earplugs. Unfortunately, 2/3 of the way through my recent 2wk trip I lost them and didn't manage to stop to get more. I have more now and will wear them. It does make a difference in the amount of wind noise; I can still hear cars, etc.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby ADVStrom14 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:50 pm

It doesn't seem like it - even my husband gave me a weird look when he saw them in my ears - but it makes a big difference. OSHA requires that people in setting with noise levels above (I believe its) 85 decibels to wear ear plugs at work. The sound inside your helmet can reach levels of 90-115 depending on speed, type of road, traffic around you, etc. Not to mention that it's sustained noise not intermittent. This leads to a loss of hearing and, however counterintuitive, an inability to hear the noises that are going on around you like sirens, approaching vehicles, and bike noise. You really do hear ambient noise so much better if you are wearing ear plugs. (Incidentally, if you are in a bar and you can't hear the person that is next to you talking, put your finger, gently, over your ear the person is speaking into. You'll find that you can hear them better.)

It also leads to fatigue which is another thing that I can vouch for. I have been able to ride longer and feel better after long rides when I have worn ear plugs. They recommend ear plugs that will reduce the noise level by 30-35 db which you can get from the $.33 foam plugs. My sister has a pair of the foam ones that have the line connecting them so she can just drop them down around her neck when she stops somewhere. They are about $2-3 at Wal-Mart or any sports store.

Here's a tip - do NOT try to use the custom molded ear plugs. I have a set of decibulz custom molded ear plugs that I use for the firing range and they are a-mazing for that purpose. But when you put on a motorcycle helmet and your ears are rubbing on the foam padding, it is miserable. I made it 4 miles before I absolutely could not stand it any more and I had to stop and take them out.

This is the cheapest gear you will buy and I highly recommend it. After dealing with a father in-law who worked in a factory before people ever thought about ear plugs, it's a pain. And he is missing so much because he can't hear worth a flip. I don't want to be that way.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby JustDandy » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:15 pm

I ride to and from work everyday (unless weather or the need for the car prevents me) and it's almost exactly 2 miles, all streets with 25-30 speed limit and I don't wear earplugs. However, on the weekends when I'm out on county roads and speeds above 40 or 45 for a sustained time, I do wear the foam earplugs that you can get at Walgreen's/WalMart/Target. They really cut down on the wind and high pitch sounds, but I can still hear everything around me, and (importantly) my bike. I keep a pair in my jacket pocket. I have found it's worth the time to pull over and put them in if I've forgotten before the ride.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby lizmcg » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Thanks for all the input. I have a package of the foam earplugs I bought long ago for something I can't remember, and I'll give them a try the next time I think of it. :D
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby tlc » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:44 pm

I don't wear them when I'm riding but I probably should. I do wear them at the track. I don't like having them in my ears but I would dislike losing my hearing :)
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby Goldenbadger » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:28 pm

I have a custom molded pair I got from my ear dr. I have hearing loss and my insurance covered it. They are made to block out the loud stuff but still let you hear quitter stuff like conversations. I love them but haven't worn them much while riding. More out of laziness of not digging them out and putting them on. After reading this thread, I will dig them out and wear them.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby BoggyGirl » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:22 am

When I wear my half helmet, I will occasionally wear some. I've got several pairs that I've tried, it just depends on how well they fit. They're all just basic, cheap ones but they knock down the noise a lot. They make a huge difference in how comfortable my ride can be.
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Re: Latest dumb question

Postby lizmcg » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:21 pm

Well, I did finally get out today. It was only in the low 90s and quite comfortable, actually. I even remembered to try wearing earplugs, and they did indeed help a lot. It was much more comfortable to ride with the engine and wind noise reduced. My engine isn't ear shattering, but it's loud enough to be a strain after awhile. I didn't realize how much till today.

Thanks for all the input. I'm converted. :lol:
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