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Elvis-evoking Cat-Ears reduce wind noise while you cycle

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December 14, 2012

Cat-Ears are bicycle helmet attachments that are claimed to reduce wind noise in the cycli...

Cat-Ears are bicycle helmet attachments that are claimed to reduce wind noise in the cyclist's ears

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Sometimes when you’re cycling, especially if you’re out on the open road, the constant wind noise in your ears can get rather annoying. It can also be potentially dangerous, as it may mask traffic noises. Well, if you’re OK with sporting what at first glance looks like a pair of dark sideburns, Cat-Ears might be the answer.

Wind noise is ordinarily created when air flows over and around the ear, creating audible turbulence as it does so. Modeled after the tufts of fur at the front of a cat’s ear canal, the faux fur Cat-Ears attach with Velcro to the helmet straps in front of the rider’s ears, dampening and deflecting that air flow.

They reportedly reduce wind noise by 40 to 60 percent, but because they don’t actually cover the ears (which a headband would), they don’t compromise the wearer’s hearing. Also, if you’re not one for the sideburns look, the company does also offer models made from less funny-looking fleece.

The less sideburny-looking fleece Cat-Ears
The less sideburny-looking fleece Cat-Ears

This actually isn’t the first product of its kind. Slipstreamz is one of the companies that currently offers something sort of similar, although it isn't made from sound-deadening fur or fleece, and requires the helmet strap to be twisted.

Cat-Ears range in price from US$8 to $15 a pair, depending on the style. A demo can be seen – and heard – in the video below.

Source: Cat-Ears via BikeRadar

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

You can try this yourself if you ride with no hands and lay your index fingers over the skin directly in front of your ears, it's a big difference. I invented a different design about 15 years ago and I probably was not the first. Every helmet, especially kids helmets should come with this to hear cars approach from behind because cars keep getting quieter especially electric cars. You can hear your friends talk, listen for mechanical problems, and have less fatigue on a long ride.

The Hoff
14th December, 2012 @ 05:07 pm PST

Slipstreamz offers a couple of models, actually, only the Spoiler requiring the straps be twisted. The Slip just clips to the straps. I'd get some, but object to paying for a couple of small pieces of plastic that would cost much of what I paid for my helmet.

But even the Slipstreamz wasn't the first. Back in the 1980s, there was a small plastic device that clipped to the straps much like the Spoiler, but magazine reviewers derided it as giving the rider a Mickey Mouse look.

Gadgeteer
16th December, 2012 @ 09:38 am PST

I own the Slipstreamz but wasn't too happy with them. Any of these designs work best when they are pressed closely to the temples, which isn't easily done.

That said, those fluffy microphone covers used by the press corps and film crews work wonders, so I'll give this a try.

Also, fun to recognize the surrounding in the two photos. Behind the man you see Boulder's Flatirons at Chautauqua Park just south of Boulder.

moreover
17th December, 2012 @ 09:47 am PST

Hi, I know that this answer coming very late, but i saw this while looking at old conversation regarding wind noise. I have no tried a Swedish product called Windfree for over one year and I'm so happy i decided to buy one. No headache, no tiredness, I can speak with my friends while cycling and above all, I can hear the traffic clearly, so no surprises out on the roads. Have actually order one more at www.windfree.com to give to my cycling buddy as a christmas gift.

kbn
6th December, 2013 @ 06:04 am PST
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