Chris Chavies, Minnesota Navigator
Wind noise has long been an annoyance when riding a bike and can also be a safety issue when it comes to hearing approaching automobiles. Now there is a new product called Wind-Blox, designed to help reduce wind noise and allow a cyclist to hear better while riding. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in the Fall of 2013, this product is now available to everyone.
Wind-Blox was the idea of creator Mike Fajen, who enjoyed listening to audio while commuting to work but found he had to turn the volume way up to overcome the wind noise. After wrapping socks around his front helmet straps to reduce the wind noise, he noticed he could turn his audio volume way down and was also able to clearly hear the sounds around him, including traffic. Design and development of Wind-Blox would soon follow.
Wind noise on windy days and riding downhill can be deafening, making it hard to hear anything. When I first came across Wind-Blox, I definitely wanted to give them a try and see if they would really make a difference. I enjoy listening to podcasts while riding and have to turn the volume way up to compensate for the loud wind noise. Sometimes the wind noise was so loud that even with a higher volume on my smartphone, I still had problems hearing my podcasts, let alone the traffic and sounds around me. After my fist ride using Wind-Blox it has been the perfect solution in reducing wind noise and allowing me to turn the volume of my podcasts way down while still be able to hear traffic and other sounds.
Wearing the Wind-Blox without the use of headphones while riding I noticed that wind noise was cut dramatically. The biggest differences I noticed was riding at a fast pace into a headwind and on speedy downhill’s. I tested them out in various riding conditions and speeds removing them at times to have a comparative analysis.
What I discovered was, riding was much more enjoyable and quieter with Wind-Blox on my helmet straps than without and carrying on conversations with other cyclists while riding was much easier – I was able to do so without turning my head to hear what they were saying and reading lips. When riding in traffic or out on those lonely gravel roads, I was able to hear cars approaching from behind much sooner because of the reduced wind noise that Wind-Blox blocks. Click here for their video.
The manufacture of this product states that it blocks over 50% of wind noise and I would have to agree with their claim. You’ll be able to hear sounds around you better, carry on conversations, listen to audio at lower volumes and notice sooner when an automobile is approaching.
Wind-Blox are available in Black, Bright Lime Green, Bright Pink and Silver Gray for $15/pair from the Wind-Blox Products page or on Amazon.com.