Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Readers of this blog may recall I have been trying out every sort of ear plug I could obtain and after testing many settled on soft silicon ear plugs as the best earplug solution. (see archives for more)
The main reason I like this type of ear plug is they are so very comfortable. Seriously if you are one of the many riders who doesn't wear ear plugs because of discomfort or the isolation effect then you should try this type of plug.
The are very soft and to fit you simply mold in your fingers and roll into a ball and gently push into your ear, they sit just in the outer area of your ear so are not uncomfortable at all. People use these regularly on planes to sleep so they really do not feel like foam or hard earplugs.
Additionally they cut less noise than the foam earplugs (so are not suitable to workplaces etc) but this works out ok for riders who still want to hear their engines and be able to talk and not have that isolation feeling that high Db blocking foam or hard earplugs give.
So they cut enough noise to reduce that annoying wind roar, or exhaust drumming which is in fact damaging your hearing if you expose yourself to it for more than just short periods, however they do not intrude on comfort or isolate you from everything.
I was buying mine from the local chemist however they were a bit pricey so I sourced these colourful North brand in bulk from The Earplug Superstore online which I have dealt with before and can recommend. The great thing about these are the carry cases which you can store your plugs in during the ride when stopped so they don't get dirty in your pocket.
Another way to buy these and save a bit (since they are not always so cheap) is to look for the children's swimming silicon earplugs in your local chemist - I find the children's size (which these North ones are) fit better than the regular items which are too generous in the amount per plug.
One last point I forgot to mention is silicon earplugs don't fall out like foam plugs often tended to do on me no matter how secure they were before setting off.
I rode in Japan recently without earplugs and it was very noticeable to me at days end the slight ringing in my ears from the wind noise all day long as well as the extra fatigue caused by wind noise.
Once you are using earplugs you will wonder why you didn't start sooner.