QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Which product(s) works the best?
Our Classics I and Classics II are the most effective products against wind noise.
The smaller and sportier Classics Pro are very close and they are our most popular product.
For higher speed competitive cyclists, the Classics Elite performs relatively close to the Classics Pro.
The Classics products (fur based) and Ear Covers (fleece based) are the best for all speeds / variable wind conditions.
Lacking the unique turbulence absorbing properties of faux fur, Strap Wraps reduce a considerable amount of wind noise
at slower speeds. Just as in the recording industry, faux fur reduces wind noise better than open cell foam or fleece...
Classics I TM
Classics II TM
Ear Covers TM
(Colder Weather Warmth)
Strap Wraps TM
(Casual / Commuter)
How much wind noise reduction should I expect?
The amount of wind noise reduction varies from person to person... depending on a number of variables. In addition, some wind noise cannot be eliminated. Based on numerous 'real user' experiences and cycling industry reviews, you should expect perceived wind noise to be reduced by 40% to 75%. We say perceived because that is what a person experiences. We don't base performance on microphone wind tunnel testing because microphones overstate wind noise in a non-linear manner.
Cat-Ears are the most effective Wind Noise Reduction products available.
We will never make exaggerated claims or blatant misrepresentations to sell our products!
"It has also been noted that local characteristics in head shape are important factors in (wind) sound production....
the (noise) levels can differ by as much as 10 dB to 15 dB from one person to the next under identical wind conditions." -a)
In addition, varying degrees of hearing loss (sensitivity/frequency) or tinnitus can also influence how a person experiences wind noise. (a- Kristiansen / Pettersen, Experiments on The Noise Heard by Human Beings When Exposed To Wind, 1978)
What is the difference between the 'Classics' products?
The Classics I and Classics II are almost identical in regard to effectiveness. The difference is the Classics I is all fur (which creates an added benefit in filtering wind noise between the face and strap) and the Classics II is fur with fleece. The fleece on the Classics II is against the face, creating extra comfort. The fleece also helps deflect wind from between the face and the helmet strap. An added benefit to the fleece is that it is designed to wick sweat/moisture away from the face. The Classics Pro is all fur, but designed with a thinner, sleeker look for competitive cyclists. It is our second most effective product against wind noise, but because of its sleek design, it is slightly less effective than the Classics I and II. The Classics Elite products were designed for racing - where average speeds typically exceed 20 mph...
If they significantly reduce wind noise, do they reduce your ability to hear other sounds?
NO! Creating a product that reduces wind noise and blocks sound waves would have been easy... and counterproductive.
Our products do not block the wind. Our products, being made of soft materials, quiet, buffer and deflect the wind while allowing ambient sounds through. Yes, products that block the wind also block ambient sounds - creating a safety issue. Additionally, products that block the wind cause turbulence around the ear which can create additional wind noise (as noted during our initial prototype design and testing). And... by definition, a wind blocking device is not aerodynamic.
"Cat-Ears don't restrict hearing while others I've tried do.
Anytime that sight-lines are restricted, audio cues can be the only warning to exercise caution."
P. Finley - Adventure Cycling Association
Anyone can make a product that looks like it works. The difficult part is making a product that really works... our products went through extensive controlled environment and 'on the road' testing. But, more importantly, our products have been road tested and recommended by major cycling publications and are based on proven Fluid Dynamic principles...
From a Fluid Dynamics / Aerospace Engineering perspective: "The (wind) noise-reducing mechanism is such
that the fur makes the shear layer gentle and causes the maximum turbulent region to move far away."
(M. Nishimura and T. Goto, Aerodynamic Noise Reduction by Pile / Fur Fabrics, 2010)
Do Cat-Ears work with Hearing Aids?
YES! Cat-Ears significantly reduce the extraordinary wind noise that most hearing aid users experience. In fact, because so many hearing aid users contacted us, we designed a specific Classics II Hearing Aid Model (i.e. slightly longer for BTE aids). Visit our Hearing Aids page to learn more and read customer testimonials...
They sort of look like sideburns. Can you make them look more stylish and sporty?
We’d love to… but that would mean compromising the effectiveness of the products. We hear the Elvis and Wiggo comments occasionally, but rarely in a negative tone. As someone who reviewed our products said “Let’s face it, once you’re all kitted up in Lycra, no one is going to notice these anyway”. Or another customer who said "I've had mine for about 3 months and love them. Yeah, they look a little goofy but I'm way past the age where that bothers me. Wind noise drives me crazy and these significantly reduce the annoying sound." In our opinion, helmets can be a little goofy looking too - but we wear them!
A recent customer comment: "My riding buddies say I look like Elvis. But, that's ok. I can carry a conversation now.
And, I'm usually the first to hear traffic behind us." (TR - Virginia)
Another recent comment: "They don't look any dorkier than a helmet! And since the straps on my helmet are red,
I just ordered a set of the Classic Pros in that color." (NYCC message board)
And another comment: "They may look a little dorky but the wind noise attenuation is amazing." (RBR Forum)
One of our favorites: "My black fuzzy 'Elvis Sideburns' have been the talk of the local club rides." (LK - Penn.)
Hmmm... one more: "They may look like some crazy kind of sideburns, but man do they work!" (AH - Georgia)
And another one: "The Cat-Ears look a little bit like Elvis sideburns. What could be wrong with that?
After all, he was the king of rock and roll." (JB - South Carolina)
We didn't get into the Wind Noise reduction business to sell products that 'look like they work'
It would have been easy to design a product that is more visually appealing
But the performance would have been marginal at best.
Employing our GE Quality/Six Sigma experience, we focused on making the most effective products possible.