Wind-Blox Business Practices

Wind-Blox (E&M Enterprises, LLC) makes a "wind and noise blocker" product that attaches to the leading straps on a cycling helmet and, as the name suggests, the product 'blocks wind'.  Introduced a year after Cat-Ears, Wind-Blox has made a number of questionable claims and / or representations.  Examples are documented below: 

Fabricated Claim

Wind-Blox claims to have received the 'Most Effective Wind Noise Reduction' award. 

Wind-Blox

While this claim sounds impressive, there is no such award.

Fictitious Comments

Wind-Blox uses fictitious names on cycling forums to promote their products (or discredit others).  Below is one of many examples.  When caught, moderators closed accounts, etc.  On more than one occasion, IP address searches (by the moderators) validated the source of the forum comments.

Wind-Blox

We appreciated being contacted by the forum moderators regarding these comments.

After getting caught, W~B may have stopped these fictitious comments.

Fake Twitter Followers

Wind-Blox 'acquired' over 11,000 'fake' Twitter followers (per audit report).

Wind-Blox

After getting caught, it appears Twitter deleted >8,000 fake W~B followers.

Family / Employee Reviews

Numerous friends / family / employee product reviews.  Examples are below:

 

"Heard the sweetest little birds chirping on my ride to work today. Thanks Wind-Blox!" - (relative)

"Works great, not 'furry' and easy to install. Terrific, look high tech (not furry). Work fine. Don't have to remove straps." -  Ted Finch (Wind-Blox marketing consultant per website)

"Amazing how much more I hear while biking. Wind-Blox work amazingly well! I'm stunned at what a difference it makes to ride using this product. I can hear SO much more." - Ben L. Fajen (relative)

"I tried these and noticed a difference right away. As the instructions mention, the noise reduction is not appreciated until one takes the wind blox off. My husband also tried them, and he liked them so much he had me order some for him..." - (Adventure Cycling reviewer identified as Wind Blox)

Questionable 5-star reviews (unverified purchases) on Amazon prior to their first claimed sale.

Interestingly, the number of W-B reviews has dropped sharply on more than one occasion.

After getting caught, many prohibited reviews were removed from Amazon.

Paid Product 'Endorsements'

 Wind-Blox: "The Hearing Health Foundation chose Wind-Blox and featured us as an 'Editor's Choice'."

Wind-Blox

Original W-B advertisement

According to the HH Foundation, the claimed 'endorsement' was actually a paid advertisement.

"Thank you for bringing this advertisement to our attention. We will reach out to Wind-Blox to ask that they remove or amend their wording as it is misleading." - Hearing Health Foundation

Amended W-B advertisement

After getting caught, W~B amended the misleading HHF endorsement claim.

Assorted Patent / Patent Pending Claims

Wind-Blox has made, and continues to make, assorted Patent claims.

"Unlike similar wind noise reduction products, the Wind-Blox Pro XL features a

patented rim-to-clip design that makes it simple to fasten to bike helmets." - WB

We located only one Patent (i.e. 'ornamental design for a wind and noise blocker').

While Patent related claims sound impressive, they should be legally accurate.

Wind-Blox Are 'Made In America'... Or Are They?

It appears that the "Made in America" Facebook claim was intended to mislead consumers.

Wind-Blox

After getting caught, W~B deleted the 'Made in America' claim on their Facebook page.

Problematic Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel Testing Claim

Wind-Blox originally implied that they performed aero-acoustic wind tunnel testing.

implied.jpg

Wind-Blox: "Wind tunnel tests were conducted at George Fox University’s School of Mechanical Engineering"

 

Unfortunately, the fan noise produced by the small Flotek wind tunnel is excessive for acoustic testing.

  • Performing aeroacoustic analysis in a test chamber with 85 dB of fan / flow noise would be difficult.  

  • The 1' x 1' test section (fixed walls) is small.  It would barely fit a test head / helmet (blockage effect).

  • Open-jet wind tunnels are typically used for aero-acoustic testing since fixed walls can reflect sound. 

  • Accurate 'fluid flow imagery' observations would be difficult due to the restricted flow displacement. 

  • An understanding of aero-acoustic noise is absolutely critical for interpreting any fluid flow imagery.

While wind tunnel testing sounds impressive, the W~B testing and conclusions are problematic.

Given the questionable claims / representations, Wind-Blox risks disappointing their customers and damaging others in the cycling wind noise reduction industry.