Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Cycling Must Haves: Cat Ears for the Wind and Cold

Cat Ears help reduce wind noise while cycling.
Fall is like a second spring to many of us who enjoy the thrill of road cycling. It is an intense cardiovascular workout which does not put excessive stress on the knees or hip joints. The issue with fall riding is that the combined increase in cool breezes plus your usual noise from the wind rushing past your ears can make it hard to hear approaching traffic.

Cat Ears are furry little pads that attach by Velcro to your helmet straps. I tested the Classics Elite which is shown in the lead photo and installed on my Giro Amare helmet below but they also make other styles with varying widths to suit each rider's needs and helmets.

Classics Elite Tour 2.5
The Classics Elite size seems perfect for most road helmets including my Lazer, Giro and Rudy Project lids. Cat Ears were super easy to install as they have a left and right designation for your helmet straps. What I found is that there is still the sound of wind rushing past my ears especially when doing anything above 20+ mph. The thing is now with the Cat Ears,it is not so loud that I am unable to hear cars approaching from behind. I've road tested them at least three times at high speeds and was able to hear each and every vehicle coming up behind me. No more being startled or surprised when a car appears. I can hear them perfectly now. Great!

Cozy Cat Ears
As the weather continues to get cooler as autumn turns to winter, you should also check out Cat Ears Ear Covers which completely cover the entire ear. I have not personally tested these but would imagine they work in similar fashion to the Classics Elite models. The added benefit is of course having warm ears on a cold-windy ride. Those shown are the 200 series of Polartec. You can get increased warmth with the 300 series which uses a greater density of the same fleecy fabric.

Cat Ears 200 Series Ear Covers
Cat Ears come in many different colors to compliment your helmet and are very easy to install. I did not notice them shifting at all during my test rides and Cat Ears are super comfy to wear. Better still is the added safety feature of being able to hear what's going on behind you on the road. Check out all the styles and colors at Cat Ears Online

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