Originally Posted by Frenchy
IMHO earplugs are not such good ideas
Over security concerns :
- You're not aware enough of your environnment (horn, cars, trucks...)
- You can't ear if your engine is running bad (insufficient oil, died fan...)
- You can't hear other road users.
Just my 2 cents
My two cents.
Hearing protection attenuates the dangerous high and low noises that cause damage to your ears. That's why almost everyone says they hear the radio better. Hearing protection causes the phenomena of being able to hear your engine noises clearer. At first you'll hear things you never heard before and you tend to think something is wrong when it's just sounds you weren't able to hear before. Car horns, sirens truck engines are not blocked just attenuated to a safe level, as are all other sounds.
I thought the same thing when I was younger, riding bikes, shooting guns, attending concerts, at work not wearing ear plugs. Now all the sounds around me are accompanied by a high pitch whistle called tinnitus
Imagine a tuning fork held next to your ears playing a "High E" all the time. It's the first thing I hear when I wake up and the last thing I hear when I go to sleep. It "plays" in my head all the time, 24/7. The Dr.'s tell me there is no cure, just prevention.
The cause was presumed to be from a combination of long term exposure to noise over 85dB and repeated exposures to acoustic trauma. Gun shots, rock concerts, riding a bike with a loud muffler, cutting the lawn without hearing protection all contributed to my problem.
I understand the sound of wind passing by our helmets can reach a dB rating equivalent to a jet at take-off. Do a web search and read about db equivalents yourself.
OSHA has set the maximum allowed sound level exposure of 85dB for long term exposures of 8 hours. That's not a lot of volume.
If you don't have loss yet, "short term acoustic trauma
" is reversible. Repeated acoustic trauma turns into hearing loss and tinnitus.
Hearing loss (by itself) probably is something you might get accustomed to, but tinnitus
is maddening; the whistle in your ears never goes away.
Ride often, ride safe, ride again.