Headphones & Cycling?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by bisearoet, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. bisearoet

    bisearoet New Member

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    As I get into cycling, I've been wondering if it's safe to have earphones in whilst cycling.

    What are some of your opinions as you are all more experienced than me?

    I have a nice pair of B&W C5 Series 2's which I'd love to enjoy on the bike!
     
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  2. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    I wouldn't wear headphones for two reasons. First, I want to be able to hear cars coming up behind me. Second, as much as I love music, I like listening to what is going on around me when I am outside.
     
  3. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    I wear a single earbud in the right ear to listen to audiobooks and podcasts on my commute. I like listening to nature, but honestly, I live in the country and work from home a lot, so I hear birds and such pretty much constantly anyway. I like taking advantage of the commute time to read a book or catch up on design news.

    With a single bud in, I absolutely can hear cars coming exactly as well as if I had no earbuds in at all. I've tested it, and in both cases I can hear them before they are even visible usually 1/2 mile before they get to me.
     
  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    Personally I no longer do it. Partially because it can make it more difficult to hear what's going on around me but also because it takes my mind off of what I'm doing so I become less aware of potential dangers (and of instances where I should be considerate of others).

    What fascinates me are people who wear buds and helmets. They think the helmet will save them from death or injury in a crash (not likely) but may have a greater chance of crashing in the first place because of the buds.
     
  5. Totalarmordestine

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    Personally I don't do it as I am unwilling to compromise my perceptions. For others I've witnessed everything ranging from it having no impact, to total fluster clucks of imperception, so I give them a wider berth.
     
  6. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    I use to wear them all the time. However, I have become more accustom to not using headphones anymore. I do think using headphones at a low level is completely acceptable. now I like not listening to music because I can focus more on my riding, and along with hearing more of what is going on around me. You can also hear what noises if any, your bike is making. And nothing beats the nice sounds of a smooth bike.
     
  7. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    Don't wear headphones unless you are on a private track. You need to listen to oncoming dangers. You are the last defense of cars and other hazards, so you need your hearing. I use to think just one ear piece was safe enough but it's not. You need depth perception and directional listening.
     
  8. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    I have never tried and I warn you not to try out. You are supposed to see and hear what is going on, on the roads. With your ear phones on, you cannot even hear the horns. It will be difficult to know whatever is happening from behind. With your earphones on, it will be easier to cause an accident.
     
  9. Mengtian

    Mengtian New Member

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    Never would I contemplate wearing earbuds cycling. On my stationary bike I watch You Tube videos (music).
     
  10. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Simply don't do it, would you drive a car wearing headphones? Cyclist are as responsible for the safety of themselves and others as motorist, same rules apply. I'm new as well and have found out fast that even if you do everything by the book, stuff still happens. For example, I signaled a right 3 times before making a turn and a car still drove within a foot of me and started honking like I did something wrong. He/she probably didn't even know what the signal meant. Some cyclist do things like add mirrors to add safety precautions, never go out of the way to remove one.
     
  11. 2 Piece

    2 Piece New Member

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    Personally, I wear my BlueAnt Pump Bluetooth ear buds just about every time I ride. Now with that being said, I do not get so into with the music that it becomes a distraction. I greatly enjoy listening to my playlist while on a ride. I will not ride with wired ear buds, the wire gets caught in to many things and it in itself can be a distraction.
    Cycling is a safe activity when done safely. I do not recommend anyone to wear ear buds if they can not do it safely.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Never. I won't compromise my hearing that I use and find very handy when riding a bike. And don't believe the yak about how someone rides just fine with ear plugs and can hear just fine because I can't even count the number of times I've come up behind someone and yell that I'm on their left and they never hear me and only notice me with they're startled as I pass them! How in the world are they going to hear a car before it's too late? They're not! This has happened with people just wearing one ear plug! Why is that? because they're too distracted listening to the music in the other ear plug!

    The second reason I don't wear earplugs is because the sound quality sucks then combine that with wind noise means you have to turn up the volume which reduces outside noise even more.
     
  13. 2 Piece

    2 Piece New Member

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    I'm not going to hear a car coming from behind, roads to busy around here with cars and tractor trailers coming and going in all directions to be able to hear one from behind, and that's without ear buds. But I am going to see them with my mirror.
    Be safe!
     
  14. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Not a good idea, like many have already advised you - it's best to be able to hear nearby traffic. During my younger days I would always have my walkman on me, even when cycling. I was also foolish enough to play my music loudly which drowned out any outside sounds. Until one day I was bumped over by car coming behind me, fortunately I didn't break anything but I did suffer some horrible and bloody scrapes. Had I not had my walkman with me, I would have heard the car and swerved out of the way.
     
  15. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    Definitely don't do it. People can get away with listening to music in their cars because they're surrounded by metal so an accident in a car is probably not going to be as bad as one on a bike. You'd honestly be surprised how important being able to hear is. With music on, you're probably going to have to keep looking over your shoulder to see traffic which takes your eyes off the road.

    Music is a huge distraction anyway. I mean, think about how hard it is to figure out what to listen to on your mp3 player of choice. What if you don't like a song? There's an additional distraction. What if you get really into what you're listening to? That could mean you're not paying attention enough.

    Honestly, I like music enough to want to listen to it without distractions like riding a bike.
     
  16. 2 Piece

    2 Piece New Member

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    Well I guess if you are a deaf person you should not ride a bike! And I guess a blind person would be good to go.
    Vision is the absolute most important "sense" to use on a bike. Like it has been stated by one of the no music proponents the noise from wind and other sounds really distorts what you here- even the sounds of cars coming from behind. Use rear view mirror to see what is coming. Looking over ones shoulder can be dangerous, by doing so you are not looking at where you are going and secondly you can lose a bit of balance. Scan mirror every few seconds depending on speed of traffic.
    Use a playlist so you do not have to figure out what you want to here. If you want to change the playlist do it safely when at a stop light/ sign where ever and don't try to do it while riding. I like using Bluetooth ear buds, no dangling wire to get stuck.
    Some people are challenged when it come to "multi tasking", I understand and I mean them no disrespect. But, if you can use a rear view mirror and you can stay focused while listening to music there is absolutely nothing unsafe about it while riding a bicycle.
     
  17. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Horrible logic, a deaf person has a disadvantage that they can't do anything about. They must live with this and learn to compensate in order to use their other sense as good as possible. Signs are put up to indicate that a deaf child is in a neighborhood, seems to me that you are trying to justify a bad habit and encouraging a new rider to do the same. Simply put, no one is saying that you will get into an accident instantly from music, but it is more likely and on the road, you are(as a cyclist) already at a disadvantage. Wearing headphones is just as bad as not wearing a helmet. Also, although many claim to be able to hear with headphones, it cuts your range of hearing drastically.
     
  18. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member

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    Why do you want to miss on nature's delightful music and replace it with the man-made one? Secondly, you won't be able to concentrate totally on riding as part of your concentration is taken away by the music. Sometimes, you may not notice the vehicles coming from behind. It's not a safe practice.
     
  19. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    Apparently choosing to be safe in a high risk environmental means that I am against differently abled riders. Oooooooookay.

    From where I sit, which is in the saddle of a bicycle in urban and suburban Chicago, I know what I have to do to be safe in that setting. Other people have other experiences in other settings and make different choices. And maybe they are younger and more alert than me as part of that package. I am a middle-aged broad and not trying to act like a teenager because that shit might just get me killed. I can't drink as much or or do the splits either.... but that doesn't mean I can't bike (speaking of discriminatory assumptions). So let's trying and be a little bit polite about that, okay?

    And neurologically speaking people do not multi-task, what they do is rapidly alternate this single locus of attention between however many attention absorbing options they have at any given time, becoming less attentive the more options they add to the prevailing environment. So if you happen to be in an environmental that requires most of your attention most of the time, it pays not to divide it unecessarily. (Yes, I'm a psychologist, why do you ask?)

    On days when I really want to listern to music or podcasts, I walk. The slower speed allows me to make up the difference and keep an eye on everything that I need to.
     
  20. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    Deaf people can totally ride bikes if they take extra precautions like having mirrors. They're also used to being deaf so they're used to not being able to hear what's going on around them. The problem with the analogy is you are CHOOSING to put yourself at a disadvantage by wearing headphones. You're riding on a road with giant, heavy vehicles made of metal that are constantly driving around you. If an accident happens, you're likely going to be worse off than the car. Why would you put yourself at a disadvantage like that?
     
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