Is it safe to wear headphones while cycling?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by heyanna, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. heyanna

    heyanna New Member

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    I think it's dangerous,because riding with headphones presents an obvious safety risk. Wearing headphones also prevents us from monitoring the smooth function of our bicycles. The risk associated with wearing headphones or riding helmet-less is that it increases the likelihood or severity of an accident. Maybe I’m just getting old or my suspected hearing loss is due to seasonal allergies, a head cold, or paranoia. But, if you want to wear wear headphones, maybe you can do sport indoor with indoor bike trainer or other fitness equipment, it's more safe and relax.
     
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  2. SCardamon

    SCardamon New Member

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    I say ride helmet-less, shirtless, with noise canceling earphones. Serenity until massive accident.
     
  3. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    They're not allowed on our group rides, along with boomboxes. I'm with you on that, although I'd never lecture fellow riders who insisted on wearing them. Hell, they wouldn't hear me anyway.
     
  4. JCDIP1

    JCDIP1 New Member

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    Why not...
    I ride with them and keep the volume low so I can hear my bike and what is going on around me.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You clearly don't understand all the factors that go into decreased awareness:
    1. No matter how low you've got the volume, the music still engages your brain, which in turn reduces situational awareness;
    2. the music at any audible level also increase the noise level, reducing what you hear.
     
  6. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    Interesting, I generally have mine turned right down low thinking i'm safe. Thinking about it, there's been a few times when i'm zoned out and not properly concentrating and frankly lucky i'm able to type this post.
     
  7. JCDIP1

    JCDIP1 New Member

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    Clearly!
    Multitasking and I am just naturally aware of what is going on around me. Clearly.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    With the wind whistling through my helmet and past my ears, it's hard enough to hear other cyclists, passing vehicles, rubbing chains (when I ride my old bike), the sounds of nature, and trash I may have picked up in my tires. Are all helmets as noisy as a Bell Sweep?

    If you want to listen to something when you ride alone, go ahead. Just remember you won't be riding with me.
     
  9. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I wear a helmet some dont.
    I dont wear ear buds some do.
    Mostly it is up to the cyclist. But if you ask you will find out who does what and why. I take my safety very seriously my family members are my main priority. There is enough risk involved in cycling why needlessly add more. I love my Family.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'll bet you really think you are. It's too bad there's nothing to back-up what you believe.
     
  11. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    nanos ipod's are for runners ! cyclists have much more things to concentrate on, i would rather deviate my attention in cockpit's heart rate, speed, cadence and time readings,
     
  12. JCDIP1

    JCDIP1 New Member

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    [SIZE= 9pt]I guess you will have to believe me! [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 9pt]Let me give you a little background on me before you assume. I ride alone, never group ride (I find it full of egotistical morons in a pissing contest) and I ride for the fun of it. (Fast on empty roads/trails). [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 9pt]And just to say, I tried your method over the weekend and all I could hear was.. SWWWIIIISSSHHHH like a constant buzz in my ear how could anyone ever hear anyone or anyting around them? [/SIZE]
    [SIZE= 9pt]So based on that why would I need to not wear headphones? Because of Saftey? For whom? The Road's? [/SIZE]


    [SIZE= 9pt]I will give you the benfit of the doubt, If I do ride in a race I will take my headphones out. [/SIZE]
     
  13. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    no, in a race you need headphones to listen to the team director instructions ;)
     
  14. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe his race director is Lady Gaga?

    I'd hazard a guess that one would be safer riding without a helmet than one would be riding with headphones (and helmet).
     
  15. devil94

    devil94 New Member

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    I found this thread quite intriquing. I ride with my android phone ... for several reasons:

    • Tracking my ride (distance, speed, elevation, heart rate)
    • Having a phone for sending and receiving calls
    • Listening to music
    • Listening for time splits

    I have used both a Tunebug (helmet mount) and earbuds for sound. While I acknowledge that the Tunebug allowed me to hear more from my surroundings, I have reverted back to earbuds for a couple of reasons, including sound quality/clarity and microphone capability. When riding solo, I typically have both earbuds in place. On group rides, I typically have them dangling from my helmet strap, or I may have one in and one out, so I can still hear time splits from tracker and know if someone is trying to call me.

    I'll admit that I'm sure my sense of hearing is not as good with the earbuds in as with them out, but I don't believe I am "deaf" with them in. I believe that there are other ways a rider senses their environment besides just their sense of hearing to return home safely, I also believe that it's possible for a rider to be "un-safe" regardless of whether or not their hearing is impaired.

    Finally, after reading a few other articles on this topic, I came across this quote:

    "Headphones don’t kill people, cars are killing people"

    So ... don't be so quick to cast aspersions on the cyclist who prefers to listen to music while riding ... go after the fossil fuel burner behind the wheel.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/death-by-headphones.html
     
  16. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article. According to Yahoo there are 14,800,000 similar search results saying roughly the same thing. Headphones decrease awareness. Don't matter who's in the right when you've just been run over and can't feel your toes

    In Million Dollar Baby was the fault of the cervical break the German broad who took the cheap shot after the bell, or the corner man for not making sure the bench was upright? Don't really matter when you can't feel your toes.

    Am I a safety nut who needs to tell others to behave "more safely"? Probably not considering I maxed out at 50+mph going down Bear Mountain last season without a helmet. Could I sit here with a straight face and say that wasn't idiotic. No.
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Uh-huh. Then the victim wearing the headphones was just a bloody idiot ejected from the gene pool for choosing not to be aware of his or her surroundings. See, here's a little lesson: if you're aware of your surroundings, you can sometimes--maybe quite often--avoid becoming the victim of a brain dead motorist. Welcome to real life.
     
  18. devil94

    devil94 New Member

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    Again, you're basing your entire argument on the notion that only a rider's hearing allows them to be aware of their surroundings ... I disagree with that premise.

    I suppose the next thread will be titled "Is it safe to ride a bicycle if you're deaf?"
     
  19. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for telling me what you think I'm thinking. Here's a hint: I wasn't thinking what your shortsightedness led you to believe that I was thinking. Since I understand you're having great difficulty I'll try to explain further using simple words: Guy on bike. Guy wear headphones. Car come behind guy on bike. Car guy not see bike guy. This case is bike guy if hear car could save self. Bike guy idiot with headphones not hear car and not save self. Are you actually going to argue that there are zero cases wherein hearing might be the only thing that saves a cyclist? Really? If you're going to say "no", then you must have some god-like powers.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Thankfully, California has a law against wearing headphones whilst out on the bike. I've seen cyclists being ticketed for it.

    Folks who are adamant on wearing headphones on bicycles belong in the same dead pool as the idiots that ride motorcycles without leathers. The SQUID brigade are another batch of peeps that missed a few hundred generations of evolutionary development.

    Both of the above should be made to sign organ donor cards as well as a general release for that requires that their families, and not city workers, scoop their brains off the road...

    Cycling is dangerous enough as it is. Being blissfully ignorant of your surroundings is far from an ideal situation.
     
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