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Radians custom ear plugs (self-made)...


KevininAtlanta

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Recently, I purchased the Radians custom ear plug kit ($15), from www.whitehorsepress.com, in New Hampshire. These plus were easy to make, come in multiple colors, and eliminate almost all the wind noise that the super quiet SHOEI RF-1100 helmet permits inside. Now, I see Cabela's has them "On Sale" for $4.99 (http://www.radians.com/main/c-47-hearing-protection.aspx) & (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Custom-Molded-Earplugs/741591.uts), so I'll be purchasing these for gifts to some of my biking comrades. Great purchase for windy days & speeds above 70 mph.

Kevin in ATL

I left the curing compound in my ear for 1.5-2.0 hours and had very good results with curing & ear canal shaping.

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  • 4 weeks later...

After browsing customer reviews for the Radian's kit I'm starting to believe the reason why Cabelas may have them on sale could be because so many customers appear to have been disappointed by the product. While there are some who (like you) appear to have have been pleased by the results, many others have posted comments indicating they were very disappointed and in many cases ended up throwing the resulting ear plugs away.

A few customers have suggested that the product may have a limited shelf life and claimed even if the two parts are carefully and completely mixed/kneaded together, the final result still did not cure properly even after some users allowed more time for the product to cure than was recommended per the instructions.

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I tried a similar product purchased at Gander Mountain for a similar price. I thought they worked really well and were easy to make. However, it seems that when I put my helmet on, my ear was pressed into a slightly different position than when I molded and let the earplugs set. Therefore they didn't seal my ear quite as well as without my helmet. I still use them for things like mowing the lawn. But not for riding anymore - moved on to research other options.

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I tried a similar product purchased at Gander Mountain for a similar price. I thought they worked really well and were easy to make. However, it seems that when I put my helmet on, my ear was pressed into a slightly different position than when I molded and let the earplugs set. Therefore they didn't seal my ear quite as well as without my helmet. I still use them for things like mowing the lawn. But not for riding anymore - moved on to research other options.

That's an interesting observation.

I wonder if the key to success with this product for a motorcyclist could be for the user to wear their helmet during the curing period.

I've noted that the instructions say you're supposed to avoid talking or chewing, and should remain relatively still.

Since a proper-fitting helmet will always place pressure on the ears, I can understand how the contours inside your ear canal may be different when you're wearing a helmet.

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I recently purchased a Radians molded earplug kit from Gander Mountain ($15). After reading very mixed reviews, I took the chance. I got a total dud.....mixed as directed and put in ear. An hour later, it was no firmer than when I put it in and ended up having to "dig" it out of my ear canal (not fun). I took the kit back and explained that it was faulty and was refunded my $$.

I also e-mailed Radians about it and they sent me two kits even though i had taken the first one back. After trying a sample little pinch of the putty and seeing that it actually worked this time, I made a set of plugs and am very happy with them so far. They are a bit tricky to get in, but it will get easier with practice.

I would agree that these kits probably have a limited shelf life and whatever chemicals that are in the 2-part putty probably loses its punch after a while. Who knows how long the first kit I purchased was sitting on the store shelf. One probably will have the best luck ordering directly from Radians website to ensure that they get a fresh one.

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I don't want to take any profits away from BigEar products, but their technique might work well for this. While allowing the putty to set-up, place a 1-2" piece of rubber, wood, something like that, between your top & bottom front teeth. This will open your ear canal and allow for a tighter fit once you mouth is closed.

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Having done thousands of these for people over the past 5 years as a Big Ear Rep, I can tell you most at home kits just don't go deep enough into the ear canal to provide a good seal for people. The deeper the better as far as sealing and material to attenuate the noise. A little shift from your helmet with shallow plugs allows the seal to be broken. If they are deep, the canal can usually keep them sealed.

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I, too, recently purchased this kit. I had no issue with material curing properly. I felt I got the material quite far into my ear, especially compared to my professionally made westone plugs. The homemade ones have a much longer ear canal protrusion. They block tons of sound when helmet is off. However with helmet on this changes. One does a better job sealing than my westone, but one offers no protection at all with helmet on. I have started wearing the one westone that works and the one homemade that works. Perhaps the stick in the mouth trick would have helped.

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My own $2 (adjusted for inflation...)

I've tried custom molded ear plugs before, and while they did work pretty well at attenuating loud noises while letting sounds like voice through very well, the material the pair I had were made of eventually started to fall apart, as well as getting a very strong smell of ear wax that would not wash off no matter how many times, or what I used to wash it with. They eventually didn't seal very well (did you know your ear canal is always changing throughout your life?) and I just tossed them after only a little less then a year of owning the pair, which is about the life span for most custom molds either way, although I didn't get that much use out of them except at work.

I went back to using regular reusable and throw-away ear plugs and couldn't be happier. I used them for a long time before I tried the custom molded type, and am still using them happily to this day. My personal favorite are http://www.earplugstore.com/holemaxuffop.html Some of the highest rated reduction rate, very comfortable for all day and night wear (I use them to sleep), and even though they are foam, they can be reused plenty of times before you actually need to toss them for a new pair. I purchased a box of 100 many years ago, and am about to purchase another box as I'm almost out.

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