Mack’s Pillow Soft earplugs, £4.29 for two pairs
Miles covered/time: 500/one week
What's good? I'm always up for trying something different from the norm otherwise life would be truly static and boring. So rather than spend the rest of life wedging various grades of foam billets into my lugholes, the idea of silicone putty being used to silence windrush seemed kinda cool if not a little sensual. After all, my tolerance to rubber based products is poor, and so if Mack's Pillow Soft earplugs are good enough for swimmers and factory workers then they have to be good for motorcyclists. The clear silicone against the ear canal doesn't look as comedic as pink foam earplugs, and they’re made from non-toxic, hypoallergenic silicon putty which feels perverse against ear, which I like. They work, to a point…
What's not? It’s not ideal if you have large ears like me - earholes bigger than a WSB Ducati inlet tract. The idea of the putty is to press flat over the ear canal without forcing it inside - it's a tacky, sealing lump of wax-like goo and apparently a bugger to extract. In the shouty conditions of the MCN office it worked, but only by pressing harder than I should. If the seal did break from, say, yawning you simply squish it again. But you can't do this when you've a helmet on. And after three minutes the sealing effect was lost. The other down side is to make a good seal the putty needs working slightly, which isn't recommended with dirty fingers. Riders with smaller ears may benefit from Mack's silicone putty, but not for this Shrek look-a-like. It lasted only five times before tackiness wears off. Not as cheap as getting factory friends to nick their work's stock of foam earplugs.