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Monday, September 28, 2015

Quality earbuds and awesome customer service

Some riders love the sound of the engine while rolling down the road.  Some love the sound of the wind, road, exhaust or the combination.  While there are others who find listen to their stereo adds to the enjoyment of the ride and others ride while enjoying music through earbuds or communication systems.

I have always been one to have music playing while working, relaxing or riding. Nothing like some good Metal music while riding the twisties!

When I was riding the Yamaha V Star 1100 average earbud were sufficient since the windshield blocked so much of the wind and noise.  When I rode the Yamaha Venture  (until a Tahoe hit the bike) the stock stereo system worked great.  However; once I changed to sport-touring machines (Yamaha FJR and Honda VFR) the wind noise increased and quality earbuds were needed.
Budget earbuds
I used various "budget" earbuds and dealt with the lack of volume and sound quality.  My son, Richard, would ride his Kawaski Ninja zx600r and also listen to music.  For a Christmas gift last year (2014) I purchased a pair of Decibullz Custom Molded earbuds for him.  Included with the earbuds were two molds (there are 9 color options for the molds), 3 sets of soft isolation foam tips (3 different sizes for customization) and a nice rigid zippered storage case.
http://www.decibullz.com/
(photo from Decibullz.com)
The two individual molds were easy to customize, just follow the directions.  The fit was comfortable, outside noise reduction was noticeable and the sound quality was way above average.  Richard loved them.  Remolding is also easy if needed.  They can be remolded over and over.
Molds are easy to customize (photo from Decibullz.com)
After 3 months I decided to get me a pair and I am so glad I did.  Noise reduction was immediate and the sound quality was very good.  I wear them every time I ride and I enjoy my music with each turn.  They fit comfortably with my full-faced helmet.  Side note - if using with a full face helmet reach up and take the earbuds out BEFORE pulling the helmet off.

The workmanship is high quality and the customer service is great.  I have put the earbuds to the test and I highly recommend them.  Recently the pause/skip button on the cord stopped working.  I could listen, but I could not pause or skip. 
The cord is light, but durable and of adequate length
I emailed Decibullz on the following Monday to report the problem.  I received a prompt reply explaining a replacement set would be sent to me, I just needed to pay the shipping (which was $5).  A paypal request for the shipping expense was emailed to me.  Once payment was received the replacement set was shipped.  By Saturday I had a new set!  That kind of customer service is not common.
The storage case is very handy and useful
The molds work great at keeping the earbuds in place and reducing outside noise
If you need quality earbuds, for any reason, check out Decibullz and then enjoy the road with some of your favorite music.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Loveland Pass and Hoosier Pass in Colorado - WOW!

Mountain roads are fun to ride and many provide breath-taking vistas.  Colorado is full of roads with amazing views, exhilarating curves and high altitude passes making it one of my favorite states to ride in and US 6 south from I-75 to CO 9 south to Alma, Co is one such 44 mile ride.
US 6 north of Loveland Pass

Starting at the intersection of I75 and US 6, near the Loveland Ski Area, US 6 has an elevation of 10,600, but rises as the road twists and turns up the mountain for 4 miles to Loveland Pass at 11,990.
 Video heading up to Loveland Pass from I-70
(turn your speakers down, wind noise is bad)
A convenient pullout at the pass allows individuals to take in the scenic vistas.  On both sides of the road a short walking ascent puts you above 12,000 feet and provides awesome panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains.
West view from Loveland Pass
US 6 south of Loveland Pass

Continuing south from the pass the elevation drops quickly via switchbacks.  In 3.5 miles the elevations drops almost 1,000 feet where a long sweeper takes you past Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.  At an elevation of 11,000 at the base and a summit of 13,000+ the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is the highest skiable terrain in North America (Arapahoebasin.com).

The next 6 miles descends with gentle curves into the town of Keystone.  At the western end of Keystone US 6 intersects with CO 1 south towards Breckenridge.  The road runs besides Dillon Reservoir and intersects CO 9 about 6 miles north of Breckenridge.  US 9 is pretty straight going into Breckenridge, but the surroundings mountains are beautiful.
Riding pass Dillon Reservoir
Heading south out of Breckenridge (9,600 ft) US 9 rises for the next 9.5 miles to Hoosier Pass (11,542 ft) with some nice switchbacks prior to the pass.  At the summit of the pass is a nice turnout area to park and enjoy the scenery.
 Coming off Hoosier Pass on US 9 south
Leaving the summit there is a 5.7 miles leisurely descent into Alma, the highest incorporated municipality in the US with permanent residents (10,578 ft).  From Alma the road descends for 6 miles to Fairplay (9,953 ft) and intersect with US 285.

This stretch of road is well worth riding.  The views are indescribable and the road is a blast!  Any rider would enjoy the road, the views and the towns along the way.





For some great photos and another riders take on Loveland Pass check out Redleg's blog post - LINK.