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Thread: Audible Radios

  1. #1
    Skin-Pounder Bikes-N-Drums's Avatar
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    Audible Radios

    There has been many a debate here regarding personal headphone usage and many good points have been made. But one area that seems untouched us the arena of personal audible radios/stereos, that is, something with an external speaker on it like old transistor radios.
    I would never use headphones but have been, on occasion, using a pocket radio. Not blaring away, but just barely finding it's way up to my ear. I've found it really helps with the boredom factor on some rides and it also alerts pedestrians ahead of me to my presence. On the other hand, it does add some weight and attracts some funny looks from other cyclists. Plus it's turned a few of my 10 mile round-the-block rides into 30-milers or more.
    I know there's some hardcores out there who'd never think of doing such a thing and others you could never take their headphones away. But would a pocket radio at low volumes be a relatively safe common ground for those dead-set on riding with audio entertainment? What are your opinions?
    We are the musicmakers and we are the dreamers of dreams...

  2. #2
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    I like the idea. In fact i was talking with a fellow who was touring and he had a radio that automatically tuned in the local stations. He said it was a great asset to have on his trip. When we go on our TransAm we plan to bring something small to listen to.
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

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  3. #3
    bac
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    Originally posted by Bikes-N-Drums
    Plus it's turned a few of my 10 mile round-the-block rides into 30-milers or more.
    That would seal the deal for me!

  4. #4
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with carrying a radio (a big NO to headphones though) I think it would be nice to have on my commute. Of course now I may not only tick off the drivers for riding a bike but for my taste in music as well I remember back in the late 70's early 80's they had these things called bone phones that went around your neck and hung down on your chest (sort of like a scarf would do) A guy I worked with at REI used to wear them in the warehouse and swore by them. you heard the music internally through vibrations in your bones but no one else could hear them and since you didn't have head phones on you could hear what was going on around you. I used to see them adverstised all over but not anymore. Maybe they caused all your teeth to rattle out of their sockets. If you could still find them that may be the answer.

    Matthew 6

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    I would think a low volume pocket radio would be OK. I just hope the dogs don't hear me coming!

  6. #6
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Not EVEN going to get started on my utter disdain for headphones, but I like this It's even got a little meep horn on it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    I don't see any problem with it. Cars have radios and stereos. Some of which are so load MY rear view mirror vibrates when stopped next to one at a stop light.

    I wouldn't do the head phones though....although what can on ehear when the stereo is blaring in a car? But cyclists are in danger enough now from spaced out motorists, I don't think we can afford to lose one of our senses while riding....

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    I've often wondered if my ride would be more enjoyable with music. When I was riding the STP last month, a few people had seatpack radios and one group even had a team member towing a Bob trailer in which sat a homemade boombox crafted from car stereo parts. He had a wired remote which I think possibly led to an MP3 player... with a lot of storage because I never heard the same song twice all the way down to Portland (admittedly I broke contact with him a few times). Needless to say, he gathered quite a following and at least a couple of dozen riders were pacing him just to get some music.

    On another note (no pun intended), what are people's opinions on FRS radios with a single earbud for communicating with other riders in your group? Have you used them? Did the VOX circuitry work effectively? I know racers use similar radios but I suspect they're also higher quality/more expensive than the ones in blister-packs you now see at the grocery market checkout lines. I just picked up a two-pack Audiovox FR-530 for $12 at Staples. I need to get a set of earbuds for them though. BTW, I believe some of these units even have built-in FM radios. I think some of the Motorolas do... along with NOAA weather.

    Later on, I plan on getting a Garmin Rino 120 when it hits the market. It would be nice to download a route map to it and combine it along with comunications for my group rides. Plus if someone else has a Rino, beaming each other position information along a route or trail can be helpful when the group gets strung out.

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    I don't think it is all that bad as long as you are all bye yourlonsesomes, unless other riders don't mind (me), I personally dig the solitude. I've tried mt. biking with headphones and that was too wierd. We also did a group mt. bike XMAS ride with a boom box playing XMAS songs that was fun, but as far as road riding it just isn't my thing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fofa's Avatar
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    HEY! Now there is an idea. Since I have a LWB 'Bent, I could put like 4 (2 facing each way) 6X9's under the seat, a really big amp under the bar by the BB, and a SubWoofer on the rear rack! I guess I could put the battery, um, on the handle bars maybe? Or I could put the Subwoofer on top of the battery and get some hight and some really good sound then. Man would the chicks dig it or what?

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    Here is a AM-FM radio from Sony that has a built in cyclometer.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...n_RadioWalkman

  12. #12
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    What's wrong with ear buds if you watch the volumn?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  13. #13
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    This is cool! I hadn't installed a computer on my new commuter yet. Just ordered the combination radio/computer. Thanks!

  14. #14
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    What's wrong with ear buds if you watch the volume?

    Nothing AFAIC.

    If I was to depend on hearing a car's approach instead of seeing it by consistently glancing at the rear view, it would do NOTHING to warn me of a cager not moving to the left to pass safely.

    The only times earbuds are an absolute no-no (IMO) is in heavy traffic (when all distractions should be eliminated [no grabbing that water bottle while moving!], or when climbing a steep hill where the bike's relative speed to the traffic drops precipitously.

  15. #15
    Kneel before ZOD philfart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion Steve
    Here is a AM-FM radio from Sony that has a built in cyclometer.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...n_RadioWalkman
    Hmm.. that's nice. If I can find it cheaper.. mmmaybe.

  16. #16
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Absolute NO to headphones. Dangerous and stupid. One of our local jurisdictions even has it in their bike laws that headphones can't cover both ears.

    Not happy about audible radios either, but do want you want. Please keep it down so I don't have to hear it.

    For me, no radio. I ride for peace and quiet, and I like to be totally in the present moment. A radio is a distraction that takes me away from the ride.

    IMO a bike with a radio is just a cager without the cage.

    If you get so bored riding that you need to have a radio, why are you riding??? Get off the road and do something that doesn't bore you!

  17. #17
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider
    Absolute NO to headphones. Dangerous and stupid. One of our local jurisdictions even has it in their bike laws that headphones can't cover both ears.

    Not happy about audible radios either, but do want you want. Please keep it down so I don't have to hear it.

    For me, no radio. I ride for peace and quiet, and I like to be totally in the present moment. A radio is a distraction that takes me away from the ride.

    IMO a bike with a radio is just a cager without the cage.

    If you get so bored riding that you need to have a radio, why are you riding??? Get off the road and do something that doesn't bore you!
    Ohh please...

    That's a pretty big load of self-righteous hyperbole for this early in the AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    What's wrong with ear buds if you watch the volumn?
    You have two arguments ... one, is it against the law and two, are you still safe.

    So, from a safety stand point (and at low volume) it may do little to affect your safety (increase or decrease).

    From a legal stand point, in Florida, it would be a traffic violation.
    Florida traffic law says you can't wear them ... doesn't say anything about the volume of sound.

    d.tipton

  19. #19
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Ohh please...

    That's a pretty big load of self-righteous hyperbole for this early in the AM.
    What better time is there?
    And what better place than here, on BF?

    Maybe the "cager" comment was over-the-top, but I liked the sound of it.

    Since the OP asked for opinions....
    Do what you want, but when I ride, I'm trying to get away from radios and everything they represent.
    Nothing disturbs the peace of a ride thru the woods quicker than someone blaring out the top 40 hits for everyone else to hear. Happens too often.
    Last edited by cc_rider; 07-29-05 at 03:53 PM.

  20. #20
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    On my metric century last year, one of the highlights was a couple on a tendem encouraging their friends (and me) to finish the ride. In addition to the verbal encouragement, they had an MP3 player rigged to play music, and it did help the time pass.

    I used to have a radio that was designed to clip onto the handlebars (in the 70's), so it is not a new idea... and one worth revisiting.

    I know I have forgotten my radio on my last couple of trips to the gym, and really missed the distraction while on the treadmill.

  21. #21
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=khuon].

    On another note (no pun intended), what are people's opinions on FRS radios with a single earbud for communicating with other riders in your group? Have you used them? Did the VOX circuitry work effectively? I know racers use similar radios but I suspect they're also higher quality/more expensive than the ones in blister-packs you now see at the grocery market checkout lines. I just picked up a two-pack Audiovox FR-530 for $12 at Staples. I need to get a set of earbuds for them though. BTW, I believe some of these units even have built-in FM radios. I think some of the Motorolas do... along with NOAA weather.
    QUOTE]

    A friend of mine bought a pair of inexpensive VOX radios to use on the bike. We spent a whole day experimenting with them. The VOX on these was terrible. Your first and last word was typically cut off.
    If you hesitated between words it would shut off too. He finally stopped using them, it was just as easy to yell if you were close enough. I don't have any experience with the more expensive ones.

    You should have made the pun intentional.

  22. #22
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider
    If you get so bored riding that you need to have a radio, why are you riding???
    If you get bored riding along in a single gear and need all those fancy shifty thingys, why are you riding?


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikes-N-Drums
    using a pocket radio. Not blaring away, but just barely finding it's way up to my ear.
    and it also alerts pedestrians ahead of me to my presence.
    You are wearing the radio and can barely hear it;
    yet pedestrians ahead of you can hear it;
    clearly you have blown your hearing out with your drums and
    your radio is too loud for those around you.

  24. #24
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    For me, the enjoyment of the ride is riding itself; there is no need to "supplement". Even conversation with other riders can be irritating at times. I like to be alone with my thoughts, focus on the riding, scenery, suffering, etc.. Music definitely has a time and place for me (I am a musician as well), but for me that time and place is not on the bike.

    I'm not sure I'd take offense upon encountering another rider with an "audible radio", but I'd sure be getting the hell out of the general area quickly if it were audible to me. Sometimes it's nice to be out of touch with the rest of the world . . .

  25. #25
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Some states will allow you to have one earbud, but not two. Other states don't allow even one. I use one. I keep the volume low, and I have no trouble hearing overtaking cars. One thing I always look for: On a two lane road, if you don't hear an approaching driver ease up on the throttle just a bit, this means he doesn't see you or he doesn't give a damn you are there. I never ride without a rear view mirror. If an overtaking car doesn't start to slow at least a couple of hundred yards behind me, I am looking hard into my mirror, ready to leave the road if necessary.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

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