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  1. #1
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    Listening to Music On the Ride

    I am a Noob asking about music and cycling: So who does/doesn’t. One of my coworkers said that to him it is a big safety issue to ride with headphones. Being able to hear has saved his life a few times. My first few rides I was music-less, but the last one I had some beats and it had me in a zone. But I did notice the effect of ‘tunnel vision’. Got so into the music; I snapped out of it as a red-neck-mobile blasted past me!!

    Does anyone use mounted speakers to have music during the ride, but not headphones? Safer?

    Also Am I considered a D-bag for riding out to House music and Dub-Step? What music gets you pumped to ride?

  2. #2
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    99% of the time, I do not use them. When commuting, I never use them becasue I rely on my hearing as much as possible. When riding long distances on the weekend, most of the time no music at all. However, when riding centuries solo (aka no friends going with) I sometimes will for sure. But I do so with only one ear bud in. Mainly I do it for centuries through miles 60-80, especially if there is a headwind.
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  3. #3
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I have an iHome2go speaker that plays music...it's hooked up to the triplet. It's a lot of fun, it doesn't really compromise hearing and it lets pedestrians know we're there.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    99% of the time I ride listening to music or an audio book, however, I do not ride on traffic streets, if I have to cross one or spend any time on it I pull out one of the ear pieces. I mostly hit bike trial or neighborhood streets. The audio books have breaks in the speech to hear sounds I need. I play the music low if in a street, on the trail I turn it up. If I was going to go the speaker route, I'd look at the ones that go in the helmet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    I'm anti-headphone, but my wife has a set of bike speakers for when we do longer rides. It's kinda fun and passers-by get a kick out of it. When I'm riding solo, I tend to prefer silence, although on one particularly tough climb out in the middle of nowhere, I put my phone on speaker and listened to some music because it was dead quiet and I had 7 miles/2k feet of climbing in front of me.
    Cars man, whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!

  6. #6
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    One ear bud only (right), as required by law here. And almost never music -- talk radio, audiobooks for me.

    It's no louder than someone talking in a car, and it allows me to hear the cars. And the mirrors help.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  7. #7
    Senior Member fatguy_ona_bike's Avatar
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    In my area, it's illegal to drive with headphones, and since I ride along with cars most of the time, I'd rather not risk it myself. Actually, even when I'm on a bike trail there is so much traffic I feel headphones would get somebody hurt.
    I'd love to rock some music while riding. I do things better while my mind is distracted. I thought about just using one ear bud, but I tend to feel very imbalanced. I just can't risk music. Bike speakers would be interesting to try.

  8. #8
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I listen when I am on an MUP, or a far out country road with very light traffic. You'll never catch me in Chicago or a surrounding burb with them in. I know how distracted drivers are all the time.

    Even then it is only the right ear (curb side) and only at a low enough volume that I can just hear the music. I don't listen to talk or audiobooks because I know I would zone out.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  9. #9
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Gettin' my Fred on.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I listen to much "depending" on where I am at, time of day, etc. However I don't wear the ones that go in the ear and cut off all surrounding sound. I can still hear casual conversations, etc. I don't wear when I'm on a road nor when I'm on a bike path and it is a busy time of the day. I'm not against it just I don't do it.

    When people get all worked up about it I asked them if they ever wear anything over their ears when it is cold. Yes. Do you ever ride where it is noisy. Yes. Do you.... Yes. All that potentially impairs the ability to hear other things.

    For me it's like many things... keep it at a low volume, make sure you can be aware of your surroundings, etc.

  11. #11
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    I use 1 ear bud on the way (neighborhood streets) to the MTB trail then I put the other one in and just pay attention while I am riding. I could see where riding on a street it would be a real problem as you aren't hyper-alert like you have to be on an mtb trail.

  12. #12
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    I do, on my commute. Both in usually, at a moderate volume. I'll pull one out, sometimes. It's not the safest practice, I realize, but it just is what it is...

    I don't do it on group rides.
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  13. #13
    Senior Member abhirama's Avatar
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    People drive like crazy where I live/ride and music while riding is asking for trouble.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    On the MUP i sometimes take my open clip on KSC75s, anywhere else no way! That's insane!

  15. #15
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    These are cool, but couldnt you just turn up some regular headphones and get similar effect? Does anyone have these?

  16. #16
    This is how I NOW roll! Pamestique's Avatar
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    Frankly I would never ride with music - its a huge distraction. If you need music then go to a gym and use a spin bike. I have friends who leave one bud out of their ears but they are still distracted and not paying attention. Riders with ear buds tend to be squirrelly riders.

    I don't get why people need music to ride... frankly I love hearing the nature noises while I am mountain biking and I want to know what traffic is doing when on the road. I live in a traffic congested urban area and you better be paying attention or else you risk yours and possibly someone else's life.

    But up to you. Note: Some states/cities have laws against music use.
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  17. #17
    This is how I NOW roll! Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    On the MUP i sometimes take my open clip on KSC75s, anywhere else no way! That's insane!
    I think us California riders know better. Almost every day in the news is a cycling related death... however I have also lived out in the country and found out I really need to be listening out there... you can go hours without any traffic then all of a sudden some teen agers and his buddies are barreling down on you at 70 mph... if you are riding distracted, maybe a problem...
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  18. #18
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    So I'm riding out in the middle of nowhere on a country road and I actually catch up with 4 vehicles going less than 10 miles an hour. I see they're following someone on a bike. As I pass them, I get extremely hostile looks from the drivers. As I pass the cyclist riding in the middle of the road I see he's wearing earplugs. When he sees me pass he just about loses it from the surprise. It'd be great to listen to music on long rides but it's also rude.

  19. #19
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    Not currently listening to music while on the ride but I would like to get a phone holder on my handlebars so I can.

    I don't ride public highways so I'm not concerned with traffic. I only ride long bike paths and such.
    - Dan \m/

  20. #20
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    The idea of riding with music is appealing, but completely impractical for me. Riding on roads with headphones is dumb. Riding on the mups here with headphones is at least kind of rude if not nearly as dangerous. They're very busy.

  21. #21
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    I listen to music pretty much every single ride. I have a mount for my iPhone on my stem and play the music on the iPhone's speaker. No, it's not terribly loud, but I can hear it enough and even better, other people usually hear me coming up from behind. I think headphones are just too dangerous for cyclists as others have said.

  22. #22
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    As some others have already posted, I too use just the right earbud to listen to music or a podcast. I went so far as to snip off the entire wire for the left earbud so I would never be tempted to use it also.

    Also, as some others have said, I only listen when on a MUP.



  23. #23
    Senior Member tiger187126's Avatar
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    i did it today for the first time on my new bike. i don't think i'll be doing it again. just felt really weird, but i might play some out of my phone speaker since i have a little handlebar mount. i know there was a kickstarter for a mini speaker that came with a bike mount, and i know there are a ton of bluetooth speakers out there.

  24. #24
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    I don't for the safety factor... I like to know what is going on around me... but on long solo rides I do wish I had something to listen to

    when I have the cash I'm thinking about trying these things out
    http://www.aftershokz.com/ they use bone conduction so you can still use your ears to hear... but I think they wouldn't work great with sunglasses
    mtbr clyd moderator

  25. #25
    Bicycle Commuter Bluish Green's Avatar
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    I would never listen to music on my commutes, for two reasons: safety (my ears have detected unexpected cars a couple of times), and because my commute time is my daily time out in the sun/wind/rain/etc., and part of the appeal of bicycle commuting is being out in nature for part of my day.

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