My son, who is 5 and a half, rides stoker with me on the "Big Blue Whale', our RANS Dynamik Duo. We were both thinking it'd be nice to have some tunes with us. So I was thinking maybe we could put speakers on his handlebars. Just something to break the silence between all the typical questions a 5 year old comes up with.
Anyone else do something like this. I don't want to use earbuds, and it does not have to be that loud, just a little soundtrack for the rides from our iPod or something.
I've done this before to keep my sanity during the local MS150. Here's my suggestion:
- pick up a pair of small un-powered speakers from radioshack. They'll probably cost $10-15.
- ty-wrap the speakers to the handle bars where they won't get in the way of anyone's grip. They'll need to be pretty secure to survive bumps in the road. I drilled two holes in the top of each speaker, about 1.5" apart, then put a ty-wrap through to create a tight loop on the outside of the speaker (just enough slack to squeeze another ty-wrap through, perpendicular to the loop). To do this, I pulled the speaker apart and put the business end of the ty-wrap inside the speaker so it's nice and flush outside. Repeat the procedure on one side of the speaker.
-then run a ty-wrap through the loop on the speaker's side and around the stem. Run another ty-wrap through the loop on the speaker's top and around the handle bar.
-Tighten up all the ty-wraps.
-Repeat with the second speaker on the other side of the stem. Make sure you put your side loop on the opposite side as the first speaker.
-Run the wire to wherever your ipod resides. I've mounted the ipod on the handle bars but the ipod would freeze every once in a while due to bumps in the road. I've had better luck keeping the ipod in a jersey pocket. Make sure the wire is clear of moving parts and that the speakers don't impede stearing, braking or shifting.
-with the volume all the way up on the ipod, it's just enough juice so you can hear the unpowered speakers but not so much that you can't safely hear traffic or each other talking.
Of course pictures would be better than my narrative. Let me know if you're interested and I'll take some photos. My wife and I just completed the New Jersey MS150 this past weekend. We put one speaker up front and one in the back. A funky time was had by all.
apple makes a product called "Ihome2go" that fits in a water bottle holder type container and uses an ipod operated by a remote. It works great. I have had some fun with it and a train whistle recording.
My wife and I use ride with music on our tandem. Here's the setup. Ipod hooked up to Sony speakers (Active Speaker System SRS-T33), the speakers are powered by 2 AAA batteries. I can put both the Ipod and the speakers in one of my jersey pockets. We only use it when we are doing sustained climbs - it makes the climbs seem to go faster and since we're riding slower, we can both hear it. I don't think I can hear it if we are going any faster than say 12 mph, but I suppose she probably could.
We get quite a few comments from other riders about "the tunes" as we're riding. Good luck with the set up.
I was looking around at a few stores, trying to find something that'd work, and came across a Logitech mm32 portable speaker system. Seemed like with some custom brackets I could mount it right to the stoker's bars. It'd be a $50+ outlay, but I was going for it. Until....
I stopped into Dick's Sporting Goods, looking for something else entirely, when I stumbled across a "tent speaker". It's basically an all-weather flat panel amplified speaker thingy that works on AA batteries and has the 1/8" plug to connect with any audio source. It says on the package that it can be used as a tent speaker by slipping it into the speaker pockets of the Dick's house brand tents. Or it unfolds and you can sit it on a table. For $10, I figured I'd find a place for it on the bike.
And just as I thought, the thing fits on top of our rack-top bag, underneath the elastic cord on top of the bag, and it's black, so you don't even know its there because it blends in. Plug in the audio source, toss it in the bag, and ride off with the tunes going. It even sounds pretty good.
Sometimes you don't know what you're looking for until you find it.