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Tunes on you bike....the safe way

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Tunes on you bike....the safe way

Old 12-02-06, 11:09 AM
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Nightshade
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Tunes on your bike....the safe way

There have been many threads about how best to listen to
music and other audio while riding a bike. I'm of the firm
opinion that anything IN the ear (or otherwise blocking the ear)
while riding is a VERY unsafe practice.

To that end I've designed my own sound system using
an old CD/MP3 player and a pair of battery powered
mini-speakers clamped to the bars for all my audio
uses while riding. The last Nashbar catalog I got now
offers a system exactly like the one I built up so that
other riders can ride safer.

Check it out..........

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 12-03-06 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 12-02-06, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad
More info at:
http://www.active-tunes.com/
Anyone know how long will this unit play (if at all) on a trio of NIMH rechargeable AA's and at what volume level?

I'd be interested in hearing of anyone's experience with external speakers and riding in noisy conditions such as found when cycling amongst traffic. Can you clearly hear and understand spoken word as in radio commentary/news, podcasts, or audio books?
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Old 12-02-06, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
More info at:
http://www.active-tunes.com/
I'd be interested in hearing of anyone's experience with external speakers and riding in noisy conditions such as found when cycling amongst traffic. Can you clearly hear and understand spoken word as in radio commentary/news, podcasts, or audio books?
I tried a set of plain un-powered mini-speakers at first finding them to be a waste on even quiet
roads. Then I tried a set of AA powered mini-speakers which worked out MUCH better no matter
where I rode. I can hear every single word clearly with the power swithced on.

As to how well these Nashbar speakers power the sound I can't say. I do know that it is a requirement
to have the speakers self powered or you won't hear squat.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-03-06, 08:41 AM
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I've got a pair of ear buds that hook behind the ear. (Radio Shack $10) position the ear buds ON my ear, but not in the ear canal at all. I've found that I can carry on normal conversation when I ride up next to someone, I can hear cars without difficulty, I can even hear my gears shifting, and, yet, I can still hear the music.
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Old 12-03-06, 10:40 AM
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I can ride safely WITH earbuds without the need for all that on my bars. I doubt it would last thru a pacific northwest winter rain season also.
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Old 12-03-06, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AZClyde
I've got a pair of ear buds that hook behind the ear. (Radio Shack $10) position the ear buds ON my ear, but not in the ear canal at all. I've found that I can carry on normal conversation when I ride up next to someone, I can hear cars without difficulty, I can even hear my gears shifting, and, yet, I can still hear the music.
That sounds neat, AZClyde. Can you post a pic?
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Old 12-03-06, 01:13 PM
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I strap little speakers to my bars, and run the cord to my pocket which contains a mp3 disc player. My experience with seeing other people who have bike specific bar mounted speakers is that they can't get very loud. My speakers in the picture below are powered by 2 D batteries each and the batteries have lasted for 2 tours so far. They are very loud. When it rains I duct tape plastic wrap over them and continue using them.

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Old 12-03-06, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Michigander
When it rains I duct tape plastic wrap over them and continue using them.
There is a better CHEAP way to protect your bar mounted speakers, mate. I use a cheap clear
disposable bowl cover or showercap. I buy mine in a bag of 12 for a $1 at the local $1 store.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-03-06, 05:00 PM
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My plastic and duct tape were free from doing asbestos removal. I don't know what you think is inferior about heavy gauge plastic wrap and 3" duct tape, but it works very well.
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Old 12-03-06, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Michigander
I strap little speakers to my bars, and run the cord to my pocket which contains a mp3 disc player. My experience with seeing other people who have bike specific bar mounted speakers is that they can't get very loud. My speakers in the picture below are powered by 2 D batteries each and the batteries have lasted for 2 tours so far. They are very loud. When it rains I duct tape plastic wrap over them and continue using them.

What are you, special forces?
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Old 12-03-06, 05:31 PM
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Nope, just a paranoid, delusional lunatic gun nut. At least thats what John Galt says.
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Old 12-03-06, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Michigander
My plastic and duct tape were free from doing asbestos removal. I don't know what you think is inferior about heavy gauge plastic wrap and 3" duct tape, but it works very well.
What!! WHO said anything about your method being inferior, mate? I only offered a solution
that worked for me so others (besides YOU) could employ it. I really could give a ***** what you use.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-03-06, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad
What!! WHO said anything about your method being inferior, mate? I only offered a solution
that worked for me so others (besides YOU) could employ it. I really could give a ***** what you use.
Not to nit pick, because believe me I don't care either, but you said it.

Originally Posted by Tightwad
There is a better CHEAP way to protect your bar mounted speakers.
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Old 12-04-06, 04:02 AM
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I have a bar mounted radio that my wife bought me a couple of years ago. Kinda clunky to have on the bars and from the newer stuff I have seen, there haven't been many improvements.

I found that I really had to crank the volume to hear anything over normal road traffic. Even then, the sound quality was so poor, it really wasn't all that enjoyable.

The bottom line is that I don't use it anymore even though it still works.
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Old 12-04-06, 05:31 AM
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I combined an Apple ipod shuffle (1st gen.) a set of Pocket Party speakers (only one AA battery) and a mop clamp for easy removal.
Works great and I can switch from bike to bike (or just take it with me) in a flash.
ipod shuffle.jpg

ipod shuffle with Pocket Party.jpg

broom handle clamp.jpg
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Old 12-04-06, 10:27 PM
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Easier than all the above. Bento Box with one of these Sony ericsson 810I: http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?...e=pp&pid=10376

super load internal speaker.
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Old 12-04-06, 10:58 PM
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Has anyone ever carved out a hollow spot in your helmet for an mp3 to fit in and then place a earpiece (your choice) as close to your ear in the helmet as possible? Seems this would be a fairly compact way to go.
Steven, thinking he may try to figure this one out.
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Old 12-05-06, 08:49 AM
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Wouldn't that hurt if you were in an accident and that part of the helmet took a hit?
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Old 12-05-06, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AZClyde
I've got a pair of ear buds that hook behind the ear. (Radio Shack $10) position the ear buds ON my ear, but not in the ear canal at all. I've found that I can carry on normal conversation when I ride up next to someone, I can hear cars without difficulty, I can even hear my gears shifting, and, yet, I can still hear the music.
Occassionally I will ride while listening to the radio, but I use only one earbud, the right, so that I can have unobstructed hearing in my left ear.
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Old 12-05-06, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingAnchor
Has anyone ever carved out a hollow spot in your helmet for an mp3 to fit in and then place a earpiece (your choice) as close to your ear in the helmet as possible? Seems this would be a fairly compact way to go.
Steven, thinking he may try to figure this one out.
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
Wouldn't that hurt if you were in an accident and that part of the helmet took a hit?
Slight less important- wouldn't carving a hollow out in a helmet undermine its basic effectiveness. I agree that actually having a hard mp3 player (an mp3 is just data) in a helmet could really hurt. Perhaps such a strategy could be worse than not wearing a helmet at all.

If you wear a helmet for looks then compromising its already limited effectiveness is okay, if you wear a helmet for safety then carving out a hollow spot is foolish.

I have seen mp3 players and small radios (FM and 2-way) in time trail helmets (as well as fans, ice packs, and small weights) but those do not compromise the structure of the helmet but rather sit in a manufactured hollow space.

I would avoid modifying a regular helmet in this manner.
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Old 12-05-06, 07:10 PM
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Digital Concepts makes a gizmo that is a foam filled, hard case, that holds your MP3 player. An external speaker receives input from your player's headphone jack. It has a velcro strap on the back so you can lash it to your frame or handle bars.
Twenty bucks.

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Old 12-05-06, 08:40 PM
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I don't know how loud it would be but I like that rig AllenG.
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Old 12-05-06, 09:05 PM
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It's loud enough to hear. Not blaringly so, but good enough.
I picked up one at Wally World last year.
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Old 12-06-06, 01:25 PM
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I just sing to myself.
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Old 12-06-06, 01:31 PM
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I just pin both earbuds to a headband or my helmet straps. The earbuds dangle in the vicinity of my right ear. I can hear enough to let me identify the song ... and that's all I need!
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