BMX Sound Systems in the New York Times


There’s an interesting article in the Grey Lady today about some bicycle culture popping up in NYC all the way from South America. Guyanese and Trinidadian youth are loading down their rides with batteries and speakers – 5,000 watts worth of loud! – and cruising the neighborhood.

It’s great to see this taking off in the youth as an organic outgrowth of their culture, I don’t think it’ll be long before we see this around a bit more broadly. I always enjoy a ride with tunes, and wearing ear-buds is a bit too dangerous and anti-social (especially as I’m ringing my bell before I pass you on the left, eh?). I’ve been hauling around the big-a** boombox on my xtracycle for a while now, but it doesn’t have quite the oomph I’m looking for. I’m still considering some ‘motorcycle speakers’ and a small battery for the next RideCivil event. But these kids have clearly got it wired. As does D.J. Fossil Fool.

So Huggers – what do you do for sound? Would you ever install speakers on your bike? Enough that you’d need training wheels like the dudes in NYC?


This is something I have considered for my Nihola cargo bike, maybe for use in a “Critical mass” event. But how on earth do they get 5000 watts on battery? I’m hoping to get 300 watts with a standard 12 V car battery and a 12 V/230 V converter.

I’d never install speakers on my bike. I love my music, but it’s not something I think the world needs to hear. Not everybody has the same taste, and no offense, but I don’t want to be forced to listen to somebody’s obnoxious tunes blaring down my quiet street. I’m living in Portugal right now, and kids love to play music from the built-in speakers on their cell phones… at the train stop, on the metro, inside the train. It’s annoying, it’s noise pollution, and if you don’t want to ride a bike with headphones or ear buds, then don’t subject the rest of us to it.

Hmm, one more thing that bikers can do to really annoy all the other people on the road, no we can be just like the people who have to drive their cars with all the windows down because the bass from their stereos will make their ears bleed if they have the car closed up. If this catches on there will be one more reason for cops to pull cyclists over.


* [Rock the bike](
*  [Cy-Fi](

In Vegas, we rode right down the street with the rock the bike crew.

Somebody at Interbike had a speaker system for bikes.  Big whoop, except this on had a cool hook: there was an Ipod dock, AND, a little transmitter.  you and your pals all sport the speakers, one person is the mother ship and everybody else is tuned in.  Must be like that linked PC thing where you make a supercomputer out of a whole bunch o’ pcs.


That’s the Cy-Fi and it’s cool.

I just wrote a review of an iPod-based bicycle audio system (by iHome) that fits in a water bottle cage. The full review, with pictures, is posted at:

iHome iH85B review

PLease, god, no.
Now I realize I’m just a waspy (all-right Greek Norwegian hybrid) blinky-lighted ex-messenger Seattlite trying to get between my job and my house, but this seems antithetical to riding civilly.  Look at me!  Look At Me!  LOOK At MEEEE!!!!


How about this:  your bike stereo may only have as many watts as the rider is generating.

Bike stereo for everyone else to hear is obnoxious. Ipod while you’re riding is an invitation to be run down be a car or maybe by me on my bike. My commute is via street and bike/pedestrian trail. My greatest hazards are not cars, but STUPID rollerbladers, pedestrians, and cyclists with ipods who don’t hear my warnings of an approaching bike. Pedestrains crossing the street while text messaging are also greatly increasing their risk of becoming roadkill.

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