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Rock The Bike

A bicycle may be the perfect place to listen to music. But you have to think big.

Soul Cycle Slim at Halloween Critical mass

Soul Cycle Slim in action at Halloween Critical mass in San Francisco

Many have tried putting speakers on bicycles. And there are even a couple handlebar-mounted products on the market that amplify an FM radio or an MP3 player. The difference between a Soul Cycle and those other products is sex appeal and sound quality. The sound quality of these handlebar mounted units is always compromised by forcing full range music out of tinny sounding speakers in tiny plastic enclosures with no capacity to reproduce bass frequencies. They sound no better than listening to your music on a laptop at full blast from across the room.

So music lovers turn to headphones, which, in theory provide perfect stereo separation and plenty of bass. But in practice, the wind seems to whip between the headphones and your ear. The wires are constantly getting caught on your brake levers and yank your earbuds down into your aural canal when you rise to climb a hill. And you take a real hit on safety by isolating yourself from the noise of approaching vehicles and pedestrians.

But none of these annoyances even approach biggest problem of headphones — that you can’t share your music. How awesome is it to drive a car to the beach with four friends, all singing along to Hotel California? Those social experiences are not only possible on a bike; indeed they’re even better than they are in a car. Because there is so much engine, wind, and road noise to overcome, most car stereo systems can’t match the clarity and presence of music on a Soul Cycle . In fact, one of the most common reactions bystanders have to a Soul Cycle is “That sounds better than my car!”

Soul Cycle Slim at a recent Mission District Party

Soul Cycle Slim at a recent Mission District Party

On a bicycle, the listening environment is much more favorable than in a car. The background noise is 100-1000 times lower than a car, creating a black velvet background for your favorite music. And because the background noise level is so low, you don’t have to turn your music up very loud to experience the immersive effect of hi-fi stereo. You’ll be listening to music in a volume range where your speakers can show the true clarity.

Soul Cycle Slim -- immersive mobile audio for bicycles.
Soul Cycle Slim is lightweight enough to carry up a flight of stairs to a train platform unassisted.

The volume will be just perfect for conversation, either with your passenger or with a friend alongside you. But when you want a little extra power to enter a barbeque (or just a bar) in style, it’s there.