A bicycle radio is a battery operated AM/FM tuner made to mount to the handlebars of your favorite cycle. With its built-in speaker, it allows the rider to listen to his or her favorite stations while pedaling along the boardwalk, pushing through trails, or riding along the avenues.
Though portable audio players with headphones are great for walking or jogging, earbuds can be unsafe for cycling. It is important to be able to hear pedestrians, other cyclists, and traffic, especially when moving along at a fair speed. A bicycle radio provides a built-in speaker that delivers music or talk radio without blocking out environmental noise. The handlebar mount also makes for one less thing to carry.
A bicycle radio can come in a variety of models with differing features. Nicer models have the ability to choose 10 or more preset stations for easy forwarding through your favorite disk jockeys. A bicycle radio can also sport handy features such as a built-in clock, speedometer and trip odometer. LED readouts can cycle through statistics like total trip time, average speed, maximum speed and total distance. Some models have speed sensors that will sound when a particular speed is reached. A bicycle radio can also have a weather band to keep you posted on those long treks, and a TV tuner for listening to your favorite television programs. Other models might include a compass, headlight and horn.
Handlebar mounting brackets will differ in design. "Permanent" mounting brackets are of a clamp style with screws, while the "quick-release" type is operated by a simple lever. This latter style makes it easy to take the bicycle radio with you when you reach your destination. Still other models are built into an armband to be worn around the bicep. The style can have a bearing on features. An armband bicycle radio, for example, will not have a headlight, horn, speedometer or odometer. It might, however, feature a weather band and TV tuner.
Two of the most popular manufacturers of bicycle radios are Sony and Emerson. Many models can be found online and are also available at your local electronics or discount department store. Read features carefully to ensure the bicycle radio will deliver the service intended and provide the best value for your money.