Social distancing has become our new normal for the time being. This includes cycling, where solo rides are encouraged. Mitch and I have been testing Sena’s R1-EVO helmets with built in speakers and microphone. It allows us to ride apart, up to half-mile but still communicate. To date we’ve tested it on three trail rides and have become fans. Actually, we chat more when wearing the helmets since the speakers are really clear, eliminating the constant “what?” or replying to what you thought the other person said. On single track it’s even harder to hear each another, but now we can prepare the person behind of an approaching technical area, or which direction to go when the trail forks.
We still have some more testing to do before I can write a full review, but wanted to share this as an option since keeping a safe distance from one another is so important right now.
Price: $159 MSRP
RICHARD HENLEY says
Thanks for reviewing Sena’s R1-EVO helmets with built in speakers and microphone. It is interesting to know that such a device exists. Communication methods currently available to bicyclists carry their own sets of limitations. It seems that Sena is attempting to provide a solution, Good for them.
Sena’s helmet is an interesting product that might work well in certain narrowly defined settings. However, the rider’s conversation can, and will likely be, a source of noise pollution to others within hearing range, which could be significant in quiet settings. One can envision several other potential drawbacks.
Perhaps Sena might build on this idea, and consider another model helmet: one that provides a radio-based communication system, similar to that used in professional bicycle racing, but adjusted to accommodate the needs of recreational cyclists.
Indeed, creative thinking may reveal other possible solutions.
I look forward to future communication enabled bicycle specific equipment.
All my best to the group.
So I have been using the Sena helmet since August on my group rides. My co-ride leader wears one at the front and I wear one at the sweep position. Let me say this- when they work, they perform great. Awesome communication tool that allows us to have a controlled ride.
When they don’t work, it’s frustrating. My co- leaders unit had one speaker go out. After several emails back and forth and “firmware resets” they finally allowed me to return it for a replacement, which was on back order. 2 months later, we have it back and we walk through the pairing process and they refuse to pair. Then we just shrug and say forget it, head off down the road and they magically pair. This has happened SEVERAL times.
Solo mode paired to the phone- no issues. Great performance!
Neat idea and long overdue. If the range was longer, I’d buy it for my kids so I can keep telling them to ride safely from the comfort of my couch!