Rock The Bike

Trailer-based bike sound systems

Many people use bike trailers to bring the beat at large group rides like Critical Mass. Trailers make it easy to get started, since you can use a simple box rather than having to engineer a cabinet that surrounds your rear wheel.

But trailer-based systems put the beat much further from your ears, meaning that you have to turn up the volume much louder to feel like you are ‘in the music’. This means you’ll end up using much more powerful amps and speakers, and larger, heavier batteries. All this means that you are much less likely to use a trailer-based party bike for impromptu cruises (with 5-10 friends) and more likely to save it for larger, planned rides.

I love the bike culture touches this fabricator put on his system – the bike wheel and sprockets used as speaker grills. But there’s no escaping the fact that this system, and all trailer systems, look like a bike towing a box.

In my opinion an integrated long-wheelbase party bike, a Soul Cycle, is a much much easier way to create a cosmic ‘craft’.

This was the sound system at the mc3 performance ride

Our nation’s newspaper of record devotes serious column inches to bicycle music systems

My dad caught this one early this morning.

“The bikes roar, but the booming sound has nothing to do with engines — because there are no engines. They are ordinary bicycles, not motorcycles, although these contraptions look and sound more like rolling D.J. booths. They are outfitted with elaborate stereo systems installed by the youths.” Read More »

Fossil Fool teaches workshop on Hi Fi Bicycle Cruising Systems at Maker Faire May 20, 21

Fossil Fool teaches bicycle audio workshop at Maker Faire


At the Maker Faire ( May 25 and 26, Fossil Fool taught a workshop on how to make a one-of-a-kind bicycle audio system.


Topics included:

– Overall concepts

– Picking amps and speakers and batteries.

– Designing a wiring harness and front mounted controls. Jacks, connectors, wire gauges, switches, etc.

– Building a music cabinet. Overview of the different cabinet making options — wood, fiberglass, etc. How to deal with ports, calculate speaker volumes, and make airtight cabinets for good bass response. Also, a few topics on 3D design.

– Picking a good base bike (no, not bass bike). What makes a bicycle suitable for a Soul Cycle mobile audio system? We’ll review the options: Xtracycle Sport Utility Bikes, Side By Sides, Commuters bikes, etc.