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It’s heavy enough to be used as a weapon, but that’s not why we like the iHome Cycler.
You might not think taking your expensive portable technology into rugged terrain, but there’s no reason to use the excuse that your MacBook or iPod are too delicate to take outside as to eschew the great outdoors—or an opportunity to exercise and breathe fresh air. With the proper gear, your tunes and your data can venture outside with you and go back inside no worse for the wear.
iHome Cycler. The Cycler is a hefty, Thermos-size single-speaker iPod dock that attaches to a bike via an included bracket. Installation took us about 10 minutes, including the separate handlebar strap that attaches the wireless remote.
For a single-speaker device, the Cycler provides impressive volume. Our tunes were easily audible on suburban streets, and listening was possible over even moderate road noise. Sound quality is surprisingly good considering the Cycler’s size, although you quickly hear the limits of the single speaker. The device also gets points for safety, since earbuds can make cyclers vulnerable by eliminating surrounding noise.
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The most significant drawback is the difficulty in switching playlists. The Cycler protects the iPod by completely enclosing it, but that protection requires you to twist open the case to access your iPod’s menus. For long rides, it’s best to prepare a custom playlist beforehand.
Overall it’s hard to argue with the concept’s execution, but at times the idea seemed a bit odd. In the age of the earbud, it felt presumptuous to foist our musical tastes on anybody who happened to be within earshot. Still, using it in isolated areas was a real delight.You won’t find a better bike-ready iPod speaker.