Gear Guy

    Photo: Hiod

Q:

What Bike Intercom Should I Buy?

It would be neat to have something that would allow me to communicate with the guys I ride with and track my speed.

A:The Hiod One was an awesome surprise. The Hiod is a little Swedish gadget lets you talk to your cycling partners seamlessly. It's a device I’d never even heard of before, and yet it quickly became absolutely essential to my workouts. There have been walkie-talkie-based bike headsets on the market, but I’ve never tried anything with the long-distance range, full-duplex sound, and clarity of the Hiod, which uses the Bluetooth wireless system to relay a person’s voice from bike to bike. It currently has a competitor in this space, the Bluetooth-powered Cardo; both are just hitting the market.

For $219, you get a pair of earphones and a microphone attached to a voice unit you wear in a neoprene holster on your arm. A separate wireless controller unit with a small monochrome screen attaches to your handlebars. It has two buttons: the left button browses, and the right one selects one of four functions. You can chat with friends in your peloton, listen to music on your cell phone via Bluetooth, make calls on your phone, or track speed and distance using the GPS on your phone (this function is for Android phones only).

The device, named after a bone behind your tongue, has a clean interface and spare design aesthetic like other nice Swedish things—Swedish bikes, for example, and those sticky pastries at Ikea. Its OLED screen is vivid in any light. Hiod One units have an advertised range of 400 yards, though our tests found the distance shorter (more on that on the next pages). Both units are IPX7 waterproof and together weigh four ounces. The Hiod came out in Europe in June. It is currently sold in the U.S. by Bikemania (though it’s still awaiting FCC approval ... go figure).

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