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81Two new bicycle audio products ideal for Xtracycles

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  • Paul Freedman
    Feb 6, 2006
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      This one goes out to Steve and all the others who are interested in
      building a Soul Cycle music system for their Xtracycle.

      I wanted to let you know that Fossil Fool has two new audio products
      that can help you rock out on your next social ride. I hope folks
      don't mind me making a somewhat commercial announcement here on the
      RootsRadicals forum, but I'm hoping for some feedback from you all
      on these products. I haven't put either of these up on our web site
      or Xtracycle.com yet.

      Product number 1 is the new Soul Cycle "In The Pocket" head unit. It
      goes for $449, and it is the easiest, cleanest, fastest way to go
      cruising with music on an Xtracycle. The product is a self-
      contained, lightweight and small (about 2 pounds and similar in size
      to a stack of 4 CD jewel boxes), rechargeable, quick-release
      detachable, hand-made dovetailed wooden head unit. It powers a pair
      of household bookshelf speakers that you supply. You can also build
      a custom enclosure for 6x9 car-audio speakers if you want something
      that fits clamps to your snap deck, and has better volume. The
      enclosed NiMH battery powers the amplifier for 5-10 hours depending
      on your choice of speakers and how loud you listen. It can be used
      and recharged hundreds of times and is serviceable. The enclosed amp
      offers a surprisingly clean and full stereo sound that is loud
      enough for a small cluster to enjoy as they ride around your bike.
      For solo cruises, the sound will truly put you `in the pocket' with
      your favorite music. Despite the clean sound, this system is
      somewhat understated and is not really suitable for entertaining a
      whole critical mass ride. This Soul Cycle can also be used as a nice
      bedroom audio system.

      If you're craving more power and better bass response, option 2 is
      to purchase a Soul Cycle wiring harness and parts list for $245. The
      wiring harness comes with a quick-release, wooden, handlebar-mounted
      control center with switches pre-installed, ready to control the
      sound, lights, and bass on your system. There's a spot there for
      your mp3 player. Leading from the control center are nicely dressed
      wires (about a 6' stretch, long enough to reach your FreeLoaders)
      connecting to the battery, amp, speakers, and subwoofer, which
      you'll carry on the rear of the bike. The wires come complete with
      correct terminals, so that you can connect your amplifier and
      battery without soldering.

      This product was conceived to allow you to enjoy all the cool parts
      of building a soul cycle (designing and making the speaker box,
      choosing and installing the speakers, painting the soul cycle,
      tricking it out with lighting effects), while removing the
      frustrating and time-consuming parts – wiring and research. You may
      be handy with a soldering iron, but regular `hobby' type soldering
      is simply not adequate for a bicycle-based sound-system. On a
      bicycle, the vibrations from the road and the strain of taking your
      system on and off the bike will cause regular solder joints to fail
      within days or weeks. Plus, it is a difficult logic challenge to
      design a wiring system that allows you to control the music from
      your handlebars, and still be able to separate the various
      components (amp, battery, subwoofer, control center) so that you can
      carry them individually, not as one big rat's nest. Strain relief
      and wire management are two of the critical aspects of building a
      soul cycle, and they require learning from experience. All the
      connectors of the Fossil Fool wiring harness are properly strain-
      reliefed, which will save you countless hours of troubleshooting.

      The wiring harness also comes with a parts list that will save you
      lots of research time and money. It will have links to specific web
      sites and products where you can find good deals on the battery,
      amp, speakers, subwoofer, etc. I will include size recommendations
      on the battery and speakers. You can further tweak the
      recommendations to achieve a certain sound. With the wiring harness
      and the parts list, you can still say 'I built it' but you will be
      cutting out about 1-2 weeks of hard work on your Soul Cycle.

      I've been interested in finding the right way to spread the
      knowledge about Soul Cycling so that it brings pleasure to people
      but still retains its magic. I started writing a book about bicycle
      audio, but got too busy to continue. I think the wiring harness is a
      great way to save people time on building their own Soul Cycles.
      Would a book be more appealing? I've also seen web sites like
      Instructables where people share this type of how-to knowledge for
      free. I find that system intriguing, but to be honest, the quality
      of the work on that site, while very creative, doesn't have polish
      and finish that are so important to making a good soul cycle.


      Paul Freedman

      Fossil Fool

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