While cycling on mountain roads or plain land means your hands are occupied. In case you are lost or ahead of the group or need to pass important information, you might think of Stopping for a while to get with the caravan of friends and partners.
This will take you out of the joy of adventure. When you are on the bike/cycle, it’s not easy to communicate with your friends. Shouting out or cycle alongside can be dangerous in some road situations.
Using a cell phone is almost completely out of the question because the cyclist needs to stay and maintain control of the bicycle. Even one cannot use hand signals as one may not always with people within their line of sight. Hence you require a safer way to communicate.
Welcome to the world of two-way radios. Two-way walkie-talkies are the perfect solution for the scenario mentioned above. Cycling and two-way radios go together hand in hand.
Top 5 Two-Way Radios for Cycling
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to consider before buying a Walkie Talkie for Cycling
Before we progress towards our section listing the best available models for cyclists or bikers, we would like you to know some unique and critical factors that one should look out for before buying or renting a two-way radio for a bicycle. This is important in order to get the most out of your device.
1. Headset and Bluetooth Supportive device
Two-way radios may or may not come with an earpiece or headset, though these accessories can be purchased separately. But what’s important is that the model you opt for should be compatible with the available headsets on the market.
An easy earpiece or comfortable headset requirement is necessary to ensure safe communication between all group members.
Again, talking via a headset helps maintain control of your cycle and other rider’s safety as a rider’s full attention should be on the road and his hands on the handles. In such scenarios using handheld radios can make things difficult.
Thus, what one requires is a quality headset with Bluetooth support to communicate with ease. Nowadays, you will find a variety of headsets with different styles, prices, and functions. Finding one that gives you a hands-free operation, should be bought.
2. Long-range transmission
While cycling, it’s likely that you could get separated from your group, sometimes by miles. In such times, it becomes vital to stay connected, send and receive messages, or update location to the furthest team member.
Thus the range of the device ensures hassle-free communication and overcoming those unwanted scenarios. The lowest acceptable range for a walkie-talkie for cycling is considered to be 2-3 miles.
3. Hands-free mode or VOX technology
When the Voice-activated transmission feature is on, the microphone on the radio listens to the voice and starts broadcasting the signals automatically. Once you stop talking, the mode gets switched off.
It is a more convenient option along with the PTT button. It allows you to use your device hands-free. While riding a cycle or bike, this feature is beneficial. Most of the famous brand radios possess this feature like MOTOROLA and Midland.
These brands also allow toggling between the PTT and VOX usage. In case the radio doesn’t come with an in-built VOX feature, then go for the Vox enable headset accessory.
4. Battery life
Having a decent back-up battery life is a crucial issue. Always go for that two-way radios (walkie-talkies) that at least remain functional up to 12-15 hours. Choose a model that operates on standard batteries as well.
This is because one might not get a charging port everywhere. Currently, radio models come with dual charging options. Look for those models which a USB port as you can charge it through a power bank.
5. Weather alerts/NOAA channel scan
Change in the weather pattern is inevitable when you transit from one route to another. So a need for an NOAA and weather alerts from time to time.
While cycling on rugged terrain, it becomes crucial to avoid roads having a probability of severe weather conditions.
6. GPS Capabilities
GPS enable device gives a real-time location tracking of the user both indoors and outdoors. This feature allows for the rider’s safety in the event of entering a hazardous area. Again the response time is lowered if the device has a GPS tracker in case of emergency.
7. Shock/ Water/ Dust Proof
Two-way radios come with different IP-rated specifications. The apparent reason for a top-rated military-specific is the protection of the device.
A waterproof case saves your radio set from moisture fatalities, and a shockproof ability saves it from an accidental drop. If the device has an added protection from dust, then go for it.
8. Superb audio quality
A clear and loud audio is vital when you are communicating while cycling. The external environment can put forward sound obstacles. That’s when you need a device that has a high-definition sound transmission.
An Add-on feature would be an auto-squelch function to minimize the background noise of a crowded track.
9. Other additional features
Look out for additional features like Group call options, design, structure, anti-slip material, size and weight, ease of operation, number of handsets, pricing, etc. A petite and lightweight gadget is a good buy.
Top 5 Walkie Talkies for Cycling
Let’s get started by talking about the best five two-way radios researched in different categories.
1. Retevis RT81
Best Protective Specifications
A highly recommended brand from our researched list is Retevis. Its model RT81 is perfect while going in for cycling in a group. The dual-mode built device has a Strict shell structural design that makes it a good choice while using it in a complex environment.
Retevis RT81 DMR Digital Compact Two Way Radio offers remarkably clear (with minimum background noise) digital voice communication. RT81 has two regions, with 16 channels to each zone; it uses digital mobile radio(DMR) protocol.
Boosting a long-range transmission for about 15-20 km in an open setting to up to1-2 miles in city norms, RT 81 is a powerful device. A PTT BUTTON is given us relief from dialing a number each time.
It works superbly in even the remotest regions with very weak or no signal area. The other features which makes it suitable for cycling trips are its IPS 67 waterproof rating.
So, no worries in humid weather. It’s also dustproof. So cycling in a desert area and other dusty terrains can quickly be taken over.
With a private call or group call option, this DMR radio keeps the rider in touch with a single member as well as with the whole group.
Talking about its power source- It uses a 2000 mAH lithium-ion battery that gives a full day use from a single charge. The pack-includes the complete charging set and belt clips. Again the device uses UHF BAND and requires an FCC license to operate.
Specifications of Retevis RT81
- Frequency: DMR
- IP67 waterproof
- High and low power switching
- Group call / Single call
- Dual time slot
- 10W.power output
- Dual power selectable
- Weight 2.65 pounds
- Digital/analog two modes.
- IP67Waterproof and Dustproof
- Private call, group call
- Battery save/Low battery alarm.
- Frequency band UHF
Key Benefits of Retevis RT81
- Compatible with the common MOTO TRBO series Tier1 and 2
- Strict waterproof and Dustproof (level 6)
- Strong squelch
- For Analog mode, it works for 15 hours and Digital 25 hours
- The built material is very durable.
- Equipped with an encrypted system that safeguards communication
- Less maintenance.
- Wide frequency range
Drawbacks of Retevis RT81
- It’s Not with a repeater.
- FCC license is required
Why we recommend Retevis RT81 for Cycling
Retevis RT81’s elements have the best-specialized features in terms of the range, sound, and operational process. Its frequency and excellent protective aspects make it a top choice for buying a two-way radio.
2. Midland GXT1000VP4
Value for Money
The Midland GXT1000vp4 is a solid and sturdy two-way radio that provides excellent communication on both GMRS/FRS channels. This set is ideal for any biking expedition.
These walkie-talkies come with 50 channels and transmit signals as far as 36 miles in a perfect setting. Built with eVOX technology, this two-way radio is hands-free. The audio is apparent and loud.
The GXT1000VP4 is JIS4 certified. It means they are weatherproof/waterproof. But do note that the device is not submersible. The gadget can receive warnings and other weather hazard data from NWR- NOAA weather radio.
During emergencies, it can send out distress signals and location signals. GXT1000vp4 comes with a rechargeable battery pack, which can last for about 8 hours, and a pair of boom mic headset.
Their pocket-sized design proves helpful when you’re trying to operate it with gloved hands. The device is enjoyable and easy to use, and get in touch with the other rider.
It will just take a light push of the side-button and instantly hear the other rider’s answer. This makes it perfect for cycling.
Products Specifications of Midland GXT1000VP4
- Range up to 36 Mile
- No. of channels 50 (22 and 28 privacy code)
- Weather Scan & Alert
- JIS4 Waterproof
- Vibrate and siren Alert
- Weight 4.8 ounces
Key Benefits of Midland GXT1000VP4
- The devices come with dual power charging.
- Simple button and affordable price.
- Extreme weather alerts.
- Superb sound quality.
- Excellent signal strength.
- It can be used off the bike.
Drawbacks of Midland GXT1000VP4
- It cannot be charged directly with a micro USB
- You can’t change the channel as the radio is in a tank bag or pocket.
- Everything is hooked up with wires (radio, headset, and PTT button)
Why we recommend Midland GXT1000VP4 for Cyclists
GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio is Midland’s most potent product. With a suitable plastic built, inexpensive, this widget will prove itself most useful for cycling.
We recommend Midland GXT1000vp4 for its seamless communication with superb sound clarity. For making it more effective, you can buy a headset (AVP-H3 ) that can be mounted in your helmet, along with a push-to-talk (PTT) button that attaches to the bike’s handlebar with a strap.
3. Motorola Talkabout T460
Best for weather updates
Motorola T460 is one model you can go for. Be it the aspect of functionality, durability, or weather alerts. This unit is elementary to use with the ability to reach over 35 miles in an unobstructed line of sight from Mountain to Valley.
But when tested, it roughly transmitted up to 3 miles of clear audio in the cycling trails. Moreover, by pressing the “mode” button, one can flawlessly switch between 2-way and NOAA weather mode.
One can get on with real-time weather conditions by turning on the weather channel or weather alerts. What you need is to check with the local weather office for the frequency of the NOAA radio service. With these features, one will be prepared for the unexpected.
Another feature that makes it ideal for cycling is the iVOX/VOX- Hands-free function. While biking up a steep mountain trail, the mode acts as a speakerphone and allows complete hands-free communication.
Thus you don’t have to stop to answer a call. There is an emergency alert button to Ask for Help Quickly. This will help the rider and others to know that about an impending danger.
If we talk about additional features, then this gadget has it all. 22 channels with 121 privacy codes, the high-power PTT button, Noise Filtering (QT), Keypad Tone, LoHi Power, TxRx Status (transmit/receive), Scan, and Lock, etc. are all present in the 2-way radio.
The device uses internal NiMH rechargeable batteries (10 hours) and can be powered using three 3 AA batteries, extending operation to 26 hours. One notable aspect of this model only consumes 0.5 watts of power in idle conditions. That’s makes it Eco-smart.
Specifications of Motorola Talkabout T460
- The range is up to 35 miles
- Flashing Low Battery Alert
- Dual charging option
- Keyboard lock
- Quiet talk filter
- Built-in Flashlight
- PTT Power Boost (Extends Range)
- VibraCall™ Alert
- Real-Time Weather Alerts
- IP54 Weatherproof
- iVOX/VOX Hands-free
- Micro USB Charging Port
- WEIGHT-0.43 lbs
Key Benefits of Motorola Talkabout T460
- 22 Channels with 121 Privacy Codes
- Compact and lightweight
- IP54 Weatherproof
- Low power consumption
- Compatible with other various headset accessories like Razor, Crewchief, Single pin throat microphone, etc.
Drawbacks of Motorola Talkabout T460
- Noisy interruption sound during channel scanning
- The antenna is fixed
Why we recommend Motorola Talkabout T460 ofr Cyclists
Durable design, easy usage, and excellent built-in features make Motorola T460 a high-performance device. They are highly recommended for active radio communication for all kinds of users -interested in outdoor adventures like biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, camping, etc. The T460 is a small, light, and rugged radio you will use for cycling activities.
4. Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
Best for Weather Alerts
Cycling and trekking Activity is pretty dangerous affairs. Unfamiliar terrain, unexpected weather transformation, is something you will come across. In such surroundings, just remember to add a reliable and affordable Motorola two-way radio set to your camping gear.
Motorola Talkabout MH230R is the top choice among bikers. Although the transmission range is 23 miles, it may fluctuate, depending on the terrain, a user still has a worry-free outdoor experience.
It boasts about 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. So no compromise on disruptive communication. The lightweight model works on both the FRS or GMRS frequencies that help uninterrupted communication while you are cycling.
The walkie talkies have additional features like the Weather Radio Broadcast mode that allows users to select an NOAA weather channel and adjust their schedule to the changing forecast.
The 2-way radio provides a real-time weather condition and you are prepared for the unexpected. There is a backlit display for night/dark mode activation and a keypad lock to prevent accidental dials.
The handset’s external body is made of sturdy material, making it IP RATED i.e – it becomes dustproof and water-resistant. The NiMH battery can serve you for 10-12 hours, along with the option to power it with 3 AAA alkaline batteries in case of extended backup of 14-hour.
Another outstanding in this yellow colored model is the Power Boost PTT and VOX hands-free capability. Compatible with S –series Motorola headsets for stealth communications, the model keeps you safe and connected while cycling.
Other fantastic features include – high-intensity channel scan feature, alerts, a quiet talk filter, VFD display, battery strength meter, etc.,
The package consists of two sets of radios with two NiMH rechargeable battery packs, two belt clips, and 1 dual drop-in charger, 1 charging adaptor, and a standard 1-year warranty.
Specifications of Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
- 22 channels with 121 privacy codes
- frequency UHF platform
- The range is 23 miles
- 11 weather channels (NOAA channel with weather alerts)
- Water and shockproof
- eVOX hands-free communication
- 10 -call tone
- Dual power mode
- IP 51 rated
Key Benefits of Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
- This is ideal for cycling and other outdoor expeditions.
- The device has fantastic weather alert ability
- Long-lasting battery life
- no license is required to operate them
- It comes with rechargeable batteries that give cost-effectiveness.
Drawbacks of Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
- The range doesn’t match the advertised capacity.
- Earbuds and headset had to be purchased separately
Why we recommend Motorola Talkabout Radio MH230R
Keep connected with your folks with the Motorola MH230R. These premium-picked, palm-sized devices are rugged, water-resistant, and lighter than their counterparts, is a reliable two-way radio with a sporty feel to the shell. One can enjoy access to the latest weather alerts along with Decent sound reception and robust construction.
5. GOCOM G600 FRS Walkie Talkies
GOCOM is one of the new entrants in the 2-way radio market but with its innovative products has been able to make a mark for itself. Its G 200&600 series is making news in 2-way radios segments.
They are low cost with great features and so have become extremely popular among youngsters going for like cycling, biking and other neighborhood fun activities. GOCOM G600 has been developed in such a design that easy to operate for teenagers, and adults.
The walkie-talkie system consists of 22 FRS channels with privacy codes for seamless communications. Additionally, it is equipped with standard features like roger tone, power-saving mode and NOAA weather alerts.
VOX mode helps the cyclist to communicate hands-free. The gizmo boasts an IPX4 waterproof rating. This means they are Water-resistant on rainy or foggy days.
Another prominent feature is its range- 32 miles. Even the actual range may fall far below the advertised range, but still getting at least 5 miles for such low priced product is always the best deal.
Especially while comparing to other brands devices circulating the same range but doubled the cost.
The 2watt powered GOCOM G600 can be charged with three 1200mAh Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery (included) using the USB quick charger offering up to 15 hours of life.
Again Cycling activity requires strict concentration, and both hands grabbed on the handlebar all the time; therefore, riders sometimes have to miss out on communication.
To resolve this issue, the pack includes is equipped with a single-ear multi-shaped, G-type headset that allows the use of a Headset with a mic while you are on a go. The earplugs can be accustomed to 360° so that they easily fit in the left or right ears.
Specifications of GOCOM G600 FRS Walkie Talkies
- Frequency band-FRS
- Transmission Range- 32 miles
- IPX4 waterproof
- 11 available weather band channels
- Push to talk button
- LED Lamplight
- One key Danger Quick Alarm
- Auto Squelch
- Vox Mode
- Weight 3.53 ounces
Key Benefits of GOCOM G600 FRS Walkie Talkies
- Clear sound quality
- Decent built and exteriors.
- easy charging and controls
- It’s waterproof & shockproof
- Performance and functionality is excellent
Drawbacks of GOCOM G600 FRS Walkie Talkies
- Battery life is an issue.
- Not recommended for water activities.
- Issues may be countered for battery life.
Why do we recommend GOCOM G600 FRS Walkie Talkies?
GOCOM has developed a 2-WAY radio wireless technology that provides reliable service for bikers/cyclists when the cell phone is of no use. This general-purpose walkie-talkie has an ergonomic design and is a good deal for activities such as cycling etc.
Comparison of Above 5 Cycling Walkie Talkies
|Motorola T460||RETERVIS 81||Midland GXT1000VP4||Motorola MH230R||GOCOMG600|
|Maximum Range (miles)||35miles||15 -20 Miles||36 Miles||23 miles||32 miles|
|Headset/ mic included||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NOAA Weather Channels||Yes||Yes||Yes||yes||YES|
|Battery life||10-25 hrs||14 hrs||8 hrs||12-14 hrs||15 hrs|
|Ear/mic/Audio connector port||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||YES|
Before the advent of the last decade, cycling was just a hobby, but it has become a mode of adventure-transport and a passion of sorts in modern times. Cyclists are particular about safety gear and accessories, along with indispensable walkie-talkies.
Moreover, Walkie-Talkies become a lifesaver as their riding terrain has patchy networks or sometimes no networks at all so. Regardless of whether it’s simply you and a friend riding one next to the other on your bikes or out with an entire group of cyclists, you understand the importance of being in contact with each other.
Walkie-talkies in all situations ensure that all of you remain in touch. Again they provide reliable communication for easy navigation. They work on the VHF range, and you don’t need to worry about Dead Zone (remote regions).
Explorations of new routes while traveling become much easier when the group has 2-way radios. The riders stay connected even while riding in different zones.
Two-way radios are definitely a better option with all intelligent features as compared to cell phones as the rider needs to go through many operations while cycling.