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Hello everyone,

I'm an industrial design student and our current mission is to develop new Walkie Talkies. Right now I need to ask myself, and yourself, who uses Walkie Talkies anymore and why. Below are some questions, you can answer any of them and of course just give your opinion. What I want to know is how you and your hobby (or lifestyle) of biking makes use of Walkie Talkies.

1. Do you use Walkie Talkies, if so why? Why not?

2. Explain how and when do you use them?
- example: 'First we decide on a channel, then I turn the volume way down... only use them if I lost the gang'

3. Where do you keep the Walkie Talkie while riding?

4. What functions do you like? Dislike?

5. Anything you might like to share and add?

You can share anything you like on the subject of Walkie Talkies, everything helps :). Wish you all a great day, and thanks for any help!
 

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You can check out a small walkie talkie that Radio Shack created several years ago as research. The small hand held cigarette pack size transceiver fit nicely in a jersey pocket and had a boom mike that fit on the helmet. There was a small switching device that controlled the transceiver to be either voice activated or push-to-talk. I rode in a group from the Ft. Worth Bike Association that was filmed for a Radio Shack commercial. The little units didn't catch on and were dropped within a year or two. I still have a pair of the units that work well within 1/2 mile of each other.
 

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I still have a pair of the units that work well within 1/2 mile of each other.
Which brings up the whole freq/range question with radios.
@OP what freq do plan on operating in? The usual "bubble pack" radios sold readily operating in FRS don't have much range, using the GMRS option available on some radios technically requires folks to pay for a license (last I looked), it's tough to find a MURS approved radio, VHF/UHF is mostly based on areas with limited channels for travel. Keep in mind the FCC does regulate this, I'm under the impression any new radio will have to be approved by them at some level.

I don't see much use for them myself with cycling. Seems some of the pros are dropping them for the good old megaphone/car solution.
 

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If you're not already aware, professional cycling teams have been using radios for many years now... I'm not sure which makes / models / bands they use, but the original ones over a decade ago were Motorola's with earpieces. Used, of course, by the Motorola cycling team.

There is also at least one consumer-grade device marketed to recreational cyclists, though I can't recall the name right now.

As to your questions:
1. Do you use Walkie Talkies, if so why? Why not?
- on the bike? never. why not? um, never really thought of a use case that is compelling enough to deal with the hassle.
- for camping / hiking / caravan road trips, yes, sometimes, as it's easier / faster / more reliable than cell in many situations

2. Explain how and when do you use them?
- for camping / hiking / caravan road trips, check batteries, make sure everybody knows how to use them, set all to same channel, go

3. Where do you keep the Walkie Talkie while riding?
- n/a

4. What functions do you like? Dislike?
- I like being able to talk to others. I dislike when I can't.

5. Anything you might like to share and add?
- see above
- also note that many recreational cyclists already use cell phones with earbuds, mainly for music but occasionally for voice calls while riding.
 

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This was my initial thought as well, but it doesn't cover the "one to many" communication that is better done with radios.
personally, I don't take my phone on rides. I want to get away from the damn thing.

and unless you're a pro team with a DS, why would you need one-to-many comm? and race radios suck anyway...

the whole concept of walkie-talkies and recreational riding sounds pretty silly.
 

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We use a variety of radios for outdoor activities. Our boats and jetski's have them (I'd love to have something made specific for these btw), we use them for hiking trips, and occasionally for group bike rides. Biggest drawback to cell for us is coverage though easier one to many is somewhat as well. That said, most FRS don't do very well on many bike routes. So, for cycling I'd say small, light, easy/comfortable to fit in jersey pocket, powerful enough to carry a few miles in rolling terrain, no license required, and affordable. :)
 

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I've seen several tandems that use an intercom system. AAs a former tandem owner I can see how that would be useful, but not a walkie talkie.
 
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