Love biking, but wish you could add a soundtrack without risking a headphone ticket? (NYC law allows for one earpiece while riding a bike.) Then Nyne’s Cruiser — a portable wireless Bluetooth speaker built for biking ($79.95) — might be your jam.
As a sponsor of Transportation Alternatives’ recent 25th Annual NYC Century Bike Tour, Nyne Multimedia gave T.A. a Cruiser to test. Here’s the road-tested review.
The Nyne Cruiser comes standard with handlebar mounting clips, a USB charger, a 3.5mm auxiliary input cable and carrying case (pictured below).
Unlike some other Bluetooth devices the author of this review has struggled with, the Cruiser paired up with a smartphone on the first attempt. The Cruiser comes with handlebar-mounting clips that were easy -- and quick -- to attach to the top tube of a steel road bike frame (a more practical setup for urban bikes than handlebar mounting).
Cruising with the Cruiser
Midtown Manhattan’s traffic noise ranges from 70 – 85 dB — comparable to standing 15 feet from a moving freight train — so finding a lightweight, portable speaker that can hold its own against New York’s noisy streets can be a challenge.
But, with surprisingly deep bass response and serious volume when cranked all the way up, the speakers were audible and then some, even in dense New York City traffic. (As an unexpected bonus, the Cruiser worked as something of a safety device, alerting otherwise oblivious drivers and pedestrians to the bike in their midst.)
With less than ten-minutes of setup time, and no need to consult the instruction manual, the device gets high marks for ease of use.
What’s not to like? While the Cruiser easily mounts and dismounts from a bike within seconds, the realities of riding in NYC — frequent locking, unlocking and theft concerns — make the speaker better suited for longer trips (perfect for a ride to the Rockaways, for example). Also, we can’t comment on the device's water resistance (or lack thereof).
But, at about $50 less than similar Bluetooth speakers like the Jambox, and with powerful volume, good sound quality, ease of use and a host of bike-friendly features, the Cruiser is a very solid purchase for bicyclists who want to add music to their ride without compromising safety.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Price: $79.95 (Amazon)
Images: Les Brown / Transportation Alternatives