Music on long rides?

Do people listen to music on long rides? If so how?

I tried popping in some earbuds one time when I felt I needed some motivation, and then took them right back out. It seems like you could either hear the music or your surroundings. And they also seem to amplify the sound of the wind so not to be able to hear anything.

I like to know what’s going on around me, but music can also help to motivate. Any ideas? In-ear, Over-ear, mounting speakers, mounting mp3 player? Sing to myself?

I use my mp3 on almost all my rides. I enjoy my ride much more with music it does tend to motivate my ride. The exception is sometimes if I’m on the road riding.
However, i only use one earbud in one ear and keep it low enough to hear my surroundings. There has been a few occasions that I haven’t heard a bicyclist coming up behind me until they were right along side me.

I would say no speakers because you could make someone mad but sing to yourself!

Music helps me most of the time. I use behind the neck over the ear earphones. I can wear em under my helmet with no problems. If I get into a spot where I need to hear I can just turn down the tunes a bit and hear everything pretty good. Don’t like earbuds because they completely close me off from the world and that’s kind of the opposite reason I’m out there.

The brand I’m currently using is :

Philips Rich Bass Neckband Headphones SHS5200/28

No complaints so far.

I listen to music on long muni climbs but prefer the sound of the dirt under my tires on the descent (usually technical). I never listen to music on the street so I can be attentive to traffic. Same on the uni, muni, MTB, and road bike.

What I find amusing is that some people who listen to music rock out to something driving and loud and I’m quite the opposite - I listen to mellow music which I think gives me pace and concentration. Plus, I use riding as my after-work stress relief so mellow music soothes the mind.

I listen to music at a low volume level with a bluetooth stereo headset that allows me to still hear my surroundings. I can’t stand the earbud style that blocks out all other noise.

What I have is pictured below. They are inexpensive and work great with my phone, which also tracks my distance, speed and elevation. The phone app also announces my distance every half mile through the headset. I can also receive phone calls while I’m riding and they fit great underneath my skateboard-style Pro-Tec helmet.

Motorola S305 Bluetooth Stereo Headset w/ Microphone



Whenever I go for runs or bike rides (I don’t really go on long unicycle rides but when I do…) i have my headphones in one ear. Then I use the thing that brings the ear piece cords together and push that all the way up so the cord/ear piece isn’t in the way. if that makes sense? I use skull candy headphones which are really nice because they block out sound, but since it’s only one ear, I can hear whats going on in my surroundings too.

You put both buds in one ear :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: That’s pretty impressive.

When I was riding almost every day I listened to books-on-tape (mp3), they aren’t as loud as music so you can still hear the road. Having said that I usually listen to music now unless I know I’m around people or cars. Regular earbuds fall out of my ears so I use an over-the-ear style, works much better for me.


yeah! i have insanely large ears :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: double the sound!


I tried listening to music while I rode one time but didn’t like it. I find it more enjoyable being completely tuned into the environment rather than shutting part of it out.

I’ve ridden a couple times at dusk and early night with limited light and found it to be a very interesting experience. A heightened sense of feeling the surface change under your wheel and reacting to it left me energized yet spent.

Thanks for all the responses so far. I finally get why the “behind the neck” headphones are useful. And my also look into the bluetooth phone setup because I am not a fan of wires while I’m riding.

Where to people put their music device while riding? Where can you reach it to change volume or whatever without stopping?

I also prefer to listen to nature and my surroundings, but if I am doing the same course over and over for training purposes/exercise it may be nice to have some tunes.

I really love riding at night, and know just what you mean. In addition, since I currently live in a downtown area, it’s nice to have the area to myself at say 1 am.

The bluetooth headset I mentioned above has volume, pause/play, skip forward/back controls built into the earpiece. Very easy to use while riding, so you can attach the phone/music device anywhere on your body. I normally attach mine on my hip, but I also have an armband I could use if needed.