Just the essential electronic equipment needed to record the bike tour:
There are two or more of you on the bikes all day, it’s great to be able to communicate while riding.
We use these kits which feature a set of radios, in-helmet speaker and microphone, and push-to-talk button.
The radios use open unencrypted radio frequencies, so expect a little cross-talk especially in urban areas. We also experienced a fair amount of cross-talk shortly before passing police speed checkpoints in the Balkans…
They are quite susceptible to wind noise and are most useful when travelling under 80km/h, in our experience. The push-to-talk tends to work better than the voice activated (VOX) solution and is our preferred option despite the inconvenience of having a cable going from our chest to the handlebar.
These radios are half-duplex, they can only transmit or receive at any one time. The major issue with the voice activated (VOX) option is that they tend to hold the channel open due to background wind noice, which means you do not receive any incoming communication.
Overall they are not good enough to have a conversation while riding but they are very useful for brief communication regarding directions, petrol fill-ups and when to pull-over.