Why don't pros use wireless "Push to Talk" for their radios?

There must be a good reason, right?

Every time I see pros fumbling while trying to press the talk button on their earpiece cable, through their ultra tight aero jersey, one handed, while dropping their chin to their chest, eyes crossed as they they try to bring back the break, I think:

“Can’t they just pair a push to talk Bluetooth remote on their bars to activate their microphone?”

I understand keeping the mic behind the jersey to cut wind noise etc, but taking a hand off and having to take eyes off the road seems avoidable. I can’t think of any crashes that were caused by this specific issue, it just surprises me they haven’t worked to avoid it with what seems like readily available technology.

Is it a rules thing? Tradition? Fear of being compromised? Limited by the type of devices they commonly use?Interference?


Add weight to your bike to fix a problem that doesn’t exist…



My understanding is that there are limits on what devices / technology they can use. I can’t remember where I saw the articles but they talked about how unreliable the connections are, etc.

I mean seriously…look at the size of the damn things they are carrying in their jerseys. This is not cutting edge stuff.

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  • pro cyclists don’t really choose the hardware
  • teams and riders do not care about their own safety, in contradiction to what they often pretend
  • most are dumb. That is what happened when you are told what to do since the age of 14 without really having the chance to be an adult.
  • teams use what is available on the market and don’t ask the manufacturers for better equipment.
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Lots of reasons but functionally it’s because there really is no need. I rarely if ever see a rider struggling purely because they need to key their mic and I’d wager most of that body language is them trying to hear the goddamn things or get the mics closer to their face (keep in mind we’re talking about a pretty windy environment with lots of radio interference and mountainous terrain in the way, it’s not exactly high fidelity audio). Bicycling specific 2 way radios are only needed for an infinitesimal % of the cycling population, the telecom industry isn’t going to invest a lot of money developing something to be used by a few hundred people who are broke anyways.


Because they have existing radios that function perfectly well?

And because the UCI keep threatening to take race radios away, so nobody wants to be the team who spends big on new radio tech, only for it to be canceled for the rest of the year.

I’m sure if Motorola or T-Mobile still sponsored a team we’d see some movement on this kind of tech. And yes, I’m aware that Movistar are a phone company, but we al know they’re the last team in the World Tour that’s going to adopt fancy new tech.

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Don’t remember Alaphilippe crash at Flanders?

Reaching at his radio just 1.5 second before the impact.

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Terrible example, that crash had nothing to do with Alaphillippe keying his mic (which he does with as much ease as zipping up or down a jersey in this example) and mostly to do with him not looking where he was going likely due to fatigue (if you recall he was all over the place) and maybe a little bad moto positioning.


Can’t tell if this is just trolling or genuine cluelessness.


I remember Lizzie Banks saying, on the Cycling Podcast, that the reception on race radio is terrible and that the riders often have a hard time understanding what’s being said. Maybe a good reason to upgrade these things?


Without radio repeaters stationed throughout the course, you’re not really improving reception or quality.

People seem to forget the environment in which these things are being used. Radio works greats when you have a large building with a utility power connection where you can station repeaters throughout the site and you can power a substantial transceiver… but when you take basic handheld mobile radios and head out on the road where you’re going around bends and through houses and mountain sides you aren’t going to get great reception.


People sometimes cross a wheel due to fatigue. However they don’t go straight into random objects.

He hit that motorbike because he wasn’t looking ahead. He wasn’t looking ahead partially because he reached for his radio microphone in that usual contortionist postition. The issue in this case is not the position of the talk button as the OP mentionned but the position of the microphone. He would have been paying attention he would have plenty of time to follow WvA rear wheel and swerve around that motorbike. If Alaphilippe is good at something, it is definitely at swerving suddenly!


Quality of reception is irrelevant about the fact it could or couldn’t be improved by having remote and better micro positionning.

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He primarily hit that motorcycle because the motorcycle was in the WRONG place, he should’ve NEVER been there on the inside of the turn, there are rules they have to follow.
He should’ve been on the OPPOSITE side of the road in the turn, as they always must be. And then Alaphilippe woudl’ve had no issues and the accident would’ve never happened.
If the motorcycle did his job, Alaphilippe coudl’ve done his swerving around while on the radio without an issue or accident.

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There are many unexpected things riders have to avoid on a regular basis on both side of the roads, unexpected parked cars, fans, bollards…

He crashed into it because he wasn’t paying attention, that’s it. This is the number 1 reason of bicycles crash on the road, being in or outside races, regardless of the level/talent.

And having to reach your shirt with one hand to handle the radio while moving your mouth closer is a distraction that leads to this kind of things. I don’t even understand how you argue, it just shows in the video he is activating it right before realizing the moto is there and just has the time to brace for impact…time he would have had if he had been looking straight. Don’t be blinded by fanboyism when your favorite riders do errors, all do. It is a fact the moto driver (and MvDP too by the way) also share responsability but the moto never ran into Alaphilippe, it was the opposite.

By the way it is not the first nor the last time it happened, in peloton crash riders have mentionned in the past other riders had been surprised while using their radio or reaching for food/bottle.

We might not be able to solve easily the part about food, but if we could design those radios to be more ergonomic and distraction free, by all means we should do it instead of dismissing it as not dangerous while seeing how obviously inconvenient they are.

No. Strong disagree.
MVDP WAS paying attention and he almost crashed as well. He could BARELY get out of the way in time, giving JA NO chance whatsoever, even if JA was paying attention he would not have been able to avoid it or see it coming due to how sudden and close to the motorcycle MVDP had to manoeuvre.
Motorcycle position was THE problem. Period. Case closed.
You cannot change my mind. You do you though, I’m not buying it.
I’m actually disagreeing with everything you’ve written in this thread tbh.

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Genuine cluelessness, it seems.

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I meant WvA, not.MvDP, it was a lapsus.

Can’t tell if that guy is an idiot, a troll, has never raced a bicycle, or has ever watched a bicycle race. My guess is all four.

Hey just a few questions. What’s your experience with implementing existing directional microphones inconspicuously in an environment with excessive wind (40+kmh) in a pack designed to last 6+ hours with personnel who routinely add/remove layers and cannot do so very easily because they’re riding a bike? Seems like its something so simple right? Your experience in PA? Experience in maybe deploying large scale 2 way radio networks? All the riders and teams are dumb and don’t care about safety but you could be the shining knight out to eliminate the scourge of radio button and mic related crashes. So tell me what is your solution? Even if we follow your demented hyperbole a Bluetooth mic key isn’t really solving the non-existent problem as the rider needs lean in to speak into their mic as their jersey acts as a wind cap/muff.