Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cardo Scala Rider Teamset Review

June 10, 2010 by · 19 Comments 

 Cardo Scala Rider Teamset
By Mark Gracey

I used to own a much loved and well worn-in 50cc Vespa.  With such a small bike with a small seat to share, my partner Rowena and I could carry on a perfectly decent conversation without the aid of microphones at top speed (which on the Vespa is 30mph).  That all changed late one night when someone decided that instead of buying fireworks for Guy Fawkes night, they would use my scooter.  It was set alight and burnt to the ground along with a local tree and a friend’s new Volvo. 

  

I decided to buy a Yamaha T-Max with a lock up fuel tank.  This bike is a lot more comfortable but it is impossible to chat on because it is too noisy and the back seat is armchair-like and set way back from the driver.  When I did my motorcycle test, the instructor spoke to me over a radio.  This worked well, but was pretty clumsy.  I had to carry a walky-talky in my pocket and the instructor had to shove a microphone stick between his helmet and his ear. 

Other radio systems are also available from Starcom which require components to be fixed to the bike.  A wired system from intraride is also available but you have to attach yourself to a plug on the bike, which seemed like it could be dangerous.  There are also a couple of in-helmet Bluetooth systems from BMW and the Carberg Justissimo system.  I did not want to be tied to a particular brand of helmet (I had already bought my helmet) so I settled on the Cardo Teamset.  I ordered the product from Amazon

The Cardo Teamset arrived promptly from the UK distributor (AG Distribution).  The system is simple to set up, and the instructions clear.  They supply an Allen key to fix the unit to the helmet which is easily removed if required and does not damage the helmet.

 

The units work very well and I would agree with the general consensus that I read in reviews of the product that you can speak and hear comfortably up to 40-50mph, reasonably up to 50-60mph, and beyond that, you can make yourself heard (stop, left, right, bus) but cannot hold a conversation.  We use the headsets every time we are on the bike together even for short rides in London as they are very simple to attach and use.  We sometimes get mixed up as to whether the microphone is in voice activated or always-on mode, but the passenger can control this so it is simple to sort out by pressing the mode button.  The Teamset is incredibly useful when we are touring and working out directions in a new city.  We have travelled from London to Devon a few times and Rowena has had Google maps out directing me.  It is a very easy and stress-free way to navigate.

The battery life is great.  We’ve had the Teamset for about a year and I think we must still get 9-10hrs of talk time out of it.  I charge them up once every couple of weeks.  We’ve made a few phone calls using the Teamset as a Bluetooth headset.  I wouldn’t say this is the best way to carry on a conference call, but it does work. It is simple to pair up your telephone but be careful with how you leave the phone because I have accidentally called someone while I was riding.

I have two minor gripes about the way this system fixes to the helmet.   It is simple to attach the unit to the helmet but difficult to tighten so that it does not move (and this may only be a problem with the AGV helmet I have).  In my first attempt, I kept tightening and eventually broke the fixing.  The distributor and Cardo were incredibly helpful about this and sent me a replacement in a few days.  Today, I have the units semi-tight and I make sure that I check them and push them back on from time-to-time.  It is not a big hassle, but could be better.  The second problem is that the two ear pieces can be uncomfortable on a long ride and push into your ear.  My helmet is very snug so with a looser helmet may not be a problem.  I solved this by only using one of the ear pieces and turning up the volume.  It works fine and is comfortable.

Shortly before I sat my motorcycle license test, the instructor told me about one of his student who, when asked by the instructor how you would ride with a pillion passenger replied “It’s probably going to be my wife and I would tell her to be quiet”.  The examiner smirked and replied, “Are you sure there is nothing else?” “You haven’t met my wife, mate.  I’m not taking her on the bike unless she shuts up”.  I am sure he is not a Cardo Teamset owner.  But for those who love chatting to their passengers (and for the right passengers) I thoroughly recommend the Cardo Teamset.  After a year of constant use, I would find the Cardo Teamset hard to live without.

Mark Gracey is an investor at UK Venture Capital firm, SEP.  The views expressed in this article are his and not that of SEP.  Neither Mark nor SEP has any investment or financial interest in Cardo Systems.  Copyright reserved 2010.

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