I've never used a communicator and i'm curious of the pros and cons. I don't have a lot of desire to chat with anyone while riding but obviously there are times when it would be beneficial, especially for people following in the pack. Any thought?
Travelling with a group that likes to break apart and play in the snow along the way, the communicators come in handy. Otherwise you are bound to be turning around and looking for someone that may have just stopped to take a leak.
On that note: Polaris came out with something that I think all manufacturers should standardize on, the GPS that has Group Ride that tracks your group for you. You can watch blips on a screen to see if they are still moving, for example. No cell or wifi needed.
Thanks for info, that's an awesome feature for GPS. How is the sound quality on the more expensive models? I'm thinking i'm going to hear a lot of garble and muffled kind of sounds when communication is taking place while physically riding.
I don't see many helmet communicators out west, but there have been a lot of folks that have bought into the BCA radios. I have a BCA Link II, the mic straps near your neck so you can (sometimes) hear others calling. It's great for the mountains, where everyone in a group can be scattered like a covey of quail 10 minutes after you hit the hill. Battery life has been pretty good, too. I've never ran out of electrons before I have finished the ride. Most of the time, batteries last for multiple days.
But for trails, they may not be the best, as a helmet communicator may have voice activated transmission, which would allow you to talk and listen with your hands on the bars. That would be a good feature for folks that are on the trails.
I tried one of the big names in helmet communicators, and was not at all impressed. Lots of static, hard to hear, not reliable... Then moved on to BCA 2's and have used them lately. I think we aren't going to suit up with them this year, but will keep them on standby in the storage compartment. And just turn them on if we get separated and need to.