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Stereo Bicycles Pump Up the Volume on the Streets of Palermo

When it comes to bicycles, tuning options are rather limited, especially in the audio department, but a community of teenagers in Palermo, Sicily, has found a way to adapt car stereo systems complete with speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers and even car batteries on their cycles, allowing them to pump out up to 1250W of sound as they cruise the city streets.

Bike tuning has become a trend among music-loving teenage cyclists of Palermo, on the island of Sicily. They spend anywhere between a couple of hundred euros to over 1,200 euros to have their bikes converted into powerful sound systems on wheels.

Photo: Bici Tuning Palermo/Facebook

The typical setup of a tricked out stereo cycle in Palermo consists of a head unit on the handlebar, speakers and tweeters in the middle section of the bike, between the seat post and the handlebar, and amplifiers, subwoofers and car batteries in the back.

Photo: Bici Tuning Palermo/Facebook

Most of the kids do all the work themselves, from buying the necessary gear and making the fiberglass casings for the speakers, to the actual electrical wiring. They have their own forums and Facebook groups where they exchange tips and advice, and gather around Palermo almost every day to show off their tricked out bikes and compete in sound battles.

Photo: Bici Tuning Palermo/Facebook

“Implanted bicycles” have been around in Palermo for over half a decade, but they have only recently become a nuisance for the locals, as the number of bike tuning enthusiasts increased. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a group of tuned bike riders cruising around the city with the volume on their stereo systems turned all the way up.

Photo: Bici Tuning Palermo/Facebook

According to a report by The Guardian, some of these tricked out cycles can put out over 1250W of sound power, enough to shake the windows of buildings and cars they pass. The police are often called to disperse gatherings of bike tuners, as the sound they produce is considered by many unbearable.

Photo: Bici Tuning Palermo/Facebook

The vast majority of bike tuning enthusiasts are underage, so the police can only do so much to stop them. They threaten to confiscate the kids audio equipment, which they hardly ever do, and ask them to disperse. After arguing with law enforcement officers, the teens ride off, only to meet up in a different part of town minutes later. It’s a dance that both tuners and the police have grown accustomed to.

 

Italian newspaper La Republica recently met up with a group of young bicycle tuners in Palermo, and asked them why they spend hundreds or thousands of euros on this hobby. Most answered that it was because of their passion for music, and because it makes them feel free. One made a very good point though – putting time and money into tuning his musical bicycle meant he didn’t spend money on cigarettes and drugs and didn’t get involved in criminal activities.

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