The Raleigh Chopper debuted in the ’70s and became a cultural icon. A later attempt to revive the wheelie bike back in 2004 never really amounted to level of popularity as its predecessor. However, perhaps that’s because they didn’t consult with Sam Battle who has successfully transformed the set of wheels into a mobile music maker — equipped with a drum machine, sampler and analog synth.
The tempo can be controlled via its built-in clock or set to the bike’s front wheel so that you can dictate the speed of the beats with your pedalling — so the faster you pedal, the faster the tunes.
In terms of hardware, the aptly named Synth Bike 2.0 is equipped with eight Arduino Nano boards, a SparkFun WAV Trigger, some analog synth circuitry, a sampler, a digital oscillator, a Music From Outer Space Echo module, and a speaker in the back.
A control board mounted to the handlebars is packed with switches, dials, pads, and knobs (though probably a bit challenging to play as you ride), while additional pads can be found on the Chopper’s top tube. All of the sequencing is digital, but there’s an analog filter/VCA signal path.
Pretty rad, right? You can read more about the project on New Atlas, and see it in action below. Trust us, you’ll want to check out.