OK, folks, since today is April 1st and April 1st is pretty much the start of the cycling season here in Tropical Southern Minnesota, I figure it's the ideal day to ask this question:

What is the best E-reader to use on a touring bike? What will mount well on a drop bar, withstand the vibration, and not jiggle so much that you can't read it?

Oh, and it would be nice if it had some sort of bracket to hold it upright, so you don't have bend your head down to read it.

(I realize that "specific product recommendations" are off-topic on Bicycles SE, but what attributes should I look for? Humor me!!)

Just to be clear

For hysterical reasons it should be noted that this question was first posted on April Fools Day. I'm not enough of an idiot to use such a reader on my bike, no matter what my wife may say. (Using one in my car, however, is a different matter.)

  • 1
    It would have to have one of those clever screens which you can read in strong sunlight. You could ask this guy: youtube.com/watch?v=YupDAC6uwS4 who seems to own one!
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 12:30
  • 2
    It's good that you're focusing on the screen reader aspect, because Tacx solved the mounting some years ago, DCR just did a feature youtube.com/watch?v=2rSiFTxA41M
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 16:35
  • 1
    If anyone without a k after the rep count try to ask like this, it would end up deleted and downvoted to hell. Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 13:15
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is an April Fool's joke and was fun while it lasted. Nobody should ride their bike outdoors whilst distracted by reading a book or other entertainments
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 10:33
  • 1
    I just assumed you wanted to look at a map on an e-reader. Some people use paper maps in handelbar bags.
    – bdsl
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 19:29

5 Answers 5


How's this for ultimate lounging - you could add a projector that projects onto the sail, not only could you read ebooks while you cycle, but also watch the occasional movie! very nice ergonomics, no need to strain your neck.

enter image description here

  • Reminds me of the sail I put on my bike when I was a kid. Don't remember much about it other than it used a broom stick for a mast. And I think I only played with it for a few days. Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 13:18
  • @DanielRHicks it's the miracle of being a kid that a broomstick and fabric can be entertaining for as long as that
    – Swifty
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 13:22
  • I probably did this in March, when the winds were strong in Kentucky. Not enough wind at other times of the year. Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 16:27
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    Just make sure you keep cycling during the movie, so power the projector with the dynamo.
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 12:41

A serious answer - consider an MP3 player and an audio-book instead.

While sound-isolating headphones are bad for awareness, a single (ie mono) speaker can work quite well.

Personally I use two different items depending on the nature of the ride.

  1. A small MP3 player with a build-in speaker that lives inside my helmet buff. Its quiet and invisible and works well.

  2. Sometimes I use some bone-conduction earphones. These are stereo which is not ideal, but I deliberately downmix things to mono. Often audiobooks are mono already. These headphones don't obstruct your ear canals at all so ambient/background sounds are still audible.

Of course if the volume is up enough, its going to block out sounds, which is bad.

  • 1
    +1 This - You should have eyes watch the road ahead, and nowhere else. Maybe except you are the one sitting on the rear saddle of a tandem bike. Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 9:53
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    @rexkogitans check the date on the question :)
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 9:57
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    sure, for the sake of the date and because I like sailing I admit that there is a much better answer by Swifty. Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 10:08
  • There are also headphones intentionally designed to let sound through that you could use. My Jabra 85h has a setting like that.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 15:20

I think it's obvious that you'll need a heads-up display in order to see the road through the text you're reading. Safety first and all that.

So you're going to want to combine this project with a fairing.

The alternative is to hack your reader of choice to use a scanning laser projector, in order to paint the text on the road in front of you.


What is the best E-reader to use on a touring bike? What will mount well on a drop bar, withstand the vibration, and not jiggle so much that you can't read it?

Something like Google Glass (yes, The Glass is back) would be a good solution.

enter image description here

There are several different versions of this type of technology.
Products like:

  • Optinvent ORA
  • Vuzix M100
  • GlassUp
  • ChipSiP Smart Glasses

to name just a few.

Answering the question
- It does not require a mounting bracket
- It can withstand vibration
- It won't jiggle too much to read because it moves with your head

Other positive aspects -
You won't look like these people:
enter image description here
enter image description here

You might look like this:
enter image description here
Garmin's Varia Vision

Or this:
enter image description here
"Smart" Hat To quote the article:

This bike helmet makes Google Glass look sexy

The down side is that:

  • None of them are cheap
  • They all look terrible
  • It would further enable distracted cycling

A quote from well.blogs.nytimes.com

“You’re more likely to do silly things on your bike if you’re using a secondary device,” said Kate Terzano, a lecturer at the Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, who led the study. “And by silly I mean enter an intersection without looking.”

  • 1
    "It would further enable distracted cycling" -- But the whole idea is to distract me from that boring bike ride! Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 20:10
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    @DanielRHicks If bike riding is boring to you anyway, get an indoor bike and practice there while reading. You can even put it on your patio or balcony if you want fresh air while doing it. Or try to find a sport that you actually enjoy. In the meantime, do everyone a favor and dont distract yourself while riding. Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 21:28
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    @Sumyrda-ReinstateMonica - Do you take me for a (April) fool??? Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 21:29

I’d get one of the early kindles, the ones with the free 3g for life it still works and I’ve seen them in pawn shops for as little as $6

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