Making the ride more enjoyable – communicating with your partner: SENA PI Review


Are you in the 60+ age group and love cycling with a partner? The Sena Pi is a fantastic device that turns any helmet into a smart helmet, offering you and your riding partner seamless communication and connectivity. In this friendly review, we’ll explore the features of the Sena Pi, focusing on the benefits it brings to cyclists and their companions.

My wife and I have been using ours for about a week now and have found it very useful – we both can listen to our preferred music or books while riding and still talk to each other talk and hear the traffic.

A quick review and install guide – their documents were not entirely clear, particularly on the firmware step – so hopefully, this makes it easier for you.

showing two helmets with Sena Pi attached and how the intercom works

Sena Pi Features for the 60+ Age Group

The Sena Pi is a small and lightweight gadget that attaches to your helmet straps, instantly adding several smart features:

  1. Bluetooth Functionality: Sync your smartphone to the Sena Pi to get GPS navigation instructions, listen to your favorite tunes, or chat with friends and family while cycling.
  2. 2-Way HD Intercom System: Stay connected with your partner through the built-in intercom system without needing cell phones or data connections. The Advanced Noise Control™ technology ensures clear communication, perfect for discussing beautiful scenery or coordinating your route.
  3. Universal Compatibility: The Sena Pi is designed to fit any helmet with an 18mm (0.7in) wide strap, making it suitable for your favorite helmet, regardless of its brand or model.

Setting up the Sena Pi

Installing and configuring the Sena Pi is a breeze, even if you’re not tech-savvy.  Do this before you are going out on a ride – it is much simpler if you setup without the time pressure of having to be somewhere.

  1. Download Sena Cycle app to your phone – Android and iPhone
  2. [Optional] I purchased my Senas from Amazon and had to update the firmware. Update firmware – the Sena Cycle app may alert you; if so, follow these instructions. You will need to do this on your computer.
  3. Slide the device onto your helmet’s straps – note the L, R designation attach to the proper straps on the helmet, ensuring they fit securely into the earpiece channels.
  4. Tuck the single cord under the padding for a comfortable fit.
  5. Press the two buttons on the left earpiece to turn on the Sena Pi, which will automatically enter phone pairing mode.
  6. Pair your smartphone with the Sena Pi using the user-friendly Sena Utility app, which provides access to the complete user guide.

At the start of each ride, simply hold the “-” button down on both headsets until you hear “intercom pairing” and you will be good to go.

Performance and Specifications

The Sena Pi performs admirably for mature cyclists and their partners, offering a range of 1/4 mile and up to 6 hours of talk time. The device charges fully in just 2.5 hours using a USB Type-C cable. At an affordable price of $99, the Sena Pi is an excellent option for those looking to enhance their cycling experience without breaking the bank.

Comparing Sena Pi with Sena R1 and M1 Helmets

While the Sena Pi is an excellent choice for upgrading your helmet, you might also consider the Sena R1 and M1 smart helmets, which come with some additional features:

  • Range and Talk Time: The R1 and M1 helmets offer double the talk time and range compared to the Sena Pi.
  • Intercom Access: The R1 and M1 helmets support 4-way intercom access, while the Sena Pi is limited to 2-way communication.
  • Voice Command: The R1 and M1 helmets have “Hey Sena” voice command functionality, which the Sena Pi lacks.

Remember that the R1 and M1 helmets cost slightly more than the Sena Pi, priced at $129 and $139, respectively. If you’re interested in a smart helmet with even more connectivity options, the Sena R1 Evo and M1 Evo helmets are available for $159. These Evo models use Sena’s Mesh 2.0 Intercom™ system, supporting virtually unlimited intercom users.

Final Thoughts

The Sena Pi is a fantastic solution for cyclists and their partners, providing an affordable and easy-to-use device that enhances communication and connectivity. It’s an excellent option for those who prefer using their existing helmets without sacrificing smart features.   This was a beneficial upgrade to our riding experience.  If your helmet is more than five years old, consider purchasing a new helmet with MIPS technology for added safety.

However, if you’re looking for more advanced features and are willing to invest more, consider the Sena R1 or M1 smart helmets, which offer additional functionality and improved performance.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences and priorities. Sena’s range of communication devices caters to the needs of every cyclist, whether it’s the versatile Sena Pi or one of their feature-rich smart helmets. Whichever option you choose, you and your partner will enjoy a more connected and enjoyable cycling experience.


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