The "aha" moment: During a 500-mile ride across Iowa in 2001, Del Rusher noticed many fellow cyclists were going to great lengths to play music out loud. Some had radios strapped haphazardly to their bikes, and one rider was towing a sound system on a cart. Rusher saw a need for a bike-friendly stereo.

R&D: Rusher, then a publishing executive, bought aluminum housing from a Chinese manufacturer he met at the Consumer Electronics Show and tested several speakers until he found a pair that produced crisp sound on the road. Next, he worked with a Boulder, Colorado, company to create a water-resistant bag that attaches under a bike seat and has a pocket for an MP3 player. A design intern suggested the name CycleSound for the 24-ounce music system.

Hitting the market: Since 2007, Rusher has sold 3,500 CycleSounds for $160 each online and in specialty bike shops. Last year, he left his day job to focus on his Henderson, Nevada, company.

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