I spy with my little eye a new trend developing..
LOUD bike horns!
It seems the humble bicycle bell is no longer enough for people. We need something louder.
The Orp bike horn – 96db
As I type these very words you are currently reading, 422 people have backed the Orp bike horn Kickstarter project.
The Orp has two modes. Loud and very loud. The quiet one would be great for when you are riding down Regents Canal and you want to alert pedestrians. The other one is for when a car starts to head in to your path.
There’s an impressive set of features for the Orp. It’s small, waterproof, it’s a bike light and it is USB chargeable.
For early backers, the Orp costs around £27. Which seems reasonable to me.
However, it remains to be seen whether the project will receive enough backers to be funded.
Car horn for your bike
Sticking to the Kickstarter theme, a project that is set to meet its funding goals is the Loud Bicycle. This is a fair bit more expensive at around £50 for early funders. However, it does have one rather logical feature. It sounds like a car horn.
Drivers are obviously used to hearing the sound of a car horn and therefore more likely to respond.
Indeed this project makes me ask the question:
Why hasn’t somebody already invented this?
That’s the hallmark of a great idea. The only downside that I see so far to the Loud Bicycle is the sheer size of it. The Orp is something that I’d be happy to attach to my handlebars. I don’t think the Loud Bicycle would fit on my bike.
Airzound bike horn – 115db
It’s not all about Kickstarter of course and there are already some excellent options out there. One of them is the Airzound which claims to be the world’s loudest bike horn. At 115db it certainly comes close.
Fortunately, all that ear deafening loudness isn’t that expensive. The Airzound currently costs just £16.68.
Of course you don’t always have to pump out 115db worth of sound. The levels can be adjusted on the handlebar mount.
The Airzound bike horn is rechargeable. You simply use your bike pump to fill up the reservoir that sits in your bottle cage.
Hornit loud bike horn
The Hornit is even louder than the Airzound. When in full blast mode it can pump out 140 decibels of sound. That’s pretty extreme but could certainly be useful in a tricky situation.
Unlike the Airzound, everything is contained inside a small unit that fits on your handlebars. Thanks to a trigger that can be fitted close to your hands, you can sound the horn without taking your hands off the bars or brakes.
I’ve been sent a Hornit to test by the manufacturer so I’ll get back to you with my thoughts on it soon.
Do you need a loud bike horn?
I personally can’t see myself using a bike horn any time soon. For my safety on the road, I rely on good road positioning and good awareness of the drivers around me. Having said that, I can certain think of scenarios where a bike horn would be useful. When a car is pulling in to your path to soon or when a car starts to pull out of a side road. Then it would be good to give them a loud blast to get their full attention.
I’d be interested to hear what London Cyclist readers think. Would you use one? Leave a comment below.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.