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I am going to start commuting on my bike, but I often use busy roads that are not cycle friendly and cyclists are not often noticed. I need a horn to be noticed (and to vent my anger without losing my voice!! - I'm joking here. One of the only highway code rules I remember is "DO NOT sound your horn aggressively". If only car drivers knew that one!)

Are there any horns out there that are battery powered that does not sound like an alarm system, or has more than one sound. I just want to press it and have a sound like a car horn.

Are there any cheap ones out there that do this (I do not mind buying from China and stuff either).

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I can't think of any good tags to put this under. Feel free to correct me on my terrible tagging! –  George Apr 16 at 21:21
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It sounds like you should just find a less stressful route. –  hillsons Apr 16 at 21:44
    
A better route sounds like a good idea. There are also other questions on here on cycling etiquette you can look at (such as how to occupy lanes safely and what not). –  Batman Apr 16 at 22:01
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'cyclists are not often noticed' Sometimes miles out of the way is a fine alternative to being 6 feet under ground. –  hillsons Apr 16 at 22:58
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A horn is useful for telling somebody they did something wrong. By then it's too late. Primary safety approaches will keep you alive where a horn won't. Ride in a safer location. Wear easy to see bright clothes. Use lights. Occupy your lane when necessary. Keep up a good pace. Ride predictably. –  andy256 Apr 17 at 0:52

4 Answers 4

Here are a few loud horns:

The hornit: http://usa.thehornit.com/ A shop I used to work at sold these and they are extremely loud - around 140 decibels, but they sound like a loud beep rather than a horn. It takes 2 AAA batteries. Costs $45 US. The nice thing about this one is the button to press is remote, so you can have the horn on your fork or wherever.

Airzound: http://deltacycle.com/airzound-horn This one is slightly less loud (115 db), but it has more of a honk to it and requires no batteries - it takes air pressure through your standard bike pump, so there's virtually no cost beyond the initial investment. this one is slightly bulkier as you have the horn itself, the air cannister, which looks like a water bottle, and the tube that connects them. A friend of mine has one and he says it's pretty effective.

There's also this kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lansey/loud-bicycle-car-horns-for-cyclists I've never seen this one in person, but the kickstarter can explain it for you. It has 112 db sound and sound the most like a car horn. it's $95 US though.

GaryE also showed this one:

I use a bike horm from another Kickstarter project. It has a friendly sound and a very loud beep: ORP Smart Horn – Gary E

The loudness is 98 db, but this one also has a light included

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I was chatting to a guy with the hornit. He loves it and it was the loudest bike horn I've heard. –  Mac Apr 17 at 0:56
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I use a bike horm from another Kickstarter project. It has a friendly sound and a very loud beep: kickstarter.com/projects/2008278958/… –  Gary E Apr 17 at 1:11
    
Downvoter care to comment? –  birthofearth Apr 18 at 7:20
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I like the kickstarter one From @GaryE but it's been in development for over a year. Shame we're going to have to wait a bit longer... –  George Apr 18 at 10:49
    
The Kickstrarter horn I mentioned also accepts a remote switch. I built my own rather than wait for the Orp people to get around to it. I have a switch located next to my brakes that's easy to hit and give only the friendly sound. –  Gary E Apr 18 at 15:40

Using a loud horn to vent your anger is not a good idea.

Scared/confused drivers behave even worse than normal drivers, and a loud noise coming from a bike can confuse them. They look around for the car/truck that is blasting them, they won't be looking for a cyclist as they don't expect a horn noise to come from one. They may then waver from their line possibly putting you at greater risk.

A safer option is to cycle defensively so they do see you and always keep aware of escape routes if cars do invade your space.

If you do require an aural warning then yelling is very effective. Drivers do hear you and then are expecting a cyclist or pedestrian and behave appropriately.

Of course if you are yelling so much you damage your voice then I would suggest a course of yoga and meditation to calm yourself down... or possibly plan to use a different route.

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While this doesn't answer the question directly, the advice is very good. –  arne Apr 17 at 14:56

My Velomobiel Quest has (in addition to some puny bicycle bell, which is mandatory in the Netherlands) an electrical motorcycle horn. It is driven by an R/C model car battery pack. It's relatively loud (sadly also inside the Quest) and keeps road-raging motorists at bay quite well.

It might even be possible to get a 6V variant of the horns such that you can use a smaller battery pack or even two mobile phone batteries taped together, if you want to tinker with this stuff.

The downside of having a car horn instead of a bell or other sound-making device is obviously that nobody will identify an upright cyclist with the horn sound. I think the AirZound @Cole mentioned is a better approach because it actually sound less like a car horn.

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Check out the Orp Smart Horn. It's a bike light and a high powered bike-horn. It should be loud enough to get noticed by cars, not just a dinky bell sound. It also doubles as a visibility light and is USB rechargeable. I don't have personal experience with this, but I was looking at ordering one for myself.

http://www.orpland.com/

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Not quite available yet as this was a kickstarter venture, but it was funded and should be available to non-sponsers soon. –  Benzo Apr 17 at 12:58

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