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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!)

Is there any horn out there that is battery powered but 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).

  • 6
    It sounds like you should just find a less stressful route. – Scott Hillson Apr 16 '14 at 21:44
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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. – Scott Hillson Apr 16 '14 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 '14 at 0:52
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    And what do you hope to accomplish with a horn? Revenge? Telling drivers to f-ck off? Yeah, that will improve your commute greatly when the same driver you honked at yesterday comes across you again today. And tomorrow. Etc. Sorry, but worst idea ever. – Carey Gregory Apr 18 '14 at 5:32
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    Ride the route you want. Forget about those ridiculous 6 feet under comments. Not riding the route is basically not riding – ebrohman Sep 28 '17 at 18:43
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Here are a few loud horns:

The hornit:
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

  • 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 '14 at 0:56
  • 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 '14 at 15:40
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    +1 for the Airzound, which I've got on my commuter. Tap it for a quick burst of noise ("Hey car I'm here!"), hold it to really blare... Air reservoir fits in a bottle cage, refills with a standard pump... But, do not use it as a replacement for a friendly chime on bike paths... – Ross Apr 18 '14 at 17:15
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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.

  • 1
    While this doesn't answer the question directly, the advice is very good. – arne Apr 17 '14 at 14:56
  • "Using a loud horn to vent your anger is not a good idea", but yelling at them is? – newenglander Nov 23 '15 at 20:14
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This is Jonathan the founder of Loud Bicycle the creators of the car horns for bikes. This is exactly what you need.

You can buy the original horn over at http://www.loudbicycle.com, or back our new Kickstarter for a mini horn which is about half the weight of the original – and still sounds just like a car and is just as loud.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lansey/loud-mini-bicycle-horn

Glad to answer any questions here too!

  • 1
    Welcome to Bicycles, and thanks for being upfront about your affiliation. – andy256 Nov 11 '15 at 21:42
  • haha sure thing, but if you wanted unbiased opinions check out what our customers say vimeo.com/145526873 – LoudCycler Nov 13 '15 at 15:19
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In addition to the puny bell which is mandatory in the Netherlands, my Velomobiel Quest human-powered vehicle also has an electrical motorcycle horn. It is driven by a radio-controlled car battery pack. It's relatively loud (sadly also for the Quest driver) and keeps road-raging motorists at bay quite well.

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

The downside of having a car horn, instead of another noise-making device, is that nobody will identify a cyclist with the horn sound. I think the AirZound which Cole mentioned is a better approach, because it actually sounds less like a car horn.

2

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/

  • I did get a chance to use one of these, I can tell you the 'loud' ring on it is screamingly loud, enough to probably get some attention from someone in a car supposedly. I can tell you that it scared the crap out of some pedestrians when I hit it by accident. The 'soft' ring has a more gentle tone to alert pedestrians. I opted not to buy it for myself and got a spurcycle bell instead, which is a bit better for my use case, which is mostly giving pedestrians a heads up on shared paths. it's plenty loud, but not as powerful as the Orp's loud scream. – Benzo Sep 28 '17 at 13:13
  • I have several of these Orp horns. The loud sound gets people in car's attention. It also makes a pleasant sound to warn pedestrians. There is a remote switch that fits under your brakes so you never have to move your hands. Finally, the light works well as a warning at night. – Gary E Sep 28 '17 at 17:00

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