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Using a horn on a bike
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Particularly for those of you who ride/commute a lot in city centres, do you use horn on your bike? If so, have you had good or bad experiences from using it?

I bike commute regularly into a city centre (London). Cars I can deal with most of the time - they do stupid things, but you can generally anticipate the stupidity and they don't tend to make sudden unpredictable movements. Motorbikes, pedestrians and other cyclists however are more of a problem, they're much more likely to suddenly cut into my path without either looking or indicating first. I have to shout on a regular basis to draw attention to my presence, but it's not always easy to make myself heard over the background noise (particularly hard if the person in question is wearing headphones and/or a motorbike helmet, or is sitting on 600cc of rumbling engine). I often think a horn would make it easier to draw attention to myself, but worry that it would piss people off and lead to more confrontations. I do my best to be a good ambassador for cycling and improve relations with other road users when I can. Sometimes easier said than done!
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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On a bike it's called a bell

Yes I do have one on the commuter bike and think it is useful as people know a bike is coming and are able to get out of the way quicker compared to shouting when they mostly turn around first just to stare at you.

No bell on the road bike...
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [jakob1989] [ In reply to ]
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I wasn't thinking of a bell though, I was thinking of a horn. I have a bell on my MTB since I often ride that bike when out with my young kids on paths that are shared use for cyclists/pedestrians/runners/etc and it's handy to be able to politely let people know you're there. It wouldn't be loud enough for the situations I'm in when commuting. I was thinking of something like this: http://www.thehornit.com/
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think that kids one is much louder than a (good) regular bell.

if you want something much louder there are ones with compressed air like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rESDrBuSSnw

But I don't really see the point of them. I use my bell, for example, in cases where multible people are walking side by side blocking the sidewalk. In cases like that I am not going fast. The advantage of a bike bell in my eyes is that the people are familiar with the sound and move out of the way instinctivaly. Here is a good illustation of that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtv2_-2mHck

In all other situations when I am moving faster I don't care about the bell as the reaction times are too slow anyway. If someone is walking into the street wearing headphones I definetly don't want to allert them as that results in sudden stupid reactions most of the time. I am probalby going to pass them 20 cm in front of them and they will be startled but that is hardly my problem.
I can judge distances and speed very well (as long as nobody is doing something sudden and unexpected) after years of riding in cities and try to be aware of my surrounding. That way I have only very few "close calls". If you feel like you need to make all people around you aware that you are coming maybe you should reconsider you riding style.
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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I own this one.

http://www.loudbicycle.com

Funny thing is, I have never even used it. I donated money to the kickstarter mostly because I like the idea of it. Kinda forgot about it. Then it arrived in the mail. Its big but it really is like a car horn.
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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Hey mate... I see your issue.
My riding mate bought one a few weeks ago (compressed air horn) and I have watched him use it a fair bit....
It's obviously much louder than a bell and it works pretty well... People's reactions to it were not really negative, just surprised and some chuckled.
I think as long as it is used in the correct situation then it is fine, as sometimes as you mentioned people can't hear a bell.
There is the temptation though to get carried away and give every single person a bit of horn action which may lead to some confrontation!
Goodluck
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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I've seen people ziptie airhorns to their bike, I'm guessing that may be a cheap alternative. Just remember it won't be too aerodynamic.
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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I own a "Delta Airzound Bike Horn". Nice loud...
I used it a for a bit, but then removed it from the commuter bike.
It was fun to "honk back" at some drivers (those $#%^@ who point out that there is a sidewalk while/after honking...) but otherwise it doesn't seem to be of much use to me.
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [MrSkinny] [ In reply to ]
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I got the Airzound for my son. He loves it and says it does the job. He will ride around our neighborhood path and give walkers/runners with headphones in a quick toot from a distance. It works perfect.

It's nice to be able to top it off with just a bike pump also.


MrSkinny wrote:
I own a "Delta Airzound Bike Horn". Nice loud...
I used it a for a bit, but then removed it from the commuter bike.
It was fun to "honk back" at some drivers (those $#%^@ who point out that there is a sidewalk while/after honking...) but otherwise it doesn't seem to be of much use to me.
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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You're looking for an ORP.

It's a really good option for a front flasher horn combo.

Got mine from Amazon
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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cartsman wrote:
Particularly for those of you who ride/commute a lot in city centres, do you use horn on your bike? If so, have you had good or bad experiences from using it?

I use this horn in both urban environments and on city/suburban bike paths (pic here of it mounted on my commuter bike, see small item clamped to the handlebar). I cannot say enough how much I like it. It does not require batteries, can be recharged anytime from a common pump, is super light, is very simple, and is relatively cheap. Most important, this horn is incredibly loud, it does not matter if someone is wearing headphones or if there is a lot of heavy traffic noise or if the person of interest is sealed in their car with the stereo blaring. They will still hear the horn. I use very brief toots from far away to alert other cyclists, runners, walkers on bike paths. The horn's long distance power gives those bike path users early notice of my passing simply and quietly (since I use the horn briefly and from very away). On the city streets, when needed, I lean on the horn and everyone in range looks and notices me. It has kept me from getting run over more than once.

With any horn, of course, effectiveness of the horn also depends a lot on the discretion of the user. This horn can be very loud or less loud by controlling how hard and long your press on the button. Give it a shot.

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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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cartsman wrote:
Particularly for those of you who ride/commute a lot in city centres, do you use horn on your bike? If so, have you had good or bad experiences from using it?


I bike commute regularly into a city centre (London). Cars I can deal with most of the time - they do stupid things, but you can generally anticipate the stupidity and they don't tend to make sudden unpredictable movements. Motorbikes, pedestrians and other cyclists however are more of a problem, they're much more likely to suddenly cut into my path without either looking or indicating first. I have to shout on a regular basis to draw attention to my presence, but it's not always easy to make myself heard over the background noise (particularly hard if the person in question is wearing headphones and/or a motorbike helmet, or is sitting on 600cc of rumbling engine). I often think a horn would make it easier to draw attention to myself, but worry that it would piss people off and lead to more confrontations. I do my best to be a good ambassador for cycling and improve relations with other road users when I can. Sometimes easier said than done!


How fast do you have to be going for one of these to work?

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Products-LLC-0001-Save-A-Deer/dp/B003XNGLJU


(It is one of those deer whistles that folks put on the front of their cars...the air goes thru it, and, you got it, it lets out a whistle... )

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Re: Using a horn on a bike [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, that sounds like exactly what I was envisaging using it for. Do like the idea of an air-horn that is rechargeable - how big is the air cannister and where do you put it?
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [TheJeff] [ In reply to ]
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TheJeff wrote:
How fast do you have to be going for one of these to work?

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Products-LLC-0001-Save-A-Deer/dp/B003XNGLJU


(It is one of those deer whistles that folks put on the front of their cars...the air goes thru it, and, you got it, it lets out a whistle... )

Even assuming I was going fast enough, wouldn't be an option unfortunately, as the first half of my commute is through nice quiet areas (including a couple of miles going through a park which has deer in, ironically!).
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Re: Using a horn on a bike [cartsman] [ In reply to ]
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cartsman wrote:
Thanks, that sounds like exactly what I was envisaging using it for. Do like the idea of an air-horn that is rechargeable - how big is the air cannister and where do you put it?

For the size of the cannister, see black/clear bottle under downtube in the pic below. The cannister is very light (well of course, it is filled with just air), fits in any bottle cage, or can be zip-tied to the frame at most any location (very simple mounting kit is included). I used the zip ties and velcro to mount it under my downtube.



Advanced Aero TopTube Storage for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon...Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.
DarkSpeedWorks.com....Reviews....Instagram....Facebook

"Why would you want to be the last man alive on a sinking ship?"
.....-- on why Tesla shares its patents with competitors.
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