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Old 09-27-07, 03:23 PM   #1
alicestrong
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Bell or Horn

Any anecdotes about bells vs horns?

I'm thinking of this for the more stubborn or dense auto drivers...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ype=osi_widget
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Old 09-27-07, 04:27 PM   #2
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Get a bell for peds. They are useless for cars. And get this horn: AirZound and use it for drivers when really need to get their attention.
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Old 09-27-07, 04:33 PM   #3
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That electronic horn sounds (pardon the pun) pretty interesting, and it's cheap.

I think it would be more efficient and reliable than the AirZound. And it wouldn't take up a water bottle cage, or require "pumping up".
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Old 09-27-07, 04:59 PM   #4
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I have both - bell for peds, and AirZound for cars. If you have thick drop bars, you might have trouble getting a bell to fit, so I ended up getting a bar-end bell. Also, with the AZ, the bracket doesn't fit all the way around the bars, so it's zip-tied in place.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:44 PM   #5
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Neither have worked for me, yelling works best in Manhattan. Except at Cooper Union, nothing known to man is powerful enough to scatter the marauding hordes of j-walking peds.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:44 PM   #6
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Hey, Alice,

Yes, you need something very loud to penetrate the windows and steel cage of a soundproofed motorcar whose driver has the music pumped up.

On the other hand, a bell works best for peds on a path (but sometimes, you need a loud "HEY!!!" in the street. )

I used to use a simple whistle (illegal in many places,) which penetrated the "cage." I'm sure the Air Zound, New Thunder, or even a standard 12V car horn (which I also once used) will work fine.

The main thing is volume and penetration, just like wattage and brightness works with lights. Make sure you have something for peds and for motorists.

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Old 09-27-07, 05:52 PM   #7
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I have both too. The bottle for the AZ I attached to the tube between the front tire and the handle bars (I don't know what that's called). It's held in place with the zip-ties they supplied. I carry water in my cage.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:07 PM   #8
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Yes I have my little bells and a loud voice... the New Thunder looks better to me than the AZ since it only needs that little 9 volt?? I have straight bars on the main commuter..

Whistle sounds uncomplicated. I'll have to look into the laws here..

Do drivers ever give any of you "attitude" about your horn?
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Old 09-27-07, 07:42 PM   #9
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Yes I have my little bells and a loud voice... the New Thunder looks better to me than the AZ since it only needs that little 9 volt?? I have straight bars on the main commuter..

Whistle sounds uncomplicated. I'll have to look into the laws here..

Do drivers ever give any of you "attitude" about your horn?
It's funny you ask! There's a thread I recently started about whether people (mostly pedestrians) give cyclists grief for using the bell. Some anecdotes on there, plus some wise advice -- not from me but from the wise members of this forum.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:26 PM   #10
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Yes I read that thread...that's why I asked about about the horn as I was about to bid on that eBay one...

I voted on your poll...(No...I don't get much grief at all about the bell but I'm Miss Friendly California on my bike ..)...but I wonder if a loud horn would piss drivers off more...
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Old 09-27-07, 08:35 PM   #11
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I use a

bell- ding ding

and

voice- HEY!
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Old 09-27-07, 08:43 PM   #12
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I have an Airzounds for cars, and a bell for bikers and pedestrians. The Airzounds has saved me from injury at least 3 times, and I'm in Portland. If I ever do get a bike to keep at my aunt's in LA, the first extra I get for it will be an Airzounds. I can't imagine not having one there.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:50 PM   #13
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I love my airzound. If you never ride in bad weather, I'm sure that'll be fine. But if you ride in the rain, I'd be worried about its waterproof-ness.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:40 AM   #14
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I have used all the devices/voices mentioned above. The thunder horn is loud but the sound is a high pitched beep, very different from a car horn. Drivers do hear it but they seem to either ignore or have a delayed reaction to it. I used it for a couple of weeks then put the ugly AZ back on. The AZ, however, a couple of loud blasts and the driver slams on the brake immediately. As the temperature becomes cooler, I found the AZ becomes less and less effective though. I yell "HEY!!" on the top of my lung when the AZ runs out of air. The reaction to "HEY!!" is mixed here in NYC. It works occasionally without any incidents but mostly, drivers will yell back or flip the bird. Well, at least I get their attention. A bell is fine for pedestrians but I found a friendly "excuse me, on your left" works better. I usually slow down to walking speed for pedestrians anyway.
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Old 09-28-07, 10:32 AM   #15
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A good yell, from deep in your belly, can stop a car.

I've stopped cars on several occasions using my voice. When I took tae-kwon-do years ago, we were taught to project loud yells...they help to firm up your diaphragm in case of a counter-strike, and they can disorient an opponent and project quite a bit of power. IMO, it works. And it doesn't require any more junk hanging on the bike.

Note: for peds, I've found a bell works best. It's instantly identifiable as a bike, carries a long ways, and seems both civilized and friendly.
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Old 09-28-07, 01:09 PM   #16
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I have had luck with getting cars to stop by ringing the bell many times. In some intersections, I keep ringing the bell as I'm crossing.

For pedestrians, I usually ring the bell about two times.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I use a

bell- ding ding

and

voice- HEY!

That works well for me as well. I start out soft and work my way up in volume as the situation dictates. Seeing that I have 50 foot whisper, and I used to teach swimming at a pool and know how to project my voice without any effort I can realy let myself be heard. I find that every so often a good loud yell is kind of therapeutic... I am sure Freud if allive would have something to say on that... I don't wait till I am about to get run over either. As I approach an intersection with a car waiting I will ring the bell if they are not looking straight at me. If that doesn't work right away I start with a Hey and then realy yell "Hey" loadly if I think they are ignoring me and therefore at risk of hitting me.

Happy riding,
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Old 09-28-07, 11:19 PM   #18
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I love my airzound. If you never ride in bad weather, I'm sure that'll be fine. But if you ride in the rain, I'd be worried about its waterproof-ness.
Trust me, don't be worried. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Rain is no problem at all.
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Old 09-29-07, 12:45 AM   #19
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I love my airzound. If you never ride in bad weather, I'm sure that'll be fine. But if you ride in the rain, I'd be worried about its waterproof-ness.
I've had problems with mine getting clogged with snow.
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Old 09-29-07, 06:43 AM   #20
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Get a bell for peds. They are useless for cars. And get this horn: AirZound and use it for drivers when really need to get their attention.
Unless the ped has an iPod - sometimes I see people that are oblivious, and it isn't until I get up next to them that I realize that they are listening to tunes.

For some of them, even a horn wouldn't be enough. Perhaps a taser would work better.
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