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What is the best type of bicycle horn or bell?

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What is the best type of bicycle horn or bell?

Old 06-16-24, 06:04 AM
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What is the best type of bicycle horn or bell?

Hi,

I hope this is the right forum for my question, it's safety related.

I am looking for recommendation for a bicycle horn or bell.

Thanks
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Old 06-16-24, 08:30 AM
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If you plan on riding in traffic I recommend the Delta Cycles AirZound airhorn. I've been using them for almost 30 years. I commute in traffic and it is as loud as a car horn. You pump it up with a bike pump.
I also use a bell for pedestrians. I prefer the old fashioned circular r-r-r-ring, r-r-r-ring bike bell which stretches the length of the ring rather than a simple "ding" bell.

https://designbydelta.com/products/arizound-horn




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Old 06-16-24, 09:10 AM
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I like the horn made by Loud Bicycle. You can hear it honk here.
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Old 06-16-24, 09:58 AM
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Are we talking about something for a MUP or something for a road that can be heard by motor vehicle drivers?

Scaring the folks in front of you on the MUP with a loud horn isn't the best of ways to make you and other cyclist welcome.
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Old 06-16-24, 12:53 PM
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Iride01: I have a bell for pedestrians and yell at motorists that don't see me, such as starting from a stop. Instead of going horse from yelling at the cellphoneitis crowd. I am considering the Airzound or the Loud Bicycle horn. I believe the OP should have a bell and a horn.
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Old 06-16-24, 01:02 PM
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I was really surprised the other day when my wife and I were driving in Austin. Some hipster on a classic Fixy was blowing a whistle as he came up on our right side to make a right turn. To me it was un-intrusive, clear and audible, even with our windows up and the A/C and Radio going. I waved as he passed. Yep... If I was in the city I would probably need a whistle in addition to a bell...
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Old 06-16-24, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
I was really surprised the other day when my wife and I were driving in Austin. Some hipster on a classic Fixy was blowing a whistle as he came up on our right side to make a right turn. To me it was un-intrusive, clear and audible, even with our windows up and the A/C and Radio going. I waved as he passed. Yep... If I was in the city I would probably need a whistle in addition to a bell...
I kind of like that idea. I've been riding with a '70s style bell for forever, and occasionally shouting when the bell was insufficient. A whistle around the neck might be a good 3rd option.
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Old 06-16-24, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by s5fskzfv
Hi,

I hope this is the right forum for my question, it's safety related.

I am looking for recommendation for a bicycle horn or bell.

Thanks
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I used to run Knog OI bells on on my bikes. They're slender, but there's still never enough "real estate" for them, and if a cable or something touches them it deadens the sound. Never loud enough for me either.

Found a tiny, slender, light...yet powerful titanium whistle at REI. It's all I use now. Just put a little electrical tape around the tip so you can grip it continuously in your teeth through high traffic areas. It allows so much better communication to express exactly what the situation is...louder, softer, more urgent...works from farther away. Nothing has ever gotten me the attention like a little tweet on this thing.


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Old 06-16-24, 05:01 PM
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Old 06-16-24, 07:33 PM
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All my bikes sport one of these ...

I actually get complements from pedestrians when I use it ... they appreciate the heads-up. Works well with road traffic too. Loud, clear, and friendly "ring".


... on my Raleigh North Road Bars

Last edited by bharrisonb; 06-17-24 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 06-16-24, 07:35 PM
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zandoval: I purchased a storm whistle. I tried it out in front of my computer and is caused ear pain.
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Old 06-17-24, 05:53 AM
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As long as you are moving, a spoke bell would get attention:
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Old 06-17-24, 07:07 PM
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Spurcycle bell is the best bet bell wise. There are plenty of fakes and clones and tons of other bells but this one is best. Made in the U.S., nice and bright and in tune (unlike many bells) and pretty easy to install and should last a long time. I have had a bunch of them for years and they are excellent.
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Old 06-18-24, 09:36 AM
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I have a Spurcycle bell. It is nice and loud for its size.
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Old 06-21-24, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Are we talking about something for a MUP or something for a road that can be heard by motor vehicle drivers?

Scaring the folks in front of you on the MUP with a loud horn isn't the best of ways to make you and other cyclist welcome.
This was my initial reaction/question too. I'd also suggest that people in cars aren't going to hear a bell or bike horn.
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Old 06-21-24, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by s5fskzfv
Hi,

I hope this is the right forum for my question, it's safety related.

I am looking for recommendation for a bicycle horn or bell.

Thanks
One that sounds like a train horn. Or to put it less delicately, one that will make a sound that can be heard by someone who's head is up their ***.
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Old 07-03-24, 04:11 PM
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Definitely a vote for Spurcycle but it’s also definitely an aggro bell choice. Now a friendly “on your left” on the rail trail, more like “GTFO of the bike lane!” 🤔
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Old 07-03-24, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
I was really surprised the other day when my wife and I were driving in Austin. Some hipster on a classic Fixy was blowing a whistle as he came up on our right side to make a right turn. To me it was un-intrusive, clear and audible, even with our windows up and the A/C and Radio going. I waved as he passed. Yep... If I was in the city I would probably need a whistle in addition to a bell...
Originally Posted by OregonJim
I kind of like that idea. I've been riding with a '70s style bell for forever, and occasionally shouting when the bell was insufficient. A whistle around the neck might be a good 3rd option.
In the US, in my state, it is illegal for a bicyclist to use a whistle (and also a siren).

You probably wouldn't get a ticket/charge for using a whistle, but why do something that is clearly stated as unlawful.

On edit: Just checked, it is illegal for a cyclist to use a whistle in Texas and Oregon too. Use of a whistle is reserved for police officers on bicycles. You don't want to get into trouble for impersonating a police officer, which is a serious crime.

Last edited by Eyes Roll; 07-03-24 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 07-08-24, 07:32 AM
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I've pretty much given up on bells and gone to yelling. The last straw was a couple of nice old ladies. I came up behind them, ringing my bell loudly. When I finally yelled something like, "Excuse me! Passing on your left!" one turned around and said, "Oh, a bicycle! I was wondering what that ringing noise was!"
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Old 07-08-24, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I've pretty much given up on bells and gone to yelling. The last straw was a couple of nice old ladies. I came up behind them, ringing my bell loudly. When I finally yelled something like, "Excuse me! Passing on your left!" one turned around and said, "Oh, a bicycle! I was wondering what that ringing noise was!"
Unfortunately, as many are lasting longer, a greater percentage of people are ending up with hearing aids (which many might not have on, during such outings). And many will have hearing impairment that hasn't yet ended up with aids. As well as those who use the ubiquitous ear buds for listening to music, taking phone calls, etc. No good alternatives to a hugely-loud surprising awakening delivered ... by voice, or bell or horn. I've used them all, depending.

Greatest "weapon" though, IMO, is our caution and circumspection. It's funny how many people react quite civily to a cautious passing of them on a sidewalk or MUP. Probably unsurprising how frequent retaliatory indignation occurs, however. I've yet to find an iron-clad method of avoiding things, but being cautious and maintaining quite-low passing speeds seems to yield the best results.

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Old 07-09-24, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I've pretty much given up on bells and gone to yelling. The last straw was a couple of nice old ladies. I came up behind them, ringing my bell loudly. When I finally yelled something like, "Excuse me! Passing on your left!" one turned around and said, "Oh, a bicycle! I was wondering what that ringing noise was!"
I’ve not given up on using one of the 4 different bells or the “clown horn” I have, but I will resort to yelling if needed. The bell/horn works well 99% of the time and I often get a nice wave back. I will then wave back to everyone who actually shifts position over.

But I will yell at them if they ask for it. I don’t care what they think of me cuz I have a real problem with folks who will set out on a MULTI USE PATH with no awareness of what that means and no situational awareness. Boo hoo. I REALLY let loose, once, on 4 folks waddling along 4 abreast, blocking the whole path. Numerous bell rings with increasing frequency (friendly to panic) yielded no results. I had to swerve out onto the grass as I “bellered”.

Shortly after, a guy passed me with a knowing smile : “that wasn’t very nice.” I smiled back and said “no, it wasn’t was it?”
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Old 07-09-24, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler
I’ve not given up on using one of the 4 different bells or the “clown horn” I have, but I will resort to yelling if needed. The bell/horn works well 99% of the time and I often get a nice wave back. I will then wave back to everyone who actually shifts position over.

But I will yell at them if they ask for it. I don’t care what they think of me cuz I have a real problem with folks who will set out on a MULTI USE PATH with no awareness of what that means and no situational awareness. Boo hoo. I REALLY let loose, once, on 4 folks waddling along 4 abreast, blocking the whole path. Numerous bell rings with increasing frequency (friendly to panic) yielded no results.
In a town where that sort of oblivious self-centered use of a multi-use path exhibits such disregard, that's where excruciatingly-loud horns can really get the job done.

Had a buddy, years ago, who had in his car a trunk-mounted compressed-air tank that drove a fairly loud trio of horns. He'd had it professionally wired-up so his normal horn button worked, but where an added button unleashed the warning blare from the "train" horn. Saved his bacon a few times, making the mindless wandering idiot think he was about to cream himself under the wheels of an 18-wheel big rig truck. Isn't appropriate in most situations, no, but it sure can help avoid what lunacy some people seem all too willing to do (on roads). Has its place, as a safety feature.
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Old 07-09-24, 09:04 AM
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I use a Mirrcycle Incredi-bell on my Domane; with it snugged up tight against the bottom of the right hand grifter, I can easily ring it with my thumb while I’m on the hoods (where my hands spend 90% of my riding time) and it’s still not in the way when I want to ride in the drops. It’s got a nice, loud, clear “ping!” sound that even runners with music blasting in their headphones seem to be able to hear.
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Old 07-09-24, 11:34 PM
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I have a light aluminum bell, made in England. It has nice tone and is perfect for the MUP.

However, with almost 60 years road cycling experience, I've learned that my most effective emergency warning "device" is my voice. Loud, always available, and clearly understood, even by dogs.

When I call out "YO!", even bus drivers get it.
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Old 07-10-24, 02:50 AM
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I have a very nice Knog bell on my bike, it was a waste of money. It’s plenty loud, but as nearly every pedestrian and most cyclists seem to be wearing AirPods or similar, they don’t hear it.
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