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seagullplayer 09-29-08 08:27 AM

What do people use to make yourself heard? Horn or bell or?

rbiked 09-29-08 09:28 AM

just a regular bell... been considering an air-horn off of a semi-truck or train, i ride fast and those rollerbladers who take up the entire bike trail never hear me.

Garfield Cat 09-29-08 09:41 AM

The little bell isn't loud enough. The air horns are really loud, maybe too loud. some people on multi use paths have their ears plugged with IPOD type earphones and can't hear much anyways.

I use the Acme Metropolitan Bobby's whistle. A regular coach's whistle is loud but a bit harsh. The Bobby's whistle sounds more like a train whistle or if you lived in Los Angeles, it sounds like the old Helms Bakery truck whistle.

I wear it around the neck strap. Only problem is that to use it I have to take my hand off the bars to get the whistle in my mouth. That slight couple of seconds has its disadvantages. The other disadvantage is its weight. Its stainless steel and there are times when a path or a roadway requires me to be on the alert for cars darting in and out of their parking spaces, etc. So I hold the whistle between the teeth and overtime it gets the jaws tired.

Try this site:

HandsomeRyan 09-29-08 09:50 AM

I categorize my bells by the sound they make-

My greenway bike has a "ring-a-ling-a-ling" style bell on the handlebars.

My MTB has a single single "ding" bell

My fixie has no bell since greenway hooligans just blow past people and never signal their approach.

StephenH 09-29-08 10:37 AM


One of my bikes has a Walmart horn attached, which I use to honk at barky dogs.

Indie 09-29-08 10:53 AM

Bell. When I'm coming up close on another bike, I ring it and it's distinctive. I find that when other people use a bell, I can pinpoint their location and hear them sooner than if they said "On your left". It stands out among traffic and people noises the way a voice call does not.

As far as cars are concerned, unless I was using a car-quality horn, I wouldn't expect them to hear it with their windows closed.

Doug5150 09-29-08 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by seagullplayer (Post 7566963)
What do people use to make yourself heard? Horn or bell or?

I have a bell but it's mostly for horses. I don't ride anywhere there's lots of pedestrians but do occasionally see horseback riders, and a bicycle bell is universally recognized as the civil warning to give.

The AirZound is "the" horn to get, if you want to be heard by car drivers, or scare the urine out of MUP loafers.

SamDaBikinMan 09-29-08 12:03 PM

.45 ACP, gets anyones attention. Gotta get the concealed carry permit first.....

kjmillig 09-29-08 05:38 PM

I have a high tone electric car horn mounted below my homemade halogen light. They're both powered by a 12v 7amh battery carried in my trunk box. The battery is a bit overkill, but the light and horn last forever. The horn is just plain LOUD, and scares the doo-doo out of my kids when I honk it in the garage. It also scared the daylights out a pedestrian who decided it was OK to step out in front of me a while back. No one expects that much sound from a bicycle.:D

Chris L 09-30-08 02:45 AM

I don't ride on shared paths, so I have little use for a horn or similar device. On the rare occasion that I do need something, I find the human voice to be by far the most effective warning device. It's a sound that the human ear is designed to pick up (unlike the noises bells make), and I can project it in whatever way I see fit. Most of the time I probably wouldn't bother anyway. I'm that used to dealing with idiots now that I find it easier to just let them do whatever they're going to do, and concentrate on taking evasive action where it's necessary.

Juha 09-30-08 02:52 AM

Bell (single "ding" type) here. From the mixed pedestrian reactions I consider it a good middle ground between barely audible and cardiac-arrest-inducing loud. Fortunately I don't need a device that would be heard inside a closed car. Loud whistle or an air horn would probably be my options there.


Yan 09-30-08 06:11 PM


Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan (Post 7568654)
.45 ACP, gets anyones attention. Gotta get the concealed carry permit first.....

There's some bad logic in there somewhere.

Retro Grouch 09-30-08 07:46 PM

The bikes that I use most often on the Katy trail have minerature "ting" bells. They are about 50% effective. I think that anything that will to impact the other 50% is going to be louder and more obnoxious than I want to get.

powerhouse 09-30-08 10:16 PM

I use several modes to be heard by others. When riding on a bike path or MUP, I usually use my voice to alert other bicyclists and pedestrians alike with, "On your left." and so on. I am, however much more careful when alerting and passing horseback riders without spooking them. When riding on streets, I've strapped a marine or air horn to the handlebars of my bicycle. This device has been so helpful while in traffic that even truckers have slowed down or stopped for me. I also pin an ordinary whistle to my jersy zipper that is useful for alerting people without deafening them or as a backup device if the air horn goes dead. Like the air horn, it discourages dogs form attacking or chasing me.

Freakonwheels 09-30-08 11:34 PM

I have nothing! I have to use my voice or politely wait, which really sucks when I'm doing Time Trials cause I have to count up the seconds I wait so I can take them off my time and I don't get a smooth ride with reliable results.

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