Bike Horns

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Are bike horns a good idea?

Poll ended at Thu Oct 22, 2009 16:14 pm

Yes
21
66%
No
11
34%
 
Total votes: 32

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Shoulder of Lamb
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Bike Horns

Postby Shoulder of Lamb » Tue Oct 20, 2009 16:14 pm

My mate has recently bought a new bike. Originally he wanted to get the Canondale bad boy but after lengthy discussions about hybrids, cx bikes and road bikes I managed to convince him to get a Focus Cayo off wiggle (and bagged a decent voucher in the process).

Since then he has bought a load of bike gear, lycra, spds, lights etc etc. Each time he has asked for and followed my advice. Until he went off all on his own and got a really really loud bike horn:

http://bit.ly/bikehorn

We have been chatting on IM about it all day (off and on). Initially I thought he was basically going to become a pest by startling peds. But, he has made some pretty convincing arguments. He is an experienced motorcylist and his view is that he thinks cyclists are crazy not to be able to alert other road users of their presence.

In view of all the SMIDSY incidents maybe he has a point?

My view is that misuse of the horn is one of the most committed but least punished traffic offences on the roads. Not really sure I want to add cyclists to the cacophony of noise on our streets. For the record, I don't even have a bell on my bike.

(poll to run for 2 days).

downfader
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Postby downfader » Tue Oct 20, 2009 16:30 pm

I think they can work well if used right. A bell is useless in traffic, but everyone knows if a horn is sounded that someone has generally dont something wrong.

BentMikey
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Postby BentMikey » Tue Oct 20, 2009 17:13 pm

Here's a good example of AirZound use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRnAqemC0cY

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nwallace
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Postby nwallace » Tue Oct 20, 2009 21:18 pm

BentMikey wrote:Here's a good example of AirZound use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRnAqemC0cY


Would have used Lights/Horn plus Brake if driving a car so yes.

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pst88
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Postby pst88 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 06:45 am

The above video does show good use of a horn. When I had an Airzound on my bike I found I was faced with situations where I could either reach for the brakes and avoid a nasty incident or reach for the horn and hope they get out of my way. Usually i'd go for the brakes and only think of the horn afterwards by which point it wasn't really necessary. For that reason I took it off (plus it looks ugly).
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Always Tyred
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Postby Always Tyred » Wed Oct 21, 2009 07:05 am

BentMikey wrote:Here's a good example of AirZound use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRnAqemC0cY


He's back!

Welcome.

nyanza
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Postby nyanza » Wed Oct 21, 2009 09:08 am

I use an AirZound daily in Central London and I now feel very vulnerable if I set off without it, or run out of air.

I got it for one junction on my commute, heading left up York Way from Euston Road by KX, where peds/lemmings cross constantly whatever the colour of the lights. The problem is that peds leap out, I have to stop suddenly, and the traffic I've outrun at the previous set of lights piles into the back of me as it's on a corner. That's not just inconvenience - it's life threatening.

A few blasts of the Airzound before I hit the junction works wonders, and doesn't startle anyone. As in the video, that's how these things should be used - at a distance from a hazard to pre-empt inevitable stupidity. You could add cars who are in danger of running you in the gutter to that list of scenarios. They simply wouldn't hear a bell.

Otherwise, use a bell to politely let peds know you are approaching, not a horn from 3 feet away.

Rich_E
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Postby Rich_E » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:44 am

I used an AirZound for a couple of months on my road bike when commuting, eventually took it off for similar reasons.

- Firstly it doesn't fit my Road Bike bars using the supplied bracket. I had to use two zip ties. The air bottle then went into one of my cages, and I had to use some cable ties to secure the air tube to the frame, so it wasn't flapping about. So it basically lost all it's ability to be a 'quick release' item, which I found very annoying. I almost sent it back when I bought it, but decided to try it.

- I also found that at the times I needed to use it, my first instinctive reaction was always to go for the brakes first, then use it afterwards. Most of the time due to somebody nearly knocking me off. I sort of realized that it's a token gesture hitting the horn after they are gone. It's better to just catch them up at some lights or something and then give them a piece of your mind.

- It certainly gets attention, and in that aspect works. I once crossed Oxford Street on a busy afternoon and hit the horn as I was coming at speed to cross it as there were so many people ambling across. Literally everyone froze or ran to the kerb. I heard people in fright a little from the sudden shock of a bike, and even comments such as "Get a bell!" "That's not necessary" etc..

It's a bit of a double edge sword really. I find it annoying on my bike, but it's got its ocassional good uses. But I haven't put it back on since I removed it a few months ago.

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leoccp
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Postby leoccp » Wed Oct 21, 2009 14:37 pm

Whatever floats your boat. I'm not a fan however, a loud "Oi Oi!" seems less confrontational than a bell or horn (though I'll admit probably won't carry through a closed window). Followed by "I thangyou" if they do something sensible.

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TommyEss
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Postby TommyEss » Wed Oct 21, 2009 14:52 pm

I always prefer a "Heads up" when approaching ped crossings etc. Got a lot of chuntering outside the station the other day, but they'd just been given the flashing green man which means "Finish crossing but do not start to cross"
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BentMikey
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Postby BentMikey » Wed Oct 21, 2009 15:30 pm

I think AirZounds have far more effect on drivers than a shout, and are probably not suitable for use on pedestrians. My brake lever is usually the better choice where peds are concerned.

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antfly
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Postby antfly » Wed Oct 21, 2009 15:49 pm

Is that e-bay horn really loud?
I got one of these and it is really, really loud http://www.parker-international.co.uk/6 ... -Horn.html
I also got one of these and it`s completely pathetic http://www.parker-international.co.uk/5 ... -Horn.html
I just shout these days, if I have to.
Smarter than the average bear.

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cee
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Postby cee » Wed Oct 21, 2009 15:54 pm

i have only seen airzounds used for evil......but i do agree with bent mikey (welcome back by the way...) that they are probably better than shouting to let a car driver know where you are...

they just seem to make pedestrians require a change of underpants.
Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

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northstar
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Postby northstar » Wed Oct 21, 2009 17:01 pm

with all due respect you should be able to control the traffic by how you ride not with a horn tbf.

Nick6891
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Postby Nick6891 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 19:57 pm

i dont use a horn, but i think if i rode in the city centre i would, but if your outside city chances are your going to need to reach for the brakes and not have time to hit the horn until after. If you in city centre your more likely to get people pull out infront of you in which case horn would be nice thing to have, but i dont think ill bother getting one, i have enough things on handlebars with lights and computer

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ride_whenever
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Postby ride_whenever » Thu Oct 22, 2009 20:08 pm

northstar wrote:with all due respect you should be able to control the traffic by how you ride not with a horn tbf.


tbf you're a bit optimistic, you can ride as assertively as you like, but twunts will still pull out in front of you, and turn without looking.

JonS123
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Postby JonS123 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 20:21 pm

As I said in another thread once, just get a car battery and horn attached to your panniers :)

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woodford2barbican
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Postby woodford2barbican » Fri Oct 23, 2009 13:03 pm

My policy is brake & shout - don't want to be faffing about with noise generating buttons when I want to be stopping.

BentMikey
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Postby BentMikey » Fri Oct 23, 2009 13:06 pm

If you have to faff, then you fitted the airzound wrongly. I get the button on the airzound in the same moment I get both brakes on.

Must admit I never managed to find a useful way to fit them to drop bars, so my fixed doesn't have an airzound.

northstar
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Postby northstar » Fri Oct 23, 2009 13:18 pm

ride_whenever wrote:
northstar wrote:with all due respect you should be able to control the traffic by how you ride not with a horn tbf.


tbf you're a bit optimistic, you can ride as assertively as you like, but twunts will still pull out in front of you, and turn without looking.


What's wrong with being a opimist?

Keep an eye out for the "twunts" and you won't need a horn.


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