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Old 09.01.2011, 11:13
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how loud can a bike horn be?

I find it necessary to fit a louder warning device to my bike , the question is how loud can i go and stay within the law?


I was thinking of an airzound horn (upto 115DB) air horn
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Old 09.01.2011, 11:27
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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I find it necessary to fit a louder warning device to my bike , the question is how loud can i go and stay within the law?


I was thinking of an airzound horn (upto 115DB) air horn
Why would you think that is good idea?
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:14
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Why would you think that is good idea?
oh the usual "hello i am here , don't pull out now or i am going to broadside your lovely shinny new [insert expensive card here] which i may scratch/dent and if you were paying attention rather than texting/ chatting / ranting at your kids , you would notice me and i would not have to alert you to my presence"

My intention for the question was a push bike type rather then the motorised variety
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:25
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

I have long thought that cyclists need to adopt defensive riding methods similar to those we motorcyclists use. Blasting away on a horn is not going to save your life .
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:25
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Why would you think that is good idea?
You've obviously never ridden round London before - there it's a must. Anything you can do to make yourself better seen and heard, on 2 wheels, is a plus.

To the OP, this being Switzerland, there is bound to be some legislation governing this, but I wouldn't worry too much. If you can't find the info. by Googling (or here), then I would go ahead anyway. 115dB ain't going to be louder than a lot of standard and after-market car horns. Even if this level is above the legal limit, if it saves you an accident than wtf. - the louder the better imo.
From a recommendation point of view I used (still have, but not fitted here - after 15 yrs rubber has perished) a 9v batter-powered push-button screecher (sounds a bit like 3 people simultaneously blowing on refs whistles) -- pedestrians were often seen to jump, leaving stains on the pavement - however these were fairly common in London, with all the bike couriers, so not too bad for those who knew them - will definitely be different here though. This type is just as loud, but probably less bulky than an air canister. Battery lasts forever, but a spare can easily be carried.

This is not the same as I have (probably not available any more), but gives an idea. Mine was smaller and cube shaped.
Here's a link to some other e.g.'s
http://gadget.brando.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00451
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Last edited by TiMow; 09.01.2011 at 12:54.
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:35
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

Since you can purchase an Airzound here in Switzerland, I would assume it is permitted.

Here at www.veloplus.ch
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:50
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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I have long thought that cyclists need to adopt defensive riding methods similar to those we motorcyclists use. Blasting away on a horn is not going to save your life .
I think having a loud horn could be considered defensive and may save a life if prevents a car from banging in the side of you. Even if that's a bit dramatic, it's still not the most pleasant of experiences to slide down the asphalt using a bear knee as a brake.
Having, and using, both a motorbike and a pedal bike, I think you can't believe that pure defensive riding will save anyone from the idiot in the metal box. I bet you haven't disabled your horn on your 'bike, in the hope that your defensive riding abilities will keep you safe. I would have hoped there would have been a bit more 2-wheeled unity. There are many more dickheads riding about with a motor between their legs, then pedalling.
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...if you were paying attention rather than texting/ chatting / ranting at your kids ...
That's nothing. Having ridden a motor bike on the rush-hour freeways in L.A. (in order to make my living), you'll be surprised what people find to do, other than driving, in slow moving traffic.
EDIT: Both the air horn and battery horn seem to have a level of 115dB, so this could be the magic number(?).

Last edited by TiMow; 09.01.2011 at 13:03. Reason: addition
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:55
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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To the OP, this being Switzerland, there is bound to be some legislation governing this,
Bells only. Sorry.

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Fahrräder, ausgenommen Fahrräder mit einem Leergewicht ohne Führer oder Führerin von höchstens 11 kg, müssen eine gut hörbare Glocke aufweisen; andere Warnvorrichtungen sind untersagt.
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/741_41/a218.html
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Old 09.01.2011, 12:59
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

A lot of motorcyclists put louder horns on their bikes. Defensive driving is a must but when your typical cager starts changing lanes into you, nothing gets their attention like 115 dB (most motorcycle horns are pretty pathetic in terms of volume). Sometimes you even have to kick their door. It isn't that they are necessarily doing something they shouldn't (like texting or checking their email) but they are simply mentally disconnected from the task of safe and considerate driving and are not paying attention, not checking their blind spot, etc. Personally, I try never to let a care or truck be next to me. It's just asking for trouble from the idiot inside controlling it. And, yes, a lot of people drive like this with their kids in the car.
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Old 09.01.2011, 17:14
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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I have long thought that cyclists need to adopt defensive riding methods similar to those we motorcyclists use. Blasting away on a horn is not going to save your life .
We do , and i thank the defensive cycling methods i was taught as a child from my cycling proficiency instructor that went above and beyond what she was supposed to teach us that I am still alive.
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Old 09.01.2011, 17:33
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Since you can purchase an Airzound here in Switzerland, I would assume it is permitted.

Here at www.veloplus.ch

Also at http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=20105 and cheaper. I just ordered one for riding along Uetliberg trails.
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Old 09.01.2011, 17:46
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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I just ordered one for riding along Uetliberg trails.
Surely you cannot be serious. The most that you would need off road would be a flick-bell or a pleasant call of "Grüüzi".

The status quo between hikers and bikers is fragile enough, especially on the Uetliberg. The last thing that we need in the forest is some idiot with an airhorn.

Also on the road, there a far more effective ways to stay safe than relying on a horn.

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Old 09.01.2011, 18:19
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Surely you cannot be serious. The most that you would need off road would be a flick-bell or a pleasant call of "Grüüzi".

The status quo between hikers and bikers is fragile enough, especially on the Uetliberg. The last thing that we need in the forest is some idiot with an airhorn.

Also on the road, there a far more effective ways to stay safe than relying on a horn.

Cheers
Jekyll
Believe me, I ended up lying in hospital for two days due to being knocked off by a careless walker and it was up on the Uetliberg trails. The police agreed that it was due to lack of care and attention by the walker. I used a bell and called out and slowed down (I have a witness for that). So appropriate use of a loud horn is justified when riding on such trails. I've been riding up there for 25 years now so I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 09.01.2011, 18:59
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Believe me, I ended up lying in hospital for two days due to being knocked off by a careless walker and it was up on the Uetliberg trails. The police agreed that it was due to lack of care and attention by the walker. I used a bell and called out and slowed down (I have a witness for that). So appropriate use of a loud horn is justified when riding on such trails. I've been riding up there for 25 years now so I know what I'm talking about.
Sorry to hear about your accident.

Despite not knowing the circumstances, it's hard to imagine how an airhorn could help if a bell, calling out and slowing down didn't help you to avoid the pedestrian. I think that we always have to assume that walkers are not going to move out of the way, until they actually do move, and that our speed and trajectory are such that we can always avoid the collision if they don't move.

Despite having ridden up there for 25 years, I hope that you don't start using an airhorn on the trails to announce your arrival to walkers. As a biker, I'd be pretty annoyed if someone was disturbing the peace and quiet of the forest and I'm sure that walkers would feel even more strongly on the matter.

Happy trails

Jekyll
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Old 09.01.2011, 19:43
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Believe me, I ended up lying in hospital for two days due to being knocked off by a careless walker and it was up on the Uetliberg trails. The police agreed that it was due to lack of care and attention by the walker. I used a bell and called out and slowed down (I have a witness for that). So appropriate use of a loud horn is justified when riding on such trails. I've been riding up there for 25 years now so I know what I'm talking about.
You managed to do all that and still had an accident? Hope there are no deaf people around when you are cycling!
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Old 10.01.2011, 00:15
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

belligerent walkers/ramblers will never move regardless what kind of horn you use.

the airzound is strictly for town / road use where it may just make the difference with other road users.
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Old 10.01.2011, 08:57
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Believe me, I ended up lying in hospital for two days due to being knocked off by a careless walker and it was up on the Uetliberg trails. The police agreed that it was due to lack of care and attention by the walker. I used a bell and called out and slowed down (I have a witness for that). So appropriate use of a loud horn is justified when riding on such trails. I've been riding up there for 25 years now so I know what I'm talking about.
You mean the walker walked into you and put you in hospital, while he/she remained uninjured? They can be pretty deadly these "careless walkers"...
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Old 11.01.2011, 07:42
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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I think you can't believe that pure defensive riding will save anyone from the idiot in the metal box.
I have proof that you are correct. In my case a loud horn wouldn't have helped either.

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I bet you haven't disabled your horn on your 'bike, in the hope that your defensive riding abilities will keep you safe.
Of course not, that would be illegal . I am guilty, like most others, of using it in anger rather than defense though.

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I would have hoped there would have been a bit more 2-wheeled unity. There are many more dickheads riding about with a motor between their legs, then pedalling.
Not in Switzerland. Every morning I see cyclists riding in the pitch black with no lights, riding the wrong way down one way streets, and ignoring red light. I can't say I've seen a motorcyclist behave like this.

I also have a cycle but while I like to associated with the super group of motorcyclists in Switzerland I find cyclists an embarrassment. ok, maybe they aren't as bad as in London .

Last edited by swissbob; 11.01.2011 at 07:47. Reason: early morning dyslexia
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Old 11.01.2011, 07:44
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Believe me, I ended up lying in hospital for two days due to being knocked off by a careless walker and it was up on the Uetliberg trails. The police agreed that it was due to lack of care and attention by the walker. I used a bell and called out and slowed down (I have a witness for that). So appropriate use of a loud horn is justified when riding on such trails. I've been riding up there for 25 years now so I know what I'm talking about.
You'd have to draw pictures for that to make sense. The pedestrian always has the right of way.
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Old 11.01.2011, 08:51
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Re: how loud can a bike horn be?

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Not in Switzerland. Every morning I see cyclists riding in the pitch black with no lights, riding the wrong way down one way streets, and ignoring red light. I can't say I've seen a motorcyclist behave like this.
Re. lights - this is a valid point. I am in constant amazement how any one riding a bike doesn't have lights when it's dark. This is a combination of ignorance, machismo-ism, and pure dick-headedness (plus lack of policing). The cheapest set (from Landi or Jumbo) is only about CHF10 (with batteries, I think). When I see kids riding without lights, I am even more shocked - (as in a lot of other situations) where is the parental guidance -- checking and ensuring their children are safe when they go out?
This point about lights and possibly the second part of your quoted sentence above is due, I believe in the perceived status of the bicycle, here. Immaterial of the correct legal position, many, riders and pedestrians alike, see the bike as having the same rights as pedestrians, as opposed to being a road vehicle. It is accepted that they can ride on pavements, in between pedestrians. Even when they ride on the road, when they need to turn left, they often stop on the right and then ride across the (jaundiced) zebra crossing. My view point is from "sticksville", and not from the centre of a busy city, where the problems are probably more abundant and extreme.
But without digressing too much and discussing and comparing the differences between motor- and pedal- bikes (which is a whole subject on it's own), I think that in this day and age, for any cyclist riding in a busy, congested urban area, a loud horn is now a pre-requisite. Even if it's use just prevents a car forcing you off course and clipping a curb, is enough. Bearing in mind that there is now a big push to get more people to make their journeys under (battery-assisted) pedal power.
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