Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Hornit Bike Horn Review - seriously loud!

Seriously loud is how the makers of the Hornit bike horn describe their product and Oh Blimey they are not wrong! Think loud, then louder then add a bit of loudness.

Madmumof7 cycling in Cyprus
I ride a proper old lady bike - complete with wicker basket on the front and a dainty ding ding bell so thought a louder warning system might be useful so said "yes!" when the makers of the Hornit got in touch and offered me a trial of their product. Plus after watching the online demo video my DS and his GF wanted to hear just how loud the horn really was in real life!

As  a child I had a fantastic bulbous honking horn, like the one on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I'm sure my parents neighbours just loved hearing me honking like a deranged goose every time I went out on my Puch bike.



I didn't think this would be becoming of the respectable middle aged pillar of the community such as myself (OK- pick yourselves off the floor and stop laughing now.) Anyway, the horn duly arrived and to be honest I was a bit disappointed. It didn't look like it would make much noise. I pressed the trigger which straps onto the handbags very gently.

                                                        AAAAARGH!!!!!!


It was a definite Tena lady moment! That thing is LOUD! I mean, I know it said it was 140 decibels but I didn't appreciate how loud that is until it was blasting round my kitchen like a deranged wasp with a megaphone! A friend who was with me said  (once she had regained her hearing)  it reminded her of a very loud rape alarm.

I knew if I used the Hornit whilst cycling in my quiet village complaints would be made to the Parish Council. Luckily many of my friends work in London and take their cute little fold-up bikes on the train and then cycle to work from Euston. So I handed the thing over to my neighbour.

He is just the sort of cyclist the Hornit is aimed at. The promo literature says:"the Hornit is loud enough to be heard by drivers of cars, trucks, vans and buses and pedestrians so it gives the cyclist greater control over their safety, rather than passively hoping to be seen."

The video on their website demonstrates its uses beautifully with footage taken from cyclists' head-cams showing near misses without the horn and just how effective the horn can be alerting drivers and dopey pedestrians.

Anyway, I gave my neighbour a few days to give the Hornit a good test run on the busy streets of our Capital. 


The good news is - he is still in one piece having survived the racetrack that is the City at rush hour where buses, taxis, coaches and exasperated commuters in eco cars fight for space with bikes, tourists, walking commuters and those little tuktuk/rickshaw things.

The bad news? On the whole he found the Hornit embarrassingly loud and was reluctant to use it as a gadget to alert people to his general presence.

However having discussed the pros and cons with him and other cyclists I feel the Hornit would be a fabulous gadget to use alongside a normal bell or horn maybe - to be used when cyclists feel truly at risk, or that something like a double decker or a lorry really hasn't seen them or wouldn't hear a normal bell.

I think in emergencies the frighteningly loud noise it makes might just prove to be a life-saver.

The Hornit retails at £34.99  from www.thehornit.com  You can also buy spare triggers and handlebar mounts to make swapping it from bike to bike very easy.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free for review purposes. Views are my own and not influenced in any way by the retailer or the fact I didn't pay for it.



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