Safely riding your bike is one of the most responsible things you can do. People walking down the street or drivers on the road are always careful towards each other. Drivers must pay attention to pedestrians, and pedestrians to cars. But what about bikers? You have to admit that a driver will always be careful not to run over a pedestrian, but when it comes to bicycles, not so much. Bikers are not very respected in traffic, which is why there are a lot of accidents every year.
Drivers will always respond to sounds around them. Honking, police sirens, and ambulance sirens, all are designed to attract attention. Which is why a bike horn sounds like a very good idea. But I don’t mean any bike horn, the cheap one that makes a sound that is lower than a pair of winter tires (which is around 70dB). I mean a strong bike horn, one that other people will notice. Otherwise, no one will perceive the sound as a distress signal.
The benefits of a bike horn
To enjoy all the advantages of a bike horn, the level of sound is the most important. A low-pitched sound will not draw anyone’s attention. It doesn’t matter which model you choose in the end. As long as it’s loud, you should be okay.
- You can avoid accidents. This may be the most obvious benefit of a bike horn, but I just want to make sure that you understand its importance of it. As I stated before, drivers don’t pay attention to people on bikes. For some reason, they believe that bikers should not roam the streets; as if the roads are only destined for cars. I know it’s wrong, but that’s the reality. There are several studies, such as this one, which concluded that drivers don’t pay attention to cyclists as much as to other cars. However, a high-quality, loud bike horn will make a difference. You will get noticed for sure, and accidents will not be as likely as without a horn.
- You can send distress signals or alert someone if something is wrong. Let’s say that you are on the street and a car passes you by. You notice that the plate is not far from falling. What do you do? You cannot scream after the driver and tell him. He is moving a lot faster than you are, so chances are that he will not hear a thing. But a bike horn will change that. When they listen to a loud sound, drivers usually respond. And if they didn’t do anything wrong in traffic, they know that something may be wrong. That will make them stop and check on things. That’s what I do, at least. I learned over the years how to respond to situations like these. So I guess that so did everyone else.
- Some models come with a built-in light, which comes in handy when you want to ride your bike at night. It’s an excellent solution, in my opinion. Everybody needs a light on their bicycles, so why not add a horn as well? The latest bike horns come with all kinds of exciting features that are meant to improve your overall experience, so make sure to take advantage of them.
How to look for the best bike horns
Talking about it and praising it is easy, but when you do a simple search and see that there are hundreds of models of bike horns, picking one may prove to be difficult. Which is why you have to filter. Think of what you want, what you need, and what you already have. After that, everything should go smoothly. Here are the most common points of interest.
- The volume – choose a model that goes as high as possible. A weak sound will not alert anyone. Especially if the person you are trying to alert is listening to music. There are models that go as up as 120 dB, which is almost as loud as a car honk. After all, that is what you want. A level of decibels that comes close to the one of a car. That way you will be taken seriously and will be able to avoid dangerous situations.
- Batteries – you have to admit that nobody uses disposable batteries anymore. I find it a good thing because it’s cheaper and better for the environment. The best alternative is a rechargeable battery, which is the case with most bike horns. Not all, but most. It doesn’t make a difference in quality. It remains the same, no matter the power supply it uses, but I believe it’s more comfortable to recharge a battery than to buy new ones regularly. A rechargeable bike horn comes with a USB cable that will allow you to charge it using the USB ports on your computer or laptop.
- Sound modes – if the model you pick has more than one sound mode, then that is the way to go. Some of them even go two ways at once. That is very useful. People tend to be more alert when they hear more than one distress signal. Have you ever wondered why police cars or ambulances have alternating sounds? Precisely for the reason I mentioned. It attracts attention more quickly.
- Extra features – the more, the merrier, I always say. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter. A lot of bike horns are 2-in-1. The other feature consists of light most of the time. It is an excellent idea that manufacturers combined the two. The space on a handlebar is limited. If you have a horn, light, and maybe a speaker, space will be fully occupied. Like this, at least two of them require the space for one. The point is to browse until you find the product which has the features you need or want. I am sure that you will find what you are looking for.
What are the best bike horns?
I think you picked up a few things about bike horns, which means you are ready to make an informed decision. But if you still feel confused and don’t know where to start, here are a few suggestions that may be of help.
AcTopp 2-in-1 Bike Horn Light
As you may have figured out from the title, this horn also comes with an ultra-bright LED light that is perfect for when you want to ride your bike at night. LED technology is known to light the way better than any other light. The sounds that the horn makes are also ultra loud. These two features will make your bike routes visible and safe. After all, that’s what you are looking for, isn’t it?
The bell has two modes. One is loud, 100 dB, and is perfect for environments where the noise levels are low, and the ‘deafening’ mode goes as up as 120 dB and is destined for busy city traffic, where all you can hear are cars honking. The light also comes with multiple patterns, three to be more exact. There is strong, low, and flash mode. You can simply make the switch by pressing a button on the device.
The horn is very easy to install. It comes with a soft plastic strap that you have to put around the handlebar. It will fit most bike models. The LED headlamp is just as easy to mount. You shouldn’t meet any trouble doing it. As far as safety is concerned, it will not be an issue. The light button is conveniently placed on the device, and the bell button is connected to a 38 cm cable. It’s easy and safe to use when you are riding down the street. The whole purpose of drawing people’s attention is met.
The AcTopp bike horn has a rechargeable battery that can be charged up to 500 times. All you have to do is plug the device into your computer or laptop and keep it for around two hours. That’s how much it takes to charge fully. After that, you can use it continuously for two hours.
Daway A15 Bike Light & Horn Set
If you are worried about your safety as you are riding your bike, this set is the best option you have. It has a very loud horn that reaches 120 dB, and the light is super bright. What’s more, is that the set also comes with a red tail light. Warning drivers and pedestrians around you will be a piece of cake. There is no way they cannot hear or see you. You will feel safer.
The device is USB rechargeable with an auto-off feature for longer battery life. It is safe and durable, and it will save you money. The built-in 1200mAh can last as long as 2.5 hours after it is fully charged. Both the front piece and the tail light take about 2 or 3 hours to charge, and once they reach full, they automatically power off. You don’t have to worry that over-charging will damage it.
The horn comes with five sound modes, all of them reaching a sound level of 120 and 110 dB. The front light also comes with 3 modes: high, mid, and flashing. The rear light uses SMD LED highlighted lamp beads with 5 lighting modes (steady, strobe, side, phase, and flashing). No matter what you do in traffic, other participants will know. The design is high-quality, and the device is waterproof. You don’t need to worry that the rain will ruin your lights or horn.
The setup is very simple, you don’t need any tools. Both lights have an elastic rubber band that will fit most handlebars. You will be done with it in under a minute. Removing the lights is just as easy. Furthermore, the tail light can also be placed on the back of your helmet. But the choice is entirely yours. Whatever makes you feel safer.
Dealpeak Ultra Loud Bicycle Horn
Not that the previous models are very expensive, but I chose to include in my bike horns reviews a product that seems a bit more affordable. This one is simpler than the other two, but it will meet its purpose just as well. It may not be as fancy, but you will get all the features you need to feel safe.
The horn will reach 100 to 120 dB, so as far as sound is concerned, the horn will do its job. You have two buttons on the device. The black one is to engage the horn, and the red one changes the sound. Unlike the other two models I talked about, this one does not have a light as well. It’s a simple horn. Simple, but reliable.
The setup is compatible with most handlebars and is very easy to achieve. The package includes a mini screwdriver, just in case you don’t have any tools lying around. Another difference from the other two bike horns is that this one works with 2 AAA batteries (not included in the package). You will have to change them regularly, and the battery life depends on the quality you choose.
Judging by the features it holds, I am inclined to believe that the Daway A15 is the best bike horn that is currently available in this price range. It comes with a front light and a red taillight, the sound is ultra loud, you will make yourself heard, and the fact that it’s waterproof just adds up to its awesomeness. I highly recommend it to people who want to feel safe during the day and the night as well.
In any given situation, the most important thing for you is to feel and be safe. A high-quality bike horn will help you achieve that feeling and will keep you out of harm’s way.