Bicycle bells are very familiar to pedestrians and a ring or two in a quiet street or path should be enough to alert other road users of your presence. On the other hand, riding in noisy city streets requires the use of loud horns to get motorists to detect your presence. Anyone who has been cycling regularly in a city environment can attest to how risky it is, especially when riding without a bicycle horn. This is the main point of choosing a bicycle bell or bicycle horn. Bicycle bells provide a dinging warning for cyclists to alert nearby pedestrians. However, horns often provide louder noises and are powered by air or batteries.
- Most bicycles horns are classic bulb horns. It is operated by squeezing a rubber bulb attached to a metal horn. Squeezing the bulb forces air through a steel reed located in the throat of the horn, making it vibrate, producing a single note. The sound made usually resembles a ‘honk’.
- Other forms of horns use batteries or can be powered by a small can of compressed gas. Horns that use compressed gas are usually the loudest noise makers in this category.
Bicycle horns help cyclists alert other road users of their presence and even get them to move out of the way when the rider wants to pass through. Since city streets are known to be very noisy, horns are the best way to ensure everyone hears the sound and is alerted to your presence.