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The Hornster bicycle has a horn that's louder than a Concorde


May 8, 2012

The Hornster is a custom-built bike that is designed around what is billed as the world's loudest bicycle horn

The Hornster is a custom-built bike that is designed around what is billed as the world's loudest bicycle horn

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It’s no secret that cyclists are at a disadvantage when sharing the roads with motorized vehicles – not only do bikes offer less in the way of protection and speed than cars, but drivers often don’t even notice that they’re there. The Hornster, a bicycle featuring what is claimed to be the world’s loudest bicycle horn, was designed to bring attention to that fact.

The bike was designed by Yannick Read, who works for the UK’s Environmental Transport Association (ETA). The company provides insurance for cyclists, and wanted something that would publicize just how important it is for drivers (particularly drivers of big trucks) to acknowledge the presence of cyclists.

... and it’s a fair bet that The Hornster is capable of getting itself acknowledged. It features an Airchime KH3A triple air horn, which was taken from an American locomotive. That horn has been modified to run off of a scuba diving compressed air cylinder, which is mounted in the custom frame. If blasted at full volume (which is not being done in the video at the bottom of the page), it emits a stunning 178 decibels – according to ETA, that’s far louder than a transport truck’s horn, the take-off of an F-14, or the landing of a Concorde.

Should you like the cut of The Hornster’s jib, you can buy it for yourself. It went on sale last Thursday, priced at £4,995 (US$8,074). Needless to say, buyers will have to also budget for all the lawsuits brought against them by deafened drivers and pedestrians.

In a previous similar ETA campaign, Read created something called the BOND Bike – an “urban assault vehicle” that humorously included features such as a handlebar-mounted flamethrower.

Source: ETA via Wired

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Stupid and of limited novelty value....

Nice, an airtank in front of the ball sack.... and a cylinder valve pointed at your face - cool - only 2000 PSI behind that as well.

Mr Stiffy

With a gaudy setup like that, you probably won't need to actually use the horn...that's good.

The added bulk of the tank hanging off the bike could lead to unexpected handling issues. I would not want to be anywhere near it when the bike crashes...that's bad.


Could do with something like that on my motorbike..

Fran Firman

I would think that mounting the tank behind the rider would give him a better pedaling position.

Roger Kummert

Since the pain threshold is 140db, what's the point of 178db other that making more people hate bicycles? The police should cite him for reckless endangerment.


Oh please people - clearly this wasn't created for actually riding around on.

Jim Ronholm

Is that a horn or a stun-gun?!

I have a small air horn already on my bikes, which works very well and loudly. It's called the Delta Airzound bike horn: . The manufacturer says it's 115 db. It uses an ordinary carbonated drink bottle as the air reservoir, and you fill it with 80psi of air through an ordinary bicycle valve like inflating a bike tire. It lasts for about 50 short blasts.


This is not a bicycle with a horn. This is a horn that you can ride.


+1 for Delta Airzound, it's very loud, like a car's horn. A lifesaver for commuting.

Iván Imhof

I think my brother the bike rider needs one of these ;-)

Ken Bloomquist

The first thing I do, when I buy a motorcycle is replace the horn with an electric airhorn. I was a motorcycle courier years ago, and I know your life can hang on someone else's reactions. However, you can also scare someone into a fatal mistake. It needs to be loud enough to be unmistakable, but there is no need to go this extreme. But if I sound like a semi-tractor trailer, people will swerve back into their own lane at the touch of my horn, and THEN will look for the truck that nearly creamed them.


Idiot clown looks like a dangerous fool on that thing. I'm a bike advocate but mom needs to hit him.

The Hoff

The calibre of comments on gizmag has deteriorated significantly of late. A big thanks to the above haters for further comfirming this. See the funny side for once...

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