Hornit dB140 Cycle Horn  £34.99

7/10

Lightweight, practical and extremely loud horn but can also provoke driver aggression.

Weight 107g   Contact  www.thehornit.com

by Shaun Audane   May 10, 2012  

The Hornit dB140 cycle horn was conceived on the mean streets of south London as the loudest cycle horn in the world. As its name implies, it belts out a whopping 140 decibels - 30 more than standard on cars and vans.

It doesn't take any more handlebar space than a typical commuter light, and has a distinctive tone, similar to household smoke alarm. However, the reaction of a multi-drop van driver suggests it can sometimes fuel, rather than displace, danger.

You might be tempted to whip it aboard the bars and thunder through the town, honking at errant rickshaws, transits, taxis, pizza delivery pilots and anyone else blundering into your path, but it's worth taking a few minutes first to familiarise yourself with the unit and its instructions.

Build quality and weatherproofing stops short of great, so I unscrewed the battery compartment and put Vaseline to the AAA battery contacts. In fairness, bar mounting keeps it out of harm's way and ours has shrugged off several Armageddon-esque downpours.

The CatEye pattern mount copes with all handlebar diameters and tightens with a recessed plastic key, which might also prevent a thief swiping the bracket. Along with finding the ideal resting spot for the rubberised silicone switch, this is about as challenging as installation gets. The instructions give helpful pointers and I settled inboard of the right-hand brake hood. Within a few hundred yards and half a dozen prods prods, I'd got simultaneous bibbing and braking down to a fine art.

Loud enough for congested town centres, it's assertive, rather than aggressive, alerting pedestrians to your passage without making dogs howl, babies cry and elderly gentlemen wave their sticks in outrage. It's also perfect for country roads, gently dispersing a gaggle of geese, sheep and an inappropriately playful spaniel.

However, it failed to impact the awareness of some drivers who passed with only inches to spare. The quieter setting is a nice touch, but 100dB rather than 130dB would be more appropriate for shared paths.

Verdict

Lightweight, practical and extremely loud horn but can also provoke driver aggression.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Hornit dB140 Cycle Horn

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"The Hornit dB140 is the loudest cycle horn on the market. It emits a piercing 140 decibel sound which is enough to alert lorries, vans, buses, cars and even 'in-a-world-of-their-own' pedestrians. Compatible with all styles of bikes, including road bikes, it gives cyclists a way of letting all other road users know where they are and makes cycling much safer".

Agree on the whole but it can also aggravate driver aggression.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

'Road' mode output - 140 decibels

'Park' mode output - 130 decibels

Dimensions and Claimed Weights

Horn: 97mm(Loser x 48mm(w) x 36mm(h), 44g

Trigger: 94mm(Loser x 18mm(w) x 7mm(h), 8g

Handle Bar Fixing: 32mm(Loser x 18mm(w) x 38mm(h), 20g

Connecting Wire

310mm, 5mm

Batteries: 2 x AAA Batteries, 24g

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Generally good, although the silione trigger mount on our sample split within several outings.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

107g by my scales

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Delightfully simple to use.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

There is no doubting the Hornit's prowess and practicality both round town and on the open road. However, a lower (100dB) setting would've been more appropriate than the 130dB for shared use contexts and in some cases the horn intensified original driver aggression.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Ease of use, low weight and modest dimensions.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing given the design brief.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I bought one of these at the Bike Show at Excel this year. It is bloody loud - the sort of thing the driver of an HGV will hear in the cab above the radio and engine noise.

The chap at the show was kind enough to post me an extra bracket and trigger at no extra charge so I can swap the horn between the hybrid and the Bianchi. (That's not a euphemism.)

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
10th May 2012 - 16:33

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bar space is limited. can't someone make one of these with a built in light?

Really, though?

posted by workhard [344 posts]
10th May 2012 - 18:52

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Because of the high(ish) pitched bleep this thing makes being so different to a horn a couple of times when I've used it the pedestrian that I was trying to warn just stopped and turned wondering what the funny noise was.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [555 posts]
30th November 2013 - 14:01

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