Hornster: Cyclists fight back!

2012-05-07 07:47

London, England - City bicyclists so often not noticed on the roads can now buy the ultimate deterrent against dozy truck drivers: a bicycle equipped with a horn louder than Concorde.

It's called The Hornster and, reports the London Daily Mail, at close quarters could deafen any car or truck driver with its 178 decibels.

The Hornster bicycle was developed by Britain's Environmental Transport Association to highlight the dangers that cyclists face on city roads. Trucks are involved in more than half of London's bicycling deaths.


The triple air-horn fitted to the bicycle is an Airchime KH3A usually found on an American railway locomotive but adapted to run off a scuba diving cylinder. It is so powerful that at 30m it is far louder than a standard truck horn and more than noisy enough for a cyclist to make himself heard above the din of the urban jungle.

The Hornster was the ideo of Yannick Read whose previous work includes the flamethrower-equipped Bond bike and the world's smallest caravan (QTvan). He said: "The same quietness that makes bicycles such a civilised way of getting around makes them vulnerable to inattentive motorists - the Hornster is a wake-up call for drivers who don't pay attention to bikes."

The Hornster costs the equivalent of about R60 000 in the UK.

How loud is the Hornster? Here are some comparisons found by the Daily Mail:

Hornster: 178db (at a metre), 140db (at 15m)
F-14 fighter jet take off with re-heat: 130db (at 15m)
Concorde (landing): 119db
Typical lorry air horn: 110db (at 30m)
City traffic: 78db (central London)
Conversation in restaurant: 60db

  • Mike - 2012-05-07 10:46

    Impulse noise above 120Db can cause immediate and irreversible damage to hearing so this is definitely a court case waiting to happen - fortunately the thing is so impractical that it is unlikely to gain traction.

      Ryan - 2012-05-08 13:20

      Guess that's why the oke in the pic is wearing headphones ... that won't help one bit ...

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-07 14:50

    I want one!

  • Mogo - 2012-05-07 15:25

    Will it fit in my car? Taxis beware Mwahahahahaha

  • branden.hart - 2012-05-09 08:32

    Fright - Swerve - Squash

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