$8000 bicycle horn is louder than jet take-off

7 May 2012
, CarsGuide

The Hornster has gone on sale in the UK as the ultimate – and certainly the loudest -- bicycle accessory.

It can deliver an ear-shattering 178 decibels at a distance of one metre, and 140 decibels at 18m.  That’s more than an F-14 fighter jet taking off, which can only manage 130 decibels at 18m. The average semi-trailer horn will give you 110 decibels at 30 metres.

Priced at £4,995 ($8000) the bicycle-mounted blaster is a triple air horn developed from an Airchime KH3A locomotive horn and adapted to run off a scuba cylinder.

It’s the invention of Yannick Read – previously known as the person behind the flamethrower-equipped BOND bike and the world's smallest caravan (QTvan).

He developed the Hornster in cahoots with the UK’s Environmental Transport Association to highlight the dangers cyclists face in traffic.

"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,” Read says.

We can’t help wondering how many cyclists are prepared to shell out $8000 to upgrade their bicycle bell – or to risk their own eardrums by using the Hornster.