Jonathan Lansey

The "Loud Bicycle" prototype can blast careless drivers with a 30-second trumpet that's as loud as a rock concert.

I can think of few things that would make a hothead driver go from zero to Frothing Nuclear Rage than a cyclist blowing a loud horn at him for 30 seconds straight, the maximum duration of the "Loud Bicycle" prototype.

But if used sparingly, this strident horn could help prevent a few unnecessary injuries and deaths. That the angle that the device's inventors, Jonathan and Andrew Lansey, are playing up in their Kickstarter campaign to get "Loud Bicycle" off the ground.

Jonathan, a research engineer who commutes to Boston, was inspired to build "Loud Bicycle" after a friend got drilled by a car. She made it out of the hospital in one piece, but Jonathan began to think the crash wouldn't have happened if she just could've announced her presence in a trumpeting way. He couldn't find the equivalent of a car horn for a bicycle on the market, so he went to the worktable and banged out this acoustic assault weapon – unofficial motto, "I let cars share the road."

Bicycling in traffic "can be frightening, and sometimes dangerous," Jonathan explains in a promo video (see below). "Drivers often feel like bikes come flying out of nowhere.... The fear of cars, a helpless feeling, it actually stops a lot of people from biking in their cities." The "Loud Bicycle" is meant to give cyclists an edge in hazardous streets by both stopping drivers on a dime and teaching them (as per the device's website) that "their driving habits can be dangerous for cyclists."

What's this hulked-up horn sound like? Much like the beeeep! of a compact car, with both high and low notes at a decibel level equivalent to a loud rock concert. Bikers can activate the 1.4-pound device by pressing a button on the handlebars, which is connected with a wire to "Loud Bicycle" mounted on the lower frame.

The Lanseys are hoping to raise $43,000 to fund their project by January. While it in fact is not the only car-sounding bike horn out there – one U.K. company sells an even-louder "Hornet," and another vends a honker that a satisfied customer says works "marvelously on stationary groups of chatting ladies with leashed dogs blocking the entire path" – it could possibly find a place in America, where bicycling fatalities are on the rise.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  3. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  4. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  5. A man sleeps in his car.
    Equity

    Finding Home in a Parking Lot

    The number of unsheltered homeless living in their cars is growing. Safe Parking programs from San Diego to King County are here to help them.