Friday, August 8, 2014

Water resistant bike horn

At Loud Bicycle we want to keep people safe from hot deserts to rainy places like Seattle. We designed the Loud Bicycle horn to work through all weather. We've had a prototype survive a ride through tropical storm Arthur but to show you how it handles rough rain we filmed this demonstration. To see the most current progress towards production, see our Kickstarter update page.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Loud Bicycle worldwide orders

This is a really exciting time to be cycling in America, where increasing numbers of people biking are starting to encourage better cycling infrastructure. I hope the Loud Bicycle horn will continue this trend and get the bicycle appreciated as a real vehicle by drivers and policy makers. Below is a map of the world where the horns will be going. Denmark is a notable exception here where the cycling infrastructure makes horns unnecessary.


And in case you were curious, here is the map of America where horns will be going. I’d say that New Hampshire is a notable exception; but I’m not too surprised since people up there since its legal to drive without a seatbelt and people like to ride motorcycles without helmets; so they are probably comfortable without a car horn on their bike.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

T1 sample photos

Progress towards production is coming along nicely. Below is a photo of the T1 sample.


This is a photo of our external button which mounts under your thumb on a handlebar.


This is the water resistant connector which lets you remove the button.


For more details on the progress of manufacturing see our Kickstarter update page here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Samples from the molds

We got samples out of the molds for the horn and button and they were almost perfect. Getting these is a huge step towards production as it is by far the riskiest and most complicated part of the process (once you get past design). You can read more details about how production is going on our Kickstarter update page here.




Monday, December 30, 2013

Button for the Loud Bicycle Horn

Below is a picture of the 3D printed prototype button to trigger the horn. It is attached to the handlebars with an adjustable Velcro strap. It stays right around where your thumb can easily push it without interfering with controlling the bicycle through steering and braking. It is designed to be water-resistant against normal rainy riding.


The design of the button is extremely important for the function of the horn. Users must be able to feel where they are meant to push by touch alone. As beta-tester Gregory put it “my finger hovers over the button instinctively when I see obstructions ahead.” Below is a closeup of the protruding soft-rubber piece with the Loud Bicycle logo indented in the center. You will be able to center your finger on the button and honk while keeping your eyes focused on the road.


The 3D printed rubber was a little brittle so we found another material to do tests with. I didn't have a banana so here is a quarter for scale.


To see what the button looks like now, checkout this follow up post with the Loud Bicycle button.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Open up your city, get a bike

What is the fastest way to get around the city of Boston? We have one of the best public transportation networks in the nation but cycling is still a faster way to get most places. To test this I used Google maps to measure the time it takes to get from Cleveland circle to anywhere in Boston, both by bike and by the T. Cleveland is a hub of 3 subway lines and several bus lines so it seemed  like a fair challenge. In the video above, color represents the time it takes to get somewhere.
The fastest places to go by T are not surprisingly along spindly corridors defined by rail tracks and bus routes. The flashing colors reflect the rhythm of bus and trolley schedules. In contrast, the time to bike is solid and steady. There is no arbitrary network of paths defining where you can go quickly - and no pressing constraints on when you must leave.

To read about how these maps and this video were made hop over to jonathan.lansey.net but in summary: many thanks to Stamen Design, colorbrewer, Google and Matlab.

Here is the high resolution biking map, feel free to share with
this link: http://bit.ly/biking_any_time

Here is a high resolution (T) map, feel free to share with
this link: http://bit.ly/T_Time_Boston


The Boston Green Line by ericodeg, creative commons

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The people behind Loud Bicycle

We have previously posted about the generous backers who jumpstarted our project. This post is going to be about the people behind the scenes who are turning the wheels and making everything happen.

Product Development / Engineering

How do you go from a good idea - to a great product? Having 600 customers with a stake in the outcome to give suggestions is a great way to start. But there are still things you need some experts for.

Randall R. Jacobs has been advising me on Loud Bicycle since it was just a bare car horn mounted with pipe fittings. A Mandarin-speaking former professional mountain biker (see badass photo) with a wealth of start-up, product development and commercialization experience, Randall recently accepted a position at Specialized Bicycles.



John Prata is a mechanical engineer with experience designing for injection molded parts. Working together with Randall and I, John has helped productize the horn design. You’ll see his work in the custom ergonomic pushbutton to trigger the horn. If we are lucky, he might even appear in some future Loud Bicycle demonstration videos.



Andrew Lansey is the mechanical engineer who really got us started. He designed and built several versions of the housing completely from scratch. When we settled on a general design he tweaked each curve until it looked just right. He continues to support the project with a sharp engineering eye to both detail and the big picture. You’ve probably heard his voice in the Kickstarter video, it’s the voice that sounds awesome. He’s not biking in this picture, but he is sending a balloon to the edge of space.


Industrial Design

The aesthetics of the housing are extremely important so we are glad to have Chris Owens dedicated to the job. He is a fantastic industrial designer from Austin TX and his expertise is giving the Loud Bicycle horn a much more professional look. He is also reshaping the housing in order to fit all the production components. He had a role in our Kickstarter video too: producing the animated rendering of the spinning horn.


Graphic/Web Design

Look around the page: this website, our stickers and the T-Shirt were all made by our amazing graphic designer Allison Johnston. She puts a lot of creative energy into her work and it shows. You are going to see the fuzzy fruits of her talents next on the packaging materials of the horn. Allison works fulltime as a freelance designer and artist from her current home in Houston, TX.

Beta testers

We have 4 wonderful Beta testers from New York City, Chicago and Massachusetts. They are testing each iteration of the horns in turn as they come out and giving great feedback at each critical stage. You might see some blog posts by them in the coming months as they review their experiences.

Thanks!

We are really grateful for all the people who are helping make the Loud Bicycle horn the absolute best bike horn out there.