Now that we await the assembly of the very first batch of Loud Bicycle horns – the very last step of the manufacturing process – its a good time to look back and recall what it took to get here.
Check out the interactive timeline of Loud Bicycle.
Thanks again to everyone who played a role at each step of the way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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