Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cars Stop—But Only if you Speak their Language: The story of a Vietnam vet, a Boston mom, and a loud bike horn






Imagine you’re in your car, cruising down the road, when suddenly you hear: honk honk honk! What do you do? If you’re like most people, you slam on your brakes and frantically look around for fear of being hit by another car.

That gut reaction of stopping at the sound of a car horn is exactly why avid cyclist Jonathan Lansey created the Loud Bicycle horn—a horn that sounds just like a car but is made for bikes. His dream was to make biking safer by providing a tool that could communicate in the universal language of the road.

After the Loud Bicycle horn prototype was perfected in the fall of 2013, Jonathan launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production. The campaign was far-reaching, but this story begins with one particular Kickstarter contributor—a Boston University college student named Colleen. She took the green line to classes every day, but she loved the concept behind Loud Bicycle.

Colleen shared the Kickstarter campaign with her mom, Joyce Cressman, and asked her about making a donation to the campaign. Joyce loved the idea.

"I thought that creating a horn for a bike that sounded like a car was a brilliant idea", said Joyce. "My worst fear is for a biker to be in my blind spot while driving and I accidentally hit them." Joyce donated $100 to the Kickstarter.

Around the same time, 15-year-old Jayson Webber from Tarpon Springs, Florida learned about Loud Bicycle and wanted to get his dad a horn for his recumbent trike. His father, Jay Webber, fought in the Vietnam War. The US Department of Veterans Affairs had given Jay the recumbent trike so he could take it to rehab for a knee injury. Even though the trike came with a horn, it sounded like a bird. This was a huge problem, because Florida has a lot of birds and drivers are likely to ignore the sound of a bird call.

Jayson wrote to Jonathan and asked if Loud Bicycle could offer a military discount for his father. Since the horns didn’t exist yet (Jonathan was still in the process of manufacturing the first horns) he reluctantly told Jayson that a discount was not possible at that time. But Jonathan took down Jayson’s information and promised to get back to him once the horns were produced.

About a year went by when, out of the blue, Joyce received an email from Jonathan. He asked her if she wanted the money she had donated to the Kickstarter to be used to give a Loud Bicycle horn to Jayson’s father.

"I couldn’t believe Jonathan remembered that I was the one who donated the money," said Joyce. "Not only did Jonathan find the perfect recipient for the gift, I was in awe that he actually made the effort to ask me if I was okay with who’d be receiving the horn." She wholeheartedly agreed to donate the horn to Jay.

When Father's Day rolled around, Jayson marched up to his father and presented him with a Loud Bicycle horn.

"The second I pressed the button I was blown away," exclaimed Jay. "Neither my wife or my son, nor I, could wipe the huge smiles off our faces! This horn is beyond amazing. Now I can finally retire my old police whistle, which really doesn’t stop cars the way I thought it would, and finally feel safe while riding."

Jay’s Loud Bicycle bike horn immediately became the envy of the neighborhood. “I have so many friends who really want one of these for their wheelchairs and golf carts, but I tell them No, that’s not what it’s for. It's for bikes, so we don’t get hit by cars. It’s not to scare people who are walking so they get out of your way.”

Every time Jay honks his horn at a car that can’t see him on his low-to-the-ground recumbent trike, he thinks of Joyce—a woman 1300 miles away. Unbeknownst to Joyce at the time of her donation, she helped give the gift of freedom to a Vietnam veteran, who, over 45 years ago, helped give others the gift of freedom through his naval service in Southeast Asia.  


Now that his trike is decked out with a Loud Bicycle horn, Jay can continue his rehab without the fear of getting run over. While it’s still hard for cars to see Jay on his bike, they can definitely hear him—and they always stop.


By Laura Van Loh and Sophia Griffith-Gorgati

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Make your Loud Mini your Favorite Color (ft. a glow-in-the-dark horn)






At Loud Bicycle, our favorite color is orange. But we know you may want your horn to be green, red, yellow, or magenta.

Thanks to 3D printing technology, you can customize your horn in any color you like! Or, if you're not into DIY projects, order a piece at-cost directly from this website. 

Here is the 3D printable STL and here is this editable solid-works file. 

Customer Joseph Bryan-Goudie used 3D printing to create his aqua-colored horn. The best part? IT GLOWS IN THE DARK. Thanks for sharing, Joseph!














Click here for instructions on how to swap out the front plate.
http://loudbicycle.blogspot.com/2017/10/how-to-change-front-plate-of-your-loud.html

How to Change the Front Plate of your Loud Mini

So you've read our blog post on how to get a colorful front plate for your Mini. Or maybe your front plate just needs replacing. Regardless of your reason for changing the front plate of your Loud Mini, here's how to go about it.

To remove the front plate, you'll need a torx wrench. If you don't have one then you can actually get one with the Loud Classic anti-theft bolts here because the loud-classic anti theft bolts a the same size as the Loud Mini external screws.


A hex wrench will also do the job since these external screws don't need to be that tight.

Use the torx wrench to unscrew the three visible screws on the outside of the front plate. Then, the plate should slide right off!





To replace it with your new (and potentially glow-in-the-dark) front plate, simply follow these instructions in reverse: place the new front plate on, and use the three screws and the torx to re-assemble your horn.

Happy Biking!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Loud Bicycle horn stops a bus in its tracks


There was a moment that a city bus almost ran into Ben Lawson; lucky for him he had a Loud Bicycle horn, and lucky for us he had his action camera on!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How to Mount your Loud Bicycle Horn on a Folding Bike

What's not to love about a folding bike? It's elegant and makes storing and transporting your bike a breeze. Because our mission is to make biking safer for everyone, we're here to talk about how to mount a your horn on a folding bike.

Thanks to our amazing Loud Bicycle customers Anders Nygren, Davide Meneghetti‎, Kent Randolph, Moses Singer, Hartwig Leuer and Ty Smith, we know of multiple ways to attach a Loud Bicycle horn to a Brompton folding bike.

Recommended Strategy: Loud Mini

The strategy we recommend is brought to us by Moses Singer, who mounted his horn on the stem. This is the solution closest to a traditional mounting schema that we've seen. Moses used duct tape to make sure his horn doesn't knock against the stem while riding. Mounting it further off center is another good strategy. 



Recommended Strategy: Loud Classic

Kent found the one place that the Loud Classic could fit horizontally without getting in the way of folding. He said:
"I'm not using the extension yet - it just barely reaches without it, although I'm thinking of using it so I can move the trigger higher on the handle bars. It's louder than my car's horn!"



Alternative Solutions

Davide Meneghetti‎ took a different approach and mounted his Loud Classic to the stem. Although this method is less water-resistant (not ideal if you live in a rainy place), you don't need any extra materials to set it up, which is a plus!




Anders from Sweden found a clever solution. He said:
"I used the fastening holder from the smallest Brompton front bag modified it with a makeshift solution. The assembly is big but can be removed in an instant. I will use it in city traffic surroundings."
If you choose to go with Anders' solution you'll need a Brompton front bag attachment and a makeshift strap.




Ty Smith got pretty creative mounting his Loud Mini. With this method, your horn truly does not get in the way of folding! The Loud Mini here is actually resting on its side so as to not put too much stress on the mounting hardware. However, this method greatly reduces water resistance so it is not recommended for wet environments.



Finally, Hartwig Leuer mounted his Loud Mini upside-down using special third party mounting hardware! Although this is not a strategy we can officially recommend, we do encourage you to be creative and, ultimately, do what works best for you.





Have a success story about mounting your Loud Bicycle horn on your folding bike (or other nontraditional bike)? We'd love to hear about it! Drop us a line at info@loudbicycle.com.

Happy biking!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to Mount your Loud Bicycle Horn on a Recumbent Bike or Trike

The recumbent trike has been around since the mid-1800s and is a great choice for many cyclists. The low profile of a recumbent can help riders maintain high speeds, but it can make it hard for other road users to see the rider! Because our mission is to keep all cyclists safe, we designed our horns for recumbent riders too.

Recommended Mounting Options

Mount your Loud Bicycle horn behind the seat so as not to interfere with pedaling. The button should be mounted on the handlebar as usual. Because of the extra distance between the button and the horn in this setup, you'll need the button cable extension. The photo below features a Loud Mini horn on a Catrike Dumont recumbent trike. The button cable extension is shown at the right.



The Loud Classic horn is trickier to mount. This photo shows the Classic nestled under the seat of an ICE Trike with the button cable neatly threaded to the handlebar.



You can order the horn and extension package for the Classic and Mini with one click using these direct links: Loud Classic, Loud Mini.

Shout-out to Loud Bicycle customers Richard Hopley and Lenny Landau for riding awesome trikes and for sharing their photos with us!

Alternative Mounting Options

Some of our customers have gotten creative with mounting their horns. Recumbent cyclist Carl Kidd put together this video showing the positioning of his Loud Classic.


Our customer David Hartley mounted his Loud Mini on an ICE recumbent trike using extension arms he purchased on Amazon. The arrow points to the button. Thanks, David!





Customer Jeremy Smoler mounted his Loud Mini on a Cruzbike Silvio. He used a spare GoPro strap and a button extension cable. We love this mounting solution!






If you're having trouble mounting your horn on your recumbent trike (or other nontraditional bicycle) get in touch with us at info@loudbicycle.com

Happy Biking!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Meet Lewis the Traffic Droid


Two summers ago, the BBC reported that the number of people biking in London had reached a record high. With so many bikes out on the streets, you’d expect London to be a haven for cyclists. But although the city has taken measures to make cycling accessible and safe, cycling remains a hazardous mode of transportation. That’s why Londoners like Lewis are taking action.

Lewis is a long-time London resident and biker, and his commitment to keeping his city’s roads safe has turned him into a local celebrity. Lewis alerts drivers using his (loud) droid horn, a method he believes helps give cyclists equal status on the road:
"Drivers expect cyclists to ride by the curb like little kids. The moment you have a horn, you are on the same par as the driver."
We love what Lewis stands for, and we especially love the red card he pulls out on bad drivers:
“It’s a universal sign saying, ‘you fouled.’”
Watch Lewis as he talks about making use of red cards and his horn to keep himself and others safe on the road.