As a cyclist it can be daunting to share the road with cars and traffic. Most drivers these days are too busy on their phones to pay attention to the road so it’s easy to be overlooked when you’re on a bicycle. That means as a cyclist you need to not only ride defensively (i.e. assume everyone is out to get you), but you also need to take proactive steps with powerful lights, reflective clothing, and protective gear. Although you can ensure you are seen, it’s difficult to make sure you are heard as well. That’s where the Loud Bicycle Loud Mini Bike horn, a 125 dB car horn designed to fit on a bike, comes in. Where typical bike horns are electronic and sound like a fire alarm, the Loud Mini utilizes dual car diaphragm horns that ensure you sound exactly like a car.
The Loud Bicycle Loud Mini bike horn is a 125dB car horn designed for your bike.
|Measured weight (in g)||414 (horn)|20 (button)|34 (mount) |
|Likes|| + Extremely loud|
+ Sounds like an actual car instead of a fire alarm
+ GoPro compatible mount design
|Dislikes||– Bulky form factor|
– Drivers won’t expect a horn sound from bike
– Lacks a battery indicator
|Where to Buy (US)||Loud Bicycle|
Loud Bicycle ships the horn in a simple orange and blue cardboard box. Internal cardboard dividers give the box additional structure and keep the horn in place without the need for plastic or other wasteful packaging material. Once you open up the box you’ll find:
- Loud Mini Horn
- Wired button
- USB charging cable
- Hex Wrench
- Mount w/ 2 Hex screws + rubber padding
- Thumb screw for mount + Hex screw
- User manual
- “Nice cycling” folded infographic (tips on how to ride safely)
- Loud Bicycle stickers
The “Nice cycling” infographic folds out to an attractive small poster and is a nice personal touch with simple tips on being safe on the road.
FIT & FINISH
Despite the fact that Loud Bicycle calls the horn the “Loud Mini” it is quite large and is similar in size to high-output computer speakers. The overall shape is triangular with a majority of the size of the horn driven by the diaphragm horns on each corner of the housing. As you can see in the video review, the diaphragm horns alone are quite large and vibrate to produce the distinctive car horn sound. The housing is a simple black color, but you can also purchase different 3D printed face plates to give it some more style. Otherwise it feels well packaged with the USB recharging port protected by a grommet and a claimed “all weather” design that should hold up to wet weather.
Thankfully, Loud Bicycle has utilized a GoPro compatible mount design which means if the supplied mount doesn’t work for you there are a lot of options on the market. We chose to use a dual sided out front mount to optimally place the Loud Mini directly in front of the bike without sacrificing any handlebar space. Despite tipping the scales at nearly 1lb, we found that the horn stayed in place well even on rough terrain. There is also an included wired button that uses a velcro mounting strap to keep the horn within quick reach. The button is pressure sensitive which allows for some modulation of the horn sound by, but the small surface area means you’ll have to be gentle otherwise you’ll get the full 125dB sound.
One big advantage of the horn is the fact that it lets you “speak car language” to ensure drivers react quickly. Compared to traditional bike bells or electronic horns that sound like fire alarms, the car horn sound is something drivers are universally familiar with. If you’re wondering how loud 125dB is in person, we can assure you it’s ridiculously loud. Drivers will hear you from even several car lengths away ensuring you can avoid unsafe conditions by making your presence known. As someone who swaps out their stock horns for aftermarket air horns on our cars, it’s a bit embarrassing to say this – but the Loud Mini is too loud.
Unlike a normal car which has many layers of insulation and distance between you and the car horn (typically mounted at the nose of the vehicle), the Loud Mini is within a foot of your ears making it almost too loud. You’ll definitely want to save the horn for emergency use only. We also wish the Loud Mini had a ‘bike trail’ mode with a lower volume and more friendly honk so that it could be used on bike trails to make your presence known when passing pedestrians or other cyclists. Be assured to get dirty looks from pedestrians if you use this on trails. As we mentioned earlier, the pressure sensitive button allows some modulation of the sound but it’s difficult to do consistently.
It’s also important to point out that because the horn sounds like a car, many drivers may get confused when it comes from your bike. This means that some drivers may cut you off or take erratic action thinking drivers behind them are honking at them. We recommend using the horn as a way to attract attention yet still ride defensively to minimize the chance of an accident. With the lack of a battery indicator, you should also preemptively charge the Loud Mini depending on how often you use it to ensure it’s always ready to go.
Overall, we found the Loud Bicycle Loud Mini bike horn to be an absurdly loud horn that draws everyone’s attention. Despite the “Mini” part of the name, the Loud Mini is quite large and takes up quite a bit of space on your bike. We appreciated the GoPro compatible mount design though which allows the horn to be used with the various GoPro mounting accessories on the market for creative mounting positions. At 125dB we found the horn worked well to get drivers’ attention and yet almost too loud given the close proximity to your ears when mounted. Now if you’re a weight weenie you obviously don’t want to ride with the Loud Mini horn on your weekend club ride, but for commuting it works well. Obviously the high retail price and size of the Loud Mini means it’s probably not for everyone. That said, if you spend a lot of time in traffic and want to ensure drivers see and hear you the Loud Mini is hard to beat.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Loud Bicycle. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.