Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Product Review #2 - AirZound bike horn

Well, here is installment # 2 for my product reviews. This one is a beaut if you're a bike commuter or hooligan a like. It's a 120 dB air horn for your bicycle!!!

Yes, being part hooligan myself, I was instantly grinning when I opened this for Christmas thinking of the reactions I could envoke on the bike baths right before I blow passed some unsuspecting victim enjoying the fresh air. Then I realized that it also might have some very practical application. All joking aside, this is a great bike horn for traffic!! Let's get down to the details.

This product again is available from MEC as well as other I'm sure, but MEC is the only place that I've seen it. It retails for $17.00 Canadian as is also made here in Canada.

The horn itself fastens like most other bar-mounted bike accessories, clapping around your handlebar. The actuator button lifts to reveal a schraider valve. Hook up your bike pump, or gas station tire-filler hose and load up the included 500ml air tank (plastic bottle) up to 80psi!. They say that you shouldn't use any other air reservoir than the one that they provide, but I'm sure that any other plastic pop bottle would do. I haven't tried any bigger bottles because this has enough capacity for about 50 loud blasts, and obviously we cyclists tend to like to keep things small and neat. But it would be fun to ride around all day just blasting your horn for the sake of blasting your horn with a 2L bottle. Maybe something to try next time I'm bored.

The air tank (plastic bottle) comes in a Velcro sleeve and mounts using another piece of Velcro and 2 zip ties. Another easy way to mount the air tank is just stick it in your water bottle cage. One could also go out to a fabric store and buy a second piece of Velcro to mount to another bike if this would be something that you would like to use on different bikes. I don't think I'll be doing that. This will stay on my winter commuter bike.

Now, how well does it work in the real world?? Great! The second day I rode to work with this bad boy, the town was clearing snow from a big dump we had. At 6 in the morning, dump trucks and loaders that are moving snow don't really expect to see a cyclist. I was riding down one of the main roads in town and a dump truck full of snow was wanting to make a left hand turn in front of me. I think that the driver did see me (as I'm now lit like a Christmas tree) but thought that I was going slower than I really was. He started to move after stopping at the stop sign and I gave him my first real blast. He stopped instantly and looked around. Then I think he realized that the noise came from me. As I passed in front of him, I gave him another little honk and waived thanks. This thing works great!! If you are riding in traffic, in the dark or find that you're often yelling to get cars to yield to you, this is a very useful product.

Add to that, the limitless amounts of fun and it's well worth adding to your collection of bike stuff. I am very excited for the summer to come, as right when I leave my house, I ride a bike bath that runs 15ft from the 13th and 16th holes of a golf course. I've had fun before with a fog horn. Now the get a way will already be in progress when the offense takes place!! Yippee.

Please use only as directed and for safety reasons only.

I thought I should put that in, just in case.




Anonymous said...

Great green product !

EthanPDX said...

One of these saved my life a few years ago on a Friday night (heading to critical mass actually). I got right-hooked at a notorious onramp/intersection. I saw the Honda moving towards me as it began its turn onto the freeway, and I got on the horn. I saw the front of the car dive with braking but I still ended up under her front bumper staring up at the grill. My front rim was taco'd (she paid for it) and her facia was ripped off by my pedal as I went down . . . it could have been much worse had I not been able to blast her with the horn.