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The Best Bike Horn

Using a bike horn is an ideal way for you to grab the attention of others and alert them of your presence when you’re cycling. 

But with so many different horns to choose from, it can be challenging to decide on the best bike horn. 

So, to save you the hassle, I’ve been testing several popular bike horns over the past three weeks, exploring the features they offer and comparing their performance. 

To aid my testing and make this review as helpful as possible, I used a sound meter to measure how loud each horn is in several different scenarios. 

Towards the end of the article, I’ve also included several Bike Horn FAQs, such as “Are bike horns legal?” You won’t want to miss that one!

The Best Bike Horn Review
Table of Contents
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    Sneak Peek - Our Favourite Bike Horns

    Editor's Choice
    Hornit dB140
    Delta Airzound
    • Horn can be sounded continuously
    • Wired remote for easy use
    • Loudest horn tested
    • No batteries required
    • Mount only works with circular handlebars
    • Horn can be sounded continuously
    • Less compact than other options
    Bottom Line
    If you need to be heard on road, the Hornit 140dB is a bike horn that'll do the job.
    We loved testing the Airzound, the birds nearby trees had other thoughts. Editor's Choice.
    Hornit dB140
    • Horn can be sounded continuously
    • Wired remote for easy use
    • Mount only works with circular handlebars
    Bottom Line
    If you need to be heard on road, the Hornit 140dB is a bike horn that'll do the job.
    Today's Deals
    Editor's Choice
    Delta Airzound
    • Loudest horn tested
    • No batteries required
    • Horn can be sounded continuously
    • Less compact than other options
    Bottom Line
    We loved testing the Airzound, the birds nearby trees had other thoughts. Editor's Choice.
    Today's Deals

    Last update on 2024-04-10 at 12:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    What Is A Bike Horn

    Horns are used on bikes for the same reason as automobiles.

    Bike horns are devices that create a sound loud enough to notify others of your presence. By gaining the attention of other road users, bike horns can prevent accidents before they happen or alert others of something they’re unaware of. 

    Additionally, many cyclists find that classic bike bells are no longer loud enough to be heard in towns and cities, so they opt for louder horns instead.

    Several of the best bike horns can be heard inside a car, which is vital on busy roads, whereas bells are generally drowned out by minimal background noise.

    As you’ll find below, bike horns come in varying shapes and sizes. In addition, some horns are powered with electricity and feature multiple sounds, whilst others are air-powered.

    Most bike horns create a loud “beep” or “honk” noise, whilst some new electric horns can alter their sound to several tones, for use in different situations.  

    Benefits of Using a Bike Horn

    Bike horns are particularly useful on busy roads and trails where you’ll be travelling at a relatively high speed and need the ability to warn others of your presence.

    Bells have been used by bicycles for many years, but as our cities become more crowded, it’s often too noisy for a bell to be heard. 

    Or, in many circumstances, people will hear a bike bell and ignore it, which can be incredibly frustrating. 

    The table below contains the many benefits that bike horns provide. 

    Bike Horn Benefits
    • Bike horns are normally louder than bike bells
    • Some electric horns are faster to sound than bells and non-electric horns
    • Pedestrians and drivers normally pay more attention to a horn than a bell
    • Some horns are remote operated meaning you don't need to remove your hands from your handlebars
    • Several effective, yet relatively inexpensive options
    • Some bike horns offer a range of sounds and volumes for different situations
    • Can be used to prevent accidents or dangerous situations

    The Best Bike Horns

    By thoroughly testing every horn in this review for three weeks, I’ve identified their strengths and weaknesses to save you from disappointment. 

    So, now that we know what a bike horn is and the benefits they offer to us cyclists, it’s time to test the best bike horns on the market and see how they compare. 

    Have a read and see which horn works best for you.

    Twooc 100 dB Electric Bicycle Horn

    Twooc 100dB Bike Horn Review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    The Twooc Electic Bike Horn/Bell is a good option for those looking for a practical, no-nonsense bike horn. 

    I was eager to test this horn out, so I used it in my workshop after taking it out of the box, something I won’t be doing again soon. 

    This bike horn is compact, and I was caught off-guard by how loud it is when I set it off inside. 

    When I tested it outside at a distance of 10m, my sound meter showed an average reading of  65.6 dB. This measurement was taken using the horn sound setting.

    Controls on reverse of twooc 100db bike horn
    The volume buttons on the back 0f the Twooc allow you to navigate the horn's three volume modes

    Unlike some of the other best bike horns, the Twooc electric horn is operated using a wired remote that easily attaches to your handlebars and sits next to, or on your bike grips so that you don’t need to remove your hand from the bars to operate the horn. 

    Bike horns that offer a remote (wired or wireless) are significantly quicker to sound and safer to use than horns that require you to remove your hands from your handlebars.

    Mounting the Twooc is straightforward, and no tools are required for installation. Instead, two durable rubber straps loop over your handlebars and secure the Twooc and its remote in place.

    One of the main reasons I enjoy the Twooc is that it’s rechargeable, so it won’t require new batteries. The 280mAh battery is designed to power the horn up to 4,000 times on full battery.

    wired controller for twooc 100db electric bike horn
    The Twooc 100dB control allows you to cycle through the horn's sound profiles by using the top button

    The Twooc horn provides four different sounds for you to choose from, three bells and a horn/siren noise. The sounds are easily cycled through using the top button on the wired remote, allowing you to select a suitable nouse for different scenarios.

    I found that the horn sound profile was the best option for gaining the attention of others. The three bell noises sound grainy and confused several pedestrians during my testing.

    The back of this horn provides volume adjust buttons, which allow you to cycle between three different sound settings, low, medium and high.

    If you find your bike bell too quiet, then the Twooc 100dB Horn will be a welcome upgrade that grabs the attention of pedestrians and other cyclists. 

    My testing showed that the horn was audible inside a car, but that it might not be enough to cut through the noise of traffic on busy streets. 

    If you need a bike horn capable of being heard in loud urban environments, check out the Hornit 140dB and the Delta Airzound featured below. 

    The Twooc 100dB isn’t the most premium bike horn, but it’s priced accordingly and works well.

    View the most up-to-date price on Amazon here

    Twooc Info
    Weight: 46g (1.62oz)
    Electronic: Yes (Rechargeable)
    Attaches to: 22-31.8mm Handlebars
    Remote Operated: Yes
    Stated Volume: 100dB
    Observed Volume @ 10m 65.6dBA
    Warranty None stated

    Hornit dB140 with Garmin Style Mount

    Hornit 140dB Bike Horn Review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    Without beating around the bush, the Hornit 140dB is this review’s best electric bike horn.

    Of all the bike horns I’ve used, I’ve enjoyed using the Hornit the most.

    The Delta Airzound comes very close regarding how much I enjoyed using it, but it required refilling a few times. The Hornit, however, is battery-powered, and with regular use (6 horn blasts per day), the two AAA batteries should last a year before needing to be replaced. 

    The two AAA batteries are included in the box. However, for anyone who plans on using the Hornit long-term, I’d encourage rechargeable batteries to prevent waste. 

    The Hornit website states that rechargeable batteries make a quieter horn noise since they typically have a lower voltage. The batteries supplied with the Hornit are 1.5V AAAs, a quick google showed plenty of similar rechargeable options. 

    The Hornit features a wired remote, which plugs into the back of the device and can then be attached to most positions on your handlebars.

    I found this very useful on my road bike as it meant I could keep my hands near the brakes without changing position to sound the horn. 

    Hornit 140dB garmin-style mounting system
    The Garmin-style mounting system the Hornit uses holds the Hornit firmly in place, but only works with circular handlebars

    Two Garmin-style mounts are supplied with the Hornit, allowing you to attach and detach the Hornit with a quick twist. Removing the Hornit prevents opportunist thieves from stealing the device while leaving your bike unattended.

    These mounts are circular, so you’ll need circular handlebars to attach the Hornit or a circular bike frame. 

    Most bikes use circular handlebars, but if yours aren’t circular, there’s a solution. Since the Hornit 140dB uses Garmin mounts, a simple search for a “rubber band Garmin mount” will reveal several compatible mounts.

    The Hornit has two different sound profiles, a dual-tone alarm which sounds more like a personal safety alarm and a horn setting, which is loud and outperformed both of the other electric bike horns featured in this review. 

    The horn setting on this device allowed me to alert both pedestrians and cyclists of my presence in all environments.

    To alert car drivers of my presence on busy roads, I had to sound the Hornit several times, but it still worked well, and the button can be held for a continuous honk if needed, which was effective on busy roads. 

    Hornit 140dB waterproof test
    After running the Hornit under the tap for a good 30 seconds, I shook it to remove excess water and after an hour it still worked fine

    When I used it, the dual-tone alarm caused some confusion to pedestrians because it’s a non-familiar sound, whereas the horn noise is instantly understood by anyone who can hear it. 

    The Hornit is IP44-rated, which means it’s water resistant, not waterproof.

    I spoke to the Hornit team about this, who informed me that as long as the horn is positioned upright, it’s not possible for water to enter any area unless fully submerged in water.

    I passed the Hornit through a running tap for 30 seconds to simulate very heavy rainfall, and after leaving it to sit for an hour, it worked without fault. 

    Despite its water-repelling abilities, if you’re living in a rainy or humid climate, you should take the Hornit inside with you because, over time, condensation can penetrate the device and cause issues. 

    If you’re looking for a low-maintenance bike horn that will cut through the noise on busy roads, the Hornit is an excellent choice.

    Whilst it’s one of the more expensive in this review, the Hornit remains budget-friendly and outperforms similar electric horns. 

    View the most recent price on Amazon here, or on the Hornit website here.

    Hornit dB140 Info
    Weight: 100g (3.5oz)
    Electronic: Yes (Removable Batteries)
    Attaches to: 22-31.8mm Handlebars
    Remote Operated: Yes
    Stated Volume: 140dB
    Observed Volume @ 10m 70.7dBA
    Warranty 2 Years

    Bike Bugle Horn

    Bike Bugle Horn Review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    This Bugle Bike Horn is a welcome addition to any bike, especially retro bikes and easily attracts the attention of pedestrians and other cyclists when you need it. 

    A soft silicone bulb sits on the back of the bugle and is squeezed to sound the horn. Unlike the Straight Bike Air Horn featured below, this horn can be sounded in rapid succession, providing several quick, loud honks. 

    One downside I’ve found with manually operated horns is that you need to remove one of your hands from your handlebars to sound the horn.

    This means that this horn isn’t as easy to sound at short notice as the Hornit or the Twooc 100dB, which are remote operated.

    Because both of your hands are required for braking and steering, if you need to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid an obstacle, this can mean you’ll be unable to sound this horn. 

    Squeezing the air bulb of the Bugle Bike Horn
    The mounting system provided with the bugle horn didn't fit on my handlebars, so I used two zip ties and a rubber strip to hold it securely in place

    I also found that this bugle’s sound attracted laughs and smiles rather than startling the life out of pedestrians, which is preferable. 

    When I tested the Bugle Horn outside, my sound meter read an average of 67.8 dBA from 10m. This was the third highest reading in my test, coming behind the Delta Airzound and the Hornit 140dB.

    Compared to the straight-bulb horn (which measured 65 dBA at 10m), the bugle was noticeably louder and easier to operate thanks to its higher-quality air bulb. 

    This horn is made from polished stainless steel, which is durable and relatively lightweight. It’s nearly double the weight of the straight bike horn below, but it looks funkier and produces a lovely double honk.

    Bugle Bike horn - low quality mounting system
    The mounting system supplied is terrible, but it's easy to secure the Horn with elastics or zip ties

    A downside I found with both of the bugle horns featured in this review is that they both use the same low-quality mounting system, which is fiddly to attach and doesn’t provide the most secure grip. 

    Apart from this, you’ll enjoy the fact that bike bugle horns don’t require charging or refilling like most electric or air horns.

    This bugle-style horn can be purchased online from various retailers at a very reasonable price. 

    I found an excellent way to increase the grip of the mounting system is to add a strip of old inner tube to either side of the clamp, which improves the mount’s grip and prevents any rattling. 

    You can view the latest price for this bugle horn on Amazon here

    Bugle Horn Info
    Weight: 150g (5.29oz)
    Electronic: No
    Attaches to: 22mm Handlebars
    Stated Volume: Not Stated
    Observed Volume @ 10m 67.8dBA
    Warranty None

    Delta Cycle Airzound XL

    Delta Airzound bike horn review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    The Delta AirZound XL is the most effective yet simple bike horn featured in this review. As you’ll find out from my test results towards the end of the article, it’s also the loudest horn across all distances.

    Unlike other bike horns, the AirZound doesn’t require any batteries, and in addition, it’s loud enough to be heard by drivers of cars and other automobiles.

    One of your biggest dangers when riding on busier roads is colliding with or being hit by another vehicle.

    So, it’s massively beneficial that the Airzound packs the power required to penetrate the body of a car, guaranteeing that other road users are aware of your presence at the touch of a button. 

    How to refill the Delta Airzound bike horn
    It's important to remember that as the pressure decreases in the Airzound's tank, the horn will become less powerful. Simply repressurize the tank using its Schrader valve and you'll be back in action

    The AirZound uses a pressurized plastic air tank, which sends air through the horn using a durable rubber tube. 

    Now technically speaking, the air tank is just a plastic bottle. However, it’s sturdy, and because it’s plastic, you can squeeze the bottle to check if it requires refilling.

    When you press the Airzound’s button, air is released from inside the air tank, which exits through the horn, creating a very loud honk similar to that of a classic canister air horn. 

    Since air is dumped each time the horn sounds, you need to refill the Airzound’s tank occasionally. Thankfully, a Schrader bike pump is all that’s needed to refill the air tank.

    Over two weeks of use, I found that I could get 20-30 good horn blasts from the AirZound before refilling.

    This means the tank can last up to a week before it needs to be refilled. However, refill times will vary depending on how often you use the horn. 

    There are two mounting options for the AirZound. You can mount it using the velcro pad supplied, which can be attached anywhere on your bike’s frame, otherwise, if you have one fitted, the air tank can fit into a bottle cage. 

    Once you’ve mounted the air tank, you can attach the horn to a convenient location on your handlebars using the mounting clasps provided. 

    The Airzound is compatible with standard 22 and 31.8mm handlebars. If your handlebars aren’t circular, you could easily use cable ties to mount this horn.

    For me, the Delta Airzound is the best bike horn out there.

    Despite its rudimentary design and being slightly bulkier than the other horns featured here, it effortlessly cuts through noise on busy roads and can be heard clearly from long distances.

    It’s a great way to notify other road users of your presence, just make sure you don’t set the AirZound off too close to anyone, it’s a powerful horn and will startle pedestrians if used without consideration.

    When conducting my sound testing (shown below), the first blast of the Airzound scared the birds out of nearby trees. 

    You can view the most up-to-date price for the AirZound on Amazon here, or the Delta Website here

    Delta Cycle Airzound XL Info
    Weight: 135g (4.76oz)
    Electronic: No
    Attaches to: 22 - 31.8mm Handlebars
    Stated Volume: 115 dB
    Observed Volume @ 10m 80.6dBA
    Warranty 1 Year

    Bike Horns That Didn’t Make the Cut

    Straight Bike Air Horn

    Straight Bike Horn Review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    This straight bike air horn is another manually operated horn similar to the chrome bugle shown earlier in this review of the best bike horns. 

    Despite not looking as funky, this horn is easier to mount than the Bugle, and thanks to its straight thin profile, it doesn’t occupy too much room on your handlebars.

    More room on your handlebars leaves space for other accessories, such as your lights, bike computers or simply less clutter.

    Whilst the mounting bracket provided is the same cheap bracket supplied with the bugle horn, the mount grips the horn tighter and holds it tightly in place. 

    The grip of the mount is still loose, but add a strip of rubber, such as a piece of an old inner tube, and you won’t have any issues. 

    The air bulb used to operate this straight bike horn is much firmer than the bugle’s, meaning it takes longer to reinflate, limiting how quickly you can repetitively sound the horn.

    Bugle and straight bike horn comparison
    The bugle on the left take up more room on your handlebars, but its soft silicone bulb is much better quality than the straight bike horn's

    It was cold outside (3-4°c) when I was testing the horns featured within this review, and the bulb this horn uses struggled.

    Low temperatures made the rubber air bulb stiffen up and become virtually unusable unless warmed (as shown in the image below).

    This is an instant failure for me since horns need to be ready to use at any given moment, without notice.  

    Even when the bulb was warmed, I found myself re-squeezing it before it had fully inflated, meaning it didn’t sound properly. Whereas the Bugle horn’s bulb is quicker to refill and can be sounded in rapid succession without issue.

    The sound this straight trumpet makes is a slightly higher pitch than the bugle shown above, it’s still a nice noise, but since it can be difficult to sound, you can’t guarantee it’ll grab the attention of those nearby.

    Straight bike horn air bulb issue
    The air bulb on the straight horn too stiff and becomes much more rigid in cold weather, meaning it's of no use in winter

    I tested this bike horn outside to see how loud it is, and at 10m, my sound meter took an average reading of 65 dBA. This showed the Straight Horn is quieter than the Bugle Horn as well as being less user-friendly.

    Despite being avalible at a reasonable price, this horn did not make the cut and can’t be considered as one of the best bike horns.

    It’s a struggle to use in the cold, and it’s quieter than the Bugle horn, which didn’t suffer from the same flaws at low temperatures. 

    If you’re after a classic bike horn, go for the Bugle for its looks and ease of use. 

    Straight Bike Horn Info
    Weight: 81g (2.86oz)
    Electronic: No
    Attaches to: 22mm Handlebars
    Stated Volume: Not Stated
    Observed Volume @ 10m 65dBA
    Warranty None

    Twooc 125dB Electric Bike Horn

    Twooc 120dB electric bike horn review
    Quality of Materials
    Ease of Use

    Another relatively cheap bike horn from Twooc, and this time totally different. 

    This electronic bike horn is compact and weighs just 37g (1.3oz), making it the lightest bike horn featured in this review, however, for me, it didn’t make the cut, and I explain why below.

    Like the other Twooc bike horn, this horn has four different sound profiles:

    • Bugle horn
    • Whistle
    • High-pitch siren
    • Electric horn

    The electric horn sound is my preferred option as the others are pretty grainy sounding, but they’re loud and can be used to gain the attention of other road users. 

    Twooc 120dB bike horn button controls
    As shown here, the Twooc 120dB's button is small and easy to miss without looking down at the horn, not ideal

    When I tested the horn outside at a range of 10m, my sound meter showed an average reading of 61.6 dBA. This means the Twooc 120dB is the quietest horn I tested, despite being advertised as louder than the Twooc 100dB.

    The Twooc 120dB claims to be IPX5 rated, meaning it should be “protected against a sustained low-pressure water jet from any angle”.

    I’m always sceptical of any rating awarded to cheap, mass-produced products, so I ran the horn under the tap at various angles for no more than 30 seconds. 

    The device quickly filled up with water and began to malfunction. The horn began to sound and wouldn’t stop, there was nothing I could do to turn it off, so I smashed it on the floor, which put an end to this horn’s misery.

    Upon inspection of the interior, the circuit board was covered in water. This is one of the cheaper bike horns in this list, and it’s evident from its performance.

    Twooc electric bike horn waterproof test
    Despite claiming to be IPX5 rated, the Twooc 120dB met its maker when I ran it under the tap

    The horn is mounted in place by thick elastic bands, which keep it on your handlebars, but don’t stop it from rotating when you use it. 

    Perhaps the best feature this horn provides is its alarm function. When you leave your bike unattended in public, you can activate the horn’s alarm feature, and if its motion sensors detect a disturbance whilst you’re away, its alarm will sound for 15 seconds.

    But if it rains, the horn’s not going to last long, so if you decided on this horn for some bizarre reason, I wouldn’t recommend leaving it on your bike, which renders the alarm feature useless. 

    The button used to activate the horn is small, so it’s not easy to activate without looking down at the horn.

    I’m not sure I need to say much more about this horn. Far inferior to the Twooc 100dB.

    Delta Cycle Airzound XL Info
    Weight: 37g (1.3oz)
    Electronic: Yes (Rechargeable)
    Attaches to: 16-40mm Handlebars
    Stated Volume: 125dB
    Observed Volume @ 10m 61.6dBA
    Warranty None

    Compare Bike Horn Stats

    Horn Model Quality of Materials Ease of Use Value
    Twooc 100dB 5.5 7.5 8.0
    Hornit 140dB 8.5 8.5 7.5
    Bike Bugle Horn 6.0 6.0 7.0
    Delta Cycle Airzound 8.0 7.5 8.5
    Straight Bike Horn 3.5 3.0 4.5
    Twooc 125dB 5.5 4.5 4.0

    The Best Bike Horn - Test Method and Results

    Since some American states require your bike horn/bell to be audible from 100ft (30m), I thought I’d test the range of horns recommended within this review to see which are compliant. 

    This test also gives us an understanding of how these horns will perform when used for real. 

    Method & Insight - Bike Horn Sound Intensity Test

    I tested each horn from four distances:

    • Point blank
    • 10m (33ft)
    • 20m (66ft)
    • 30m (99ft)

    The measurements shown above are the distances that I was standing from my sound meter, which was facing towards me. 

    I sounded each bike horn three times from each distance and recorded the results. The figures shown in the table below display the average reading from my three measurements.

    The loudness of each horn was measured in dBA rather than dB because dBA is a closer indication of the hearing threshold of the human ear. 

    The test took place in a park next to a fairly busy road and underneath an active flight path to a nearby airport. 

    The best bike horn - sound intensity testing
    The three different distances that I tested each horn from.

    I also wanted to simulate how well car drivers could hear each horn, so my assistant sat in the driver’s seat of a car, and I repeated the same test from a distance of 10m. 

    It’s unlikely that you will ever be honking at a car from 20 to 30m. Additionally, I conducted this test in a built-up area and didn’t want to disturb the residents, which explains my decision to only test from 10m. 

    The car was parked with its engine turned off since I didn’t want to be idling for hours, but this test at least gives us a good representation of which horns can penetrate a car.

    Sound Intensity Test - Outdoor

    We measured the ambient noise at our test location for a minute before testing, this ranged from 47dBA to 53dBA.

    Bike Horn Sound Intensity Test Results Chart
    (click to enlarge)

    Sound Intensity Test - Inside Car

    As expected, the results collected during the car test were much different than the outdoor sound intensity test. 

    For this reason, instead of providing an average, I’ve included the three test results for each horn. This help to further explain each horn’s performance.

    We measured the ambient noise inside the car for a minute before testing, this ranged from 30 to 40dBA. 

    My assistant, who helped me with the test, signalled to me each time the noise inside the car reached 30dBA, and I’d sound the horn to gain the most accurate data whilst attempting to be as fair as possible.

    Sound Intensity From 10m (dBA) Sound Intensity From 20m (dBA) Sound Intensity From 30m (dBA)
    Twooc 100dB 65.6 60.1 56.5
    Hornit 140dB 70.7 62.1 59.9
    Bike Bugle Horn 67.8 61.6 57.9
    Delta Airzound 80.6 74.7 69.6
    Straight Bike Horn 65 58.6 56.9
    Twooc 125dB 61.6 57.7 51.5
    Sound Intensity From 10m (dBa)
    Twooc 100dB 38.2, 35.2, 39.3
    Hornit 140dB 39.3, 36.8, 36.8
    Bugle Horn 35.2, 35.2, 33.3
    Delta Airzound 56.5, 55.2, 36.5
    Straight Horn 35.2, 36.8, 35.2
    Twooc 120dB 33.3, 33.3, 33.3

    Sound Intensity Results Explained

    The results from my testing need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    There were many uncontrollable factors that could have influenced the data we collected, these can be seen in a few of the outliers in the car test. 

    However, both of my tests do suggest that the Delta Airzound is the loudest bike horn. 

    My assistant said the Delta Airzound was considerably louder than all of the other horns inside the car, and to be fair, I didn’t need to conduct any of this testing to tell you that the Airzound was the loudest bike horn on the block. 

    As mentioned earlier, when I set the Airzound off for the first time, several birds occupying nearby trees left their nests in fright. This is one powerful horn. 

    Despite claiming to be 120dB, the Twooc 120dB was the quietest horn across all of our tests and was broken after 30 seconds under a gently running tap. 

    The Best Bike Horn Review - Results

    The results of the bulb horn tests suggest that the bugle horn is slightly louder than the straight horn. However, there will have been inconsistencies with the data gathered for the bulb horns since I could not squeeze the bulbs with the same force each time. 

    Whilst there were inconsistencies, I’d highly recommend the Bugle over the straight horn if you’re looking for a classic bike horn.

    The Bugle was considerably easier to sound in repetition, meaning it’s more likely you’ll be heard when using the horn.

    Finally, I didn’t use the best sound meter on the market, so sometimes it struggled to identify the horn sounds from background noise. This was especially evident during the car test.

    However, the data gathered allows us to identify the louder horns as the Delta Airzound and the Hornit 140dB. The Airzound was also the only horn my test showed to be audible inside a car

    That said, my assistant said they could also hear the Hornit, Bugle and both Twooc horns. 

    Bike Horn vs Bike Bell

    Whilst bike horns and bells are ultimately designed to serve the same purpose; they have differences which alter how effective they are in different scenarios. 

    I’ve already addressed several in this bike horn review, but you can find them all in the table below. 

    Bike Horn Benefits Bike Bell Benefits
    • Bike horns are normally louder than bike bells
    • Most bike bells are mechanical and don't require batteries
    • Many electric horns have a wired button for rapid operation
    • Bike bells normally sound less aggressive than bike horns
    • Horns catch the attention of car drivers and pedestrians
    • Bike bells are normally more compact than bike horns
    • Some bike horns offer a range of volumes and sounds
    • Bike bells are normally more affordable than bike horns
    • Some bike horns are loud enough to be heard in busy urban areas
    • Huge choice of bike bell designs and styles
    • Horn sounds aren't ignored by people that can hear
    • Bike bells typically last longer due to their lack of electronic parts

    Bike Horn FAQs

    Not only are bike horns and bells legal, but they are required by law in several American states and recommended in the UK.

    In the USA bike bells or other audible devices (except for sirens or whistles), are required by law in New Jersey and New York. Bike bells or horns need to be audible at 100ft in these two states. [1][2]

    However, even when riding in these states, it’s common to see cyclists without bike bells or horns, as the authorities do not commonly enforce this law. 

    In the UK, bike bells were required until 2011. However, they’re now only “recommended” by the highway code and are not a legal requirement. [3]

    So, using a bike bell or horn is perfectly legal, and in some areas, it’s the law to have one on your bike. 

    Just make sure that you use your bike horn or bell in a sensible manner, that doesn’t disturb or startle people unnecessarily. 

    Bicycle horns are relatively easy to adjust and can usually be mounted to multiple parts of your bike. 

    If your bike horn is attached to your handlebars, loosening its mount will allow you to change its position. 

    If the horn’s mount cannot attach to your preferred area, zip ties can help you secure it in place. If using zip ties, ensure you put something in place to protect your bike’s paintwork, such as a strip of inner tube rubber. 

    In addition, if you want to adjust the tone or volume of your bike horn, this is possible on most electric or gas-operated horns like the Delta Airzound Horn. 

    Electric bike horns typically have several buttons that allow you to adjust the horn’s volume and sound profile. 

    Non-electric horns like the Airzound feature a flow adjustment valve that can alter the horn’s volume and sound. 

    If you want to use a bike horn without a battery, you’ll want to use a manual gas-operated horn such as the Bugle horn or an air horn like the Delta Airzound.

    Gas-powered horns don’t require batteries and are often easily refilled, allowing you to use them continuously without needing to be charged after use.

    Electric bike horns often provide multiple sounds available for use in different situations. 

    Navigating to different sounds is usually as simple as using the buttons on top of the bike horn to navigate through avalible sounds. 

    It’s best to use a sound profile that produces a loud enough tone to be heard by pedestrians whilst not scaring the life out of them!

    Avoid the use of sirens, using a siren on public roads is against the law without a license in many areas.

    The Delta Airzound was the loudest horn in this test, measuring 80.6dBA at 10 meters. Impressive.

    I didn’t utilise some of the louder sound profiles on several of the horns featured, as I felt some were more of an alarm than a horn, and this isn’t an alarm review.

    As you can see from the test results above, the Hornit came in second to the Airzound, measuring 70.7 dBA from 10 meters.

    In my testing, the Airzound was the only horn that was clearly picked up by my sound meter inside a car, which read 56.6 and 55.2 dBA from inside a car at 10m. 

    It’s also refillable and doesn’t require batteries. 

    Just as it’s illegal to put a siren on a car or motorbike in most countries and states, it’s illegal or heavily frowned upon by the authorities to ride with an active siren in public. 

    As fun as it may sound, sirens are designed for emergency services and using one on a bicycle is not a good idea. 

    Several electric bike horns in this review feature siren-like sound profiles, which I’d advise against using.

    In addition, it’s against the law for those interested to use flashing blue lights on a bicycle, car or motorbike since these are strictly for emergency services only. 

    Summary - The Best Bike Horn

    So there we have it, the best bike horns on the market tested and reviewed.

    I hope you’ve found this content helpful. If I’ve left any of your questions unanswered, please let me know by dropping me a comment below, and I’ll get back to you right away. 

    There are several other bike horns that I’m waiting to test and possibly add to this review if they’re good enough. 

    As always, make sure to use a good quality bike lock when securing your bike, after all, a good quality lock costs less than replacing a stolen bike!

    Finally, if you think you’ve found a better horn than any mentioned in the review, let me know which you chose, and I’ll review it!

    Thanks for reading.


    [1] Bike Bell Laws NYC –

    [2] Bike Bell Laws New Jersey –

    [3] Bike Bell laws UK –

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    Author of This Post:
    James Grear (Lead Editor)
    James Grear (Lead Editor)

    Understanding how devastating it is to have a bike stolen, I've researched & immersed myself in the world of bicycle security since 2013.

    I then built BikeLockWiki in 2019 to share everything I'd learned with the worldwide cycling community so that cyclists can improve their bike security skills and make informed decisions when purchasing new products and services.

    Learn More about Me & BikeLockWiki here.

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