Cars are equipped with loud electric horns, not little bells, as are motorcycles. So, why isn't this the case with bicycles that get ridden in traffic? That's the thinking behind Sonic Grip, which packs a 100-decibel siren into a bike's handlebar grips.
Created by Australian cyclist Steve Brkic, the Sonic Grip package consists of two 130 mm-long rubber-encased grips which are installed in the usual way, using an Allen key to tighten them down. And while the right-hand grip is just a regular one, the left-hand unit incorporates a moulded plastic housing that contains an electronic siren. That siren is activated simply by pressing a thumb button on the housing, sounding for as long as the button is depressed.
The system is water-resistant, and is powered by a replaceable battery. No figures on battery life have been provided, although obviously it would depend heavily on how much the siren is used.
Needless to say, motorists are much more likely to hear a 100-db siren than a standard bell. Brkic also suggests that his product could be used to alert pedestrians on multi-use paths, although we can't help but wonder if that would result in receiving some very startled looks – users might want to still keep a bell on their bars.
Sonic Grip is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of AUD$25 (about US$18) will get you a set, when and if they reach production – the planned retail price is AUD$30 (US$22). A version for road bikes with drop bars is also said to be in the works.
And should you really want to be heard when cycling, check out the hefty 125-decibel Loud Bicycle Horn.
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