ORP Smart Horn—Lights, Sound, Action.
You are looking a bike riding kind of guy who rings his bell a lot. Not for getting people out of the way as much, but to multiply the fun factor of riding a bike. We have many different types and ages of bells on our bikes, and a new one is now part of the group. This brand-new bike horn / light is already getting lots of press and is said to be in stock at over 600 bike shops.
This is as much a product of Oregon as it is from overseas. The man who brought it to life holds many patents and really has a imagination that rings for many. Inside you will find only the most modern of components and innovations (but please don’t really open it up to see). The whole package is wrapped in some modern silicone type stuff with a funny name that makes it close to waterproof. Ring, ring, let’s see what this ORP is all about.
The main draw here is the two level electronic horn, with each sound being different. When you press down on the Wail-Tail (funny take on the term whale tail) you get the loud horn. This isn’t so loud that you cringe, but the tone has a way of catching your ear even from a distance. And it is not so loud that people with their tunes cranked and the windows up will hear it, but what horn is?
Push the Wail-Tail up and you get a pleasant ringing sound. This is my favorite. I have to admit that in the several rides I have taken the ORP on, the bell has really gotten a workout. One was a night group ride on the beach boardwalk. The electronic bell was well received (over and over). The group seemed to like the tone and the walkers on the boardwalk made room fairly quickly. I too got a lot of favorable comments from general bystanders that thought it was cool.
And the ORP is a light too. When you sound either horn it flashes the lights. Even if the lights are on, they flash with the horn. I think this is a great feature and one I was probably the most impressed with. The lights themselves have a slow and fast flashing mode in addition to a steady on. They are not ‘ride fast in the darkness’ bright, yet will do the trick in the neighborhood and on lighted streets. These modern LED light really shine and use so little power.
Power-wise the ORP has a built-in rechargeable lithium battery. About 3 hours of time (in the charge mode) will bring it back to full song. It has a set of internal lights that tell when the smart charging is active and when it is done. Like so many bike accessories in its class (although I think the ORP Smart Horn is in a class of it own) it charges off your computer (or other source) with the included USB cable.
A full charge is said to give between 3-15 hours of light use and I would think nearly unlimited horn use. The ORP also has a socket for a remote button that I haven’t received yet. On some bikes it can mount close to your hand (mountain bike for instance) yet on others (like a beach cruiser) the remote button will come in really handy. The mounting is solid with the stretchy built-in strap. It will fit many sizes of bars and comes with an adhesive backed rubber shim strap. You do want to make sure it is on tight so the light adjustment doesn’t change when you use the Wail-Tail.
It has one other setting called the anti-dooring mode. A better name for it could be the “Hey, look at me” mode. With this the horn honks continuously while the lights blink brightly. You may find it handy, yet it just made me smile. When I say smile, it was not the same as the smile I got each time I rang the bell. Maybe it’s a silly thing to have, but I figure why not?
So, is the electronic horn and bell part silly? I like my mechanical bells but I do have to say they have had many issues through the years. Some aren’t too loud, some break easily and some only ding once per push on the lever. I have fixed and lubed several of my bells and some have hit the recycle bin well before their perceived life was up. Electronics have been the future for quite some time, why not your bike bell too?
One other thing that I like about the ORP has to do with the fact we use our blinking lights front and rear, day and night. I know for a fact that having a blinking light on the front of your bike in the daytime can keep you smiling and safe. It can catch the eye of that driver getting ready to pull from the curb or opening their door. And those turning left from in front of you or pulling from a driveway might just see that light and wait an extra moment to let you pass first.
Seeing that I have a blinking light and a bell on each bike I ride, why not have them both in the same unit? Another thing I didn’t mention is before the horn will work, you need to wake it up. A 3 second hold on the button (it only has one by the way) will bring it to life for use, and then put it to sleep when your done. Don’t forget to wake up the ORP before you turn the pedals.
Although I got the juicy details, I can’t go much further than to tell you the ORP Smart Horn will soon have a kissing cousin in the way of a piece that complements it well. It will be on the market before long and will tout the same quality and innovation as this product. What I can tell you is that I desperately need one—actually many, as I love to try out new things that make my ride more fun. I laughed to see the smart horn having the model #001. So I guess when their new stuff hits the market it will be #002. I hope when #007 comes out it will be a cool smart spy bike item (license to ride with a smile?).
It comes in some bright colors. Mine is charcoal black. I was hoping for a blue one, yet this color has really grown on me. At my house everything bike comes in pairs, so it seems a trip to the bike shop is in order to fill that need. Oh well, such is the fun of shopping for bike goodies that make each ride more fun than the next. Thanks ORP, you really ring my bell.
Make way, ring, ring, Turbo is coming through!
“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine”.—John Howard.
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