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Local product designer raises over $90,000 for bike horn on Kickstarter

Posted by on February 6th, 2013 at 8:49 am

Remember the “Orp”? The quirky creation of local product/industrial design firm FUSE has just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. We heard from Orp’s creator and FUSE owner Toren Orzek that they’ve raised over $96,000, easily surpassing their goal of $90,000 with five days still to go.

The Orp was inspired by the tragic right-hook collisions that took the lives of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek back in 2007. As designers and engineers often do, Toren and the crew at his central eastside studio went to work to create a loud bicycle horn that could be heard inside the cabin of a car. The 96 decibel horn is also a bright LED light and it’s much smaller than other loud bicycle horns on the market. When we wrote about the Orp back in December, it had a sound that resembled a fire alarm. After hearing feedback that a more vehicle-like sound would be better, FUSE changed the sound to sound more like the “beep-beep” of a moped.

Since our story, the Orp has been covered by dozens of major media outlets including TechCrunch, The Oregonian, Wired Magazine, Cool Hunting, KGW-TV, and more. The product has 1,236 backers, the majority of whom have pledged enough to be the first in line to receive an Orp horn (retail will be $49.95). The money raised with allow Toren and FUSE to commercialize the Orp, purchase tooling, and bring the product to the market.

On Monday, Toren shared an update and note of thanks with his backers that included this graphic:

And here’s a look at the guts of an Orp. It’s a very nifty product!

Congratulations Toren and the FUSE team! It’s great to see this type of bike product innovation happening in Portland and we look forward to more great things from the FUSE shop in the future.

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  • 9watts February 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Will it be manufactured in the US/locally? That would be nice.

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  • Andrew K February 6, 2013 at 9:50 am

    That is very cool they listened to customer feedback so early in the game. Sounding like a moped is a good idea. It’s not an aggresive sound, but it’s attention getting enough to come across as “hey look at me!” which is good when alerting a car.

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  • Zaphod February 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I’ll buy one of these. I’ll use a bell for pedestrian/cyclist passing and the horn when auto risks present themselves.

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    • SilkySlim February 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I already bought one! Errr… funded the project in exchange for one.

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  • are February 6, 2013 at 10:30 am

    paragraph (2)(b)

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    • dan February 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

      “A person shall not install or use any siren or whistle upon a bicycle. This paragraph does not apply to bicycles used by police officers.”

      Don’t see how this is relevant: car horns are not construed as sirens, and I don’t see how this is any different.

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      • are February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        definitionally, the question would be how is the sound produced.

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  • DK February 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Moped “beep beep”.

    How about a tug boat fog horn? Ooooo, wait, how about programmable with your own ring tone?

    Very neat little device. Love the idea of integrating the light.

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    • Pete February 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      How about high-powered laser beams to blast away cars that are about to cream you? 🙂

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      • Hood River Betsy February 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        They already have lightsabers.

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  • she February 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I am now a backer!

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  • Sbrock February 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Any idea how loud it is?(like db at 25ft.)

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  • Bill Stites February 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Congratulations and good luck to Tory and the house of FUSE!
    Smart use of versatile electronics.
    But I’ll wait for the fur-covered version. Or maybe just a mane? Orp with a mohawk. 😉

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  • Ken Wetherell February 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Love it! I will instantly buy one for my personal commute and another to test on our fleet of delivery bikes downtown. Great innovation. Congratulations!

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  • Paul Smith February 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Brilliant design, and looks quite useful, at a totally doable price. I’d totally buy one. Anywhere to go to be notified when they’re for sale?

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  • niko February 6, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    This is cool. This electric horn represents the movement of bikes deeper into acceptance as mainstream transportation.

    These might replace bike bells and squeeze horns to become a standard accessory for all bikes. The bell and squeeze horns were designed for an era of riding solely among pedestrians and on sidewalks. From now on a proper bike accessory kit will be- helmet, headlight, taillight, and electric horn.

    I hope it catches on, I think it will and I think it really represents a new era in cycling.

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  • GlowBoy February 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I sure would not see this as a replacement for bells though. The horn described above would NOT be appropriate for signaling to pedestrians. Of course the design could be modified to include a separate button to engage a pedestrian-friendly “ding” sound, while still providing the louder horn sound to wake up some caged idiot who isn’t paying attention. It would be really great to have a single accessory that combines the new (to most cyclists) functionality of a horn with the blinkie and bell functions that many cyclists currently have as separate accessories.

    Just remember to bring it with you when you lock up your bike! This will be a very popular theft item. (Says the guy who recently had his SuperFlash swiped off his bike, after accidentally leaving it attached while parked in the Lloyd District for two hours).

    As for the light function, with two 5mm Nichias this will definitely only be a “be-seen” blinkie, and a pretty low-end one at that. But will be nice that it can replace another accessory. Just be aware that most real night riders will still need to keep their “see where you’re going” lights.

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    • Paul Smith February 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Great feedback, that makes sense, I hope they consider that in the next iteration!

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    • Orpmaker February 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      GB, Orp does have two sounds on boards. The first displacement( up or down) of Orp’s WailTail actuator yields a 76db friendly sound good for warning other cyclists and pedestrians. Push a little harder up or down and then Orp emits it loud, 96dB sound. This is the sound you’ll want to use in traffic. Also orps LEDs are surface mount. They are not the 5mm bulb type LEDs. Check out the kickstarter site to see it all.

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  • GlowBoy February 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

    That’s fantastic. Surface mount LEDs can actually kick out some real lumens (maybe even enough to be a “see where you’re going” light in well-lit areas, with the right optics), and with the dual-sound feature this is going to be a really great product.

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