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

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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.

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Meet the “Orp” a new bike horn (and light) created in Portland

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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Portland-based industrial designer
Toren Orzeck and his “Orp” bike horn/light.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Many people ride with bike bells; but the truth is, in the midst of traffic they are not nearly loud enough to be heard inside the cabin of a car or truck. That’s a problem that Toren Orzeck of Fuse, a product design firm located in southeast Portland, wanted to fix. “I’m not the best biker,” he said when I met him at his shop back in September, “but I love to solve problems.”

The “Orp” — which went live on Kickstarter today — is Orzeck’s solution. Orzeck is a former designer for GE Plastics and Nike whose brain seems to never stop working. He started thinking about the bike horn idea after the tragic, right-hook deaths of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek in October 2007. He felt an even greater urgency to solve this problem when, in summer of 2008, the gas-price induced bike boom got him and his employees on their bikes.

“I thought, there’s got to be a way to make bikes more visible — or maybe more hearable.”

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