Bag yourself a bicycle whistle

bicycle whistle

The Bookman bicycle whistle might be based on nineteenth century technology, but its benefits for urban cyclists are current.

Established in Birmingham in 1870, Acme Whistles has teamed up with Swedish bicycle accessory supremo, Bookman, to create a new design of whistle for today’s rider. According to Bookman’s Johan Lidehall: “Most of our customers probably wouldn’t like the look of a big horn attached to their bike, so that’s why we decided on the small but loud whistle instead.”

The bicycle whistle produces a loud high-pitched sound without the need for any moving parts – the perfect way to alert other road users of your presence.

bicycle whistle

The police have been using both the bicycle and the whistle for over 100 years – two designs so efficient and reliable that they have changed remarkably little over the course of a century.

As cities have grown over time, so too has noise pollution and congestion. Luckily the bicycle and whistle remain the ideal tools to tackle both.

Different sounds elicit different responses depending on geography and culture. A traditional bike bell might work in some areas if it can be heard, but sometimes your surroundings necessitate a different audible or visual signal. Police outriders leave a whistle resting on their lip because, even though their bikes are equipped with powerful sirens, they know that the shrill sound of a whistle works universally to grab the attention of other road users.

Win a Bookman bicycle whistle

We have four Bookman whistles, worth £13 each, to give away. Simply leave us a comment at the bottom of this page and we will pick winners next week.

Cycle insurance

Making yourself heard when you need to is just one of the challenges that face today’s rider. Cycle insurance from the ETA is designed to make your life on two wheels as easy as possible. We protect against theft, but unlike other insurers will never devalue your bike. We reimburse you when bicycle parts are pinched, but unlike other insurers we will not penalise you if have not secured quick release items. Just two of the things that set us apart. After all, we have been voted Britain’s most ethical insurance company by The Good Shopping Guide. Find out more

 

 

Comments

  1. Steph

    Reply

    What a blast!! (literally!)

  2. Gill Watling

    Reply

    Pedestrians come at me like a missile,
    Great way to alert them, this whistle!

  3. Mark D.

    Reply

    So much more convenient to ride with than a vuvuzela.

  4. Stephen Davies

    Reply

    Very nice safety product.

    • Stephen Davies

      Reply

      COMMENT to the manufacturer: Nice whistle, but the lanyard itself creates a safety hazard for the cyclist. Never ride with a lanyard like this around your neck, always use a safety lanyard with a safety breakaway release. Thanks!

      • Stephen Davies

        Reply

        Whilst it’s not written above, I’ve just noticed that Bookman’s own website recommends using a break free knot, which reassures me. EXCELLENT safety product!

  5. Colin

    Reply

    “But thou shalt hear it: whistle then to me,….”

    [Paris from Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare]

  6. steve

    Reply

    In my experience, pedestrians are the biggest threat to city cycling commuters, so this is a really great tool. Thanks.

  7. Neil Woolford

    Reply

    Phweep!

  8. Danny Long

    Reply

    With technology based on Acme’s Tornado whistle, I just gota get one…

  9. Sean

    Reply

    On some of the windy narrow tracks I cycle on the bell is not loud enough to warn oncoming cyclists & pedestrians in good time, but this whistle would do the trick perfectly!!

  10. Dave Peacock

    Reply

    More effective than a bell!

  11. Keith Graham

    Reply

    Can’t wait to whistle down the wind with one of these.

  12. Tooty Fruity

    Reply

    £13 for a whistle! You are having a larf.

  13. Reverend Christopher Hickmott-Arnold

    Reply

    Whistle while you work ( at peddling your bike).

  14. Simon

    Reply

    Peep peep! Like it 🙂

  15. Dido

    Reply

    peep-peep

  16. Jennyve Salvato

    Reply

    This will be more effective than my useless bell! Please give me one 🙂

  17. Athol Bowman

    Reply

    And most likely to be heard by pedestrians with hearing difficulties. Pheep! Pheep !

  18. Su

    Reply

    You know how to whistle, don’t ya?

  19. Matthew Newell

    Reply

    Sounds like a good idea

  20. PootlingAroundTown

    Reply

    Looks like a useful pendant to wear when on the road.

  21. John COLLIER

    Reply

    I use a mobility scooter to go to the local shops and come up against pedestrians with earplugs who cannot hear my little hooter or my somewhat louder shout to let me pass. Lo and behold…..You have provided the answer…….A whistle !!

  22. Frank

    Reply

    “When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
    Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!
    When you meet temptation and the urge is very strong
    Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!”
    Jiminy Cricket

  23. Ian Grew

    Reply

    Whistling does work … but I’m normally too out of breath to make a sound!

  24. John thys

    Reply

    That’s a great idea I wonder if I can control the wife with it

  25. Matt Blackmore

    Reply

    I can use it in school too!

  26. Peter Clark

    Reply

    Refereeing the roads!

  27. Bryn Jones

    Reply

    I bought one a year ago and it was so brilliant, that my partner begged me to give it to her, which I did.
    I’d love one for myself.

  28. Paul

    Reply

    Can I whistle for one?

  29. Sarah

    Reply

    Sounds perfect for playground duty!

  30. Philip

    Reply

    I could go on a whistle -stop tour Birmingham.

  31. Anna Shakoor-Green

    Reply

    This would be useful for delivering Bikeability training too.

  32. Dick Willis

    Reply

    dual purpose, alerting other road users and calling the dog. Excellent

  33. Scott

    Reply

    WHat a WHistle for WHen I’m on my WHAY to WHork!

  34. Anthony Alston

    Reply

    I could have done with on this afternoon.

  35. Gavin.

    Reply

    … hope I win one, as at 13 quid I don’t think I’ll be buying one anytime soon…

  36. I G Ramsey

    Reply

    What with the volumes of traffic and tourists in Westminster this would be the perfect solution to the perennial problem of making yourself known!

  37. Roger Birchall

    Reply

    The ACME “Air Horn” is what you need!
    That’ll make em shift alright!

  38. Bob

    Reply

    A fantastic, simple “here I am” audible device for us cyclists. Will I end up with all the local Sheepdogs and Police Officers trailing along behind me??

  39. Richard Scrase

    Reply

    Wheeep

  40. James

    Reply

    Sounds good to warn people on cycle path and dog control

  41. Christopher

    Reply

    Pedestrians sometimes don’t notice bells, a whistle sounds like it might well do the trick.

  42. David

    Reply

    I could shout for less money!

  43. Fran McLean

    Reply

    My friend Ben swears by a whistle for communicating with traffic and pedestrians. He never rides without one, and I’m begging you for a beautiful Bookman bicycle whistle for Ben to better his battered basic one.

  44. Phil

    Reply

    A breath of fresh air

  45. Ben Owen

    Reply

    I’ve been using a referee whistle in London for the last 10 years or so. Despite explaining all the benefits to friends who cycle, especially with pedestrians stepping out onto the road whilst texting, or tourists instinctively looking the wrong way, many still think it’s unreasonably aggressive. I’ll forward your article to them.

    In Ealing people know me as the Whistleblower! One day in Shepherds Bush, in West London, I whistled loudly at a SMIDSY (Sorry mate, I didn’t see you) car pulling out of a side junction. The driver stopped suddenly and apologetically. A cyclist behind me pulled up alongside me and said “Oi mate, that’s a really good idea I will get one.” A couple of months later a cyclist with a big grin on her face overtook me and gave a blast on her whistle. I looked over my shoulder -slightly surprised – and it was the same woman just saying thanks and giving me the thumbs up “nice idea mate beautiful it works a dream!”

    I am ready made to be a great ambassador!

  46. Jim Woodlingfield

    Reply

    This looks a great whistle, the kids already make a lot of noise in the trailer so this might be a way of getting their attention on the move…

  47. Chris Selkirk

    Reply

    I can try this on my bike to alert headphone wearing pedestrians (and cyclists) to my approach. Alternatively my wife can use it for playground duty.

  48. Mike Croker

    Reply

    Always look on the bright side of life, …

  49. David

    Reply

    “My friend Ben swears by a whistle” – this might stop me swearing at pedestrians!

  50. whobiggs

    Reply

    It looks better than the one I carry

  51. mark

    Reply

    “Police outriders leave a whistle resting on their lip”, er and i’m elvis presley! who makes this stuff up?!

  52. MH

    Reply

    Helpful hint – take the whistle out of your mouth when cycling up hill. Or maybe swap it for a kazoo.

  53. Peter Shirley

    Reply

    Whistle me up one of these please.

  54. Nick

    Reply

    The capacity of this whistle to get me in to an argument with anti cat calling feminists, boggles the mind. Do they come with a pack of red cards, for drivers who try to enter a roundabout, without seeing cyclists?

  55. TheCyclist

    Reply

    Yes please. I would love one, as I am tired of pedestrians and motorists not hearing my dainty bell.

  56. Caroline Toner

    Reply

    Great idea

  57. Julian Carte

    Reply

    Too harsh for pedestrians but good idea for traffic situations.

  58. Penny Pitty

    Reply

    Great for may 17 year old granddaughter who relies on her bike to get around Norwich at all times of the day.

  59. VicK

    Reply

    Peep peep road runner!

  60. Toity

    Reply

    It would alert pedestrians to look before they cross the road, alert others around you if a car driver is acting dangerously and might even get through to some car drivers! We live in hope.

  61. Gary Reece

    Reply

    We use whistles (www.bikemarshals.co.uk) to warn cyclists of immediate hazard/danger, better than a horn as the distinctive sound grabs the riders immediate attention to a safety issue, this works well on all events from sportives to road races. Tried and tested it simply works as its a different sound to those normally found in the road environment

  62. Alison

    Reply

    Great for alerting pedestrians with their headphones in!!!

  63. James Russell

    Reply

    Just consulting Lauren Bacall for some whistle tips.

  64. Colin

    Reply

    Sounds like a good old idea.

  65. Greg

    Reply

    Got to get whistling
    While whisking
    Through the city.

  66. DougMilly

    Reply

    A blow for safety. (Then something to wet my whistle afterwards!)

  67. Bristol Rich

    Reply

    Light weight, eronomic and most important doesn’t sound like a bell! will draw pedestrians listening using headphones to your approach

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