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Old 02-07-17, 11:24 PM   #26
canklecat
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I've been using a festive Christmas jingle bell (almost 2" diameter) since the holidays. It started out as a whim but I kept it. It jingles almost continuously if there's any road irregularity. If the pavement is smooth and I need to signal someone I just smack the bell with my hand. Seems to help on the MUP. More folks seem to notice. They don't seem startled. If I want more quiet I put the bell in the handlebar bag or rear rack bag, or just in my pocket.

But nothing helps with folks who wear ear buds. I give 'em plenty of berth. Same with older folks, dogs and kids.
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Old 02-08-17, 01:02 PM   #27
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I agree that with the people wearing earbuds, the best you can hope for is that they have the volume down low enough to hear your bell.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:07 PM   #28
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IMO there's no reason not to have a bell.

But that's backward logic. The question should be, how much of a reason there is to have one, and sadly (for bells) there's isn't much of one.

Modern bike bells are too quiet and have too limited a range to be effective warning devices for someone riding on the roads. In fact, since pedestrians have the right of way, there's no reason to announce your approach except if in danger of imminent collision and then a bell just can't compare to a sharp yell in getting the right response.

Those riding MUPs might do well to have a bell, and it might be better than the classic "on your left", but unless you're riding at relatively low speeds the bell's range won't be adequate. I prefer to call out "bicycle behind you" and see if people respond, then go around them, including moving off the path if necessary to do so.

So, I could have a bell, because there's no reason not to, but I don't because because the benefit, if any, is too marginal.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:31 PM   #29
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The question should be, how much of a reason there is to have one, and sadly (for bells) there's isn't much of one.
I think it depends a lot on where you ride. If I rode mostly in the country and only encountered cars, yeah, it's kind of pointless. But given that I ride mostly in the city and have to deal with a lot of pedestrians, I find a bell useful and effective. Probably more so than in your MUP example, because regular pedestrians are probably less likely to have earphones in.

I do agree that most of them are way too quiet. IMO two of the best are the old-school Crane Suze bell, which is loud and clear, and the newish Spurcycle bell, which is also good and loud. Most other bells I have tried have been disappointing at best.
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Old 02-08-17, 02:39 PM   #30
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IMO there's no reason not to have a bell.

But that's backward logic. The question should be, how much of a reason there is to have one, and sadly (for bells) there's isn't much of one.
I never thought I'd ever need a bell because I live in a small town in a rural area. There's not much out on the county roads to ding your bell at.

But then I started getting up early in the morning to ride 10 miles around town every day, and I learned that there are a number of people who walk up & down the streets between 5-6 AM when I'm out riding. I tried the "on your left!" callout but my voice isn't really a loud one, I felt rude for shouting at people out walking, and it's doubtful any of them would know what "on your left" means anyway. At times they would be walking two abreast down the middle of the street, so it was hard to choose left or right to begin with. So I bought a cheap bell and it's worked well to alert them to my presence ever since. I ding the bell a couple times about 50 feet behind, then ding it a couple more when I get a bit closer, like maybe about 20-25 feet. This lets them know a bicycle is coming and they can choose which side they want to take and I can ride past with a wide margin. I've had some of them stop by my business and thank me for getting the bell. So I'm going to keep it on my bike and use it when necessary.
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Old 02-08-17, 05:22 PM   #31
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If I want more quiet I put the bell in the handlebar bag or rear rack bag, or just in my pocket.
Shouldn't be a problem; my earbuds go loud enough to cover up one of those things.
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Old 02-08-17, 07:21 PM   #32
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Say on your left and they know you are on their left.
Or they move to their left.
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Old 02-08-17, 07:33 PM   #33
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I have never seen that but I rarely ride on a mut. If I do I slow down when passing.
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Old 02-10-17, 07:30 AM   #34
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a bell provides a clear signal to pedestrians and cars alike that you exist
Not only that, it tells them you're on a bike and tells them the distance and direction you're at. And all that in a polite way.

Uniformity helps in traffic, I wouldn't like it if car drivers didn't want to be a fred and express themselves individually with all different colours of indicator lights, blink intervals or even hand signals every time they're about to take a turn.
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Old 02-11-17, 07:30 PM   #35
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Uniformity helps in traffic, I wouldn't like it if car drivers didn't want to be a fred and express themselves individually with all different colours of indicator lights, blink intervals or even hand signals every time they're about to take a turn.
People actually do that where you live? Not one car in ten signals turns here.
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Old 02-13-17, 04:15 PM   #36
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Bells are so Freddy. No thanks.
They only have an audible sound when on the trail. Not when in traffic.
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Old 02-14-17, 09:13 AM   #37
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People actually do that where you live? Not one car in ten signals turns here.
Historically BMW's and nowadays Audi's are known for defect indicator lights, but in general yes.
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Old 02-19-17, 12:36 PM   #38
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I repeat myself. The classic "bring,bring" bell that's been around since balloon tire bikes is universally recognized by everyone. Most people that I ring don't even look back, they either keep moving ahead on a straight line or move slightly to the right.

Shouting anything is a recipe for disaster. On your left is the worst. People don't know what it means. They don't know if you are telling them move to the left or you are passing on your left.
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Old 02-19-17, 12:56 PM   #39
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IMO there's no reason not to have a bell.
Sure there is -Stylin'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Bells are so Freddy. No thanks.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:04 AM   #40
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Altho I dont have a bell on my bike or trike, on the trails in the city, I notice that almost all people walking react immediately to bikers that do use one.
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Old 02-20-17, 08:02 AM   #41
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When I commuted, part of the route included an MUP. The " On your left", or similar calls didn't always work. Some people assume that it might just be another runner/walker overtaking them and didn't expect me to be so near. The old fashioned "Bbbrrring" type of bell I susbsequently mounted on my bike worked like a magic wand. People, especially children, would instantly step aside or at least immediately look. It cleared my way and allowed me to really make time on the commute. I can attest that the "additional weight" or "Fredliness factor" that a bell represents was more than offset by its magical effectiveness in clearing the path. I intend to equip all my non "go fast" bikes with this magical device!
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Old 02-21-17, 03:02 PM   #42
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Hmm, lately using the bell is causing a lot of problems for me but it wasn't always like this but lately I see more and more like this:

Me JRA.. Oh look a hiker.
50 ft behind: ring-ding
20 ft: ring ding ding ding "on your left"
10 ft: ding ding ding! "Coming up behind you on your left!"
5 ft: dingding dingdingdingding!! "Right behind you!"
1 ft: I'm either passing off trail or stopping until they move out of the way. The hiker with the earbuds is giving me a perplexed look.

I swear this happens like every fifth time out on the trail. Just happened again yesterday riding with a buddy of mine. That time we both were yelling on your left and I had the bell going.

At the same time, the bell sometimes garners a rude response that "I'm gonna need to tell them where I'm going if I want them to move over" (yes, actual response after I rang my bell when a dad and son were two abreast, far enough apart on a section of trail almost wide enough for a car to where you couldn't pass them, when they could have just single filed up... I swear it's like every day I'm more flabbergasted than the last of how not in tune with their surroundings trail users have become. Just put these people in virtual reality full time already!

This whole thing is why I'm getting into gravel riding. No hikers or walkers on those lonely dirt roads.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:16 PM   #43
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I have four Saf-T-Horn style piezo horns and I myself as well am an effective horn. The horns are like Jack Benny's violin, you notice.


I find bells to be neato but cars are both noisy or built to be quiet inside anymore and the bells I've had were incredibly fragile (BELL bells, even Schwinn approved) and I can still find 2 super heavy duty D cells for $1 (even 6-8 AA or AAA cells for LED lighting).


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Old 02-24-17, 06:39 AM   #44
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I am angered when passed by another biker with no warning .... It is courtesy ...In Umstead park it happens all the time
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Old 02-24-17, 09:40 AM   #45
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Well, I really don't think I need one, because in 12 years of riding I've only encountered pedestrians maybe a dozen times. I'm not riding in city centers, only on suburban and rural artery roads and there are no people to ding a bell at there.

I also probably come across another cyclist maybe 2 or 3 times a year, and always either going in the other direction or they're overtaking me. If I am overtaking, I just say on your left and pass with half a lane of clearance.
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Old 02-24-17, 04:34 PM   #46
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Old 02-25-17, 02:56 PM   #47
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We have bells on our bikes. They work quite well. Then again, I've also been known to carry organic veggies home from the farmers market in my basket.

In Europe it's not unusual for pro riders to have bells on their bikes for training rides. We were passed by Rabobank a few years ago with about 4 or 6 or them ringing their bells as they did so. Freds. About 5 years ago we saw Mark Cavendish out on a ride, complete with bell and toolkit hanging from his seat. Doesn't Mark know that he can't have a bell and that his tools and spare must only be in the back pocket of his jersey, preferably sticking him in his back? Oh these Freds.
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Old 02-28-17, 12:54 PM   #48
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I have a bell and I use it more often these days! There are so many kids who don't care and don't realize the danger. About 4 years ago I was testing a bike and suddenly a kid from my right turned to left in front of me and in the effort to avoid him I hurt my hand and my knee. When I ride in the woods I don't take my bell but in town I think is mandatory.
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Old 03-01-17, 10:05 AM   #49
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Bells sometimes can be useful, but I don't have them on all my bikes. It's just a tool. A polite tool you can ding with progressive urgency as you approach. If I'm within 2 meters and they are still oblivious I alternate between a booming "on your left!" or sometimes a modest "trail users keep right" or if I'm feeling particularly cheeky because they are walking up the middle and I'm being blockef I'll voice "shared use path" Usually they turn around, say "oh, sorry" and step aside.

With out a bell, "on your left" suffices with speed appropriate volume and frequency. At 30kph I try to be able to get out (loud enough to be heard) on your left at least 3 times before passing.

Just belt it out, and do it loudly.

I also ask people to leash their dogs. "Leash your dog, please" is my go to phrase. I accidently killed one on a gravel path and effed myself up in the process. (it lunged at me and tried to bite the front wheel) So I feel pretty justified in asking others follow the rules. Sometimes, depending on the situation I tell unleashed dog owners I accidently killed one that was unleashed as abmble past in a now forced leisurely pace in the hopes they'll be inspired to be responsible pet owners. I know I'm barking up the wrong tree on that one.

A bell is good, but a voice can communicate for everyones safety.

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Old 03-01-17, 01:53 PM   #50
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I agree, bells are great. I'm from Belgium, and most people have a bell.

Here in the US, I get the feeling people get annoyed when you use a bell on a mixed use trail. People seem to equate it with "getting honked at" in a car, as a display of annoyance. In fact, it is quite a normal thing, letting everyone know you are approaching thus making it safer for everyone.

I hate the "on your left" shouting. I find it much more obnoxious than a simple ring of the bell.

I don't know, maybe it is because people here are so used to driving everywhere, the "getting honked at" analogy is so persistent?
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