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Bell or Whistle?

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Bell or Whistle?

Old 06-14-12, 10:52 AM
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Trek_geek
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Bell or Whistle?

I was very saddened to read about the 80 year old Northern VA women hit and killed on a bike path. Part of my commute is on a path and through a neighborhood without sidewalks. There is substantial foot traffic heading for the METRO and VRE station where I start my ride. I am having a hard time finding a bell for my 31.8mm handlebars on my Trek 520. I haven't been very impressed with the small, Incredibells I have tried at my LBS. I want a larger diameter, deeper toned bell that can be heard. None seem to fit the 31.8mm bars. I am thinking about going back to hanging a whistle around my neck like I did back in the 80s when I first started riding. Thoughts?
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Old 06-14-12, 10:58 AM
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I have this bell and I'm quite impressed (bought in Germany but also available on UK Amazon ... don't know about availability in the US).

It sounds like a bike bell and it's very loud. I never have problems with people not moving to the right. They don't even turn around.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bbb-Loud-Cle.../dp/B000VSY8NG

A whistle would be silly at best and distracting/disruptive at worst.
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Old 06-18-12, 06:56 AM
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Looks alot like the "Incredibells" but I can tell from the photo you linked that it won't fit the large 31.8mm bars.

I do kind of agree with the whistle, to intrusive. But I have to find a solution for everyone's safety. I may have to get one I like the sound of and then modify the mount.
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Old 06-18-12, 01:16 PM
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If it's a newer 520 w/ threadless stem and you have 10mm of spacers, you can get a headset spacer bell mount like this: https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ell-mount.html
Then mount your choice of bell.
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Old 06-19-12, 09:02 AM
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Crane makes a nice loud brass bell. I have it mounted to the lower part of the drop so I can brake and ring the bell at the same time.
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Old 06-19-12, 09:13 AM
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Bell. A whistle just doesn't say "bike," and you either have to ride with it in your mouth (preventing deep breaths) or you have to grab for it when you need it, and you might not have that time. A bell can be mounted right next to your thumb.

I recommend the crane brass bells. They are very loud.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:04 AM
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Forgot to mention as well that while your clamp diameter may be 31.8mm, your handlebar's diameter is probably road standard 23.8mm, which should fit most standard bicycle bell clamps on most places on your bars (though depending on placement, you may need to re-wrap your bar tape). The headset spacer is a bit of a less clunky way to go - and no commuter bike is complete without a bell. This is fact, not opinion. Bells are good.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:14 AM
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Some people, especially older ones, are deaf or partially deaf, and cannot hear a bell. I've been right behind elderly people ringing my bell several times, and it was obvious by their reaction when I slowly rode past, that they didn't hear me. I also ride in areas that have lots of frogs that make a similar tone, and when there are many croaking away, it drowns out the bell.

I've found the Incredibell is plenty loud if you ring it well, even at a 1/10th of a mile away. A combination of bell and if necessary, voice, elicits the best response.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by threecarjam View Post
If it's a newer 520 w/ threadless stem and you have 10mm of spacers, you can get a headset spacer bell mount like this: https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ell-mount.html
Then mount your choice of bell.
Nice bells, but on bumpy roads they kinda jingle on their own.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:29 AM
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Air horn.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:36 AM
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I have a $4 Bell-brand bell from Wal Mart and let me tell you that thing is LOUD! I had to tighten down the clamp pretty good, so they should fit on a 31.8 bar if it's near your handlebar grip or controls.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:48 AM
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I've found that a cat zip tied to the handle bars works really well. You just have to goose it really hard to make it loud enough to make a difference.

KIDDING.

I prefer a bell. It's a bit heavy to trailer, but I figure it'll do my legs good!



KIDDING.

I just use the stock bell that came w/ my bike. I'm rarely in a position where I ride around pedestrians so I rarely need to use the bell.
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Old 06-19-12, 12:54 PM
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Both. Definately. In commuting urban for a number of years a whistle always commanded respect at intersections and w/inattentive drivers. A loud bell works best on MUPs as it's a sound most associated w/bicycles. And not the single chime type. Get one that sounds like the kind one used as a child, but louder. Can't remember who makes them. A German or Dutch company, I believe. Mine had a fire engine motiff...can't remember the name of the manufacturer, but it was loud. Had a wrist band whistle used by basketball refs. Very quick user friendly. And didn't have to ride w/anything dangling around.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Bell. A whistle just doesn't say "bike," and you either have to ride with it in your mouth (preventing deep breaths) or you have to grab for it when you need it, and you might not have that time. A bell can be mounted right next to your thumb.
I agree. Get a good bell. In NY state, FWIW, it is actually the law you need a bell (or other audible device attached to the bike). I have a British made retro brass bell [1] that looks a little out of place with my otherwise modern-looking bike but gets the attention of the people on my MUP from a pretty good distance.

[1] https://www.lionbellworks.co.uk/
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Old 06-19-12, 08:00 PM
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Whistles are actually illegal for use by cyclists in many places. Probably goes back to when police used whistles regularly.
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Old 06-19-12, 08:04 PM
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Crane bells - springy/jangly, hammer-strike (loudest!), goofy trigger-style, they've got them all.

And really, a bell is not a big investment - get two different kinds, keep the one you like best, and give the other to a bell-less friend.

For real, reading the original post again, the hammer-strike Crane bell seems like the one to get.
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Old 06-25-12, 02:31 PM
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I could not find a bike bell to fit my larger 31.8mm handle bars. I rummaged through my bike tool box and found an extra seat post reflector mount that fit perfectly. Next I used my small Exacto saw and cut off the mounting loop on my wife's old bell. I was lucky; it used a 4m square nut and all I had to do was stop at the hardware store for a longer bolt. YES, it's pink. I'll try and add a photo of the finished product.
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Old 06-25-12, 08:19 PM
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second the air horn. It stuns everyone for 2-3 seconds and in the meantime you can bike around them all.
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Old 06-25-12, 09:07 PM
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I just picked a bell up yesterday because of threads like this and potential issues of yelling "....left..." means "move left" to some people. But I'm kinda digging this one - just need a sherpa to fill my cup when I ring...
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Old 06-25-12, 09:31 PM
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I use a bell on the MUPs, as it is required by law (that or verbally announcing that you are passing on the left).

On the streets, I never use the bell, a driver in a car would never hear it. I use the Airzound to get a driver's attention, and boy does it work.
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Old 06-26-12, 10:55 AM
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AirZound 115db. I like it a lot.
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Old 06-26-12, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
I use a bell on the MUPs, as it is required by law (that or verbally announcing that you are passing on the left).

On the streets, I never use the bell, a driver in a car would never hear it. I use the Airzound to get a driver's attention, and boy does it work.
Totally agree. Air horn: Nice to have when you see a right hook or other disaster about to happen. But a little much on a MUP.
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Old 06-27-12, 05:41 AM
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I have this:
https://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...cling-horn.jsp

And this:
https://www.dutchbikebits.com/index.p...product_id=114

Having both allows me to be more subtle but as bells go it is loud, or obnoxiously loud depending on the situation.

Greg
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Old 06-27-12, 08:57 AM
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i'd think you could modify a bell with zip-ties to fit any size tube.

i've got a bell, which mostly works for pedestrians, and an airzound which mostly works for cars.

but nothing works all the time -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2NiVYwM6kY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwX4_7rbT-c
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Old 06-28-12, 01:43 PM
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Whistles are actually illegal to use on a bike in a lot of places given their association with police.
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