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What is your favorite style of bike bell?

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What is your favorite style of bike bell?

Old 07-20-18, 05:02 PM
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toast3d
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What is your favorite style of bike bell?

I suppose some people might find bells to be "fred" or whatever, but I have found them to be invaluable. Every one of my bikes has a bell, and I have several other various bells sitting unused in a drawer along with various other bits and bobs.

My absolute favorite type of bell is the classic metal striker bell (the kind with a metal lever arm, not the other kind), mounted sideways to a threaded spacer on the fork tube or onto a special headset top cap with threads on it for the bell.

It's simple, it's nice and loud, crisp, clean, not annoying or dorky sounding, and unmistakeable to anyone. And you don't have to worry about it breaking. It will never break. If it actually stops working at any point, it's probably an easy fix to simply bend the metal striker arm with your hands. And with a sideways mount, it gives a nice clean polished classic look to the bike. It just looks like it belongs there. Like the bike would be incomplete without it.
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Old 07-20-18, 05:12 PM
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Old 07-20-18, 05:13 PM
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This could be an interesting thread since I’ve never considered buying one. I’m concerned that I’m just a bad bicyclist. I’ve been told that it’s a law to have one on your bike in one of the states I ride in. Maybe it’s a law where I live!
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Old 07-20-18, 05:20 PM
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A Spurcycle bell fits your description/requirements.

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Old 07-20-18, 05:24 PM
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Yup, that's an example of the type of bell I like best. But I prefer it in silver color. I've also seen them in bronze. I think I might have also seen black ones, but that's gotta be paint and it would come off through normal use, so it's probably best to avoid getting one of those.
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Old 07-20-18, 05:42 PM
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Spurcycle...but they are spendy!
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Old 07-20-18, 06:00 PM
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I use an Oi bell
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...iABEgI3KPD_BwE

it's compact and easy to hit with my thumb on the flat-bar.
It is not as loud as others but I've used it for a couple years and people always hear it.
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Old 07-20-18, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
I use an Oi bell
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...iABEgI3KPD_BwE

it's compact and easy to hit with my thumb on the flat-bar.
It is not as loud as others but I've used it for a couple years and people always hear it.
I have the same bell in a copper finish. Itís easily the prettiest bell Iíve ever owned and the tone is pure and resonant. Unfortunately, itís not very loud and the sound is exactly like a popular choice for iPhone text messages. As a result, people either donít hear it, or when they do they assume itís their iPhone and look to their device. I like the color and it looks great on my drop bar, but Iím about ready to go back to my little IncrediBell.


-Kedosto
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Old 07-20-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot1 View Post
Spurcycle...but they are spendy!
But so worth it. They have a great ring, are heard even by earbuds-cranked-joggers. Also last forever.
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Old 07-20-18, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
A Spurcycle bell fits your description/requirements.
Those are really high quality, well made and well designed bells.

Whatever you do, don't fall for the cheap knock offs that are out there!
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Old 07-20-18, 07:39 PM
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Bells

Seems like all my bells eventually break. Now I just say ďDing DingĒ , if they are really dumb I say ďDing Ding Ding-a-LingĒ!
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Old 07-20-18, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
A Spurcycle bell fits your description/requirements.

zen on a handlebar. But a very addictive sound. I sometimes ride to find someone to ring it at. Or what the hay, ring one for my own present moment
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Old 07-20-18, 07:49 PM
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I've no idea what bell to use on a bike. I've only heard one once in my area over the last six maybe eight years. However, the one time I did hear one, it was when walking the trail I normally ride. It was more pleasant, more noticeable and didn't startle the heck out of me as does the voice of someone else suddenly appearing behind you. I'm fairly certain it was an electronic

I think that I wish they would be more popular with cyclists here. However since the owner of that bell was either passing through the area or perhaps felt silly that no one else used one and stopped using it, I don't wish to be a lone trend setter.
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Old 07-20-18, 08:11 PM
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I prefer continuous ringing trail bells that are on or off, for several reasons:
  • Cars can't hear any bike bells so it doesn't make any difference what kind you get or how much you spend.
  • Bells are to alert hearing pedestrians and other cyclists -- assuming their ears aren't clogged with music, etc.
  • Most close encounters with pedestrians and other cyclists occur at close range, often unexpectedly. I'd rather keep my hands on the handlebar and brakes, not fiddling with a bell.
  • A continuous ringing bell can be heard from some distance, giving walkers/joggers time to move right. Less drama, fewer people startled.
  • Most continuous ringing bells have a pleasant sound, like a miniature version of an ice cream truck, yet seem just as effective.

I got the idea in December 2015 when I decorated my comfort hybrid with strips of jingle bells for a casual group ride. I attached the bells to the rear rack and let 'em ring continuously. On the ride to the meetup I used the MUP and noticed other folks -- cyclists, joggers and walkers -- really noticed the jingling bells. They moved over sooner and some even smiled and laughed.

After that I'd just rig up two or three jingle bells on my handlebar, using a small carabiner and zip tie. When I left the MUP I'd slip a little leather pouch around the bells to quiet them.

There are commercially made trail bells with built in mufflers that are easier to use.
*The best value at $20 is probably the Timber!
*The best luxury continuous ringer is probably the Awareness Bell, handcrafted, customizable and pricey.
*Cowbells are cheaper but don't have any built in sound muffler.
*Coghlan's Bear Bell is a practical version of my jingle bell homebrew, with Velcro strap and magnetic silencer. Only $5 or $6. So I bought one.

I don't see the point to any other type of bell. Tried 'em, seen many of 'em in use in group rides. They have zero effect on cars and tend to piss off joggers and pedestrians because cyclists wait until they're almost breathing down your neck before ringing them. I still have a striker bell on one hybrid, but I only use it for celebratory dinging on urban group rides.

To get a driver's attention you need an AirZound or something more potent.

Hell, I need a compressed air marine air horn just to walk safely. I just got home from a 3 mile walk and was nearly hit twice walking legally in a crosswalk with a walk signal, and both drivers were looking directly at me. One of them even laughed when she cut me off.. They just don't care until they get a shock. It takes a lot of noise to penetrate their cocoons of entitlement, with windows rolled up, a/c and music blasting.

Even when driver's see you they just assume it's your responsibility to run out of the way. The law seems to agree. If you get hit on a bike or while walking most police departments must write it up as an "accident" with no penalty to the driver because the law doesn't have clear guidelines on negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Three cyclists have been killed or seriously injured just in the last week in my area. Two were hit and runs. The police confirmed the most they could do is cite the drivers for fleeing the scene. Without evidence of negligent driving or intent to injure a person, the drivers would have been better off stopping at the scenes. Fleeing would be the possible felony charge, not killing a human being with a vehicle -- no matter how reckless the driving. In one case surveillance video recorded the driver striking the cyclist from behind. There would still be no felony charges for assault, negligence or manslaughter because there's no law for police to cite.

Save your money. Buy a cheap bell. Send the rest that you might have spent on a bell to an organization that will lobby for laws to protect pedestrians and cyclists.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:08 PM
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I prefer the Crane Riten. It uses a rotating double hammer on the inside of the bell to make multiple rings per lever pull. Beautiful sound.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
zen on a handlebar. But a very addictive sound. I sometimes ride to find someone to ring it at. Or what the hay, ring one for my own present moment
The ring tone "pitch" and "sustain" are what elevate the Spurcycle's bell sound above all others... IMHO.
It's very efficient.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I've no idea what bell to use on a bike. I've only heard one once in my area over the last six maybe eight years. However, the one time I did hear one, it was when walking the trail I normally ride. It was more pleasant, more noticeable and didn't startle the heck out of me as does the voice of someone else suddenly appearing behind you. I'm fairly certain it was an electronic

I think that I wish they would be more popular with cyclists here. However since the owner of that bell was either passing through the area or perhaps felt silly that no one else used one and stopped using it, I don't wish to be a lone trend setter.
A SpurCycle is $45USD last I knew. The only time you'll hear anyone not love it is if they bought a knock-off (which are legion). If your LBS is an authorized dealer that is your best bet as the frauds are everywhere and completely fail at imitating the real thing (which is funny...considering we're about a bell of all things--something that mechanically has been well understood for hundreds of years).

I get "THANKS!" from people when ringing on the MUT....where "ON YOUR LEFT" would get oaths and swearing and leaping to the left if it was even heard. I've only ever met one pedestrian (older guy) who told me he would rather have "ON YOUR LEFT" shouted at him.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:32 PM
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Old 07-20-18, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
A SpurCycle is $45USD last I knew.
A year or so ago spurcycle was selling slightly blemished bells for a significant discount, I think it was $30. I honestly could not find the blemish. I don't know if they'll do that again or if it was a one time thing. Anyway, I love mine.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:52 PM
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Mounted to a special spacer like I was talking about:


It's a thing of beauty. Silver colored ones are better looking though. In my personal opinion.
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Old 07-20-18, 10:19 PM
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Brass bells have far greater sustain. I get that people like colors to match their bike but sustain and a pure tone is what only brass does. The lever style clapper creates a far louder sound than the spring clapper. Larger bells have a lower pitch. There are youtube videos comparing all the bells.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 07-20-18 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-21-18, 12:50 AM
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I have a Spurcycle Bell on two of my bikes and it is simply brilliant! Itís a beautiful compact design and the sound is loud and lingering, and pleasant to the ears. The engineering and fit onto the bar is top-notch.

Itís a bit of an investment due to its high purchase price but I expect it to last a very long time.

For pure design and looks, I have a Knog Oi on one bike and it looks like a piece of jewellery! However, the sound is very weak and the bell seems a little fragile. Itís fitted on my cruiser which is ridden very slowly so would hardly ever get used. I bought it mainly for its aesthetics to dress up the cruiser.

Finally I have a Hornit DB140 cycle horn on my mountain bike. This is about as in-your-face as cycle horns can be. It has two horn sounds: a car horn sound and a shrill alarm type sound. Both are extremely loud and very effective at alerting pedestrians and drivers. Itís a very ugly, but practical device and comes with a wired remote button for ease of operation.
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Old 07-21-18, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by toast3d View Post
Yup, that's an example of the type of bell I like best. But I prefer it in silver color. I've also seen them in bronze. I think I might have also seen black ones, but that's gotta be paint and it would come off through normal use, so it's probably best to avoid getting one of those.
Not paint. Itís Diamond Like Catbon (tm) Coating, which provides high hardness, low friction, and high corrosion resistance. You pay a premium price, but itís a premium product.
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Old 07-21-18, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
I have a Spurcycle Bell on two of my bikes and it is simply brilliant! Itís a beautiful compact design and the sound is loud and lingering, and pleasant to the ears. The engineering and fit onto the bar is top-notch.

Itís a bit of an investment due to its high purchase price but I expect it to last a very long time.
Itís a safety item, and thatís always a good investment. Pedestrians have been killed in collisions with bicycles when they havenít had adequate warning.
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Old 07-21-18, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
I prefer the Crane Riten. It uses a rotating double hammer on the inside of the bell to make multiple rings per lever pull. Beautiful sound.
Cool. I'll order one today.
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