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  1. #1
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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    These are getting super popular here in Utah. My question is are they a viable safety solution? I personally have been yelled at multiple times for rounding a corner and surprising riders that were using their bells. "Whoa, didn't you hear my bell, bro?" Is the usual response. By the way, both times I was riding nice and slow, and was able to easily stop without either of us having to use evasion methods or any course corrections. They were evidently just startled.

    Here's the problem: I did not hear the bell. My hearing is great, but the dinky bells have a pathetically short range when dealing with woods, switchbacks, blind corners, and riders approaching. From 5mph on, the sound of my hub and the wind in my ears drowns out any bell short of Will Farrell and his cowbell/drumstick ensemble.

    I personally think the bells are junk. The intent is great, don't get me wrong. I like to be safe, and I don't want to put anyone else at risk. It's a great idea, but they just don't work well. Should something else be made? More cowbell? Should uphill/downhill traffic be required to sing something really loudly? If so, what? I will point out that singing does not add any grams to your bike, and gives your lungs further exercise...
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  2. #2
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    maybe a mini version of this. carbon fiber tank, of course.
    Scaring Pedestrians With Train Horns - YouTube

  3. #3
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    I think bells are mainly for alerting hikers and equestrians. There is one bell, called the two-tone brass, I dunno who makes them, but they make an absolutely beautiful sound. I have them on all three of my trail bikes, and they virtually never fail to get a smile from the hikers I pass. Some of the equestrians can't keep the condescending scowls on their faces when they hear it, too.

    I use it for other cyclists, too, but the bell is often defeated by the i-pod.

  4. #4
    sonoranbiker
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    My understanding is that bells are more to warn hikers of upcoming MTBers than to warn MTBers about each other. I have been out hiking or trail running, and can hear bikes with bells coming (although I can generally hear bikes without bells coming too).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    I think bells are mainly for alerting hikers and equestrians. There is one bell, called the two-tone brass, I dunno who makes them, but they make an absolutely beautiful sound. I have them on all three of my trail bikes, and they virtually never fail to get a smile from the hikers I pass. Some of the equestrians can't keep the condescending scowls on their faces when they hear it, too.

    I use it for other cyclists, too, but the bell is often defeated by the i-pod.
    Is this the one

    THE CLASSIC SOMA CRANE BRASS BICYCLE BELL - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midtown View Post
    No, that ain't it. The one I found is smaller, and when you push the lever you get the first ping, when you let it go you get the second. The bell is brass, but you can get them nickel-coated too. It has a slightly deeper tone that the one you linked to, I believe. Both of them sound goo.

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  8. #8
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    Thank you. Just ordered one. Hope it fits.

  9. #9
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    Bells are right up there with reflectors and kick stands

  10. #10
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    I ride in Sedona with a ton of hikers, they appreciate my bell and the kids love them. If nothing else, it makes the way I come off to the hikers just a little less evil. They always say, "thank you" for the ding and how much they appreciate my effort. I do not expect other bikers to hear it, but it has saved my a$$ a few times, unintentionally.

    And my kickstand is the bomb!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midtown View Post
    Thank you. Just ordered one. Hope it fits.
    Your'e welcome. I betcha you'll like it, and the hikers will like it a whole lot better than "On your left!"
    One lady even referred to it as "mellifluous". I had to look that one up.

  12. #12
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    I thought that was your clean ding? Acceptable in that instance...I don't remember a kickstand on your reign?!

  13. #13
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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    i bought that manufacturer but not that model... brass.

    i should have spend the extra $2 - lol.

    joel


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  14. #14
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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    One lady even referred to it as "mellifluous". I had to look that one up.

    that's super funny!

    joel

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  15. #15
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    I've always had bells on my bikes. Having one manages to annoy the angry hiker and the rad rider in equal measure - whilst ensuring I remain on the responsible moral high ground and doing the right thing.

  16. #16
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    whistles and kazoos are cool too
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  17. #17
    Huffy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    I thought that was your clean ding? Acceptable in that instance...I don't remember a kickstand on your reign?!
    Yes, it doubles as my "clean ding" LOL! And you should see my shiny new chrome stand, you gotta have one if you wanna be kool.

  18. #18
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    People don't kill people, bike bells kill people.

    sry

  19. #19
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    iPods/ 2 headphones in ears should be punishable!

    As to bells, I live in Moose/Grizzly/ Cat country...they make US feel better!

  20. #20
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    I get "Thank you for the bell!" almost every ride from a hiker or two.

    We can wish we had the trails all to ourselves, but gradually and inevitably bikers will be overwhelmed on most trails if we don't learn how to mitigate the multi-use issue. It doesn't matter if we like that reality or not. The number of users does matter, and unfortunately, I see very few trails where bikers can win the argument on their own.

    So yes, bells are great even if they're not always as great as we might wish.
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  21. #21
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    For people that don't yield, I have 31.5" bars on both of my bikes. Work real good. Otherwise, we all ride with bear-bells in AK.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  22. #22
    I'm just messing with you
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    I've always used the traditional spring-dinger type bell because I can just slap at it instead of having to press a trigger to ring it. That gives me some freedom in where I put it. I've got one adapted to the top of a headset cap too, use a bolt to set the preload, tighten the stem, then remove the bolt and screw the bell in by hand.

    They tend to ring on their own in rough stuff too.



    Some people don't hear it, but there's nothing wrong with slowing down, and no need to complain if someone doesn't hear me. If I wanted to stress out, I'd go to work instead of to ride.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  23. #23
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    (re-post from earlier an bell thread)
    Added a bell after passing a father/daughter, who informed me that she was hearing impaired,
    and unable to hear my call of "on your left", yet was able to discern a bell.
    It works wonders on all I encounter, except the terminally grumpy, or the ear-bud rockers.

  24. #24
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    +1 Bell good HAI !

    I use a bear bell on the trails (which sounds more like a sleigh bell) and a dinger on more congested routes and urban assault rides. If you are contemplating an Incredibell, make sure you get higher quality one with a metal bell fastener rivet/screw. I destroyed one of the cheapy plastic ones in a couple of weeks.

    Just ordered a fancier Japanese bell from Cambriabike.com today with other assorted goodies (15% off on components today).

  25. #25
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I have a 110 db air horn that I have never used, but really want to on an ear-Buddite.

    What cracks me up is hikers who ring their little jingle bells when you are actually passing them.

    "Oh, sorry, I didn't notice you, your pack, walking stick, outback hat, red wool socks and convertible shants, I thought you were a bush"
    Last edited by rideit; 07-25-2013 at 11:32 AM.

  26. #26
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    Interesting stuff. I've always thought of them as a biker vs biker thing. Most here seem to be saying it's for hikers. That does make more sense. I still think I'd rather give my best rendition of Can't Help Falling in Love With You by the Righteous Brothers. Whether or not the other riders/hikers would like that is yet to be determined. But it will be louder than a bell.
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  27. #27
    I'm just messing with you
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    Yes, mostly used to wake up hikers, and mostly then because I rarely overtake another rider
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  28. #28
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    Yes, bells are a VERY good idea! I ride with two cowbells clipped to the back of my seat personally. Gives a neat chorus effect I think and especially in so-cal around Los Angeles, being heard on the trail is VERY important. You might find them annoying occasionally, so might your ride buddies, but keeping up a good image for mountain bikers is FAR more important than your auditory enjoyment! As the lowest rung on the trail totem pole, mountain bikers like ourselves need to sacrifice a bit to ensure our trails remain open and that the general public hates us a bit less! Bells won't change the world of course, but they're a great start!
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  29. #29
    squish, squish in da fish
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    i like the more cowbell idea

  30. #30
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    I use my sqeaking Avid Elixer brakes to gain the attention of hikers and bikers. Actually, I have an Incredibel in brass where hikers and bikers keep asking me where is the ice cream. Works well for me. Or the loud squeal from my brakes that I need to fix.

  31. #31
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    My hope pro hub doubles as a bike bell

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    My hope pro hub doubles as a bike bell
    LOL . . . I have CK hubs, and I have startled many a hiker with it. The two that stand out are once when a woman freaked out and jumped, looking for a rattlesnake, and the other when a little boy shouted "mommy, his bike sounds broken!"

    And to stay on topic, I ride with an active bell (i.e., one that I have to ring) vs. a passive-bell. I can't stand passive bells . . . the last thing I want to hear is someone constantly rattling themselves down the trail. I use the bell as a warning to hikers and when coming around blind turns.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekusps View Post
    I use my sqeaking Avid Elixer brakes to gain the attention of hikers and bikers. Actually, I have an Incredibel in brass where hikers and bikers keep asking me where is the ice cream. Works well for me. Or the loud squeal from my brakes that I need to fix.
    After riding bikes with Avid BB7's for years, I recently got a bike with Avid hydros. I had no idea that disc brakes could make that much noise. Most of the time now, my bell is obsolete.

  34. #34
    Trail Ninja
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    The most inoffensive way to alert others of your presence, with the pleasant side effect of making people yield a path for you.



    I have an Electra 8 Ball bell on my XC HT. It doesn't make any more unintentional racket than the "bear bells" people use, when the bike is taking big hits from the trail.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    LOL . . . I have CK hubs, and I have startled many a hiker with it. The two that stand out are once when a woman freaked out and jumped, looking for a rattlesnake, and the other when a little boy shouted "mommy, his bike sounds broken!"

    And to stay on topic, I ride with an active bell (i.e., one that I have to ring) vs. a passive-bell. I can't stand passive bells . . . the last thing I want to hear is someone constantly rattling themselves down the trail. I use the bell as a warning to hikers and when coming around blind turns.
    I definitely agree that "passive bells" are more irritating than "active bells," especially for the rider using it! However, I find that when I use a passive bell I often warn hikers about my presence farther in advance than I would if I used an active bell. Hikers seem to appreciate it more and, if not, they're at least aware of your presence earlier so they don't get freaked out. I find that the first reaction to an active bell by hikers (myself included) is to get freaked out and jump out of the way, which ruins the hiking experience. But with a passive bell, they hear it plenty enough in advance that they're ready for the interaction. So, that's what I like about passive bells and I those trails that can get crowded.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    After riding bikes with Avid BB7's for years, I recently got a bike with Avid hydros. I had no idea that disc brakes could make that much noise. Most of the time now, my bell is obsolete.
    I hear you brother! I was in the same situation using Avid BB7s for years and recently upgraded due to a warranty replacement to a 2013 Trek Fuel EX7 that came with the Avid Elixer3s brakes.

  37. #37
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    I use a bear bell and I like it best on my pack. At slow speeds it will barely make noise and I can reach back to slap it if needed. Once the trail gets rough or I get going fast it will rattle enough to be heard. On one trail I ride that is almost 5 miles straight of downhill and often filled with hikers. I put the bell on my seat or bars so it gets the snot beat out of it. On that trail people are often standing to the sides waiting for me and say thank you as I approach them.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    My hope pro hub doubles as a bike bell
    I've got a Hope too. It sounds like a swarm of bees carrying rattlesnakes. And they're all very upset.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    Bells are right up there with reflectors and kick stands
    Yes sir!!

  40. #40
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    Bells are often used as an excuse not to pay attention. If you see someone in the way call out to them and communicate. A bell will not do anything your own voice cannot.


    You might ask, "What if I'm hauling balls down the hill past hikers and I'm too tired to make a sound with my voice?"
    Well then your just a prick with a bell that needs to find different trails.

    Let me add this

    If you have a bell cause you think they are cool and you just like them that's fine with me, but don't think ringing bells should act as a warning to other trail users to yield to you. Or that ringing a bell is better then calling out "On your left". Or that ringing an annoying bell is some how better then saying "Excuse me".


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mLNFH3pINxI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  41. #41
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    I just yell "STRAVA!" or quote a Ludacris track.



    Either does the trick just fine.

    (BTW, disclaimer I really don't yell either and usually politely say hello on approach)
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I've always had bells on my bikes. Having one manages to annoy the angry hiker and the rad rider in equal measure - whilst ensuring I remain on the responsible moral high ground and doing the right thing.
    Translation: I'm a prick with a bell.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    LOL . . . I have CK hubs, and I have startled many a hiker with it. The two that stand out are once when a woman freaked out and jumped, looking for a rattlesnake, and the other when a little boy shouted "mommy, his bike sounds broken!"

    And to stay on topic, I ride with an active bell (i.e., one that I have to ring) vs. a passive-bell. I can't stand passive bells . . . the last thing I want to hear is someone constantly rattling themselves down the trail. I use the bell as a warning to hikers and when coming around blind turns.
    If your coming around a blind turn and hear a bell while ringing your own bell what happens? Do you stop if you heard their bell first? Do the two of you crash into each other and get your bells rung?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    I definitely agree that "passive bells" are more irritating than "active bells," especially for the rider using it! However, I find that when I use a passive bell I often warn hikers about my presence farther in advance than I would if I used an active bell. Hikers seem to appreciate it more and, if not, they're at least aware of your presence earlier so they don't get freaked out. I find that the first reaction to an active bell by hikers (myself included) is to get freaked out and jump out of the way, which ruins the hiking experience. But with a passive bell, they hear it plenty enough in advance that they're ready for the interaction. So, that's what I like about passive bells and I those trails that can get crowded.
    You ride around with a loud bell on your person thank clings, clanks, bings, and bongs down the whole trail with every bump you hit, and you think this is polite?


    That's it I've changed my mind Bells(passive) are for self righteous *******s.

  45. #45
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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Bells are often used as an excuse not to pay attention. If you see someone in the way call out to them and communicate. A bell will not do anything your own voice cannot.


    You might ask, "What if I'm hauling balls down the hill past hikers and I'm too tired to make a sound with my voice?"
    Well then your just a prick with a bell that needs to find different trails.

    Let me add this

    If you have a bell cause you think they are cool and you just like them that's fine with me, but don't think ringing bells should act as a warning to other trail users to yield to you. Or that ringing a bell is better then calling out "On your left". Or that ringing an annoying bell is some how better then saying "Excuse me".

    When I used one, I noticed hikers appreciate a bell sound over someone yelling "on your left". It's a more polite way of getting their attention. Either one works, but a hiker's response is much friendlier with a bell. YMMV.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    When I used one, I noticed hikers appreciate a bell sound over someone yelling "on your left". It's a more polite way of getting their attention. Either one works, but a hiker's response is much friendlier with a bell. YMMV.
    You could also say hello, coming up behind you, how are you doing, or any number of things.

  47. #47
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    I think it would be awfully annoying to mountain bike with a bell rattling on my bike...
    "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You ride around with a loud bell on your person thank clings, clanks, bings, and bongs down the whole trail with every bump you hit, and you think this is polite?


    That's it I've changed my mind Bells(passive) are for self righteous *******s.
    Actually, the bell isn't too irritating and I've had several hikers mention that it sounds nice. Regardless, the point is that active bells only work when you see the hiker, and often times when you ring an active bell it startles the hiker and ruins the experience for them or you're too close, regardless of how fast youre going, e.g., a blind switchback. I didn't mention anything about a passive bell being more polite, just more safe in my experience. Also, Some of my local trails are very crowded and a passive bells are at the trailhead entrance, put there by the local mtb club to avoid further confrontations with hikers. Not sure how any of this has to do with being self-righteous.

  49. #49
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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You could also say hello, coming up behind you, how are you doing, or any number of things.
    When climbing that works - coming down you need to be loud enough so that they can hear you before you're right up on them, otherwise you'll scare the shit outta them.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    Actually, the bell isn't too irritating
    Says the person that rides with one strapped to their person.


    [QUOTE=LowLow;10565717 when you ring an active bell it startles the hiker and ruins the experience for them [/QUOTE]

    But "ring-a-ding donging" down the trail enhances the outdoor experience. After all, several hikers mentioned it sounded "nice".



    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    or you're too close, regardless of how fast youre going, e.g., a blind switchback.
    Ride within your ability to stop.


    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    Not sure how any of this has to do with being self-righteous.
    1: You feel it is your right to ring a loud bell down the entirety of a trail. A bell that is loud enough to be heard further then your own voice.

    2:You use this bell because you ride at such speed that you become a danger to those around you. Your in ability(or indifference) to slow down at blind corners or down hills necessitates the need for a bell in your mind.

    3: you feel that because you have the bell you are a more responsible(safer) trail user.



    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    and a passive bells are at the trail head entrance, put there by the local mtb club to avoid further confrontations with hikers.
    I understand a mountain bike group wanting to help. I don't like them and i believe they are an excuse for poor trail manners for the following reasons.



    A bell makes a reckless rider less likely to run people down. The noise that they make alerts hikers to move out the way of the bike coming their way.

    However, Mountain bikers DO NOT have the right of way. It is our responsibility to watch out for hikers equestrians and YIELD the trail to them. The bell is acting as an alarm that danger is approaching and whoever hears the noise should be cautious.

    You have the responsibility to ride within you ability to stop. Blind corners are a trail hazard and should be slowed down for. A loud bell gives you no right to go fast around a turn hopping some family and their kids got off the trail for you.




    If you are already riding within your limits what purpose does the bell serve? (other then making a constant racket down the trail)

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    When climbing that works - coming down you need to be loud enough so that they can hear you before you're right up on them, otherwise you'll scare the shit outta them.
    slow down for them Lance

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Says the person that rides with one strapped to their person. Actually, lots of others say it too, as I mentioned.




    But "ring-a-ding donging" down the trail enhances the outdoor experience. After all, several hikers mentioned it sounded "nice". Yes, more so than scaring a hiker. And yes, many hikers have either thanked me for using the bell or said it sounds nice. There is a noticeable positive difference in my interaction with hikers when I have the bell compared when I don't.





    Ride within your ability to stop. I do. It's not a matter of whether I can stop before I hit a hiker, but whether or not the hiker gets freaked out. The passive bell is more likely to prevent that.




    1: You feel it is your right to ring a loud bell down the entirety of a trail. A bell that is loud enough to be heard further then your own voice. The bell is not louder than my own voice. As I said, the bell informs a hiker that I'm coming before I can see them. It's not my right, but an obligation on many of the trails I ride, one that was established in conjunction with the local hiker clubs and mtb club.

    2:You use this bell because you ride at such speed that you become a danger to those around you. Your in ability(or indifference) to slow down at blind corners or down hills necessitates the need for a bell in your mind. No. See my response above. Regardless of whether I'm wearing a bell or not, I always yield for hikers. Even if they ask me to pass. I am very very courteous on trails in large part because MTBers are very low on the totem pole here and I try to do whatever I can to improve the image (yielding, saying hi, making conversation).

    3: you feel that because you have the bell you are a more responsible(safer) trail user. I never made any comparison or judgment with respect to this.





    I understand a mountain bike group wanting to help. I don't like them and i believe they are an excuse for poor trail manners for the following reasons. You don't live where I live so I don't think it's fair to make this determination. Hikers and MTBers came up with this together as a last ditch effort to avoid closures of trails to bikes. It's worked so far (3 years). The worst offenders where I ride are not the guys that use the bell, but the people that aren't attuned to trail etiquette in heavily used areas.



    A bell makes a reckless rider less likely to run people down. The noise that they make alerts hikers to move out the way of the bike coming their way. It also makes a safe rider more safe. Reckless riders are reckless and safe riders are safe.

    However, Mountain bikers DO NOT have the right of way. It is our responsibility to watch out for hikers equestrians and YIELD the trail to them. The bell is acting as an alarm that danger is approaching and whoever hears the noise should be cautious. I never said MTBers shouldn't yield. I do yield. The bell makes the unavoidable interaction with hikers more pleasant and less jarring for both parties for the reason I said above.

    You have the responsibility to ride within you ability to stop. Blind corners are a trail hazard and should be slowed down for. A loud bell gives you no right to go fast around a turn hopping some family and their kids got off the trail for you. I am riding within my ability to stop and I don't bomb around blind corners. The issue isn't my ability to stop, the issue is freaking out hikers and their perception of what's going to happen. Hikers often get freaked out even if you're going 5mph if you come up to them on a blind corner or from behind because they don't know how fast you're going. When they hear the bell from 20 feet away, they don't. Also, I've never done any of the things you mention. I can barely bunny hop




    If you are already riding within your limits what purpose does the bell serve? (other then making a constant racket down the trail) Just explained all of that, hopefully it helps clarify my point of view.
    While I can appreciate your point of view (which is actually what my first post was trying to do), you make several incorrect assumptions. Maybe it's the type of trails you ride that make you have these assumptions (e.g., desert riding with lots of open space to view what's in front of you)? That's not the case for any of the trails available to me. See above.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    While I can appreciate your point of view (which is actually what my first post was trying to do), you make several incorrect assumptions. Maybe it's the type of trails you ride that make you have these assumptions (e.g., desert riding with lots of open space to view what's in front of you)? That's not the case for any of the trails available to me. See above.
    Holy crap your trail system sucks. Do joggers and dogs wear bells too? It would be a shame for a jogger to run past someone and startle them.

    In all of your examples the bell is taking the place of saying hello. (exception being blind corners in which case you could ring an active bell or simply say "bike coming up")

    To me it seems like a failure of leadership between the hiking and mountain biking club. I cant imagine how irritating it would be to have a trail where passive bells are mandatory. Further more its training hikers to only expect bike when they hear bells.

    Rather then use passive bells, make riders announce themselves ,using the same authority that made bells mandatory, by either saying hello or rider up. That would be a much cheaper and elegant solution. You could have had a trail system where people slowed down and said hello to strangers. Instead you have a trail full of bells. What a shame for the users that didn't get the memo and the wild life.

  54. #54
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    Bells seem to be a common "solution" for over crowding and poor ridership.

    Bells at Paris Mountain State Park?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Holy crap your trail system sucks. Do joggers and dogs wear bells too? It would be a shame for a jogger to run past someone and startle them.Trails are pretty good, probably why there are so many people on them. Joggers don't have the same startling effect as machinery. Dogs on leashes!

    In all of your examples the bell is taking the place of saying hello. (exception being blind corners in which case you could ring an active bell or simply say "bike coming up")You can believe me or not, but it's not always possible. If I see a rider in advance enough, I stop. If not the bell helps.

    To me it seems like a failure of leadership between the hiking and mountain biking club. I cant imagine how irritating it would be to have a trail where passive bells are mandatory. Further more its training hikers to only expect bike when they hear bells.Doesn't seem fair for you to pass judgment without being here to fully appreciate the situation.

    Rather then use passive bells, making riders announce themselves ,using the same authority that made bells mandatory, by either saying hello or rider up. That would be a much cheaper and elegant solution. Instead you have a trail full of bells. What a shame for the users that didn't get the memo.I guess you're just not believing this, but the bell is useful in situations where it's not as feasible or useful to say "hello" or "rider up." "Trail full of bells" is probably an exaggeration. It's only takes a few bad incidents.
    Thanks for the discussion. See above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow View Post
    Thanks for the discussion. See above.
    Bells solved/helped to alleviate problem encounters in your area. That is good and I cant take anything away from that.

    Are the bells really mandatory?

    This is where we disagree.

    Saying hello startles someone.
    Bells sound pleasant (a matter of opinion)


    For the passive bell to be doing anything meaningful the visibility must be down to 20' for the majority of the rides, accompanied with heavy use that hasn't widened the single track. From what your saying this seems to be the case. Where are these trails? Do you have any trail pics? Sounds like a really cool place to ride if it wasn't packed with hikers.

    Did the mtb club talk about making bike only trails in the area??

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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    I ride in Sedona with a ton of hikers, they appreciate my bell and the kids love them. If nothing else, it makes the way I come off to the hikers just a little less evil. They always say, "thank you" for the ding and how much they appreciate my effort. I do not expect other bikers to hear it, but it has saved my a$$ a few times, unintentionally.
    1000% what he said.
    All my bikes and my Wife's bikes have bells. Main reason, the hikers. Bike riders are Bike riders. Either they will hear it or not. My wife has been pushed off the trails around here by other bike riders that are riding the same direction has her. Same with racing ( that's a whole different ball game there).

    My bell has saved me a few times with hikers and large groups or kids. Yeah, sometimes they cannot hear it due to the Ipods ( which I hate on the trail) I just slow down and wait for the best right time to pass.
    Too Many .

  58. #58
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    Hikers tend to move off the trail (even though they have the right of way) when they hear a passive bell coming. They tend to say "Thanks for the bell!" when you pass. Afterwards, it's a safe bet they feel they had a good experience sharing the trail with bikers.

    What is not to like about this?
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    Well, today I used the "active two-tone brass bell I'm fond of on a 22 mile ride on our local 'high' mountain trails. Every hiker and the one equestrian I encountered commented on how 'nice' the sound of the bell was. I kinda doubt they would all have similar comments about the sound of my voice. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure they wouldn't. When I see other trail users ahead of me, I ring it maybe 50 yards out or so, then I ring it again when I get closer. That bell at 50 yards is not gonna spook anybody.

    So, for me, on trails, the bell is gonna stay on the bars of all three of my mtb's. In my experience it works the best. If shouting out works for you, have at it.

  60. #60
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    Do you passive bell riders do group rides? Is the first rider the bellman, or are all riders bell equipt?

    I still cant wrap my brain around this:
    People ride with bells that dont stop ringing for.thier entire ride. This bell prompts thosebwith the right of way to move off the trail. Then these bell ringers see thenselves as polite trail users.



    For every person that voices thier positive opinion about the bell there is another person that keeps their negitive comments to themselves (not every is a prick like me)

    Take it from me bells(passive) are highly annoying and every hiker that thinks so isnt going to tell you.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Do you passive bell riders do group rides? Is the first rider the bellman, or are all riders bell equipt?

    I still cant wrap my brain around this:
    People ride with bells that dont stop ringing for.thier entire ride. This bell prompts thosebwith the right of way to move off the trail. Then these bell ringers see thenselves as polite trail users.



    For every person that voices thier positive opinion about the bell there is another person that keeps their negitive comments to themselves (not every is a prick like me)

    Take it from me bells(passive) are highly annoying and every hiker that thinks so isnt going to tell you.
    If hikers have the right-of-way, how does hearing a bell force them off the trail? It simply alerts them to an oncoming bike.

    I ride in bear country, so I use a passive bell. Most other bikers I see on the trail, don't, but that doesn't stop me, at least when I'm riding alone. I've flushed two bears in the past 2 years (that I know of) which may or may not have been because of my bell, but worrying whether someone else might be offended by the noise is pretty low on my priority list.

    My bell has a cover with a magnet that traps the clanger, so it can be muffled when not needed.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    People ride with bells that dont stop ringing for.thier entire ride.
    Like a chain, or disc brakes, or cables slapping, or shifting, etc...Not a big deal.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    i'm glad i don't hear passive bells where i ride, that would drive me crazy. i can't stand the salvation army at christmas time either, but i do donate. might as well mount an emergency air horn to your bars. ride w/in your means and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature

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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users



    Could always get one of these, mount the air tank in a bottle cage and boom, air horn.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    I've flushed two bears in the past 2 years (that I know of) which may or may not have been because of my bell
    How is this a good thing? The bear got up and moved. He/she may have just stayed put, undisturbed - had the bell not prompted them. How is anyone to say? You don't know where the bear went afterwards, or where it was beforehand, and have no idea of its intentions one way or the other. Bears hear just fine, and probably don't need bells to alert them of our presence...

    Can't remember the last time a bear got hot and bothered at me for coming around a blind corner unannounced.

    I've ridden a trail system that suggested the use of passive bells, even provided them in a box at the trailhead (SLO in Cali). It was fairly annoying, even though it was not very loud.

    If a person is riding at a responsible pace, how is a bell any easier than saying "Hi there!" , "rider up", or "on your left!" ?
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightofthefleming View Post


    Could always get one of these, mount the air tank in a bottle cage and boom, air horn.


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    That would only work if it constantly made noise... you could carry spare bottles i guess

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    Since the hikers have the right of way, shouldnt they wear the bells? That way we know to yield to them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    How is this a good thing?
    Often times animals do not hear you and coming up on them and startling them can elicit an aggressive response.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Often times animals do not hear you and coming up on them and startling them can elicit an aggressive response.
    Oh yea? I thought the bells were no louder then chain slap.... Get you story straight jamie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Translation: I'm a prick with a bell.
    Uglio, we get that you're against bells.. Now quit being fugly, play nice to prevent some bell-toting thug from bunny hopping your angry azz.

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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    If a person is riding at a responsible pace, how is a bell any easier than saying "Hi there!" , "rider up", or "on your left!" ?
    Well, there's easier, and there's nicer. Coming from behind anyway. At least that's the way I see it.

    There's always the old fashioned way ... hock up a big loogie and spit. That'll get you noticed for sure.
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  72. #72
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    Loud hub > little bell. always. that's my opinion.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    Uglio, we get that you're against bells.. Now quit being fugly, play nice to prevent some bell-toting thug from bunny hopping your angry azz.

    (by phone)
    I will politely ask you to refrain from posting comments that are not pertanant to the discussion. If you dont like me thats fine tell me in a PM.

    Do you ride a bell?

    Have the trails you ride been made bell mandatory?

    Do you have an opinion on passive versus active bells?

    When a hiker hears a bell and they stay in the middle of the trail how should the rider react .

    Bells (passive) are promting those with the right of way to move over. The bell is a warning signal telling hikers to watch out for you cause here you come.

    Riding at safe speeds negates the usefullness of a bell. Unless your ridding in some very thick london fog the bell just aint usefull.

    Its getting pretty thick in hear and i dont think its the fog

    Lots of good stuff in this thread to talk about (besides me allthough i am flatterd)

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    I will politely ask you to refrain from posting comments that are not pertanant to the discussion. If you dont like me thats fine tell me in a PM.
    I love it. You act like an obnoxious dummy the entire thread, then play innocent victim. Well played sir!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Oh yea? I thought the bells were no louder then chain slap.... Get you story straight jamie
    My point before was that there are invariably other sounds, even though they might not be all constant, but I don't see people getting bent out of shape about them.

    Just last night a moose was alerted and moving off the trail as I approached...that's why we have bells.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    My point before was that there are invariably other sounds, even though they might not be all constant, but I don't see people getting bent out of shape about them.

    Just last night a moose was alerted and moving off the trail as I approached...that's why we have bells.
    Its a trade off. I dont ride where other people ride. I dont know your trails.

    Bells help you guys.

    Its a trade off bells may make sence in certain situations. But your always making a trade off, is the extra racket needed? When riding in crowded, foggy, bear country being hunted down by moose im all for bells.

  77. #77
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    flying_w meant you're being a little aggressive disagreeing with everybody that has a different opinion than you. This is not the debate club where you have to shoot down everybody. Maybe a kinder atmosphere is to have an understanding that not everybody agrees with you and there are no right answers here.

    tl;dr tone it down a notch.

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    I always try to go out of my way to make hikers comfortable, ie slow down on approach and greet them. This usually puts them at ease and hopefully gives them a little better opinion of us mountain bikers. Passive bells personally drive my crazy but I don't have any issue with active bells. To each their own, it all boils down to not harshing anybody's mellow.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    "Whoa, didn't you hear my bell, bro?"
    I think you need to "ding ding" those who ask that question with one of these and ask if they heard your "bell"

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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    flying_w meant you're being a little aggressive disagreeing with everybody that has a different opinion than you. This is not the debate club where you have to shoot down everybody. Maybe a kinder atmosphere is to have an understanding that not everybody agrees with you and there are no right answers here.

    tl;dr tone it down a notch.
    Thanks gob! My reply would be far more doochey, as IMHO fuglio appears driven to force his myopic views down everyone's throat.

    Please read post #23 before playing butthurt, and asking more redundant ?'s..

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    (re-post from earlier an bell thread)
    Added a bell after passing a father/daughter, who informed me that she was hearing impaired,
    and unable to hear my call of "on your left", yet was able to discern a bell.
    It works wonders on all I encounter, except the terminally grumpy, or the ear-bud rockers.
    Slowing down also works wonders. No need to call on your left or ring-a_ding_along down the trail if you slow down and let those with the right of way pass you.


    Many hikers dont know they have the right of way. Lets be a pro active MTB community and pull over and let them pass us. It would do much more to maintain a good relationship with hikers then ringing bells that prompt people to let you pass.

    Ill say what ive said all along. If you are riding in control then you will always have time to slow down stop and let hikers by. No need to ring a bell to let people know your coming. It serves no purpose.

    Why do i care? Because i find bells anoying and unnessecary

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Slowing down also works wonders. No need to call on your left or ring-a_ding_along down the trail if you slow down and let those with the right of way pass you.


    Many hikers dont know they have the right of way. Lets be a pro active MTB community and pull over and let them pass us. It would do much more to maintain a good relationship with hikers then ringing bells that prompt people to let you pass.
    Again you're making an ASSumption.
    Know that I'm always polite, not that fast, yet hikers & trail runners going the same direction never pass me.

    Also get far more smiles & thank you's with the bell than bellowing on your left!
    Please, let it go & just ride your bike.

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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    Again you're making an ASSumption.
    Know that I'm always polite, not that fast, yet hikers & trail runners going the same direction never pass me.

    Also get far more smiles & thank you's with the bell than bellowing on your left!
    Please, let it go & just ride your bike.

    (by phone)
    No need to bellow.

    Pull over and you'll get more smiles to the miles

    I dont understand the attachment you have to your bell. Im done trying figure out why you think you need one.

    Im off to ride my bike now. (In bell free bliss)

  84. #84
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    Fuglio. I apologize for waking this one back up, but I had to let the record show that I agree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Slowing down also works wonders. No need to call on your left or ring-a_ding_along down the trail if you slow down and let those with the right of way pass you.


    Many hikers dont know they have the right of way. Lets be a pro active MTB community and pull over and let them pass us. It would do much more to maintain a good relationship with hikers then ringing bells that prompt people to let you pass.

    Ill say what ive said all along. If you are riding in control then you will always have time to slow down stop and let hikers by. No need to ring a bell to let people know your coming. It serves no purpose.

    Why do i care? Because i find bells anoying and unnessecary

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Slowing down also works wonders. No need to call on your left or ring-a_ding_along down the trail if you slow down and let those with the right of way pass you.


    Many hikers dont know they have the right of way. Lets be a pro active MTB community and pull over and let them pass us. It would do much more to maintain a good relationship with hikers then ringing bells that prompt people to let you pass.

    Ill say what ive said all along. If you are riding in control then you will always have time to slow down stop and let hikers by. No need to ring a bell to let people know your coming. It serves no purpose.

    Why do i care? Because i find bells anoying and unnessecary
    I think you're missing 50% of the argument because you keep talking about letting hikers by. What happens with hikers that are traveling the same direction as you? A bell lets them know you're approaching from behind without startling them. That scenario causes 99% of my bell ringing, although I try to ring in tight singletrack when there's no line of sight too and that helps with hikers traveling either direction.
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    I think you're missing 50% of the argument because you keep talking about letting hikers by. What happens with hikers that are traveling the same direction as you? A bell lets them know you're approaching from behind without startling them. That scenario causes 99% of my bell ringing, although I try to ring in tight singletrack when there's no line of sight too and that helps with hikers traveling either direction.
    Just ride up silently behind them. Place your hand gently on thier neck, softly rub your lower lip against thier warm ear lobe, and bellow GET THE FKUC OUT MY WAY.

    Or ride up slow say hello(or any other greeting) when you get within 15 feet. Say do you mind if i slip by or if they are old, fat,have kids ect.. climb off trail around them carrying your bike. A bell works too but is not needed... and a passive bell is flat out obnoxious

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    Good thing I ride where I don't need a bell...

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    Fuglio- Do your frame repairs outside next time, the fumes seem to be getting to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Fuglio- Do your frame repairs outside next time, the fumes seem to be getting to you.
    Its nuts. That bike is still going strong.

    And I aquired a cow bell to do some tests of mine own on hikers. Ill take a poll on who likes or dislikes the bell. Ride with the bell hanging from my seat then stop and ask those i pass how they feel aboit it.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Its nuts. That bike is still going strong.

    And I aquired a cow bell to do some tests of mine own on hikers. Ill take a poll on who likes or dislikes the bell. Ride with the bell hanging from my seat then stop and ask those i pass how they feel aboit it.
    I think these bells sound less annoying:

    Amazon.com: Trophy 4 Bell Wristlet: Toys & Games

    Amazon.com: South Bend Copper Bell (Pack of 2): Sports & Outdoors

  91. #91
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    Remember the yellow placards hanging in the back of minivans that said "baby on board", loosely translated to "I'm an idiot and could do almost anything at any time so watch out because I have no idea what the protocol is for this driving thing"? That's what a bell is.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrebyter View Post
    Remember the yellow placards hanging in the back of minivans that said "baby on board", loosely translated to "I'm an idiot and could do almost anything at any time so watch out because I have no idea what the protocol is for this driving thing"? That's what a bell is.
    Sweet. In that case i definetly need a bell.

    And if you hear a cow bell in the SFH you know who tp blame

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    I don't know about the handlebar bells but a small, lightweight bear bell is quite effective. Doesn't require any action from the rider when it is mounted to your seatpost.


  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Island20v View Post
    I don't know about the handlebar bells but a small, lightweight bear bell is quite effective. Doesn't require any action from the rider when it is mounted to your seatpost.

    That looks like a "jingle bell"

    I thought using bear as a prefix ment that it was bigger and more agressive. Like bear mace.


    But i have a cow bell to try out so im coverd. The bear bell looks cool. Its got a little bell sack and everything.

    How much.do they run?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spykr View Post
    I ride with two cowbells clipped to the back of my seat personally.

    .
    That post really needs a picture.

  96. #96
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    I put a bell on my race bike early in the season. I found it helpful to remind slower riders in a different group that started before me that I was still stuck behind waiting for a pass, after a couple of verbal requests for a pass. It was also fun to use racing with guys I knew in my group, for heckling them as I was chasing them.
    In my local trails I'll ring it before going through a blind corner, even though I'm going very slow it seems that the walkers assume that being surprised by a bike going any speed is unpleasant.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    That looks like a "jingle bell"

    I thought using bear as a prefix ment that it was bigger and more agressive. Like bear mace.


    But i have a cow bell to try out so im coverd. The bear bell looks cool. Its got a little bell sack and everything.

    How much.do they run?
    Mine was about $5 at Walmart
    Like I said the cover/sack has a magnet to trap and mute the clanger.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Just ride up silently behind them. Place your hand gently on thier neck, softly rub your lower lip against thier warm ear lobe, and bellow GET THE FKUC OUT MY WAY.

    Or ride up slow say hello(or any other greeting) when you get within 15 feet. Say do you mind if i slip by or if they are old, fat,have kids ect.. climb off trail around them carrying your bike. A bell works too but is not needed... and a passive bell is flat out obnoxious
    I didn't think bells were necessary. Never really had a problem. Then the last 2 times I went riding I approached hikers from behind. Both of them were listening to MP3 players, and could not hear my calls of excuse me, can I get by etc. I just bought an incredibell and hope it may cut through the music better.

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    regarding 'Bike Bells' and their users

    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    Mine was about $5 at Walmart
    Like I said the cover/sack has a magnet to trap and mute the clanger.
    About the same. The silencer is the best part.

  100. #100
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    Just ordered a bell to piss off a certain someone.

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