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  1. #1
    perpetual pucker factor
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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...
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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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.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  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

  6. #6
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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.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  7. #7
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    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  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
    Huffy Rider
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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.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  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
    roccowt.
    rocnbikemeld

  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
    Demon Cleaner
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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
    Elitest thrill junkie
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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
    human dehumidifier
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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.
    I may or may not be laughing at you.

  23. #23
    Trail Prospector
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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.
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  24. #24
    psycho cyclo addict
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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.

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