View Poll Results: Handlebar Bell / Horn

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  • Friendly and courteous

    43 89.58%
  • Rude and arrogent

    5 10.42%
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  1. #1
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    Handlebar bell / horn poll

    I've heard conflicting views on bell rining and horn honking on the trail to get someone's attention. Most trail users seem to prefer the bell/horn to a loud "hello, on your left".
    Either way a thank you finishes the exchange. A Jeff Co ranger yelled at a buddy riding the Cone, for ringing his bell as he approached from behind, saying that it was rude.

    BTW, whats up with riders wearing head phones, climbing and then acting supprised to see another rider approaching from ahead ot behind.

  2. #2
    !Vamos, flaco!
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    I use a bell. It seems more polite and usually results in smiles from hikers.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  3. #3
    Rolling
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    I use bells. The best way to use them is not to ring them the moment you pass someone, but a hundred feet back or so. That way, the trail user has time to absorb that someone is approaching and since they can (usually) sense the distance you are from them, they won't likely get startled.

    Screw the people with headphones. I have nothing against them wearing them, but if they can't hear, you are not responsible for them being startled.

    My favorite laugh on my way to work is the three people walking abreast on a path. I ring my bell. The person on the right goes left, the person on the left goes right and the person in the middle goes nowhere.

  4. #4
    PDB
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    I like the bell on my bars.... when riding a non-directional trail with lots of blind corners or switchbacks. I've found it's easier and probably LESS annoying than constantly yelling "look at me, look at me!" around every blind corner.
    I do feel like a bit of a tool with that bell on my pride and joy - but it definitely does it's job
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  5. #5
    Living the High Life
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    More cowbell! Really, I have a small cowbell that I plan to use, but never seem to remember to put it on.

  6. #6
    friend of Apex
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Screw the people with headphones. I have nothing against them wearing them, but if they can't hear, you are not responsible for them being startled.
    Screw you... Although I have nothing against you

    I'd be startled to learn if my wearing headphones has ever caused a real issue on the trail.

    BELLS

  7. #7
    skillz to pay billz
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    I'm in the market for a little honky toy. pref. a godzilla or something.

    where can one find these?

  8. #8
    Team Inflexible
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    I refuse to vote

    This poll should have been posted in the gay roadbiker forum or the pixie bike forum.

  9. #9
    My leg feels funny
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    More cowbell! Really, I have a small cowbell that I plan to use, but never seem to remember to put it on.
    I've thought of doing that (but with a smaller bell) so people can hear me coming around corners. I slow down at corners I can't see around but still manage to surprise the living he11 out of some people some times. I'm pretty sure the constant ringing of the bell would drive me nuts eventually.

    I've also wondered about doing this for the sake of cats/bears but some people call those bear bells dinner bells.

  10. #10
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    good timing for this thread

    Good timing. This past weekend I had a minor confrontation with a hiker at White Ranch about my using a bell. I voiced that I would like to pass - no response. So, I rang my bell. The hiker turned and intentionally blocked the trail. He proceeded to tell me how annoying, rude, and inconsiderate I was to use a bell. Furthermore he would not let me or any other MTB rider pass that rang a bell. I apologized and explained that I was trying to be considerate of other trail users. This didn't seem to appease him. He continued to block the trail. BTW: I am well over 6 foot tall and over 200 lbs.
    He said I was lucky that we weren't in the parking lot. Otherwise, he had a "Glock" (I assume that is a firearm) in his vehicle and he would "blow my ass away."
    Not the best way to end a ride.

  11. #11
    enlightened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    Good timing. This past weekend I had a minor confrontation with a hiker at White Ranch about my using a bell. I voiced that I would like to pass - no response. So, I rang my bell. The hiker turned and intentionally blocked the trail. He proceeded to tell me how annoying, rude, and inconsiderate I was to use a bell. Furthermore he would not let me or any other MTB rider pass that rang a bell. I apologized and explained that I was trying to be considerate of other trail users. This didn't seem to appease him. He continued to block the trail. BTW: I am well over 6 foot tall and over 200 lbs.
    He said I was lucky that we weren't in the parking lot. Otherwise, he had a "Glock" (I assume that is a firearm) in his vehicle and he would "blow my ass away."
    Not the best way to end a ride.
    And yet another reason not to ride at White Ranch. Not that I needed one

  12. #12
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    More cow bell. More cow bell. I like the bell.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    He said I was lucky that we weren't in the parking lot. Otherwise, he had a "Glock" (I assume that is a firearm) in his vehicle and he would "blow my ass away."
    Not the best way to end a ride.
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  14. #14
    Lucky Wrecker
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    I had my first bell experience last weekend. A group of ~8 guys went by that all had bells. I would like to add a third category to the pole for 'cute and dorky'. They were coming up hill following another group that I had already pulled off the trail to let by. I ended up just waiting for them too even though they were a good 30 seconds behind the first group...yet a few of them still gave the ring as they passed. Dorks.

    I also had my first headphone experience over the weekend. I was gaining fast on a painfully slow lady during a climb. When I was about 20 feet away I clicked my brake levers a few times but she continued riding. I then skipped my back tire on the gravel a few times but she still didn't budge. I ended up riding up her arse for about a minute or so before she finally realized I was there and let me pass. Turns out she had her headphones on. Wish I had a bell...

  15. #15
    slow
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    Before I smashed my bell with my knee, I used it a bunch. Most hikers seemed to appreciate it.

    I also used to annoy my riding buddies on the descents by repeatedly ringing it if they wouldn't let me pass.

  16. #16
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    I get an actual "thank you" from hikers probably 30% of the time that I use a bell. The rest just seem to appreciate it. But as was said before, you have to start with a ring waaaay back, not when you're on their heels.

  17. #17
    Living the High Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    I'm in the market for a little honky toy. pref. a godzilla or something.

    where can one find these?
    Dude, you couldn't ride for crap with Lagarto Grande sitting on your bars. He probably would come up with some funny stuff to say though, he is rather articulate

  18. #18
    skillz to pay billz
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    this is my noise of choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by miwoodar
    When I was about 20 feet away I clicked my brake levers a few times but she continued riding.

    Ithnu, youre probably right, I went OTB at hall today, but I'm still flexin'.


    Call the waaaaambulance.

  19. #19
    skillz to pay billz
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    I've changed my pref to a squeeky smurf. It should match the bits on my forks and shock nicely.


  20. #20
    183 BRO's before hoes.
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    On downhill trails when I get stuck behind someone I just backpedal as fast as I can. It's a Ringle knock off that retails for $100 and sounds similar to a saint hub, but louder and more annoying.

    Saint hub.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocgnikcuf
    I've heard conflicting views on bell rining and horn honking on the trail to get someone's attention. Most trail users seem to prefer the bell/horn to a loud "hello, on your left".
    Either way a thank you finishes the exchange. A Jeff Co ranger yelled at a buddy riding the Cone, for ringing his bell as he approached from behind, saying that it was rude.

    BTW, whats up with riders wearing head phones, climbing and then acting supprised to see another rider approaching from ahead ot behind.
    How 'bout whistles? I have a whistle set up on a string I wear aroung my neck I use when I commute with 3 whistles I got from a party supply store.One ia a regular police style whistle, One is a kazoo whistle, and one is (I don't know the name of it, but it's round and it has a fan type mechanism in it that sounds like a high pitched siren. Most people get a kick out of hearing them. They're all plastic and very light.

  22. #22
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    You could also use a wooden train whistle, a lighthouse whistle, or a slide whistle!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by athalliah
    And yet another reason not to ride at White Ranch. Not that I needed one

    Why so much anger towards White Ranch?

  24. #24
    pdh
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    A chig-a-ling bell from far away gets a smile.
    I JUST WANT A BICYCLE!!!!! " Why-why are you yelling at me?"
    WHATEVER, MAKE ME A BICYCLE CLOWN!!!!!!!!!

  25. #25
    hehe ...you said "member"
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    neither...

    I've always used a polite "on your left ... thanks, have a great day" and have never had a problem with other bikers/hikers/joggers. Greet people with a smile and even the grumps are usually pretty cool

  26. #26
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    I would have had the Law waiting for this guy

    That is a Threat on your life, this guy could have gotten in a lot of trouble, I am no whistle blower or anything but I do enjoy the Firing range and my right to bare arms. BUT, to say you have a glock in the car and would blow you away, thats insane. If anyone every threatens you with a firearm you should have the cops involved. Now days any threat with a firearm should be considered a threat on your life. That guy should not even own a gun.
    my 2 cents


    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    Good timing. This past weekend I had a minor confrontation with a hiker at White Ranch about my using a bell. I voiced that I would like to pass - no response. So, I rang my bell. The hiker turned and intentionally blocked the trail. He proceeded to tell me how annoying, rude, and inconsiderate I was to use a bell. Furthermore he would not let me or any other MTB rider pass that rang a bell. I apologized and explained that I was trying to be considerate of other trail users. This didn't seem to appease him. He continued to block the trail. BTW: I am well over 6 foot tall and over 200 lbs.
    He said I was lucky that we weren't in the parking lot. Otherwise, he had a "Glock" (I assume that is a firearm) in his vehicle and he would "blow my ass away."
    Not the best way to end a ride.
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  27. #27
    gravity curmudgeon
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    Ding, ding long before I pass someone. As I pass, nearly always very slowly, I always say something like "great day" or "thanks."

    As a person who walks/hikes as much as he rides, bikes can be stealth coming up on people and very startling as they pass. The speed difference, regardless of how "in control" a rider feels, can be threatening. So on a bike when coming upon people, I'd rather them be a little agitated at the bell than shocked/angry as I blow past them. Ding, ding, slowing way down, and a nice greeting are trivial for a biker and can go a long ways toward keeping sanity on the trails.

    Edit: Jerks are jerks and sadly, they are everywhere. No sense making larger generalizations based on the few who seem unable to use their brains.

  28. #28
    enlightened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow
    Why so much anger towards White Ranch?
    It's not anger, just personal opinion. The climb isn't worth the decent.

  29. #29
    ..ouch
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    +1. I find when coasting that my Hadley hub does a fine job of letting people know I'm coming. It doesn't work for the uphill, but I don't pass many people going uphill anyway..

  30. #30
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    He said I was lucky that we weren't in the parking lot. Otherwise, he had a "Glock" (I assume that is a firearm) in his vehicle and he would "blow my ass away."
    Not the best way to end a ride.

    Thats felony menacing. Next time, please call the cops so this guy will lose his right to bear arms. He obviously doesn't deserve it.
    .




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  31. #31
    Lucky Wrecker
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdog
    The speed difference, regardless of how "in control" a rider feels, can be threatening.
    That is a good point cowdog. We often forget that many of those people are hikers because they don't/can't bike. I'm sure a large portion of them would personally feel out of control just riding their bike down a simple curb. Then here we come along hyped up on a strong dose of adrenaline looking for more. I would bet that many of them believe we are wildly out of control.
    Last edited by miwoodar; 05-30-2008 at 09:49 AM.

  32. #32
    MFin' Princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Thats felony menacing. Next time, please call the cops so this guy will lose his right to bear arms. He obviously doesn't deserve it.
    Agreed. I definitely would have.

    As far as bells go, sorry, they are rude on the trail IMO. Appropriate for in-town riding on paved bike paths in louder, more heavily trafficked areas where people's hearing is significantly diminished, but really out of place in the wilderness. And Jeffco open space for that matter.

    That story about the 8 dudes in a row who all had to ring their bells cracked me up. Ding! Ding! Ding! Morons.

  33. #33
    Ride Everything
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    I used to run (ring?) a bell, but took it off. Instead, I say something (and sometimes tap my brake levers). I seem to get better reactions by saying something pleasant.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  34. #34
    MFin' Princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark
    I used to run (ring?) a bell, but took it off. Instead, I say something (and sometimes tap my brake levers). I seem to get better reactions by saying something pleasant.
    A bell, on a trail, sends a distinct message of "Get the hell out the way." That effect has got to be only amplified to a hiker.

    Clicking levers is much better. There's something to be said for subtlety.

  35. #35
    LA CHÈVRE
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    I have a horn shaped as the head of Elvis a friend brought me back from Japan... yes, THE Elvis. It's still in box somewhere though, I was really deceived when I found out it didn't sound like Elvis at all. What do japanese know of Elvis anyway?

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  36. #36
    Stiff yet compliant
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    I gave the bell a try but found it ineffective. The last time I used it I was approaching two women from behind. I started ringing from about 100 feet out and got no response. When I was right behind them I called out "hello". One of the women turned around and said "Oh I was wondering what that ringing was". I removed it after that.

  37. #37
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    I usually just get by with shifting gears (or coasting on my HT, which has a King hub), unless the moron's wearing earbuds, but once I had a dude yell at me on Dakota Ridge that I needed to have a bell for my bike. It was pretty weird; I was about halfway down the trail, on one of the short climb sections. The guy had a 4-5 year old boy with him, and I saw them from well away and slowed to a crawl (2-3 mph). He looked right at me when I was 20 yards away, then started walking along with the kid. When I was about 20 feet away (and making plenty of mechanical noise), he looked up again at me, moved the kid to the side, and as I passed, that's when he yelled at me. He probably would've punched me if I'd used a bell on him. Some people are just d1ckweeds, and there's nothing you can do about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    I have a horn shaped as the head of Elvis a friend brought me back from Japan... yes, THE Elvis. It's still in box somewhere though, I was really deceived when I found out it didn't sound like Elvis at all. What do japanese know of Elvis anyway?
    More than you, I'd guess.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    You could also use a wooden train whistle, a lighthouse whistle, or a slide whistle!
    I had a wooden whistle but it wooden whistle.
    So I bought a steel whistle but it steel wooden whistle.
    So I bought a tin whistle and now I tin whistle.
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