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  1. #1
    EDR
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    Bear bell recommendations...

    A trip this week to the Rim area and friendly warning from a forest ranger about the large amount of bear activity got me thinking (too much) to the point it affected my riding enjoyment. In the thick forest sections I quickly got tired of hoot'n and holler'n like an idiot in the middle of nowhere. Really don't wish to sneak up on a cub with mom in-tow.

    Looking at the Timber Mountain bell. It has an "off" position which is cool.

    Any recommendations for making my presence known to critters?

  2. #2
    IPA tester
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    The timber bell. You can regulate it

  3. #3
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    Timberbell is the best. Many thumbs up from hikers. Id recommend getting the screw on mount rather than the rubber band mount if you just need it for one bike.


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    Please don't mistake my enthusiasm for mountain biking as an indication of my skill level.

  4. #4
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    3rd vote for the timber bell. great bell. not one bear attack since I've been using it.

  5. #5
    Co Springs
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    It's a good one to consider- Seems a popular choice for the true critter awareness areas by many here in CO.
    Got lots of interest and compliments on it when I first got it.

    I like that it isn't just on or off- I'd also describe it (mine anyways) of having a few detent settings to tune it's sensitivity between the On or Off positions.
    Smooth paved surfaces can be dialed different than trail surfaces that jounce around more so it's sensitivity can actually be varied for the many types of riding areas or conditions.
    Some bells are more impressive or fancy looking, some more loud but I think also more form over function. This wins for simplicity, adjustability and unique design - more than fair price as well.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  6. #6
    No Clue Crew
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    Another Timber bell vote.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  7. #7
    IPA tester
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    The couple that owns the company also do trail work. Small family owned company that gives back gets my support.
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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    Dirttreaders.com

  8. #8
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    I used to be paranoid of grizzlies when riding in Montana. I had two bells and was always hooting and hollering too. My BIL is a wildlife biologist up there and says bears are very curious animals and might want to investigate the noises. The locals up there refer to them as "dinner bells"

    I carry counter assault now and have decided that if I get eaten by a bear, then so be it, rather on my bike in the wilderness than in a care home, drooling in a recliner watching Love Boat reruns on COZi TV.

    Also, FWIW, I know there are a ton of mountain lions around Arizona and not once have I given it a second thought.
    2016 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol

  9. #9
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    Just ordered the Timber, looks simple and I like that it's active without having to fuss with it.

    As far as Arizona bears go I'm not too worried about attracting them with a bell. They typically aren't looking at humans as prey. My only real concern is startling a mother with cubs, that's a bad plan and I'll feel better knowing that they know I'm around before we see each other face-to-face.

  10. #10
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    We use bells extensively in AK to let bears know we are around, this way they are not surprised and they generally stay clear of the trail. Bears do not "go to investigate noises" as described above. They generally want nothing to do with humans and will only attack if they get cornered or you are threatening their young (which you may not be aware of). Bells are mandatory for all of our races up here.

    Small black bears shouldn't be a big threat, generally they'll run up trees if you startle them, but there's the one off chance that they may attack. We even had a rider run into one last year on a trail in the city. Course, someone else DID get attacked and their buddy had to use the bear spray on them and the bear, it worked, didn't get too badly mauled. Generally, you make noise and the bear knows you are there and won't feel threatened.

    What has trigged off some attacks according to biologists are riders and runners wearing earbuds, when they noticed a bear close by and then stopped. If they didn't have the earbuds, they would have notice it long before so they could avoid and if they would have kept running/riding, the bear wouldn't have cared, but it's human nature to "stop" or investigate and that set off the bear, because it was expecting the human to just keep going.
    "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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  11. #11
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    Sorry EDR, just saw this. But for anyone else considering the Timber Bell, use code 'hawesaholics' at checkout for 20% off. www.mtbbell.com
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by azfishman View Post
    I used to be paranoid of grizzlies when riding in Montana. I had two bells and was always hooting and hollering too. My BIL is a wildlife biologist up there and says bears are very curious animals and might want to investigate the noises. The locals up there refer to them as "dinner bells"

    I carry counter assault now and have decided that if I get eaten by a bear, then so be it, rather on my bike in the wilderness than in a care home, drooling in a recliner watching Love Boat reruns on COZi TV.

    Also, FWIW, I know there are a ton of mountain lions around Arizona and not once have I given it a second thought.
    Im still trying to figure out what a BIL is

  13. #13
    No Clue Crew
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    Brother in law.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  14. #14
    Co Springs
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    Oh, you mean my mom's daughter's husband !

    MMDH
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  15. #15
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    Just sharing a different perspective is all....I wouldn't entirely say that a bear won't investigate a noisy bell, but once recognizing a human, I agree they usually do not want anything to do with us.
    2016 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by azfishman View Post
    Just sharing a different perspective is all....I wouldn't entirely say that a bear won't investigate a noisy bell, but once recognizing a human, I agree they usually do not want anything to do with us.



    A bell might have made a difference in this instance.

    Mauled mountain biker was riding fast before grizzly bear attack | The Spokesman-Review
    Last edited by Azpilot; 08-13-2018 at 01:55 PM. Reason: video faked

  17. #17
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    I like the Timber bells for busy trails with lots of hikers (SoMo), but for riding alone in the woods I find it too loud and obnoxious, so in those circumstances I use a small bell mounted on my pack. It's still loud enough to be heard from a good distance but I completely tune it out when riding. No bear attacks so far

  18. #18
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    About mid June this year, I was descending Poland road going about 25 mph and as I turned the corner I scared the crap out of a (about 300 lb) bear, it ended up running away fast from me (on the road)... it stopped and stood up briefly... checked me out for about 1 minute... and then ran away... I have photos, ill post them up later... but my point is.. they are not a threat... the chances of you seeing them are very low.. and the chances of them attacking you while you are biking are very rare... at least here in Arizona.. but, get your bell if that makes you feel safe..

  19. #19
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    I have had 3 bear encounters in AZ over the last 5 years while riding...all of them have been in the Flagstaff area. 2 of those were a mama and 2 cubs....the scary one was where I was almost in between the mama and the cub (I was descending over by Rogers Lake). The cub climbed the tree right in front of me and mama was another 30 yards or so down the trail. I stopped quickly and backed away keeping her in my sight.
    Then I changed my chamois.
    btw, I have had more close calls w/ cows and elk that get spooked and run in random directions...those might not bite but I'm sure it won't end well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    but my point is.. they are not a threat... the chances of you seeing them are very low.. and the chances of them attacking you while you are biking are very rare... at least here in Arizona.. but, get your bell if that makes you feel safe..
    Look, I'm not the fastest rider in the woods but I am sick and tired of coming up behind bears on the trail just meandering back and forth, left and right, with their cubs in tow like nobody else in the world is around them. "On your left" doesn't seem to work very well as they inveritably move to their left, and cause unneeded confusion for all... the ones with the earbuds are the worst!

  21. #21
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by schillingsworth View Post
    Sorry EDR, just saw this. But for anyone else considering the Timber Bell, use code 'hawesaholics' at checkout for 20% off. www.mtbbell.com
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to schillingsworth again."

    -thanks, I was able to cancel and save $5...cool beans!

  22. #22
    ninjichor.com
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    If anyone thinks their Timber is inadequate, there's this for $40.

    https://awarenessbell.com/


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zicked View Post
    Timberbell is the best. Many thumbs up from hikers. Id recommend getting the screw on mount rather than the rubber band mount if you just need it for one bike.


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    Protip, double check your stack height if you keep the bell near your stem and ensure it won't hit your top tube if your bars spin around in a crash.

    I killed my first screw on Timberbell and put a nice scrape on my Yeti because I'm an idiot.
    Hey guys, lets go play bieks!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
    Protip, double check your stack height if you keep the bell near your stem and ensure it won't hit your top tube if your bars spin around in a crash.

    I killed my first screw on Timberbell and put a nice scrape on my Yeti because I'm an idiot.
    Thanks for the heads up. I just got one and was thinking of where to mount it. I have just enough space next to my left grip between the brake lever so mounted it there for now. I guess worst case is it will hit my knee in a crash vs the frame 😂

  25. #25
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    In my (brief) experience, the Timber bell isn't durable enough for mountain biking. Here's what happened to mine on it's maiden voyage after 45 minutes climbing up a one way trail (the bell was turned off):

    Bear bell recommendations...-_dsc4540.jpg

    I did a step up over a 3-4 inch rock, and my knee hit the bell. Mine was the screw on mount version, and I mounted the Timber bell so that the bell was pointing straight down. I noticed those marks on the bell after removing the bell from the packaging, so I don't know if the bell got scratched during shipping or whether removing the packaging scratched the bell. The bell is barely attached to the mounting bracket, so I imagine any tiny knock will break it off.

    Protip, double check your stack height if you keep the bell near your stem and ensure it won't hit your top tube if your bars spin around in a crash.

    I killed my first screw on Timberbell and put a nice scrape on my Yeti because I'm an idiot.
    I mounted my Timber bell right next to my stem, and I didn't even think to check if the bell would hit my top tube, so I guess I'm glad mine broke right away.

  26. #26
    ninjichor.com
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    I also had the issue with the Timber bell smacking my top tube. Its cable becomes sticky too, to the point the "o-ring" mount slips around the bar, if you don't use your hand to hold it before flicking the lever. If you mount it with the bell being less exposed to smacking the top tube (e.g. pointing back), it doesn't ring very well and is can be more prone to be hit by knee pads when pedaling out of the saddle.

    If anyone ends up getting the awareness bell, I recommend using a ziptie over the velcro, for extra security. You'll miss it if it ejects, as velcro won't hold in a hard enough impact.

  27. #27
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    I had three bear encounters in a week last month while riding in southern Az in Huachuca Canyon and Wren Arena. They were all within 50 meters when we made eye contact. In every case they took off in the opposite direction as soon as they saw me.
    Bikes are my time machines.

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