Bell/Horn Thread. What's your favorite?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bell/Horn Thread. What's your favorite?

    This morning I installed a new spurcycle bell onto my Vaya. I've had my eye on these for awhile. They were a kickstarter campaign some years ago.



    I finally got around to buying one. I really like the tone of them. Not the clumsy "clank" of the cheap ones shaped like whatever and use plastic hammers.

    I used to have an AirZound horn installed. I still have it, and it's still awesome for signaling cars. Unfortunately, it's not so friendly with 31.8 bars. And it's big and ungainly.

    The bell will be a lot more friendly to use when I commute on the MUP.

  2. #2
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    I can whistle very loud....so as long as I am hydrated that is what I use.

    I also have a little bear bell that lets people know where I am.

  3. #3
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    my whistles are good enough to call the dogs, but not to signal on the bike. I do have a loud voice and it's what I've used in the past. But when I use sections of the MUP on my commute, it's REALLY annoying to say "excuse me" on an endless loop. I may add a couple of these to mtb's in the stable, too, because at times I ride on trails that have been sorta busy.

    My voice is loud enough to penetrate most cars in an emergency situation, and is more quickly accessible than pushing the button on the horn or flicking the bell.

  4. #4
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    Bells work. Polite "on your left," "coming through," etc. also work. Put them together is the best combo.

    I have had a Spurcycle bell for a couple of years now. I like it, however, I find that it is too high pitched. This becomes an issue when coming up on an older person who cannot hear it as well. Otherwise, it is a very well constructed equipment and I do like how stealthy it is.

    Personally, I just prefer a $20 Crane bell. Nice, rich tone, and much louder than the Spurcycle bell.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    I used to have an AirZound horn installed. I still have it, and it's still awesome for signaling cars. Unfortunately, it's not so friendly with 31.8 bars. And it's big and ungainly.

    The bell will be a lot more friendly to use when I commute on the MUP.
    The AirZound is seriously one of the best things I have ever had on my bike. It so nice to be able to get drivers attention before they do something stupid. But I have to agree with you about it being ungainly. It is very difficult to get it mounted in a spot where I can use it and the brake at the same time, which is a must IMO. If it were better designed I would own multiples, no question.

    I have also tried the Hornit, which was easier to mount but didn't sound like a "horn" so people didn't know how to react. There were a few times where people pulled out in front of me, I hit the horn, and they looked behind them, presumably because they thought the sound was some sort of emergency vehicle trying to get them out of the way. Works well for pedestrians who aren't paying attention though.

    As for bells I use the Brass Duet. It's cheap, clear and loud, and most importantly, sounds like the cliche bike bell so people know instantly how to react. A good bell is a must to hike and bike trails, and even multi use MTB trails.

  6. #6
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    I have a simple 5$ bell and it works well enough. Also never seriously thought of something else, although 1-2 times a year an airzorn would have been handy.

  7. #7
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    I bought 4 bells on eBay for $1.25 each. I'm not a bell aficionado, I guess. They work fine on my commuters. I had one on my mtb, but it got annoying having something else on the bar and how it started dinging on bigger hits.

  8. #8
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    I don't have enough bike or ped traffic to use one (although in the past I found they are awesome on big charity rides), but for old times' sake, this is my fave, always on the 1-speeds as kids, and with that satisfying bbbrrrriiiinnnngggg!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bell/Horn Thread. What's your favorite?-flagbells_98.jpg  


  9. #9
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    I have a bell:



    I am pretty sure it is this one:

    Bell/Horn Thread. What's your favorite?-vo_brass_temple_bell.jpg

    It has a nice sound and draws smiles. I like it much better than the brass colored steel bell it replaced.

    Usually used when overtaking pedestrians exercising in the streets near home. (Neighbors.)

    The errand bike has the Airzound. You can see the reservoir in the bottle cage and the red actuator peaking up above the bars.



    The Airzound is a bit hard on pedestrians unless they failed to heed both bell and voice. Then it is much less hard on them than a collision!

    I also do not like the "Beep or Brake" aspect. An electric actuator with one or two momentary SPST switch snuck under the sides of the brake hoods would help it work better and it could be moved off the bars. Too often braking for my life and not able to use it when it is so richly deserved.

  10. #10
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    I have a battery power Hornit on my bars to get motorists' attention (it works) and a Crane brass bell on my steerer tube for pedestrians. the volume on each is loud enough for their intended... audience.

  11. #11
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    I have a large Opa bike Bing Bong bell I got in Arnhem, The Netherlands. I like that one a lot, though it does have an annoying self ringing feature if the frost heaves are bad enough.

    It has special sentimental value as it reminds me of a bike tour we did as a family in Holland a few years ago.

  12. #12
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    I love the Incredibell Brass Duet, they have a great sound and I like the double ring the push lever gives....but what I don't like is the idiotic sizing of the clamp! Per the Incredibell website: "Fits handlebars with 21.7mm - 24mm (.86" - .95") outside diameters." I run drop bars and like to mount the bell near the stem. Without modification it wont fit the 25.4, 26.0, or 31.8 of the stem clamp area on any of my bikes.

    For the smaller diameters I have simply taken a lighter or heatgun and softened the plastic of the clamp and stretched it to fit. I have one I need to modify to fit a 31.8 stem clamp Gary II bar, but I will probably have to cut off the existing clamp and modify it to utilize a cannibalized 31.8 plastic Planet Bike light clamp.

    I know I can use one of the other bells Incredibell/Mirrycle offers, but I don't like the sounds, mounts, styles, or operation of the other ones. I did try the Clever Lever on our tandem...it fits up to a 26mm clamp size, but it is one of the dullest sounds I have ever heard after the wooden bells Incredibell offers.

    I once sent an email inquiring as to why Incredibell/Mirrycle doesn't make the Brass Duet in a real world usable clamp size...never received a reply back.
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  13. #13
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    One of the things I like about the Spurcycle bell its its clamp. Just a band you tighten to adjust. It comes with two sizes. One for the super narrow less-than-an-inch sizes, and a longer one that handled the 31.8 size of my current bar.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    One of the things I like about the Spurcycle bell its its clamp. Just a band you tighten to adjust. It comes with two sizes. One for the super narrow less-than-an-inch sizes, and a longer one that handled the 31.8 size of my current bar.
    Hmmm...$40 to $50 for a bell....vs $12 and a slight headache modifying said $12 bell....I think I will go with the lower cost option.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy View Post
    Hmmm...$40 to $50 for a bell....vs $12 and a slight headache modifying said $12 bell....I think I will go with the lower cost option.
    To each his own. I appreciate elegant solutions.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy View Post
    Hmmm...$40 to $50 for a bell....vs $12 and a slight headache modifying said $12 bell....I think I will go with the lower cost option.
    It's like buying a Surly vs a Vanilla. While I appreciate the functionality of my $20 bell, the $45 Spurcycle bell's workmanship and thought put into the design is leaps and bounds better. Looks prettier, too.

  17. #17
    jrm
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    The sound of my voice

    seems to work better. Bells & horns are Ok but there easily drown out by traffic noise

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    To each his own. I appreciate elegant solutions.
    I agree, to each his own. Enjoy that bell.

    My perspective is that elegance and functionality should not drive up price to ridiculous.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    seems to work better. Bells & horns are Ok but there easily drown out by traffic noise
    bell's not for cars.

    As for horns being drowned by traffic noise, you've never heard an AirZound, have you?

    It's not one of these but I know from experience that it WILL get the attention of cell phone distracted drivers at close range.

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  20. #20
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    Incredibell...just the basic one. Ding! Starting riding with it this year and really appreciate it on one of our crowded, two-way traffic trails complete with runners, hikers, dogs off leash, etc.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  21. #21
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    They are so useless as pedestrians all wear earbuds and are in their own little world.

  22. #22
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    ^^^Yep..can be an issue...but I still like dinging at them.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by snailspace View Post
    They are so useless as pedestrians all wear earbuds and are in their own little world.
    THEN it's time to get obnoxious to be heard.

  24. #24
    jrm
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    I have heard the equivalent air horn but its not something im going to carry with me

  25. #25
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    Slx rear hub, people get out of the way when a group of angry bees are chasing them.
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  26. #26
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    Those of you that use your voice, have you ever walked along an MUP with someone having a conversation and a cyclist passes? I walk the MUP quite often and from experience, cyclists that use their voice are not heard as often as those that use a bell. The high pitch of a bell cuts through conversation and ambient noise. A vocal call out rarely does as most voices don't carry as far as the high frequency ding of a bell. Add in the doppler effect and it's worse for a vocal call.

    That said, I use a cheap bell I won in an alleycat (I know, ironic). Also, let's not forget the other important aspect of sharing spaces with pedestrians, slowing and passing with consideration. A bell ding or a vague vocal call is meaningless if cyclists blast by pedestrians. In this situation we (cyclists) are the larger, more potentially dangerous, object and the adage, treating others as you want to be treated, is important.

  27. #27
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    Yeah, bells are nice to give a warning in advance. I had some dude buzz by me once on the MUP. The guy was kind of rude about it, and I was like, "What's your deal?" He claimed he warned me he was passing, but obviously I didn't hear him or I would have moved over. I had my 1 year old son with me at the time and was talking to him in his iBert seat. A bell would have cut through. Whatever the case, don't be a dick like the dude I'm talking about.

  28. #28
    z1r
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    The bike path I ride is a multi use path with lots of peds. Half of them are wearing earphones and can't hear a polite, "on your left." So, I just yesterday mounted an old incredibell I pull off a bike I am selling. It is amazing how well people respond. Those with ear phones can hear the load ping. Those without seem friendlier than when I shout, "On yer left!"

    Best addition to my ride I have made in years, well, cept for the Kevlar tires. Too many goatheads around here.

  29. #29
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    Crane brass bell, nice and loud, works well. Got one mounted below the right brake lever so I am able to brake and ring at the same time, if needed.

  30. #30
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    Are there any bells that would be silent while riding rough trails on a rigid bike? I want something totally silent until I need it to sound.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Are there any bells that would be silent while riding rough trails on a rigid bike? I want something totally silent until I need it to sound.
    I have a Incredibell Brass Duet on a 140mm travel bike and never hear it, unless I use it obviously.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I have a Incredibell Brass Duet on a 140mm travel bike and never hear it, unless I use it obviously.
    +1 on the Brass Duet. Never made a sound going over the rough.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  33. #33
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    How about this one Mini Electric 6-Alarm Sound 9V Bicycle Horn Bell with Mount for Bicycle - Black-4.31 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com , I think it is worth every penny of it. Enough attention... I won't pay more than $10 for a bike horn...

  34. #34
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    I have a Viva Brass Bell "Universal Sound Bell"

    Funny/odd story how I got it though.

    I was heading to my college and locking up my bike and I was thinking I needed a rear rack for my mothers bike and I would really like to get a brass bell for my bike. I look to my right and sitting on top of the trash was you guessed it, the Viva and a cheap rear rack with mounting hardware. I let it sit there during my 3 hour class, it was still there when I got back so I took the lot. The rack was slightly bend but was easy enough to slightly bend back.

    I do hope no one lost these items or that they were removed from a stolen bike.
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