There are two main types of bike bell to choose from – the classic cycle bell and the air horn.
• Classic cycle bell: The classic cycle bell is well-known to all and based on a design that dates back to the late 1800s. Mounted on the bars within easy access, it consists of a steel or brass bell against which a tab or ringer strikes, producing the audible ‘ding’. While older bike bell models used a thumb-pushed lever that activated internal gears to strike two metal rings off the rim of the bell (with all the action happening inside the bell), these have largely been replaced by a simple plastic tab on a flexible arm. When the tab is flicked by the thumb the striking surface hits the exterior of the bell and the ‘ding’ is heard. The method of mounting the bike bell to the bar varies, but most modern types forgo a fixed plastic mount in favour of hooks and an elastic O-ring, for ease of attachment and adjustment.
• Air horns: These use pressurized air to emit a powerful blast of sound, up to 120 decibels in some cases. Some bike-specific models feature an air reservoir that is mounted in the bottle cage, and refillable via a normal bicycle pump or mini pump. Be warned however- the loud trumpeting blast of one of these horns may not appeal to everybody, so they are a fun option only or reserved for those commuters who have had one too many close escapes and feel that a normal bike bell just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Keeping pace with the times, some electronic bells began to appear on the market, with a more fashionable and technological appearance. They also gained a large number of enthusiasts. At the same time, they also have a sound effect that is not inferior to the Classic cycle bell. If you are also interested, why not try it, maybe you will also like it.
Whichever bell you choose, ping it loud and clear!
Choosing the best bike bell can be a bit hard for most cyclists because there is quite a choice in the market. To make your work easier, you should check the following;
Sound level – You should look for a bicycle bells that are loud enough to be heard by motorists and pedestrians even on busy roads.
Design– The design should be simple and elegant- You also need to check the size to ensure that it is not too large or too bulky. Otherwise, you might not be able to control the handlebar if it is too big. You must be able to push the lever comfortably when you want to ring your bicycle bell. Again, you should ensure that it will fit perfectly on your bike’s handlebar.
Durability– The material used to make bicycle bells should be sturdy and durable. Metallic bells are the best especially those that are made from steel, aluminum, or brass because they also produce a better sound.
Usage– In case you will be using it for daily commuting, you may need just a simple one that is loud enough. However, if you will be using it for mountain biking, you should consider a bell that is made from tough and durable materials. It should be able to withstand bumps or shock without breaking.
Why Do You Need a Bike Bell?
This is often a question asked by many cyclists, having a bike bell is not considered as ‘cool’ as it used to be but in some states, it’s even the law. But there are many benefits of having one even without it being the law, such as:
Volume: when passing someone in the street you need to warn them you are coming, it isn’t always enough to shout and sometimes it can be slightly rude. By having a bite bell you can pass these people or catch the attention of other road users without sounding aggressive or rude, or in some cases lose your voice.
Universal: if you’re looking to be cycling to another state or taking your bike on a road trip it is always good to have a bike bell incase the state requires it as a law. Also if you’re looking to take your bike to another country having a bike bell is very important because people may not speak English or may not understand or even hear you. Ringing a bike bell is universal that a person on a bike is coming towards you.
Safety: having a bike bell really reduces the chances of accidents or near-misses, especially on the road. It allows you to announce your presence to avoid any head-on collisions either with cars pulling out or people not moving out the way.