Bicycle bells have become the must-have bicycle accessory. They were originally designed for safety, warning people (like a car horn) that you are there. Over the years designers have become increasingly creative when it comes to bicycle bells. From novelty horns to highly engineered design classics. This blog post explores some of the best bicycle bells from around the world.
Wood Bell by Tokyo bike
The polite bike 'bell'. Gently warn others of your presence with the soft sound of wood. Each wood has a unique sound. Made in Japan. These bike bells are lovingly crafted and focus not just on the look but on the sound that they create when 'dinged', a more gentle approach ensures that fellow cyclists are not offended when you are simply warning them of danger ahead or of other safety concerns. I would love to try out one of these crafted wooden bike bells, but i'm not sure that they would stand up to the noise and traffic of hackney!
Hand made or customised bells
These bells are up-cycled and customised by the user. They show personalisation and creativity.
This one above is a crocheted cover to a bike bell, perhaps it also muffles the sound a bit. Below is a large white bike bell drawn on with marker, a comment on the superior sustainability of riding a bike.
Electric bike bells
When doing research on bike accessories i came across the electric bike bell, here below is an example. It has a few different modes and options for sounds and is weather and shock resistant. Personally i think it is a bit unnecessary, like re-inventing the wheel but it could be a fun gadget to have. I have had bike bells stolen in the past, so i wouldn't have something like this that would attract the attention of thieves. But i definitely would like to have a play around with this electric bike bell and hear some of the sounds that it makes. This one from amazon retails for approx £11 but you also need to keep it charged or buy batteries for it. I think it could be a fun gadget for a kids bike perhaps a good stocking filler for a child learning to ride a bicycle.
Bell etiquette when riding a bicycle
Use their bell to signal to people walking and slower riders ahead they need to pass. Give enough warning to allow people to react. You should try to use the bicycle bell only when necessary. Here are some tips on bicycle bell usage etiquette.
1) do a loud ding to pedestrians if they are walking towards danger or not seeing a bicycle coming
2) when. you are going through a tunnel on a canal tow bath, ring your bell twice in quick succession as a way of communicating that you are coming through the tunnel when there is only room for one bicycle to pass.
3) warn pedestrians or fellow cyclists of your approach by dinging the bell a few times softly
4) If you don't have a bell you can also use your voice, by calling out "coming" or "bike coming" as a way to warn people that you are near or about to pass someone.
5) don't ding the bell LOUDLY or SHOUT unless danger is imminent. This can scare people and is considered rude. However there are times where its necessary to do this in order to avoid an accident or crash happening.
6) ding Twice when approaching from behind someone, it is a slightly more polite and has a less aggressive tone to it.
7) avoid ringing the bell too late for example after the danger point has passed, this will just confuse people.
8) don't 'ding' excessively or unnecessarily