Cycling is an exhilarating experience, whether you’re speeding through city streets or exploring serene forest trails. Yet, in busy shared spaces, alerting others to your presence is crucial. Bike bells are more than accessories; they’re safety companions as vital as quality helmets and bright bike lights. They protect riders and ensure pedestrian safety. With patents dating back to 1877, bike bells have stood the test of time. As cycling’s popularity soars, the demand for reliable and effective bike bells becomes ever more evident. Join us as we unveil the finest options for enhancing your safety and elevating your rides in 2023.
Unleashing Today’s Top-Notch Bike Bells
Modern-day bike bells break free from the confines of a one-size-fits-all model. The market offers a diverse range from the elite and shiny vintage bells to humble thumbpieces with a subtle ring. A reliable bike bell should stand out with its clear sound, secure fit, and easy accessibility while pedaling.
The market offers a myriad of options that match every pocket. You can splash out on a premium design or opt for an affordable yet efficient model. You can pick something sleek and discreet for your racing bike or something retro-styled for your daily commuter bike. There’s a bell for everyone.
1. Trigger Bell
Best for safety and convenience
+ Convenient placement
– Sound is not as strong when wet
The Timber! Mountain Bike Trail Bell, tailored for mountain biking and trail riding, features a continuous chiming sound that can effortlessly be activated or deactivated. Its innovative design eliminates the need for constant manual ringing, providing riders the convenience to focus on navigating busy paths or challenging trails. This self-operating bell ensures you ride safely while keeping others aware of your approach.
2. Bonmixc Bike Bell Brass Mini
Best for affordability and ease of use
+ Easy-to-use mount
+ Great sound
+ Low price
– Small mount won’t fit wider bars
The Bonmixc Bike Bell is an Amazon best-seller for a reason. With a budget-friendly price, it excels in functionality and simplicity. The double-ding noise is loud enough, and installation is a breeze on either side. However, please note that it is only compatible with handlebars measuring 21-23mm in outer diameter, limiting its suitability for thicker bars.
3. Spurcycle Original Vintage Bell
Best for aesthetic
+ Variable fit
+ Old-school look
+ Noise quality
– High price
– Mount can scrape on the bar
The Spurcycle Original Vintage Bell stands out with its compact size, retro design, and versatile mounting options. With a remarkable volume of nearly 100 decibels, this bell ensures that even in a bustling city, drivers and pedestrians can hear your alert. Its only limitation lies in its limited mount options (31.8mm and 22.2mm), which may scrape your handlebars. While the price tag may deter some, those who invest in this bell will delight in its exceptional sound and impeccable quality.
4. Timber! Mountain Bike Trail Bell
Best for off-road as well as on
+ Built for MTB
+ Continuous noise option
+ Stable on handlebars
– A bit bulky
– Heavier than others
Crafted exclusively for mountain biking and trail riding, the Timber! Trail Bell delivers a continuous chiming sound that can be effortlessly toggled on or off. Its ingenious design offers unparalleled convenience for riders, eliminating the need to constantly move your hand or thumb to ring the bell. With its independent operation, you can confidently tear through the trails, ensuring both your safety and the awareness of others around you.
7. Bobbin Embossed Ringer Bell
Best for a classic-looking bell at an affordable price
+ Retro look
Unlike pricier options, the Bobbin Embossed Ringer Bell offers retro charm without breaking the bank. With a variety of styles and colors to choose from, it effortlessly attaches to different bike models. These bells prioritize simplicity, making them ideal for commuters and first-time buyers. However, they may be slightly oversized for road or mountain bike enthusiasts.
5. Lion Urban
Best for build and sound quality
+ High-quality materials
– Quite pricey
A timeless bike bell inspired by the 19th century. This bell is not only a functional accessory but a work of art. With a loud and enduring ‘ding’ sound that lasts up to 20 seconds, it’s ideal for urban riding. Crafted from corrosion-resistant nickel silver, the Lion bell exudes elegance, available in both glossy and brushed satin finishes. Choose from various sizes of stainless steel mounts for your handlebars or stem, and for a personal touch, consider custom-engraving options.
8.RockBros Handlebar Stainless Steel Bell
Best value for money
+ Vintage look
+ One-size-fits-all mount
– Lever can be tricky to reach
The RockBros bell is a budget-friendly alternative to the Spurcycle Vintage Bell, offering a similar look and feel at a fraction of the cost. While Spurcycle excels in originality and quality, RockBros provides a valuable option with a wide range of colors and a versatile one-size-fits-all mount compatible with most bikes. However, it’s worth noting that the RockBros Bell’s lever may be difficult to reach, making it more suitable for adults rather than kids
6. Firmstrong Classic Bicycle Bell
Best for big, loud fun
+ Noise is loud and clear
+ Good-looking design
+ Mount versatility
– Large, so takes up space
With a universal fit for road bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, beach cruisers, and more, this bell is a top choice for all cyclists. While it may be slightly larger than other models, it ensures noticeable presence (unless you prefer a discreet appearance on your road bike). With a wide range of color options available, you can personalize your style. However, it’s worth noting that the price tag may be a deterrent for some.
9.RockBros Electronic Bicycle Horn/Bell
Best for maximum attention
– Cost of the replaceable battery
A powerhouse in a compact package. With its three adjustable tone levels, this remarkable device ensures that both car drivers and bustling pedestrians can hear your presence. Simple and hassle-free installation, water-resistant design, and a replaceable lithium battery make it a top-notch choice. Step up your bike safety game with the RockBros Electronic Bike Horn.
10. Nutcase Thumbdinger Bell
Best for all ages
+ Crisp sound
– Noise may be too quiet
The Nutcase Bell, aptly named Thumbdinger, offers a subtle alternative to traditional loud bike bells. With a gentle tone, it allows you to notify pedestrians on cycle paths without startling them. Affordable and family-friendly, it’s a great choice for everyone. The small and sleek design makes it suitable for both adult and kids’ bikes.
11. Lezyne Classic Shallow Brass Bell
Best for portability
+ Easy to fit and take off the bars
+ Quality, long-lasting ping sound
– May be tempting to thieves
Featuring a sleek, low-profile mushroom shape, Lezyne’s shallow bell offers easy attachment and removal with a rubber O-ring. While its convenient design allows for quick installation, it’s worth considering taking it with you when parking away from home to deter potential thieves. Activated by a simple spring mechanism, the bell emits a sonorous and long-lasting sound, effectively grabbing attention. For those seeking a more compact option with a higher tone, there’s also a deeper-sided version available, complete with a screw-on mount for added security against light-fingered individuals.
12. Knog Oi Classic
Best for inconspicuous design
+ Low-profile design
+ Long-duration ringtone
– Need the right size to fit your bars
The Knog Oi bell offers a sleek, minimalistic design that wraps around your handlebars with a single bolt fixing. Its low profile ensures it remains inconspicuous while still producing a clear and crisp sound. The bell’s pinger can be adjusted to your preferred position, and it can be rotated around the bars for optimal placement. With two sizes (including shims) to fit various bar sizes ranging from 22.2mm to 31.8mm, the Oi is compatible with a wide range of handlebars. Additionally, there are Luxe versions and limited editions available in vibrant colors.
Choosing Your Perfect Bike Bell: The Consideration
The ideal bike bell is subjective to individual requirements. Here are some aspects you should mull over before you make your pick.
- Volume Matters: Deciding the Loudness
The choice between a soft friendly ring and a loud horn hinges upon your riding terrain. A tranquil bike path calls for a delicate bell, while the bustling city demands a louder horn. Therefore, your bell’s volume should harmonize with your ride’s location to avoid startling pedestrians or getting lost in the city’s cacophony.
- Price Points: Finding Your Balance
It’s crucial to strike a balance between quality and cost. While some high-end bells may be crafted with superior materials and aesthetic appeal, their functionality often parallels their affordable counterparts. However, they do promise durability and a pleasing aesthetic.
- Visibility: To Show or Not to Show
Your personal preference will dictate whether you want your bell to be a noticeable feature or blend seamlessly with your handlebars. Some bells are designed to be conspicuous, adding a dash of color to your handlebars, while others opt for a discreet and sleek look. Remember, a flashy bell could catch a thief’s eye. If you frequently park in public spaces, consider investing in a removable bell or a robust bike lock.
- Fit Matters: Consider Your Handlebar Diameter
Before you take the plunge, confirm that your chosen bell accommodates your bike’s handlebar diameter. While most bells cater to standard handlebars, some models might have limitations. If you’re shopping for a child’s bike, ensure the mount fits their handlebars securely.
- Durability: Paying for Longevity
Quality materials promise longevity, so if you’re a frequent rider, spending a bit more on a durable bell might be a wise investment. Plastic models might not endure harsh weather conditions or regular use. Metal options like steel or brass, though pricier, can withstand time and the elements. However, if shopping for kids, an economical bell could be more practical.
- Placement: The Key to Convenience
The position of your bell can influence its usability significantly. If you need to sound your bell while maneuvering your bike, a bell located near the grips and brake levers will prove most convenient. Consider your riding style, especially with drop bar bikes, and ensure that the bell doesn’t compromise your comfort or restrict your handlebar space.
When installing your bell, a rule of thumb is to position it on your dominant hand side for ease of use. This minor yet essential detail is often overlooked but can enhance your riding experience significantly.
Remember, your bike bell isn’t merely an accessory. It’s a vital safety tool that aids your journey. Finding the right one takes some thought and consideration but is well worth the effort. With the perfect bell installed, every ride will not only be safer but also more enjoyable. Enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing you’re well-equipped for wherever you choose to ride.
- Keeping The Symphony On The Streets
Your bike bell contributes to the harmonious symphony of the streets. It’s not just about being heard; it’s also about respecting shared spaces and promoting safe cycling. Therefore, invest time in choosing the best bike bell that’s not only functional but also aligns with your personal style and cycling habits. With the right bell, your bike rides will be a more pleasurable and safer experience, ensuring you enjoy every pedal stroke while showing consideration for other road users. So gear up, ring your bell, and embark on your 2023 cycling journey with confidence and style!
A bell is more than just a bike accessory. It’s an essential tool that not only ensures your safety but also enhances your overall riding experience. Choose wisely, and make your rides in 2023 ring with clarity and confidence.