A bicycle bell is the traditional way of letting other road and cycle path users know that you're there and it's doubly useful when there are lots of people on foot about. Bells may not be glamorous, but they're having a bit of a renaissance as accessory makers come up with bells that are more reliable and look and sound better. Here's our pick of the best bike bells.
A different drop handlebar solution: Canyon Ring Bar End Bell — Find out more
You're not legally obliged to have a bicycle bell, but they can be a handy way to give a friendly warning of your approach. We favour a pleasant tone and the option to have the bell sound constantly.
There's a huge range out there, from tiny, cheap pingers to spendy titanium units and even (allegedly) aerodynamic bells! Don't wait till you're almost on top of someone to sound your bell; startled pedestrians quite reasonably take umbrage, so make a small investment and let people know you're there with a cheery ding ding...
The Crane E-Ne Revolver bell has a lovely, musical tone according to our reviewer, and it sung well enough to bag itself a road.cc Recommends award from us last year.
Its unusual rotary mechanism means you can fit it wherever on your handlebar suits best. It's very well made with a machined aluminium clamp and brass dome, which looks very classy.
While this bell is not cheap, this Japanese bell make is renowned for the volume and tone of its bells for a reason, and the E-Ne Revolver is no exception. When you turn the outer ring it produces a cheery sequence of ching-ching sounds that are a super polite way of announcing your presence. If that matters to you, and you also want a bell that is easy to fit and looks great, this is the one for you!
The Granite Cricket Bell looks like a classic bicycle bell but has a handy cowbell feature so it can be set to ring continuously, and can be mounted to a range of bar sizes. It works flawlessly and is well priced. If you need to alert other folks on shared-use paths and trails of your presence, this is a solid option. Its versatility and suitability for off-road use means it comes high on our list of recommendations.
Made in the US, the Spurcycle bell was successfully funded through Kickstarter. It’s an all-metal design with a metal strap fitting to any diameter handlebar and uses a brass dinger to create a sound that the manufacturer says is three times louder than a conventional bell.
We found the ring the ring to be really impressive, clearly cutting through external noise and resonating well after the hammer hits. It even managed to get the attention of people listening to headphones, which is something that doesn't happen too often with a regular bell. According to a sound meter phone app, the ring was consistently between 88-100 decibels, which is certainly enough to get people's attention.
The Trigger Bell is a small but very well-designed bell that works on a very broad range of handlebars, intended to allow you to work the bell without moving your hand from where it naturally sits to operate the brakes and gears. Effective and good value, it sets a high bar for other bells to reach.
If you don’t have space on your handlebar to fit a bicycle bell, this clever Acor Headset Spacer Bell could be the perfect solution. It simply replaces a 10mm spacer above or below your stem and will fit a 1 1/8in steerer tube.
Got an aero bike and don’t want to fit a bicycle bell because it might generate unwanted drag? Here’s the MKS Aero Bell which has an aero shape. It has a simple aluminium body with a plastic ratchet strap to fit the handlebars.
Online this model currently only seems to be available from US vendors on eBay, so you may have to pay hefty delivery and customs fees if you want to make it your own. A titanium version costing around £55 is also available, but it'll ship from Japan so, again, freight adds a big whack. Still, titanium!
If you want to add a bit of titanium bling to your bike look no further than the Van Nicholas titanium bell. It would go well with a matching Van Nicholas bicycle but we reckon it’ll look good on most bicycles. It’s available in 22.2 and 31.8mm diameters.
Bike bells no longer need to be the size of a wagon wheel to be effective, like something you'd see on a Raleigh Chopper, and they don't need to break the bank either. This Lezyne bell is a case in point. It is a simple design that works well – a base with two hooks for a rubber band to hold it to the bar, and a spring attached to the hammer that, when flicked, hits the dome to ding – and comes in at a decent price.
If you want a simple and cheap bell, the BBB EasyFit Bell doesn’t require any tools for installation. Instead, you get a selection of rubber bands to wrap around any size handlebar. At around a fiver it’s one of the most affordable bicycle bells in this roundup. It comes in a choice of colours to match your bike.
As the name suggests, the compact version of Spurcycle's Class bell aims to do the same job but in a smaller package. It's designed with flat bar commuter bikes and mountain bikes in mind, taking up as little bar space as possible without compromising on volume. Our reviewer found that it mostly delivered, although the sound isn't quite as loud as Spurcycle's original bell. It's also quite expensive, but then again this is a quality product that should outlive numerous bikes, so worth the investment to those who want a timeless yet space-saving accessory.
The Canyon Ring Bar End Bell (careful how you say it!) differs from almost every other bike bell because it fits on the end of a dropped handlebar rather than clamping onto the outside by the stem. Its light weight and position make it beautifully inconspicuous and a really interesting choice for road cyclists who don't want any extra bar clutter.
You have the option of left or right-side mounting, it weighs just 40g and has a nice definitive 'ping'. Our reviewer did find it a bit awkward to access as you need to reach down to it while you're riding, which might not be ideal; so while it won't be for everyone, it's definitely a solution worth considering for road cyclists.
“Where's your bell?!” It’s a line you’ve probably heard many times, usually after you’ve shouted a cheery hello. But do cyclists have to have bells? In the UK a bike has to be sold with a bell fitted, but there’s no legal obligation to keep it on your new bike once you get it home from the shop. Other jurisdictions have different rules. In New South Wales, Australia, under its legal principle of Treat Cyclists As Vermin So They Stop Riding, you can be fined AU$106 (£57) for not having a bell.
The Highway Code only recommends a bicycle bell be fitted. “Be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted.”
Bicycle bells can be a sensible addition to your bike though, whether cycling along shared-used paths or quiet country lanes with horse riders and dog walkers that might not hear a cyclist approaching.
If you do want to fit a bicycle bell, there are now many choices on the market as plenty of bike brands have responded to the challenge of designing a compact and stylish bell that is highly audible. Want to run one on your road bike? Look for a lightweight bell made from brass alloy, or consider a very compact and discreet solution like Canyon's Ring bar end bell. If you're after something that will suit your commuter or retro bike, there are still lots of more traditional-looking options too.
Happy dinging! As always, if you have any recommendations of your own drop a comment below, and we'll look to review it in the future.
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Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.