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A roundup of the best bicycle bells

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. Let's take a look.

“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? Legally, 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.

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. Here are 12 to consider.

Trigger Bell — £9.99

trigger_bell_-_drop_bar_2.jpg

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.

Read our review of the Trigger Bell

Knog Oi Bell — £11.20-£12.49

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The Oi is possibly the least bike-bell-looking bell ever. Launched via Kickstarter to much fanfare, the Oi bell takes a different tack to the usual bicycle bell design. The wraparound design ensures it's stylish and unobtrusive on the handlebars, and the hammer is easy to activate when cycling along.

Find a Knog dealer

Spurcycle — £49.99

Spurcycle Bell.jpg

Made in the US, the Spurcycle is the second most expensive bicycle bell we’ve ever come across. Like the Knog Oi, the Spurcycle 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.

Read our review of the Spurcycle bell
Find a Spurcycle dealer

Crane E-NE Bell — £21.95-£25.92

crane_e_ne_bell.jpg

This elegant bicycle bell is compact and available in a choice of colours, including matte black, polished brass or silver. It uses a vinyl coated stainless steel band to secure it to any handlebar between 22 and 31.8mm diameter. Crane bells come from Japan and are renowned for their musical tone and sustain.

Bobbin Bell — £12.99

bobbin-bicycles-small-brass-ding-dong-bell-gold-EV263672-1500-1.jpg

Usually sold with Bobbin Bicycles but available to buy separately, this is a classically-styled bell that will suit any vintage town bike. It uses a conventional ring paddle and sounds like a traditional bicycle bell should.

Find a Bobbin dealer

Acor Headset Spacer Bell — £8.42

Acor Headset Spacer Bell

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.

MKS Aero Bell — £19.95

MKS aero bell.jpg

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. A titanium version costing £37 is also available.

Read our review of the MKS Aero Bell
Find an MFS dealer

BBB Easyfit Bell — £4.25

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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 £3.49 it’s one of the most affordable bicycle bells in this roundup. It comes in a choice of colours to match your bike.

Find a BBB dealer

Nello — £15.73

nello.jpg

Created by a Milan-based designer, the Nello is a magnetic bicycle bell that is apparently capable of emitting 90 decibels of sound with every ring. It’s a pretty little thing and fixes to the handlebars using a magnet and plastic bracket, so it’s easily removed. Unlike most bicycle bells, this one is powered by batteries and there’s no manual dinger, instead, you simply tap the top of the bell.

Upgrade Mini Bell — £10.00

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Not requiring any tools for installation and not hogging any valuable handlebar space, this bicycle bell uses an adjustable clamp that can be secured onto a gear or brake cable, providing a wide range of fitting positions.

Timber! Bell — £24.99

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The Timber! Mountain Bike Trail Bell, to give it it's full name, makes a pleasant chiming noise all the time. It's designed for mountain biking to alert other trail users, but we can see the Timber! being useful for adventure and cyclocross rides, even round-town where there are lots of pedestrians, or on shared-use paths. It’s unique in that it can be switched off to keep it silent, or “unlocked” via a plastic lever on the top to allow a steel ball to ding in the cowbell-inspired cup. When it’s unlocked the ball will move freely provided you’re riding over rough ground, or if you give the handlebar a shake.

Van Nicholas Bell Titanium — ~£77

van nicholas bell.png

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.

road.cc Stay Awesome Bell — £9.99

Cyclists_Stay_Awesome_bell.jpg

Ding a ling! Feel awesome and let other road/path users know you're about with a Stay Awesome bell.

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David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

61 comments

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JF69 [46 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Butty wrote:

Had to do a lot of bell ringing while cycling in Bruge last week, due to big crowds walking on the narrow roads.

Almost all peds made way without complaint, apart from one nationality who would make some sort of sarcastic/unfunny comment and continue to plod on down the road.

Can you guess which nationality that was?

Maybe a member of the non-(or even anti) cycling nation?

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hawkinspeter [3621 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Butty wrote:

Had to do a lot of bell ringing while cycling in Bruge last week, due to big crowds walking on the narrow roads.

Almost all peds made way without complaint, apart from one nationality who would make some sort of sarcastic/unfunny comment and continue to plod on down the road.

Can you guess which nationality that was?

Was it Azerbaijan?

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RMurphy195 [162 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The Alecander Grahame Bell sounds - and looks - nice https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/bells-horns/pdw-alexander-graham-bell/

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DA69 [18 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
mirg wrote:

I have the Knog Oi.  It works really well and doesn't take up too much valuable bar space on my daily commuter.

It's soooooo quiet though!

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Butty [329 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
Butty wrote:

Had to do a lot of bell ringing while cycling in Bruge last week, due to big crowds walking on the narrow roads.

Almost all peds made way without complaint, apart from one nationality who would make some sort of sarcastic/unfunny comment and continue to plod on down the road.

Can you guess which nationality that was?

Was it Azerbaijan?

Close, but no cigar

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3621 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Butty wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
Butty wrote:

Had to do a lot of bell ringing while cycling in Bruge last week, due to big crowds walking on the narrow roads.

Almost all peds made way without complaint, apart from one nationality who would make some sort of sarcastic/unfunny comment and continue to plod on down the road.

Can you guess which nationality that was?

Was it Azerbaijan?

Close, but no cigar

French Canadian?

Avatar
timboid [28 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Try the Trigger Bell:

   https://triggerbell.com/#order

Just 10 GBP, is unobtrusive, loud and possibly the safest bike bell on the market.

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mjcycling [20 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

 You can get a replacement dinger. I had same problem and contacted lionbell. They said it was because they had changed the material to stainless which was heavier and so rang over anything other than smooth surface. Sent free of charge, bonus.

 

IHateSummer wrote:

I have something similar to the Acor headset spacer, but it's from Lion Bellworks.

http://www.lionbellworks.co.uk/webshop.php#!/Classic-Bicycle-Bell-stem-m...

It's a thing of beauty, but, unfortunately the pinger jiggles around all the time and if the right phase of the jiggle coincides with one of the rare road surface imperfections that are around, it goes off. I've even done the bendy once in while to try to prevent it, but it stills happens. Maybe I need to modify the mass to change the resonant frequency, or something...

 

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BigglesMeister [69 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Horses don't have bells!

It's often on bridleways where you meet the smarty panters who respond to the cheery hello with a "Where's yer bell" that come back with "Don't ring your bell at me" when I do ring the bell.

I find the best way is to lock up the back wheel and make a very loud about to crash skidding noise (where possible), that shifts 'em pretty sharpish.

I had an AirZound for a while which was extremely effective but there was always the possiblity that the poor old souls would have a heart attack or choke on their dentures.

I think an electronic thing that makes sounds like an out of control dustcart would be ideal!!

 

Avatar
don simon fbpe [2989 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
BigglesMeister wrote:

Horses don't have bells!

It's often on bridleways where you meet the smarty panters who respond to the cheery hello with a "Where's yer bell" that come back with "Don't ring your bell at me" when I do ring the bell.

I find the best way is to lock up the back wheel and make a very loud about to crash skidding noise (where possible), that shifts 'em pretty sharpish.

I had an AirZound for a while which was extremely effective but there was always the possiblity that the poor old souls would have a heart attack or choke on their dentures.

I think an electronic thing that makes sounds like an out of control dustcart would be ideal!!

 

Some would say that you're a bad un, I wouldn't.

 

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JennyC [1 post] 1 year ago
1 like

Knog Oi bell lives in a box with other unwanted stuff that gets hoarded, very disappointing, could hardly hear it..... hence the Spurcycle on the road bike which is amazing, despite the price. Have an NC17 on the MTB, small and works great. In town the Bobbin bell is fun and loud. Miles of shared use paths locally with lots of walkers and lots of cyclists... shouting is intrusive and destroys the peace and quiet, whereas people don't seem bothered and even smile or say thanks for using the bell!

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henryb [84 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
felixcat wrote:
hirsute wrote:

Boat horn all the way.

I used an aerosol driven foghorn on my tandem for a bit. The effect was miraculous and gratifying.

 

I use an airzound - https://www.airzound.co.uk/ - horn on my commuting bike. Every few rides I pump the air reservoir up to about 50psi with my track pump and it is amazingly loud. What makes it really useful is that even in heavy traffic car drivers with their windows closed notice it.

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Mungecrundle [1450 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

I kickstartered the Knog Oi, however it really is decorative rather than functional. Imagine a frail hamster griping a paperclip between it's teeth and bashing it against a teacup. That is about the level of sound it produces. The pinger is not particularly effective to locate or operate either. I have ensured it is not being restricted by other equipment on my bar.

Only reason I leave it on is because one day an aggressive driver might pass me with some horn abuse and I will get to pull up alongside at the next lights, ting my weedy bell and say "Ha, how do like that".

 

Avatar
Kendalred [339 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Mungecrundle wrote:

I kickstartered the Knog Oi, however it really is decorative rather than functional. Imagine a frail hamster griping a paperclip between it's teeth and bashing it against a teacup. That is about the level of sound it produces. The pinger is not particularly effective to locate or operate either. I have ensured it is not being restricted by other equipment on my bar.

Only reason I leave it on is because one day an aggressive driver might pass me with some horn abuse and I will get to pull up alongside at the next lights, ting my weedy bell and say "Ha, how do like that".

 

Yup, agree 100%. The best thing about it is it doesn't take up much space on the bars, and has a design that fits around cables. All rather pointless though if you can't hear the damn thing unless you're stood next to it!

I liked the design so I bought two, one for each road bike, so now I have double the regret!

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CarolineF [14 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Doesn't look like anyone yet has recommended a beautiful UK made Lion Bell (http://www.lionbellworks.co.uk/). Very musical and long lasting note, you can get them engraved with your name and they have a stem fitting option to replace a spacer.

Not cheap but gorgeous

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dmk [3 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
KendalRed wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:

I kickstartered the Knog Oi, however it really is decorative rather than functional. Imagine a frail hamster griping a paperclip between it's teeth and bashing it against a teacup. That is about the level of sound it produces. The pinger is not particularly effective to locate or operate either. I have ensured it is not being restricted by other equipment on my bar.

Only reason I leave it on is because one day an aggressive driver might pass me with some horn abuse and I will get to pull up alongside at the next lights, ting my weedy bell and say "Ha, how do like that".

 

Yup, agree 100%. The best thing about it is it doesn't take up much space on the bars, and has a design that fits around cables. All rather pointless though if you can't hear the damn thing unless you're stood next to it!

I liked the design so I bought two, one for each road bike, so now I have double the regret!

 

I got one to meet the minimal legal requirement for bells in New York. The black one turns bronzy after a few months. And it rings whenever I go over potholes, which is about five times every block.

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Silversurfmonkey [15 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

You left out the Lezyne classic brass bells. Only £12, nicely made and easy to attach. Avoid the smallest as it's too quiet to be useful but the other two sizes are top notch. I use mine a lot to announce my presence from a distance on shared paths or on blind bends. Usually follow that with a verbal greeting when I'm closer.

Avatar
John Pitcock [24 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

I have put much thought into whether to ring my bell when approaching pedestrians from behind on shared paths.
  
If there is plenty of room (ie a single pedestrian walking in a steady straight line) I try pass them without ringing my bell
because:
If I do ring: it is likely that they will feel the need to acknowledge hearing me and choose which direction to step out of my way. This means that they are inconvenienced and I can't proceed until I see which way they step.
 
I won't pass until they have acknowledged me because they might just be late to react and step sideways into my path just as I pass. If they don't acknowledge my presence at the first ring I feel I have to ring again this could be interpreted as aggressive (I am then closer and have less time to react to their decision on which side to go). I have to be prepared to slow to walking pace behind them because they might eventually realise I'm there and step aside one way or the other.
 

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Dingaling [89 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

I made a comment here yesterday and now it has disappeared. Pretty harmless it was too, so can't imagine who I upset.

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Eribiste [2 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

There's a black Spurcycle occupying very little space on the handlebar of my bike. Price on the high side of indulgent, but every single component, including the packaging, is beautifully made. The sound is really clear, effective and with great sustain. In about three years time I may have forgotten the cost.....

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goodolfin [2 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Bring back the bike bell ! I wish it was compulsary for all bikes to have a bell at all times. Isn't it strange that they only need one at the point of sale ? What's the point of that if they can legally remove them as soon as they leave the shop with their new bike ?

As an older rider now, I often get passed by faster cyclists who suddenly appear by my side as they flash past, often at high speed. If they were to ring their bell as they approached, then other cyclists/pedestrians could keep their line, and ensure the safety of all.

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froze [110 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

I just don't understand the purpose of a bell, my voice is a lot louder than any bell and grabs the attention of people faster, plus on a city street no body in a car is going to hear a bell anyways; in addition I would rather have my hands on both brakes to stop as fast as I can or maneuver better vs one hand on a brake and the other dinging some stupid bell!

Avatar
ClubSmed [781 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
froze wrote:

I just don't understand the purpose of a bell, my voice is a lot louder than any bell and grabs the attention of people faster, plus on a city street no body in a car is going to hear a bell anyways; in addition I would rather have my hands on both brakes to stop as fast as I can or maneuver better vs one hand on a brake and the other dinging some stupid bell!

In an environment where there are lots of voices a bell stands out

After climbing a hill you may not be able to find your voice

Your voice maybe able to get louder than a bell, but at that point you are shouting (that is not sustainable)

Shouting at people may grab their attention faster (I am not sure this is true though), but it is definately not going to make you any friends or help the general attitude towards cyclists

You have to remove your hands from the brakes to indicate when changing direction of travel, this is just another instance of removing your hand momentarily to indicate your presence and takes little time. If you are really that concerned then Road.CC are about to review a bell that attaches to the brake so you would not have to remove your hand.

If you have a bell fitted you have the option of choosing to use your bell or your voice, whichever is more appropriate.

Avatar
bikeylikey [247 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
goodolfin wrote:

Bring back the bike bell ! I wish it was compulsary for all bikes to have a bell at all times. Isn't it strange that they only need one at the point of sale ? What's the point of that if they can legally remove them as soon as they leave the shop with their new bike ?

As an older rider now, I often get passed by faster cyclists who suddenly appear by my side as they flash past, often at high speed. If they were to ring their bell as they approached, then other cyclists/pedestrians could keep their line, and ensure the safety of all.

 

Compulsory for all bikes at all times??? Oh yes, I see, might be good for Cavendish trying to get by Greipel in a bunch sprint. Ding ding! Do excuse me old chap.

You seem to be assuming that a bell is the only way to announce your presence. When overtaking other riders going slowly I and my cycling mates usually say 'Coming by' or 'Passing on your right', with a volume suitable to the situation. What advantage does a bell have over that?

And a bell might look a bit silly on Froome's Pinarello Dogma.

Avatar
henryb [84 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
bikeylikey wrote:
goodolfin wrote:

Bring back the bike bell ! I wish it was compulsary for all bikes to have a bell at all times. Isn't it strange that they only need one at the point of sale ? What's the point of that if they can legally remove them as soon as they leave the shop with their new bike ?

As an older rider now, I often get passed by faster cyclists who suddenly appear by my side as they flash past, often at high speed. If they were to ring their bell as they approached, then other cyclists/pedestrians could keep their line, and ensure the safety of all.

 

Compulsory for all bikes at all times??? Oh yes, I see, might be good for Cavendish trying to get by Greipel in a bunch sprint. Ding ding! Do excuse me old chap.

You seem to be assuming that a bell is the only way to announce your presence. When overtaking other riders going slowly I and my cycling mates usually say 'Coming by' or 'Passing on your right', with a volume suitable to the situation. What advantage does a bell have over that?

And a bell might look a bit silly on Froome's Pinarello Dogma.

On the plus side, use of bicycle bells by the professional peleton would drive manufacturers to develop super-aero bells

Avatar
ClubSmed [781 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
bikeylikey wrote:
goodolfin wrote:

Bring back the bike bell ! I wish it was compulsary for all bikes to have a bell at all times. Isn't it strange that they only need one at the point of sale ? What's the point of that if they can legally remove them as soon as they leave the shop with their new bike ?

As an older rider now, I often get passed by faster cyclists who suddenly appear by my side as they flash past, often at high speed. If they were to ring their bell as they approached, then other cyclists/pedestrians could keep their line, and ensure the safety of all.

 

Compulsory for all bikes at all times??? Oh yes, I see, might be good for Cavendish trying to get by Greipel in a bunch sprint. Ding ding! Do excuse me old chap.

You seem to be assuming that a bell is the only way to announce your presence. When overtaking other riders going slowly I and my cycling mates usually say 'Coming by' or 'Passing on your right', with a volume suitable to the situation. What advantage does a bell have over that?

And a bell might look a bit silly on Froome's Pinarello Dogma.

And what do you announce when going round a blind bend?

Avatar
Gstev68 [8 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I’ve got a Hidemybell that’s built a bell into the underside of a Garmin mount.

This makes it pretty unobtrusive (you probably wouldn’t even notice it was there if you weren’t looking for it!).

Obviously it is a little forward of the handlebar but no more than the Garmin is but it’s dead easy to use with the flick of a finger.

The only downside to it is in the rain. As the bell is upside down, it can collect some water (even with its small drain hole) which makes it barely audible when it’s chucking it down ☹️

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BlindFreddy [18 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Tried many bells in the search for a loud but friendly sound. Found it in the Arundel Jezzebel. Is not drowned out by background noise and has a lovely, long sound. Worth a look.

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NPlus1Bikelight... [90 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

Yes there was much fanfare on Knog Oi Kickstarter. But then people received their bells. Then a lot of people sent them back (after emailing several requested youtube videos as evidence) because generation 1 plinked instread of ringing. I now have 2x generation 2 and when urgently pinging, the spring can twist locking it until you untangle it. Mist or rain have a large affect on sound. You have to strike it perfectly to get a moderately loud ring, not too hard or too soft. Whilst loud when stationary, vibrations when riding dampen the ring. It's a lovely bell - for a design museum.

 

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Miller [237 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I put a Crane bell on my gravelly bike recently. It's surprisingly useful and not just off-road. Dog walkers need to hear you coming although more than likely their mutt will happily ignore its owner and get in your way anyway. Many peds and almost all joggers are either staring at their phone or listening to their running playlist so a bell gives you some chance of getting them to pay attention to the real world for an instant.

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