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Has anyone seen *this*? - https://www.bikebiz.com/news/ding-dong

I'm glad that their Lordships have now completely sorted everything that's important, so they have time to look at the little things...

47 comments

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cyclisto [406 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

I would like having a bell but I it would be dangerous to use it with drop bars.

So will they make compulsory something that is dangerous to use?

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OldRidgeback [2978 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes
cyclisto wrote:

I would like having a bell but I it would be dangerous to use it with drop bars. So will they make compulsory something that is dangerous to use?

 

Err, why is a bell now dangerous to use with drop bars? Cyclists have had drop bars for decades and have used bells for decades. What's changed?

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Dr Winston [182 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

A bell is a total misnomer. The perceived purpose of a bell is to warn people who step out that you are there. The fact is you have an immediate choice with a bell...either use your hands to brake or use your hands to ring a bell.

The safest way to ride in a pedestrian areas, for both cyclist and pedestrian, is to be prepared to brake....not ring a bell...

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Cugel [49 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
Dr Winston wrote:

A bell is a total misnomer. The perceived purpose of a bell is to warn people who step out that you are there. The fact is you have an immediate choice with a bell...either use your hands to brake or use your hands to ring a bell.

The safest way to ride in a pedestrian areas, for both cyclist and pedestrian, is to be prepared to brake....not ring a bell...

The purpose of a bell is not as you describe but rather to warn those ahead on a shared path or on a narrow pathless road that you're there. It's typically used when such persons have their back to you so can't see you coming. It's necessary because a bike is otherwise quiet.

On every ride I use my bell half a dozen times or more, generally from 50 yards back, which gives plenty of time to also brake. It's good manners to brake a little so that you don't pass like a Strava-striver and thus have time to say hello & thanks.

Why would you want to ring a bell at people on the pavement? If they step into the road in front of you, give a shout as you brake. Hopefully you won't be riding so carelessly that you'll be able to stop in time, even if it is their fault for not looking.

Cugel

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Dr Winston [182 posts] 3 months ago
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@Cugel....I agree in a shared space they have a place for sure...but I was replying to how they're dangerous on a road bike...see above...

 

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cyclisto [406 posts] 3 months ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:
cyclisto wrote:

I would like having a bell but I it would be dangerous to use it with drop bars. So will they make compulsory something that is dangerous to use?

 

Err, why is a bell now dangerous to use with drop bars? Cyclists have had drop bars for decades and have used bells for decades. What's changed?

Should you have to change hand position you put a significant percentage of your weight isn't that dangerous? Otherwise we would all be very happy with downtube or stem speed speed shifters that older bikes had. But we are not and so we happily pay the overpriced brifters of Shimano.

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don simon [2530 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Will there be a ban on pedestrians using mobile phones or headphones when out and about?

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hirsute [406 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
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BehindTheBikesheds [2300 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

A bell on a shared use is utterly futile, either you're going slow enough to take into account of the peds or you're not, in which case you're own voice would be suffice if the way is blocked. A bell as most find out is often ignored and/or taken as an afront in exactly the same way being admonished with a horn is.

Totally bonkers, I think even the Australians have dropped the fine for not having a bell on a bike and they are properly mental when it comes to these things.

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madcarew [797 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I don't use shared use paths. They're much too dangerous. On the open road the  average speed of the traffic is a maximum of three times my speed, on a shared use path my average speed would be in the region of ten times the average speed many of the other users.  On the road the traffic has well delineated lanes and 'etiquette' which the vast majority of users adhere to. Shared use paths are anarchich. Shared use paths are, in my opinion unsafe, and unsuitable  for a significant proportion of cyclists.

Having said that, I think a bell has its place. And in response to cyclisto, no it's not dangerous to use a bell on drop bars. There are those that attach near the brifters, or at any position on your handlebars. The point is to use it not 'in response' to step outs; it's far too late by then, but to warn people ahead of time, before you need to brake to, hopefully, obviate the need to brake.

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Canyon48 [1062 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

I use my voice instead of a bell.

I can simply say "hello, excuse me" and "thank-you".

Works really well.

I don't know why a bell would need to be law.

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ChrisB200SX [828 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

bells belong in church towers, but I won't try to stop people using them if they want to. Maybe useful when you don't know the local language, or cannot speak. What's wrong with saying "excuse me" or "on your right"?

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kev-s [305 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Wont bother me if it becomes law and there's some good bells out there these days

Even if it becomes law to have one fitted it dosent mean people will use them, like indicators on a car are a legal requirement but not everyone indicates (im an Audi driver who indicates before the usual Audi/Bmw comments come lol)

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antigee [484 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

A bell on a shared use is utterly futile, either you're going slow enough to take into account of the peds or you're not, in which case you're own voice would be suffice if the way is blocked. A bell as most find out is often ignored and/or taken as an afront in exactly the same way being admonished with a horn is.

Totally bonkers, I think even the Australians have dropped the fine for not having a bell on a bike and they are properly mental when it comes to these things.

may depend on which state you live in - Victoria has the rule and this article (hopefully not pay walled) shows close to 500 cyclists fined for no bell in NSW last year

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/cycling-fines-soar-in-first-year-of-...

plus benefits :   plenty of signs/symbols on shared paths saying the like of "cyclist must ring bell when approaching" means you don't get the "how rude" stuff you get in the UK

negative: useless a lot of the time though due to headphones or the dreaded "leaping family" -  ring bell and you've no idea which direction will jump in but can guarantee will all end up back across the trail in the panic and no ringing my bell doesn't mean i intend to kill your firstborn so grabbing them and shouting "bike" at them  isn't really a useful reaction

as a dog walking ped' i quite like - some shared trails out of peak can be 10-20mins between cyclists and being warned of approach from behind so can move to side on narrower paths if peds coming the other way is useful and better than a silent "whoosh" at 25km/h

edit and as to the house of lords debate - just pointless noise - the issue is why are are cyclists on the pavement not what pointless controls to add 

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Yorkshire wallet [2204 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes
Canyon48 wrote:

I use my voice instead of a bell.

I can simply say "hello, excuse me" and "thank-you".

Works really well.

I don't know why a bell would need to be law.

Yeah, I've given up on bells, especially with horses. I just shout something like 'hi, there' or whatever. People tend to take bells as 'GET OUT OF MY WAY', a bit like when they get a dose of car horn and look greatly offended and slightly angry (even when they're wandering into the road looking at a phone). 

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Sniffer [518 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

This isn't going to happen.  A couple of Peers talking rubbish in  a Lord's debate is along way away from legislation coming.

It does highlight the complete lack of understanding they have about how bike transport could be used / encouraged.

PS I commuted this morning.  Drop bars and a bell.  Shared use areas, used it.  Nobody listened.  Slowed right up and slipped past those walking dogs on extendable leads four a breast.  My bell didn't really help.

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KendalRed [221 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
Canyon48 wrote:

I use my voice instead of a bell.

I can simply say "hello, excuse me" and "thank-you".

Works really well.

I don't know why a bell would need to be law.

Yeah, I've given up on bells, especially with horses. I just shout something like 'hi, there' or whatever. People tend to take bells as 'GET OUT OF MY WAY', a bit like when they get a dose of car horn and look greatly offended and slightly angry (even when they're wandering into the road looking at a phone). 

I tend to find whatever I do isn't right. Use the bell, they jump out of the way and look at you like you're telling them to shift, use my voice and they say 'you should have a bell'. I don't use shared paths that much these days, my commute used to go on one, but since moving home I don't need them - I do have plenty of country roads though, and this being the Lake District, there are always plenty of pedestrians on them due to the lack of pavements.

On a side note, my Knog Oi bell was criticised for not being loud enough the other day, and tbh I agree, it's really quite poor. Great design though! Just wish I had tried it a few times before I bought another for my other bike.

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don simon [2530 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes
KendalRed wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
Canyon48 wrote:

I use my voice instead of a bell.

I can simply say "hello, excuse me" and "thank-you".

Works really well.

I don't know why a bell would need to be law.

Yeah, I've given up on bells, especially with horses. I just shout something like 'hi, there' or whatever. People tend to take bells as 'GET OUT OF MY WAY', a bit like when they get a dose of car horn and look greatly offended and slightly angry (even when they're wandering into the road looking at a phone). 

I tend to find whatever I do isn't right. Use the bell, they jump out of the way and look at you like you're telling them to shift, use my voice and they say 'you should have a bell'. I don't use shared paths that much these days, my commute used to go on one, but since moving home I don't need them - I do have plenty of country roads though, and this being the Lake District, there are always plenty of pedestrians on them due to the lack of pavements.

On a side note, my Knog Oi bell was criticised for not being loud enough the other day, and tbh I agree, it's really quite poor. Great design though! Just wish I had tried it a few times before I bought another for my other bike.

I've had the old "you should've used a bell" muppetry. The gent in question was asked whether he had heard me calling out (shouting has a negative connotation). The reply of "no" was obviously followed up with the question of why, if he hadn't heard me calling out, did he think he'd hear a bell...
Some people will go out of their way to find a problem with you, a bit like here sometimes...

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oldstrath [981 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
Canyon48 wrote:

I use my voice instead of a bell.

I can simply say "hello, excuse me" and "thank-you".

Works really well.

I don't know why a bell would need to be law.

Yeah, I've given up on bells, especially with horses. I just shout something like 'hi, there' or whatever. People tend to take bells as 'GET OUT OF MY WAY', a bit like when they get a dose of car horn and look greatly offended and slightly angry (even when they're wandering into the road looking at a phone). 

Aallegedly bells scare horses. MInd, I've had people turn round after i said "Hello" quite loudly, look at me, then s your at me for not using a bell. I think we're back to "they hate cyclists". The specific excuse for hate is optional.

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dafyddp [464 posts] 3 months ago
8 likes

From experience...

Conversation 1:

Cyclist: 'Scuse me!

Pedestrian: Don't you have a bell? In the old days, every bike had one! <grumble, grumble>

 

Conversation 2:

Cyclist: <rings bell>

Pedestrian: Don't you go ringing that F*&king bell at me, pal!

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devoid99 [18 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Could come in handy to ding for assistance after cycling into a giant pot hole.

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Simon E [3381 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Perhaps someone can come up with a funky 'ring bell' app for smartphones (with virtually infinite adjustments for pitch, decay and overtones, of course) and raise $25,000 on kickstarter or some such nonsense.

antigee wrote:

and as to the house of lords debate - just pointless noise - the issue is why are are cyclists on the pavement not what pointless controls to add 

I took issue with my MP after he wrote in the local rag about dealing with pavement cyclists a few months ago. Tried to explain that, as well as the minimal risk to life & limb, some of the serious issues encountered when riding on the road.

Meanwhile, in nearby Telford, I bet this bloke didn't have a bell while on the cyclepath!

https://twitter.com/TelfordPatrol/status/1008845583627554820

 

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Beecho [431 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

I have a bell on my road bike stem. On one of our regular rides there’s a 2 mile stretch of great, really quiet road, popular with hiking groups. It’s so quiet they often fill it. The bell really helps announce our pending arrival from distance, followed by good natured greetings. Wouldn’t go out without it for that purpose alone.

My commuting single speed has two bells. One mellow (again, on the stem) for ‘Hi, I’m here’, the other more harsh (on the drops) for more urgent warning. I mainly shout when the shit goes down though.

I also wear a helmet. 

Should you not have a bell, or not wear a helmet, I couldn’t give one shit.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [162 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

This is not about a bell, or about 'safety' or about anything else positive, in fact.  This is about another legal constraint applied to cyclists to make cycling less attractive.  The compulsory helmet law will be in place within a year or two.   Hi-viz will be made obligatory around the same time.  I suppose we should be grateful that all of the moped crime isn't taking place on bicycles, because Paul Dacre would already be working towards having cycling banned if they were. 

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brooksby [3504 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
dafyddp wrote:

From experience...

Conversation 1:

Cyclist: 'Scuse me!

Pedestrian: Don't you have a bell? In the old days, every bike had one! <grumble, grumble>

Conversation 2:

Cyclist: <rings bell>

Pedestrian: Don't you go ringing that F*&king bell at me, pal!

This.

As other posters have said, its not really anything to do with the bell or helmet or riding on a pavement or RLJing or filtering (sorry - weaving in and out of traffic) or anything else at all.  If every single cyclist acted like a complete saint and never even accidentally broke any traffic laws we would still be hated as an out-group.

Basically, I think it's just jealousy that we're riding a bike and they're not

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ClubSmed [701 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

If you have a bell on your bike it does not stop you using your voice as well/instead of your bell. If you do not have a bell on your bike it does stop you being able to use the bell as well as/instead of your voice.

As a few posters have pointed out, there are going to be some grumpy pedestrians who are going to complain regardless of what method you use to alert them. There is not much you can do about that type of person.

As far as aesthetics and positioning go, I have found (as have other posters) that a stem mounted bell is pretty good on both counts and well worth a try.

There are several occasions when I am glad I have a bell which include:

If the person in question is too far away to alert with my voice without shouting (especially if they have dogs off the lead as it's best to give as much notice as possible here)

When cycling through the park during the busy summer as your voice can get lost in the background buzz of conversations.

If I have been riding hard and do not have the puff in me to verbalise anything.

If I am fighting off a cold and have lost my voice.

 

I tend to follow my ping on the bell with a "thank you" or "cheers" as I go past to ensure that the ping was not taken as aggression.

If I do need to ping with aggression though I use a rapid fire of pings which seems rather effective.

 

Cyclisto, the point you made about having to move your hands around the bars to ring a bell on a drop handlebar bike - Do you ride the entire time without moving your hands? I rather doubt that. If you are moving your hands around during the course of your ride, then moving it on occasion to ring your bell is not really any more dangerous than the rest of your ride.

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Dicklexic [92 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

I have a bell and use it regularly. I often use a shared path on my rides, and find that a bell ring when far back from the people walking in front works well. The important point is using it early enough that the people in question have time stop in the middle of the path, turn around to see if the bell they heard really was a cyclist, and then slowly move to the side to allow you past. I then make sure to thank them in a cheery voice and usually all goes well. There are the odd ones that seem to object to having to move out of the way, but that happens whether you have a bell or not. The only time I witness agression towards the bell is when other riders have rung it at the last moment, which then makes it more of a 'get out of my way' type thing instead of the early use that comes across more as a polite request to pass safely. I wouldn't personally have an issue with compulsory bells, but as has been pointed out above, there are many many FAR more important issues to be resolved before the gov't starts taking such measures.

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SoBinary [61 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Road cycling I see NO use for a bell whatsoever.  Shared use paths, I find my voice to be more useful than a bell "I'm on your left/right" as it imparts more info than a bell could.  It either works perfectly or (in the case of those wearing headphones) not at all.  Bells have NO effect on dogs - although they are more predictable in their behaviour than headphone wearers.

If someone wants to design something that interrupts someones music stream with "pay attention cyclist behind you" then that might be a workable solution.

As has been mentioned, nobody should ever be travelling faster than their stopping distance allows for... the best way of achieving this is to have your fingers on the brakes - NOT a bell.

Lastly before the police are given MORE vaguely unenforceable laws to police we should work out how to combat some real killers like mobile phone use in cars.

 

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SoBinary [61 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Dicklexic wrote:

I then make sure to thank them in a cheery voice and usually all goes well. 

This is why I favour voice over a bell (or air horn) its infinitely flexible...

"Excuse me"

"Good morning, I'm behind you"

"I've seen your dog / child dont worry!"

etc.

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RMurphy195 [147 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

"The 1999 requirement that all new cycles have to be sold with bells – but with no compulsion to fit them – came after a partially-sighted woman's guide dog was hit by a cyclist, and she organised a petition for the restoration of bells on all cycles. "

This is why I have bells fitted to both bikes, one  Brompton with P bars (bell is a little feeble) and and Alexander Grahame Bell fitted to the drop-bar bike.

The latter is particularly clear and useful on towpaths, shared paths through parks etc - I've seen people 50 yards away turn when they hear a single "ping" from this one! Supplemented by voice  when a bit closer ("Good Morning").

Wlaking down the same paths - its pretty obvious tht a "Ding Ding" is an approaching bike, whereas a "Good Morning" could just be someone walking  behind you saying hello, or even just chatting on his/her phone - ie the bike sounds like you expect a bike to sound. Something that those who think a white noise generator fitted to electric cars would make them sound like cars should consider - they won't, they'll probably sound more like wind in the trees or somesuch, they won't sound like cars at all. They should.

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