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PDW King of Ding



King dong merrily on high (or should that be ding)... Beautiful & very effective brass bell

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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For the time being at least the the law says that all bikes have to be sold with a bell. If the Law was tuned into the zeitgeist then it would specify that the bell should be a brass beauty with a pleasing 'ting'. Just like Portland Design Work's (PDW) King of Ding in fact.

Looks aren't everything though, with bells it's all about the ting. Or possibly the bong. The delicate tinkle of the KoD will put people in mind of a pretty young girl, cutely wrapped up with a patterned scarf, her blonde hair flowing in the breeze as she rides by on her Pashley with a basket full of old books and a small dog. The reality (fat middle-aged knacker with a pannier full of pants and sandwiches) will rapidly shatter the illusion but at least no-one is going to worry that they're about to be run down by an angry church.

There is a slight downside though, the springy pinger is a bit sensitive so riding like the clappers over rough surfaces results in a clamourous cacophony of randomised dinging and pottering over pave would be like riding with an Eighties Trimphone on your bars.

It's a charming piece of retro-styled bike jewellery that is surprisingly effective at politely clearing your path. I like it.


King dong merrily on high (or should that be ding)... Beautiful & very effective brass bell test report

Make and model: PDW King of Ding

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

PDW give good blurb: "There's nothing like the strong, clear sound of a solid brass bell to announce your presence to inline skaters, stroller pushers, joggers and Segway™ jockeys."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?


Fits 22.2 - 25.4mm handlebars

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Reassuringly sturdy

Rate the product for performance:

A delicate tinkle is pleasing and won't scare people

Rate the product for durability:

Won't rust and feels solidly made

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Who cares what it weighs?

Rate the product for value:

Not cheap but it is stylish and will probably last longer than some bikes.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It went ting! People moved! Awesomeness!

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Retro charm and a pretty noise

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A bit of a hair-trigger over rough stuff

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Brassy but classy

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa  My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides


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JonoB | 12 years ago
localsurfer | 12 years ago

or get almost exactly the same bell, that doesn't 'self-ding', off dealextreme for about a fiver. (search for 'copper bell')

amazon22 | 12 years ago

This is a rebadged Crane Sakura Bell, Crane make beautiful Japanese bells. I have the louder Crane Karen Bell (from Velodrama) on a stem spacer - essential for gently alerting dog walkers, ramablers and horse riders on country lanes - a single ping is all it usually takes. Even respacing the washers it still pings on uneven surfaces - not an issue, it's a nice sound, reminding me to complain to the Council when I get home!

Rob Simmonds replied to amazon22 | 12 years ago
amazon22 wrote:

This is a rebadged Crane Sakura Bell, Crane make beautiful Japanese bells.

Well spotted! I'm not a bell connoisseur, so didn't realise that it was a re-brand. There's a lot of that about, plenty of lights turn up under different names and I'm pretty sure that some of PDW's lights can also be spotted with Smart branding on them...

jezzzer | 12 years ago


jezzzer | 12 years ago

tell us more about the clamp - does it split or hinge allowing installation without sliding from the bar end?

Rob Simmonds replied to jezzzer | 12 years ago
jezzzer wrote:

tell us more about the clamp - does it split or hinge allowing installation without sliding from the bar end?

It's a clamp of two halves with two allen bolts holding it together.

Rob Simmonds | 12 years ago

My Haynes Bike Maintenance book doesn't have a bell fettling section, but ta for the tip.  4

nick_rearden | 12 years ago

Found that the spontaneous pinging on mine could be rectified by dismantling and rearranging the spacers and washers so that the clanger is a bit further away from the bell itself.

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