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Best Bike Bell

last updated Apr 30, 2019

There's no scientific evidence to back up these claims, but we feel that people are just far happier to move out of your way when they hear the pleasant jingle of a bike bell. These devices are designed to make everyone safer when out on the roads and the trails- and that includes yourself!

Cars are equipped with a lot of devices that allow you to somewhat communicate with other drivers out on the roadway, and these devices work much in the same way. Sure, you could announce that you are coming up on someone’s left, but if you are in a crowded city or roadway, your voice may be lost. These devices have a much higher decibel level than the human voice, so everyone will hear you coming! In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of the best bike bells.

In a hurry? The test winner after 5 hours of research

icon
REKATA
93.2/100 our score
Style
97
Ease of Use
93
Materials
95
Sound Quality
91
Value
90
REKATA
Why is it better?

Offered in many colors

Very easy to install

Fits onto most handlebars

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
REKATA
Test Winner: REKATA
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
28
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
28k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
11
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
14
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz:

Brrrriiiiiinnngggg brrriiiiinnnnggg! Let everyone know you're coming through with one of these top-rated bike bells. The bell from Mirrycle is climbing the ranks quickly. This bell is affordable, looks great, and easy to install. We have added new expert tips and other factors to consider. Don't forget that with our new interactive format, you can vote on which criterion is most important to you and re-order the list accordingly!

Sorting Options
Style Ease of Use Materials Sound Quality Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Style
97 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Materials
95 %
Sound Quality
91 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$7.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Style
94 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Materials
89 %
Sound Quality
90 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$11.50
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Style
94 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Materials
89 %
Sound Quality
91 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$7.96
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Style
93 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Materials
88 %
Sound Quality
90 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$7.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Style
87 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Materials
85 %
Sound Quality
89 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$24.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Style
86 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Materials
84 %
Sound Quality
88 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Style
84 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Materials
87 %
Sound Quality
84 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$28.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
Style
80 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Materials
79 %
Sound Quality
85 %
Value
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$13.98
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Style
79 %
Ease of Use
74 %
Materials
78 %
Sound Quality
76 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$12.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.6
Style
74 %
Ease of Use
78 %
Materials
72 %
Sound Quality
74 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.07.19)
Amazon Link
$5.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • REKATA REKATA
  • Firmstrong Firmstrong
  • Mirrycle Incredibell  Mirrycle Incredibell
  • BONMIXC BONMIXC
  • TIMBER! TIMBER!
  • Kickstand Cycle Works Kickstand Cycle Works
  • Crane E-ne Crane E-ne
  • TOPTREK TOPTREK
  • Gentlemen's Hardware Gentlemen's Hardware
  • LYCAON LYCAON
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. REKATA

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
REKATA
Amazon Link
Style
97
Ease of Use
93
Materials
95
Sound Quality
91
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.99
Pros:

Offered in many colors

Very easy to install

Fits onto most handlebars

Cons:

Some users found the plastic mount to be a little flimsy

The reason we placed this design from REKATA at the top of our list was that it offers a simple and classic design that makes for a simple install, it is available in a ton of fun color options to add a little sass to your ride, and it comes in at a really affordable price point.

Read more

Style

Users will have the option to select from a ton of bright and shiny colors that include fire engine red, blue, green, silver, black, pink, purple, and gold. It has a classic rounded shape but it is small enough not to stick out too much on your handlebars.

Ease of use

Another thing that users really appreciate about this model is that it is a snap to install. The base has a rounded ring that slips over your handlebars, and it comes with just one screw that you will use to tighten it into place (and you will have to dig into your toolbox for a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten it).

Material

The main compartment (the part responsible for sound production) is a high-quality aluminum alloy. The parts that fasten to your handlebars are made from a high-quality plastic ABS, which means you won’t have to worry about it scratching your pant.

Sound quality

Once rung, this unit makes the classic ring-ring sound that you would expect, and there are many users that feel that this unit is loud enough to alert pedestrians even in crowded cities without startling them.

Value

The best thing about this design is that it comes in at one of the most affordable prices points out there on the market. This will likely set you back about the same amount that you spent on your morning cup of coffee.

Overall

If you are looking for something that comes in a lot of fun colors and is going to be a cinch to install even if you aren’t very mechanically inclined, this is going to be one of your best options in our option without breaking the bank.

2. Firmstrong

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Firmstrong
Amazon Link
Style
94
Ease of Use
95
Materials
89
Sound Quality
90
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.50
Pros:

Easy to install

Ground sound without being too loud

Offered in fun colors

Cons:

Metal mount could scratch your paint

Only fits handlebars that are slightly over 1 inch in diameter and smaller

This design from Firmstrong is another really great option because it is simple to install, offers great sound quality without stirring pedestrians into a panic, and is offered in a lot of sharp colors.

Read more

Style

Users will have the choice between a lot of fun and shiny colors that include basic white, black, light blue, royal blue, pink, red, and vanilla. It has a classic rounded shape and a low profile base that doesn’t stick up from your handlebars too much.

Ease of use

Installing this design on your handlebars is simple and easy. You will just need to employ the use of a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten the two bolts on either side of the handlebars. Fitting is going to be slightly more limiting, however, as it only fits handlebars that measure slightly over 1 inch in diameter.

Material

There are zero plastic components on this design. The base is made from a durable metal, which is going to be incredibly sturdy but may scratch your paint if you aren’t careful. The top portion is made from the same quality of metal and is finished with a shiny powder coat finish.

Sound quality

This design makes the classic ring-ring that you would expect, and from what we have read from previous users it is just loud enough to alert other riders on the trail without being so loud that it will knock the helmet clear off of their head.

Value

The cost of this unit is just slightly more expensive than some of the more affordable options out there on the market, but we feel that the quality of materials used makes it well worth the slightly higher price point.

Overall

If you want something that offers a lot of styles, while still being functional and easy to install, this design from Firmstrong is going to be a really great choice.

3. Mirrycle Incredibell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Mirrycle Incredibell
Amazon Link
Style
94
Ease of Use
88
Materials
89
Sound Quality
91
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.96
Pros:

Affordable

Easy to mount to your handlebars without the use of tools

Loud ring (but not too loud)

Cons:

Can only install it once (mount is like a zip tie that can only be used once)

If you are worried about not being able to find the right size for your handlebars, this option from Mirrycle Incredibell is going to be an excellent solution. It is able to affix to most handlebars without the need of cracking your toolbox open.

Read more

Style

Colors options are just a little bit more limited to this design. Users will have the option of selecting between a basic black or silver design, and each option has a black base. Overall, the frame of this unit is slightly smaller than many of the other designs, and it doesn’t stick up as much either.

Ease of use

Like we mentioned before, you won’t need to fish out any tools from your toolbox to install this design. It simply fits up over your handlebars, and then users will need to tighten the plastic buckle into place and then fasten it down into place.

Material

The entire unit is made from an incredibly lightweight alloy. This means that you will be able to get caught in the rain on your rides and won’t have to worry about it rusting. The button used for ringing is from high-quality plastic.

Sound quality

Pressing the button down once creates a single ding. From what we have read from previous users, it is just loud enough to alert other people around you without scaring them.

Value

One of the best features about this design is that it comes in at a really affordable price point that won’t break the bank. It will likely set you back about the same amount of money that you would spend on a morning cup of coffee.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is simple and easy to use and comes in at a really reasonable price point, this design is going to be an excellent choice.

4. BONMIXC

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
BONMIXC
Amazon Link
Style
93
Ease of Use
88
Materials
88
Sound Quality
90
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.99
Pros:

Crisp and clear sound

Easy to install

Affordable

Cons:

Can only be mounted on the left side

Does not fit fatter handlebars

This option from BONMIXC has a simple and easy mount to your handlebars, and it has small frames that aren’t going to stick out too much. While it isn’t offered in a wide range of colors, users love the affordable price point.

Read more

Style

Users are only going to have the option to select from two different color choices that include silver and gold. The size of this unit is much smaller than many of the other options that we have seen, which means it isn’t going to stick up too much off of your handlebars.

Ease of use

You are going to need to employ the use of a screwdriver in order to fasten this unit around your handlebars. To install, simply slip it down into position, and then use a screwdriver to fasten it securely into place.

Material

The top of this design is made from a brass dome that is an excellent conductor of sound, and the base is made from a sturdy plastic material that isn’t going to scratch of scuff up your paint job.

Sound quality

Since brass is an excellent conductor of sound, the ring from this unit is quite loud, but it isn’t so loud that it is going to startle any pedestrians. There were some users, however, that found that it isn’t as loud as some of the other designs out there on the market.

Value

One of the best features about this design is that it comes in at a really affordable price point, and the value increases when you buy a pack of 2.

Overall

If you wanted something that was going to be easy to install and comes in at an affordable price point, this is a really great decision in our option.

5. TIMBER!

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
TIMBER!
Amazon Link
Style
87
Ease of Use
90
Materials
85
Sound Quality
89
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.95
Pros:

Constantly alerts fellow riders and wildlife of your whereabouts with a pleasant sound

Volume control

Loud without being too loud

Cons:

A little expensive

This design from TIMBER! Is quite different than your traditional designs. Instead of a simple trigger to pull when you are coming up behind someone, this design continuously makes noise the faster you pedal, or the bumpier the road. Don’t worry, it also has a silence feature when you have the road to yourself.

Read more

Style

There aren’t any color options to select from with this model, but that is kind of the point. This design is meant to blend into the handlebars on your ride, so it isn’t even going to look like you have anything there. It is small and compact and has a small button that can be pulled with your thumb to silence it.

Ease of use

From what we have read from previous users, this unit is incredibly easy to mount to your handlebars. Simply slip it out over the handle, and find a place that you will be able to access easily. Once you have it in the place that you like, simply tighten the straps.

Material

The dome of this device is made from brass, but the rest of the components are made from a high- quality plastic so you won’t have to worry about it breaking on spills or rusting in the rain.

Sound quality

This is where this design is a little different. It constantly makes noise when you are out of the trail, but many users have been complemented by the pleasant sound that this device makes. Plus, if you are alone and want to turn it off, there is a silencing mode as well.

Value

Due to the fact that this design is a little bit different, it comes in at a much higher price point than many of the other basic models out there on the market. However, when you look at all of the positive reviews for this device, we feel that it is well worth the slightly padded price tag.

Overall

If you are looking for something that is a little bit different that doesn’t require you to ring a device whenever you see another rider (which can become a full-time job on crowded trails), this is going to be one of your better options.

6. Kickstand Cycle Works

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Kickstand Cycle Works
Amazon Link
Style
86
Ease of Use
89
Materials
84
Sound Quality
88
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Easy to install

Classic retro design and color options

Loud without being obnoxious

Cons:

Only fits on the left side

Sme found that it doesn’t fit very tight

This design from Kickstand Cycle Works is the perfect marriage of both style and practicality. Users love this design because it looks great on their handlebars, and it makes for a quick and easy install.

Read more

Style

Users love the vintage style of this product that looks like something right out of the 1960s. It is offered in fun and unique colors that you may not find anywhere else, and include options such as seafoam, coral, blue, purple, red, orange, matte black, green, as well as a few others.

Ease of use

To install this unit on your handlebars (that measure to be under 22.2mm), you are going to need to dig out your Phillips head out of your toolbox. Place the unit where you would like on your handlebars, and use the two screws included with purchase to tighten it securely into place.

Material

The dome, as well as the mounting base, are all made of a high-quality metal material. Due to the fact that it uses metal to mount it to your handlebars, you will need to be extra careful when mounting so you don’t scratch your paint.

Sound quality

Users love the classic ring-ring of this device. It is loud enough for people on the trail to be able to hear you, but it isn’t so loud that it is going to knock people off of their seats.

Value

The cost of this design runs in the middle of the road in terms of price. It isn’t the most expensive design that we have seen, but it is far from being the least expensive.

Overall

If you want something that is going to offer a little bit of retro style to your ride while still being highly functional as well as easy to install, you are bound to love this option from Kickstand Cycle Works.

7. Crane E-ne

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Crane E-ne
Amazon Link
Style
84
Ease of Use
83
Materials
87
Sound Quality
84
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$28.00
Pros:

Very loud but pleasant ring

Made from high quality materials

Sleek and modern design

Cons:

Expensive

If you live in a town next to an airport where everyone's a little hard of hearing- this is going to be your best bet! The one thing that users love about this design is that it is incredibly loud, so you will be able to alert semi trucks that you are a half a mile away.

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Style

The very first thing that we noticed about this option was it’s a very modern design. This doesn’t look like something you would find on your toddlers' tricycle, this is a product for grown-ups. User can select from three sleek color choices that include matte black, brass, or polished copper.

Ease of use

Users have found that installing this unit on their handlebars is quick and easy. Simply loop it through and place it into the position that you want, and then fasten it into place by hand.

Material

Depending on the color that you select, the material is going to vary. Material choices include copper, brass, or alloy for the domes. All of the mounts are made from a single piece of high-quality metal that is resistant to bending or breaking.

Sound quality

This is where this product really shines. If you want something that is going to be able to get incredibly loud- this is going to be your best option. Plus, you can opt to give the trigger a half pull to make a quieter ding.

Value

The downside to this design is that it comes in at a much higher price point than most, and may be one of the most expensive designs out there on the market. However, considering the high-quality materials used, this is going to be well worth the price tag in our option.

Overall

For those that want something that is really going to be able to sing, this design from Crane E-ne is going to be your best bet if you need something to be loud that will announce to everyone that you are coming up behind them.

8. TOPTREK

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.8
TOPTREK
Amazon Link
Style
80
Ease of Use
83
Materials
79
Sound Quality
85
Value
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.98
Pros:

Users can select from 3 styles of alarms

Very loud

Affordable

Cons:

Needs to be recharged every 2,500 rings

Perhaps you are a tech junkie, and you gravitate to all products that have a USB port. If you don’t like the idea of an antiquated bell, this electric and rechargeable design is going to speak to you.

Read more

Style

Users will only have the option to select from a simple black design. However, one thing that we noticed that was quite unique about this product is that there is a wired spiral cord between the speaker and the button. This means that you can place the speaker in the center of your handlebars, and then run the activation button to the hand you are most comfortable using.

Ease of use

Installation for this product is going to take mere seconds. The silica gel circle is placed over the handlebars where you find that it will work best, and then you can simply tighten it by hand. Due to the fact that you will need to recharge it every 2,500 rings, it needs to be easy to mount and dismount.

Material

The entirety of this unit is made from a high-quality plastic material, which means that the uses will not have to worry about it rusting if they get caught in the rain.

Sound quality

This is where this product really shines. It is able to reach about 120 decibels, which is about as loud as a clap of thunder or a chainsaw (that should get their attention!). It has three different sound settings, which include a whistle, a horn (which sounds like a clown horn), or an alarm. Users typically like to use the horn because while it may startle pedestrians, it is also going to make them laugh.

Value

You may assume that because it is rechargeable that it is going to come in at a much higher price point- but you would be mistaken! The cost of this design runs to be pretty average when you compare it to other simple domed designs.

Overall

For all those tech junkies that cannot resist a product with a USB port, this design is going to be right up your alley. However, if you don’t want to deal with a product that you are going to need to charge every so often, you may be better off with a basic option.

9. Gentlemen's Hardware

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.4
Gentlemen's Hardware
Amazon Link
Style
79
Ease of Use
74
Materials
78
Sound Quality
76
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.00
Pros:

Affordable

Made from high quality materials

Classic design

Cons:

Does not fit all size handlebars

Taking a step backward to a more classic design, the Gentlemen's Hardware looks like something you would find in a 1940’s firehouse. It offers a simple and sleek design that offers a beautiful ding-dong sound that is loud and clear.

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Style

As we mentioned before, the style is what users typically are drawn to first when they see this design. It is a classic brass design that is only offered in a brass shade with silver accents along the base.

Ease of use

You will not need to employ the use of any tools when mounting this to your handlebars. Simply slip it on where you want it and tighten it by hand. We found that there were some users that felt that the clamp was much too big for classic handlebars.

Material

The dome is made from a high-quality brass material that produces its lovely sound. The clamp, as well as the base, is composed of metal, so be careful when mounting it to your handlebars to prevent scratching.

Sound quality

Another thing that users really loved about this design was the sound quality of the ding-dong when used. They found that is has a very rich sound, which is due in part to the high-quality brass dome.

Value

The cost of these options runs about in the middle of the road. It isn’t the most expensive option out there on the market, but it is far from being the least expensive as well.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is well made and sports a classic design, this option from Gentlemen's Hardware is going to be one of your better choices.

10. LYCAON

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.6
LYCAON
Amazon Link
Style
74
Ease of Use
78
Materials
72
Sound Quality
74
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$5.99
Pros:

Incredibly affordable

Offered in fun colors

Cons:

Some users found that it is not very loud

Perhaps you have spent all of your money on ensuring you buy the top of the line ride, and now you don’t have all that much money left over for important accessories. If that’s the case, you might want to take a look at this design from LYCAON. It offers a great sound while coming in at an insanely low price point.

Read more

Style

While there isn’t a ton of different color options offered for this design, users can select from a few of the most popular colors that include black, silver, red, and yellow. Its sports a small frame that isn’t going to stick up all that high off of your handlebars.

Ease of use

To install this on your handlebars, you will first need to slip it down over the top and place it in a position where you will be able to gain easy access while riding. Once it is placed where you want it, simply use the screwdriver that is included with purchase to tighten it up and you are ready to go!

Material

The dome of this design is made from a metal material that sports a powder coated finish (for the exception of the silver design). The bottom portion is made from a thick plastic that is going to keep your handlebars safe from being scratched when mounted.

Sound quality

One pull on the lever creates a very clear double ring-ring sound. From what we have read from previous users, this creates the perfect sound that is loud enough that people can hear you, but not so loud that startles people out for a leisurely walk on the trail.

Value

The very best feature about this option is that it comes in at an incredibly low price point that may actually cost less than what you would spend on your morning cup of coffee.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is going to be effective, but that is also one of the most affordable designs out there on the market, this option from LYCAON is going to be a really great choice.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

These are going to be something that is mounted front and center on your bicycle- so you want it to be something that looks good.

The good news here is that there are a ton of different styles, designs, and colors out there on the market to suit just about everyone’s needs. If you are rocking a Schwinn Beach Cruiser with the wicker basket, you probably want something that is a little retro. There were quite a few companies that not only offered vintage styles but also offered vintage colors such as seafoam and vanilla to match your ride. If you are sporting a top of the line modern bicycle, you probably want something that is a little more up to date. If that’s the case, you may be more interested in the matte black alloy design from Crane. We also wanted to select styles that were a little bit smaller so that they didn’t stick out from your handlebars as much, and were, therefore, a little bit easier to use.

Ease of Use

Not everyone knows their way around a toolbox, so we tried to opt for styles that required very little skill when it comes to installation.

Generally speaking, almost all of the designs out there on the market are pretty easy to install. The more difficult designs that require the use of a Phillips head screwdriver are still easy enough for even those that aren’t very handy to install without instructions. To install these to your handlebars, most designs slip up and over your handlebars, and it is up to you to decide where they will go that will be the easiest for you to access. Once you find the right spot, the simple designs will just require you to pull it tight and secure it by hand. Other designs come with 1 or 2 screws that will need to be threaded through a loop and then tightened with the use of a Phillips head screwdriver. We noticed that there were even some companies that provide users with the exact tools that they would need to properly secure it into place.

Materials

The type of material that is used is not only going to dictate how well it is going to hold up over time, but it will also indicate how crisp the sound is going to be.

Do you know why most musical instruments are made from brass? It is because brass is an excellent conductor of sound. Therefore, when you are shopping around for a product that you want to deliver a clear and crisp ring, brass is going to be the way to go. While it may seem like brass domes are going to be expensive, they are no more expensive than their aluminum, copper, or metal cousins. Plus, brass is just a little bit more durable than many of the other alloys, so you won’t have to worry about falls. For the base, the preferred material is going to be a matter of personal preference. ABS plastic is great because you won’t have to worry about it scratching the paint on your handlebars, and it is also lightweight and rust proof. The only downside to plastic is that it is prone to cracking, and it generally cannot be fastened to be as tight as metal. Metal is great because you can really create a strong and secure hold on your bike, but you run the risk of scratching your paint, and it doesn’t stand up to raining weather conditions as well as plastic in the long run.

Sound Quality

Hands down, the quality of the sound was one of the most important aspects that we considered.

You may think that the louder the sound, the better the product- but this isn’t the case. Loud rings are going to be more effective in alerting travelers of your whereabouts, but they can be a little bit startling to those that are out for a nice and relaxing hike in the woods. For these products, we wanted to select something the walked the line between being loud enough where people would be able to hear you, but not so loud that people would nearly jump out of their skin as you approach. A good quality device is going to have a few volumes between ‘polite’, and ‘melt your eardrums’. Users generally responded well to devices that would allow them to pull back slightly on the trigger for a polite ring, and be able to pull it back all the way in busy and noisy conditions.

Value

As always, we want to save you a little bit of money whenever we can.

The good news about these devices is that the average priced options are quite affordable, and they are going to set you back about as much money as you would spend on a nice lunch. On the lower end of the spectrum are designs that are priced so low that they may even cost less than your morning cup of coffee. What we found about these designs, however, is that they often aren’t as loud as some of the more expensive designs. On the higher end of the price scale are designs that have a style and function that is a little bit different, and that is going to make your life a little bit easier. These options usually cost double of what the average priced designs sell for- which is still fairly reasonable.

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Materials

For that perfect crisp ring, brass is the way to go. Brass is a great conductor of sound, and it will give you a pleasant ring without it sounding muddy. However, if your favorite style isn't offered in a brass dome, many alloys such as metal and copper, are going to be great options as well. Just be sure that the dome isn't made from plastic- because that is going to offer a very muted ring. ABS plastic is fine for the mount and the base, but just make sure that the dome is composed of some type of alloy.

Sound Quality

You may assume that louder is going to be better in this instance, but that cannot be further from the truth. From what we have found, there is actually a limit to how loud users prefer these devices to be. If it is too loud, you will suddenly earn the reputation of the annoying cyclist that has an alert that will scare people half to death whenever you are creeping up behind them!

Ease of use

The good news here is that almost all of these devices are incredibly easy to mount to your handlebars. One piece of advice that we can give is to find a place on your bicycle that is going to be easy to access. One thing that we noticed is that some of the designs out there are made to fit only on the left side of your handlebars, which many right-handed users find to be a little awkward. If you don't like the idea of ringing with your left hand, be sure to check to see which side of the handlebars your preferred device affixes to.

The Law

Each state has its own set of laws that regard to bicyclists. In some states, New Jersey, for example, it is illegal to ride your bike without a bell or other audible device. While being pulled over or arrested for not complying is rare, it has happened. Before hitting the road it is always advisable to check the laws of your current state.

Other Factors to Consider

Color

Some of us like to stand out in a crowd and others prefer to blend in, right? Many manufacturers offer their bike bells in a wide array of colors to suit everyone's personality. While I am typically a black on black kind of person, that may be another's worst nightmare. The color of your bell can be used as self-expression and can also be used to help you identify your bike. If you park it outside the mall or a busy bar, you may realize that a lot of the bikes there look the same. Having a uniquely colored bike bell will make it much easier for you to spot your ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Why do I need one?

a:

Strapping one of these devices onto your bicycle is not only going to keep those traveling on the same path with you safer, but it is going to keep you safer as well. The reason why these devices are so important is that you will often need to pass a fellow traveler that is not zipping down the pathway as quickly as you are. With a simple ring, you can alert them that you are coming up behind them so that they can move to the right a little bit. Without alerting them that you are coming up behind them, they could swerve over into your lane as you pass and you both are going to take a nasty fall. Making sure that you as well as your fellow travelers are highly tuned into your surroundings is going to be the key to keeping everyone safe and happy.

q: Is it going to be something that is difficult to install?

a:

No, these are typically pretty easy to install- even for those that don’t really know their way around a toolbox. The designs that are a little more difficult to install simply require that you use a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten a few bolts around the handlebars. The easier options out there on the market that we have seen don’t even require that you use slip it around the handlebars and then tighten it up by hand. It is important to note that if you are worried about scratching the paint on your bicycle, opt for a design that has a mount that is made from ABS plastic rather than metal.

q: Are louder options better?

a:

When you are shopping around for devices that will alert others of your presence, you might just automatically assume that the louder it is, the better it is. However, this isn’t always going to be the case. If you are riding in a highly congested and very loud area, then you are going to want to find something that is loud. If you are riding around a senior citizen home or a Metallica concert, you also will want to find something that is pretty loud. However, sometimes incredibly loud devices are going to startle your fellow trail travelers that are just trying to enjoy a nice and peaceful afternoon around nature. In those cases, you may not need to select a design that is going to be so loud it will knock their helmet clear off of their head. For those instances, you might just want to try a half ring to quietly nudge them to move over to the side, or simply select a device that doesn’t have a very loud ringer.

q: Will it fit on my handlebars?

a:

The truth of the matter here is that there are some designs out there on the market that just aren’t made for all types of handlebars. From what we have learned, if you have handlebars that measure to be just over 1 inch thick, you aren’t going to have much of a problem getting these devices to fit the way that they should. Users that have handlebars that measure over 1 inch thick, on the other hand, often run into problems. If you fall in the category of over 1 inch thick, be sure that you really dig into the product details to ensure that it is going to be large enough to fit.

q: Exactly how loud is it going to ring?

a:

The average decibel level of these devices ranges anywhere from about 80 decibels to around 105 decibels. To put that into perspective, the average car horn clocks in at around 110 decibels. Of course, car horns typically have a longer honk, whereas the ring from these products are very short and abbreviated. One of the loudest designs that we found out there on the market comes in at 120 decibels- which is far more than enough to alert people that you are coming. When using these products, be sure to show a little common courtesy to your fellow trail travelers. These devices may not be as loud as your standard car horn, but when you are walking a peaceful trail with only the sounds of the birds and the breeze through the trees, a spontaneous ring that is just a little quieter than a car horn can be quite alarming- especially within close proximity. That’s why we suggest that you don’t wait until the last possible second to alert fellow travelers. Create a good deal of space between you and the others before your ring your bell. By doing so, you give them plenty of time to get over for you, and you are also going to spare them the embarrassment of nearly jumping out of their skin!

q: Can I use them in the rain?

a:

The good news here is that most devices are made to be able to withstand a little bad weather. The best conductor of sound is brass (that’s why most musical instruments are made from brass), and brass is resistant to rusting. Metal mounts are going to be a little more prone to rusting, but because they are not exposed directly to rain, they are going to be able to last quite a bit longer before they start to show their age. Plastic mounts are going to be one of your better options because plastic doesn’t rust, and it is a material that will not scratch up the paint on your handlebars.

Sources

  1. Chris Tackett, Why every bike needs a bell, Blog
  2. David Hembrow , Testing and recording bicycle bells, Blog
  3. Cycling Plus, Six of the best: bicycle bells, Buying Guide