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Mark Blacknell
06-12-2012, 07:31 AM
A friend just wrote me asking for a recommendation on bells, and I thought I'd post my (expanded) response here.

I'm a big fan of the Incredibell line of bells. They're not as "pleasant" as some of the other mechanical bells, but I find that the thumb-action lets you adjust them to fit the situation. You can lightly ping it in a "hey, I'm here" kind of way (suitable for say, working your way across the Key Bridge with heavy foot traffic at 3mph). Or you can clang it in a very sharp way (helpful when you just *know* those bros on the corner of Highland and Wilson are planning to step right in front of you). The manufacturer's site (http://www.mirrycle.com/original_bell.php) has audio of all their bells.

The original version (http://www.amazon.com/Mirrycle-Incredibell-Original-Bicycle-Black/dp/B0011VQJQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339502591&sr=8-1&keywords=incredibell) fits most hybrid/MTB/older drop bars. I have one on every bike I own (except an MTB that never sees the road).

The adjustable version (http://www.amazon.com/Mirrycle-Incredibell-Adjustabell-Bicycle-Black/dp/B001SMNC4U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1339502591&sr=8-4&keywords=incredibell) is required for newer road bikes with thicker drop bars (i.e., 31.8 bars). It's not quite as ideal as the original (the mechanism is a little cheaper, I think), but it's the best option for thick bars. I did pick up a version that mounts on STI levers (http://www.amazon.com/Mirrycle-Incredibell-Road-Bicycle-Silver/dp/B001SMNCA4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1339502591&sr=8-8&keywords=incredibell), but I doubt it would last very long.

There are other bells that work fine, too, and certainly bells with a more pleasant sound. But this is pretty much the most effective and practical bell I've come across. You can buy the original Incredibell in just about any local bike store. It's $15 well spent.

jabberwocky
06-12-2012, 07:56 AM
Agreed. I used incredibells for years when I commuted on the W&OD. They work great, except when its raining (the water muffles the bell). I admit that I haven't outfitted my newer bikes with them because I'm hardly ever on the trail anymore.

I definitely got less confusion from pedestrians with the bell.

TwoWheelsDC
06-12-2012, 07:57 AM
You're absolutely right about the differences between the original and adjustable Incredibells. The original is absolutely fantastic and should come stock on all new bikes, like reflectors. I had to move to an adjustable one when I got a road bike and it really is inferior...better than nothing, but inferior nonetheless. If you get an adjustable version, I recommend placing a rubber strip underneath it if you mount it on an exposed section of your bars, as the adjustable band is just plain plastic and isn't grippy, so it slips when it's wet. Several times in the rain I've gone to ding, only to have the bell slip, which is uh, sub-optimal.

jrenaut
06-12-2012, 08:13 AM
Are there any bells that work well in the rain? Since I ride mostly in the city, I use the bell less for calling a pass and more for "Hey, stupid!". Since people are more likely to be in a rush in the rain, they're also more likely to jaywalk through the bike lane. And in the wet, the brakes don't work as well. So having brakes AND bell function badly when you need them most is a bad combo. A new bell is cheaper than disc brakes . . .

mstone
06-12-2012, 08:20 AM
agree the newer one is inferior, but the old one won't fit on my new bike. :( It is fairly easy to position them somewhere convenient; I keep mine mostly under the bar with the thumb thing pointed up so I can ding it from the flat. Can squeeze in right next to the computer that way.

Dirt
06-12-2012, 08:24 AM
I like the bar-end Incredibell for road bikes.

http://www.mirrycle.com/barend.php

vvill
06-12-2012, 08:25 AM
I'm a big fan of the Incredibell line of bells.
...
There are other bells that work fine, too, and certainly bells with a more pleasant sound. But this is pretty much the most effective and practical bell I've come across. You can buy the original Incredibell in just about any local bike store. It's $15 well spent.

Agreed! I have 2x Incredibell Omnibells. I have them mounted so I can flick them with my left thumb easily (sounds like it's similar to mstone's positioning). Sometimes I'll let them ring when I hit them, and sometimes I'll mute them again (with the same thumb) if I just need a short *ding*.

They're the only bells I've ever bought (others have been freebies/came with the bike).


I did pick up a version that mounts on STI levers, but I doubt it would last very long.

I've read that the STI shifter mounted one doesn't work on newer Shimano shifters.

consularrider
06-12-2012, 08:35 AM
I give a big thumbs up to the Incredibells, they're what I have on all but one of my bikes. I also like that on some models you can move the striker around so that it is most comfortable for your thumb. I also agree that it seems on the newer models that the strikers are lower quality than those of just a couple years ago.

However, on my daily commuter I use a Crane Suzu (http://www.velofred.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=35) brass bell that has a strike lever. This has a loud and pleasant sound and works better than the Incredibells when wet (but I've found nothing that works really well in the rain, even though I mount them so that the water drains out). Just somehow, it doesn't seem to fit the image for my road bikes, and then of course there is the extra weight factor and aerodynamics to consider. ;)

consularrider
06-12-2012, 08:36 AM
From Dirt:


I like the bar-end Incredibell for road bikes.

http://www.mirrycle.com/barend.php


I tried it, but it's not loud enough. :( Besides that, it broke when I took a fall last fall. :(

FFX_Hinterlands
06-12-2012, 09:05 AM
I have a newer incredibell on my folder and a big ol' Crane brass hammer strike bell on my cargo bike. The Crane is 3x louder and has a long sustain. The sustain of the bell has a doppler effect and let's people know you're approaching. I ding far away and ding again when I'm 50' away and the sustain carries through my pass.

With the incredibell I need to give it a "ding-ding." One ding and the pedestrian thinks he dropped a coin.

brendan
06-12-2012, 09:35 AM
I like the free bells from New Belgium Brewery that they give away at sponsored bike events. They probably buy them via some sort of corporate promotional good supplier, but still: I find them both loud and flexible in terms of choosing what kind of ringing pattern I need from pass to pass.

Brendan

JimF22003
06-12-2012, 09:47 AM
Can anyone recommend a bell that has a quick-release that works well? I'd put one on while on the MUP but there's no way I'm riding out on the road with one :)

5555624
06-12-2012, 09:53 AM
I like the bar-end Incredibell for road bikes.

http://www.mirrycle.com/barend.php

I tried it, but it's not loud enough. :( Besides that, it broke when I took a fall last fall. :(

In my experience, the cheap (http://lakeside-bikes.com/product/mirrycle-bar-end-incredibell-2892.htm) bar end version is louder. It's also more vulnerable to crashes and scrapes, though.

TwoWheelsDC
06-12-2012, 09:53 AM
Can anyone recommend a bell that has a quick-release that works well? I'd put one on while on the MUP but there's no way I'm riding out on the road with one :)

The adjustable Incredibell takes about 30 seconds to attach/detach, although the mount seems a bit cheap (plastic screw used to tighten a plastic band) and may not hold up if you are attaching/detaching it a lot.

vvill
06-12-2012, 10:36 AM
Can anyone recommend a bell that has a quick-release that works well? I'd put one on while on the MUP but there's no way I'm riding out on the road with one :)

The Incredibell Omnibell isn't quick release, but the rubber mounting band is very quick to attach/detach and reasonably thick. It might last long enough for your purposes.

Mark Blacknell
06-12-2012, 10:52 AM
I'd put one on while on the MUP but there's no way I'm riding out on the road with one :)

Sure there is. Find the bell.

1189

mstone
06-12-2012, 11:14 AM
Can anyone recommend a bell that has a quick-release that works well? I'd put one on while on the MUP but there's no way I'm riding out on the road with one :)

Why?

brendan
06-12-2012, 01:19 PM
Sure there is. Find the bell.

Ooh, nice.

TwoWheelsDC
06-12-2012, 01:57 PM
Sure there is. Find the bell.

1189

Nice triple triangle back there...I have one of those sitting in my mom's shed from when I was a teenager. I wonder how much it would be to ship it here and fix it up...

MCL1981
06-12-2012, 02:09 PM
I now plan to mount one of these to my front fork with an air compressor on a dynamo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG2I-rRx5-w

hencio
06-12-2012, 02:20 PM
I'm using the STI version that Mark mentions. It places the bell really nicely where one can easily reach it.

SpokeGrenadeSR
06-12-2012, 09:38 PM
i absolutely love this, so very much. a handful of you have heard it in action
soma fab crane ritten rotary bell (http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/bikes-and-gear-features/soma-fabrications-crane-riten-rotary)

i've also got this brass temple bell
here (http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/brass-temple-bell-1018.html)

both pages have clips to hear their sounds

JimK
06-14-2012, 02:48 PM
I have two different types of Incredibells. I like them except that I have trouble ringing them when wearing lobster claw gloves. Fortunately, not many people are on the trails when I need the lobsters (below 30 degrees F).

rcannon100
06-15-2012, 09:02 AM
Pursuant to expert previous recommendations, I attached jingle bells to my bike. It was really unsatisfactory. Made a slight clinking noise. Not much more.

Today, I attached a cow-bell I got from the AFCC ride to my handlebar. It was hilarious. Perfectly annoying! The faster you go, the more noise it makes!

I think the improvement would be to get ice cream truck bells. THAT's something that will get pedestrians attention.

DaveK
06-15-2012, 09:21 AM
Today, I attached a cow-bell I got from the AFCC ride to my handlebar. It was hilarious. Perfectly annoying! The faster you go, the more noise it makes!

I did this while I was in Philly a couple of weeks ago watching the race. Looped the bell around the back of my saddle. Every time I wanted to signal someone ahead of my I just stood on the pedals and shook my ass back and forth. I recommend it.

dasgeh
06-15-2012, 10:11 AM
A squeaky saddle can be similar (though probably not as loud). +1 to ass shaking!

Riley Casey
06-15-2012, 03:37 PM
I dunno, its hard to beat this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12530140 for just plain machismo. All in all though I have actually found toy store bells to be a good choice. Heresy I know but there it is.

eminva
06-15-2012, 05:38 PM
I dunno, its hard to beat this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12530140 for just plain machismo. All in all though I have actually found toy store bells to be a good choice. Heresy I know but there it is.

OMG, does Dirt know about this?!

Liz

off2ride
06-15-2012, 09:50 PM
Tips on getting the right bell:

Make sure it it accommodates your handle bar securely. Good bells come with a "Zip tie" like strap
Make sure it's loud as sh..
Ambidextrous mounting.

I mount mine close to the stem because I'm on the flat part of the bars most of the time so my left index finger is on the ready all the time. I've set it up so it all feels natural which also means I don't have to relocate my left hand just to ring my dinger. Best of luck.

Jason
06-26-2012, 01:20 PM
The bells seems to confuse tourists. No $hit I have seen some look straight up in the air as if tinkerbell is talking to them. I find a combination of yelling, and mad bell ringing works about 50% of the time.

MCL1981
06-26-2012, 01:55 PM
The bells seems to confuse tourists. No $hit I have seen some look straight up in the air as if tinkerbell is talking to them. I find a combination of yelling, and mad bell ringing works about 50% of the time.
These are the same ones that look at the sign that says "INSERT CARD HERE" on a metro faregate and scratch their heads. Some are beyond help.

Arlingtonrider
06-26-2012, 03:04 PM
When my bell doesn't register, I'll sometimes slow down and ask them in a friendly way if they need any help with directions. Often they say no thanks and step to the side. Otherwise, I mow 'em down. Just kidding about that last part, but I like for people to leave town with a positive feeling toward cyclists.

brendan
06-27-2012, 10:08 AM
...Otherwise, I mow 'em down. Just kidding, but I like for people to leave town with a positive feeling toward cyclists.

Heh, brings this to mind...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MifyYHbnGaE

(I think most of the audience was missing the point)

Brendan

vvill
07-09-2012, 10:48 AM
Bells are now totally pro! :)

http://cdn2.media.cyclingnews.futurecdn.net//2012/07/06/2/bettiniphoto_0115382_1_full_600.jpg

thank you Peter Sagan

GuyContinental
07-12-2012, 08:37 AM
Bells are now totally pro! :)

http://cdn2.media.cyclingnews.futurecdn.net//2012/07/06/2/bettiniphoto_0115382_1_full_600.jpg

thank you Peter Sagan

Bummer, they made him take it off before S11 as an "extraneous fitting." Seems like it would be a good tool for a domestique on a water run to have...

Dirt
09-20-2012, 12:33 PM
I hate bells a little bit less than I did yesterday morning.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8460/8004885572_b40c6ab6a7_b.jpg
STi Incredi-bell thanks to the lovely folks at Bikenetic (http://bikenetic.com/).

I've never liked the impersonal *Ding Ding* "I expect you to behave" way of getting through traffic. I'd rather talk to people or better yet, sing to them and I've had better luck with it. That said.... For a bunch of reasons I found that I MUST get over my dislike of using bells. This bell makes it pretty easy to just do a variant of what I already do... Greet people by voice, give them a little ding, talk to them again and then thank them and wish them a happy day. So far it has worked pretty well. I really only had one person go Crazy Ivan on me... which they might have done even without my use of the bell... Their jump to the left (unfortunately not followed by a step to the right, putting hands on their hips or pulling their knees in tight) might have happened even if I hadn't added the ding to my routine.

Not sure that I'm really a convert yet... but this barnacle brain might bend.

Love,

Dirt

ShawnoftheDread
09-20-2012, 12:54 PM
I hate bells a little bit less than I did yesterday morning.... This bell makes it pretty easy to just do a variant of what I already do... Greet people by voice, give them a little ding, talk to them again and then thank them and wish them a happy day.

Not all of us have the lung capacity for that. I'm lucky to squeek out a wheeze along with my bell on some parts of my ride.

Dirt
09-20-2012, 12:59 PM
Not all of us have the lung capacity for that. I'm lucky to squeek out a wheeze along with my bell on some parts of my ride.
Singing is actually part of my workout.

pfunkallstar
09-20-2012, 02:39 PM
I've never been a big fan of bells, mostly because of crippling thumb arthritis and a haunting childhood fear of large bells brought on by a trip to Philadelphia.

I usually just whistle as much of Beethoven's 4th as a I can remember, if I get lost I start over with Penny Lane then transition into barbershop.

thecyclingeconomist
09-20-2012, 02:47 PM
http://deltacycle.com/Airzound-Bike-Horn

I have an incredibell, but this is for the "in-the-city"... "hey stupid...car driver"...

I wouldn't use for people/pedestrians or otherwise, but for in-traffic, this is legit.

vtben
09-21-2012, 08:29 PM
STi Incredi-bell thanks to the lovely folks at Bikenetic (http://bikenetic.com/).
Thanks for posting this. I had no idea such a thing existed. I just picked one up--much easier and safer to reach than the bell it replaced.