Bells ?

carl_p
carl_p Posts: 989
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
Just been reading Tricky's incident and it reminded me about a brand new Willier I saw in a LBS. Very smart bike over £2k and it had bell on it. I smiled to myself at the time thinking that someone in the shop was having a laugh to fit a bell on a carbon bike.

Must admit there have been a couple occassions when I was cycling on a quite country lane where I kind of wished I had a bell to draw the attention of pedestrians. They simply don't hear you coming up behind them and I did startle an older lady once. Now when I face this I tend to cough loudly or something to draw their attention but this is not ideal really.

Do any of you guys have bells? How do you warn pedestrians you are approaching? I am bit new to cycling and it never occurred to me a bell would be required on a road bike but it does seem that they might be a good idea depending on where you ride.
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Comments

  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Nope..deffo no...no.no.no......

    Voice works fine !!! Even saying "thanks" or "cheers" to a stupid fat bloke that thinks ha can 'dart' over the road as a fast roadie approaches...he stopped !!!! He was not crossing according to the lights...just to confirm......
  • i got loads of stick from my friends for having bells on both my mtb and roadie. then you actually go out on rides and it means that you don't have to slow down because horses/ramblers are not aware that you are there. needed less on the mtb as it is noisier anyway but is very useful on the roadie. used about 4 or 5 times on most rides at weekends.
    Your'e never alone with schizophrenia.
  • Bugly
    Bugly Posts: 520
    Bells yeah ding ding - walker stops and turns around straight into my path - voice works well polite "excuse me on your left" has the desired effect because the walker takes a step to the correct side instead of stopping mid stride in your path.

    Bloody useless things in my experience
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    Get a campagnolo freewheel - the clicking noise is perfect for subtly alerting pedestrians to your presence! :)
  • Ambermile
    Ambermile Posts: 117
    I have one - needed it to ride the towpaths overseen by British Waterways. I did feel a bit silly going into the bike shop in Hertford to buy it though!

    Arthur
    The Beastie


    Sic itur ad astra
  • mba007
    mba007 Posts: 95
    A vocal 'beep beep' from 30 metres back tends to do the trick, although people either throw themselves out of the way (which is a bit ridiculous as I don't steam past them) or turn around and block the track due to an inability to think.

    Friend of mine bought me a comedy rubber horn which I plan to fit to my bike, if only to bring a smile to peoples faces.
  • It's a legal requirement that every new bike sold must come with a bell, likewise reflectors. Most bikes just come with them in the box, and they are never fitted by the engine.

    I am concerned that in our litigious society sooner or later some pedestrian is going to blunder into the path of a cyclist and then successfully sue the cyclist because they didn't have a bell.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • sub55
    sub55 Posts: 1,025
    It's a legal requirement that every new bike sold must come with a bell, likewise reflectors. Most bikes just come with them in the box, and they are never fitted by the engine.

    I am concerned that in our litigious society sooner or later some pedestrian is going to blunder into the path of a cyclist and then successfully sue the cyclist because they didn't have a bell.

    wrong
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Ambermile
    Ambermile Posts: 117
    Eh? What, the law bit is wrong or the kamikaze pedestrian suing?

    Arthur
    The Beastie


    Sic itur ad astra
  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    sub55 wrote:
    wrong
    Care to expand on that?
  • I had just taken delivery of my brsnd new roadie, but before I went out on it my brother-in-law gave me a packet of Spokie-Dokies to put on.
    He said it was either that or a peg and playing card so people new I was behind them.

    Git.
    Somethings gotta go wrong, `cause I`m felling way too damn good - Nickelback.
  • My new specialized tarmac comp came with a bell and reflectors. I took them off as soon as I got home though.....
  • ellieb
    ellieb Posts: 436
    It depends where you use the bike. I personally find that a bell is darned useful on a cycle path, it seems to get peoples attention much better than just a shout.
  • sub55
    sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Ambermile wrote:
    Eh? What, the law bit is wrong or the kamikaze pedestrian suing?

    Arthur

    both
    your quit entitled to sell a bike witch dose not make the BS standard in fact most top end machens don't
    there's no legal requirement to carey a bell so you can`t be sued for not having one
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • neeb wrote:
    Get a campagnolo freewheel - the clicking noise is perfect for subtly alerting pedestrians to your presence! :)

    the fulcrum wheels on my old bike, have a simular clack clack, though shimano. best is my MTB with it's dedicated mud tires, sounds like a land rover.
  • Something very strange happened there. I typed "owner" and got "engine". Yes I have got a spelling check in my browser, with auto correct, but I can't see how I could have mistyped owner to the extent that I got engine. Sure I'm dyslexic, but come on!

    Anyway. As for there being no legal requirement for a bike sold to meet the BS, as I understand it any bike sold for road use must meet the standard. Hence my dirt bike coming with a bell, reflectors and a front brake in the box. It was only ever going to be chucked about the woods so they were never fitted.

    However the law is more complex than that. Were a pedestrian to sue they could bring up the standard in their case and could argue that since a british standard exists then that could be considered to be a reasonable safety standard. It would then be up to the court to consider that. What worries me that in view of the verdicts reached in a lot of civil cases I wouldn't be at all surprised that a cyclist could well loose in a case like that.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • W5454
    W5454 Posts: 133
    neeb wrote:
    Get a campagnolo freewheel - the clicking noise is perfect for subtly alerting pedestrians to your presence! :)

    Same with Hope hubs(pro3s).
    Dozy peds soon shift when they hear them from 50ft away.
  • I thought the law stated that a Bell had to be on your bike at point of sale and had to be removed when you got home :lol: ?

    Took mine off as I thought that the chances of me thinking that its a good idea to move my hand away from the brakes to make a ding ding sound to get some berk who didnt look before he crossed the road out of the way, just wasnt going to happen.

    Anyway "AAAAAAHHHHHH, watch out you effing @$&%" always works :D
  • The Chinese use of the bell is interesting. They seem to ring their bells whenever they get near other traffic, so basically thats all the time. Douglas Adams had the theory that it was a sort of echolocation, but without the echos. 200 cyclists crossing the same junction at the same time all know where the others are because they can hear them.

    Anyway, if we were to use bells as the law requires, ie to warn other road users of our presence, then we would, like the Chinese, be using our bells all the time and people would soon get pissed off with us.

    So here's an idea lets all fit a bell and rig it so it rings every couple of seconds and see how soon bells get banned outright.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker