Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Bells and reflectors

boogi11boogi11 Posts: 354
edited August 2012 in Road beginners
I know the law, but what to people actually do, take it all off?
Bike looks better without them
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Posts

  • estampidaestampida Posts: 1,008
    neither

    My hub is loud enough to tell other users i'm there (assuming they dont have headphones in....) or are so unaware of their surroundings.......

    and if you think that reflectors will save your life on the roads in edinburgh, well you wont last long......
  • hodge68hodge68 Posts: 162
    I have a rear relector on my road bike,i just havn't been bothered to take it off for the last 3 years ,but plan on getting some pedal reflctors for my spd in the winter for my commute.I do have a bell on my mountain bike, for clearing canal tow path.
    Ridley Boreas
    Spesh RockHopper pro
    Boardman cx comp
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Do you ride when it's dark ? Then they're handy.
    I've never had a bike bell. Your voice is much better for alerting people.
  • klepklep Posts: 158
    I recently installed an almost invisible bell on my roady since I couldnt cope anymore with people walking 4on a row on cycling paths or kids riding 3 bikes next to eachother and not even noticing you when you meet them face to face. I already love my bell, dont worry about having one as I did in the past. Reflectors on the other hand are a no go imo. If you plan riding in the dark, get youself some roadbike specific removable lights.
  • As a pedestrian I really appreciate a bell rather than a cough or a shout. Reflectors are pretty handy for side visibility (which most lights are not that great for). I don't worry about it looking silly - non-cyclists think lycra looks stupid but that doesn't stop me wearing it.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    A bell is handy if you ride a lot of shared cycleways/ footpaths
  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    I often cycle through a university with loads of dopey students and really need a bell, but being vain I don't want to spoil the lines of my bike (pathetic I know - but in my head I'm always on a stage of the TdF ;-)) so I have one of these http://www.wiggle.co.uk/bbb-bbb-14-easy ... ycle-bell/ but mounted underneath the handlebars rather than on top. Using it with my index finger like a trigger actually makes it louder and easier to find when I need it quick and my vanity is intact (apart from the time I fell on my censored after slipping on wet leaves, in front of a load of students).
  • There are a lot of shared paths round my way and I find having a bell to be very useful indeed - it has surely prevented a few collisions with pedestrians.
  • butcher_boybutcher_boy Posts: 117
    Along with my stabilisers I find them essential bits of kit for any budding roadie.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,825
    The only bikes in my household with reflectors and bells are the Kid's and that's only because the cycling proficiency person at their school insisted they had to be fitted otherwise they couldn't do the training. Oh nearly forgot, the wife's got both, the bell to warn people to get out of they way when her foghorn lets her down and the reflectors are to give the hit man i hired something to aim for.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.
  • No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.


    I dont know about that - I think a quick ting on the bell is better than screaming "get the f*** out the way!!!". Seriously though, do you really shout at all pedestrians that might get in the way? I usually use the bell even if the pedestrian isn't in my direct path just to let them know I'm coming past. I think this is common courtesy as you can give people quite a surprise as you scream past from behind at high speed.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    My understanding is that a bike must have a bell and reflectors at point of sale from the dealer. Other than that there is no requirement to have them. Rip 'em off.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    A bell is very useful on shared paths. I use it to announce my impending arrival, not threatening or demanding just to let others on the path know that a bicycle is in the vicinity. After that, when closer, a polite 'on your left' or a 'thank you' completes the transaction.

    Some people will ignore but you have tried. Also a proper 'thrummy' sort of ringing tone beats the feeble 'ting-ting' noise some apologies for bell provide. The other point is, if you are going to ring your bell, ring it loudly!
    The older I get the faster I was
  • DefyandDefyand Posts: 49
    Agree with Stone Glider, if all cyclists were that polite.........
  • wakywaky Posts: 11
    philthy3 wrote:
    My understanding is that a bike must have a bell and reflectors at point of sale from the dealer. Other than that there is no requirement to have them. Rip 'em off.

    they are only required between sunset and sunrise (reflectors) and yes, once a bike leaves the shop you can rip the bell off. quite a good article covering all aspects of cycling... http://www.bikehub.co.uk/featured-artic ... d-the-law/

    cheers
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.


    I dont know about that - I think a quick ting on the bell is better than screaming "get the f*** out the way!!!". Seriously though, do you really shout at all pedestrians that might get in the way? I usually use the bell even if the pedestrian isn't in my direct path just to let them know I'm coming past. I think this is common courtesy as you can give people quite a surprise as you scream past from behind at high speed.

    What sort of horrible person are you? The planet you come from must be awful if that is the set of standards you choose to invent and Judge people by?

    Personally I prefer a cheerful 'Good Morning, can I come by on your left /right' and will happily wait, stop for a chat etc. I've said on here before one of the joys of cycling is being part of the world, not cocooned away from it.

    If your version is your default way of interacting with people though it's probably better you do use a bell.
  • No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.


    I dont know about that - I think a quick ting on the bell is better than screaming "get the f*** out the way!!!". Seriously though, do you really shout at all pedestrians that might get in the way? I usually use the bell even if the pedestrian isn't in my direct path just to let them know I'm coming past. I think this is common courtesy as you can give people quite a surprise as you scream past from behind at high speed.

    What sort of horrible person are you? The planet you come from must be awful if that is the set of standards you choose to invent and Judge people by?

    Personally I prefer a cheerful 'Good Morning, can I come by on your left /right' and will happily wait, stop for a chat etc. I've said on here before one of the joys of cycling is being part of the world, not cocooned away from it.

    If your version is your default way of interacting with people though it's probably better you do use a bell.


    I'm not sure if you're a troll but I'll bite anyway. I don't think your ideas are realistic. If I acted like that, stopping to chat to everyone, I'd never get to work as the shared paths are so busy round here. Add to that not everybody wants to engage in conversation with a complete stranger - most people would rather go about their day without others butting in. A quick ting on the bell just let's a pedestrian know I'm there and keeps us both safer.
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.


    I dont know about that - I think a quick ting on the bell is better than screaming "get the f*** out the way!!!". Seriously though, do you really shout at all pedestrians that might get in the way? I usually use the bell even if the pedestrian isn't in my direct path just to let them know I'm coming past. I think this is common courtesy as you can give people quite a surprise as you scream past from behind at high speed.

    What sort of horrible person are you? The planet you come from must be awful if that is the set of standards you choose to invent and Judge people by?

    Personally I prefer a cheerful 'Good Morning, can I come by on your left /right' and will happily wait, stop for a chat etc. I've said on here before one of the joys of cycling is being part of the world, not cocooned away from it.

    If your version is your default way of interacting with people though it's probably better you do use a bell.


    I'm not sure if you're a troll but I'll bite anyway. I don't think your ideas are realistic. If I acted like that, stopping to chat to everyone, I'd never get to work as the shared paths are so busy round here. Add to that not everybody wants to engage in conversation with a complete stranger - most people would rather go about their day without others butting in. A quick ting on the bell just let's a pedestrian know I'm there and keeps us both safer.

    Nearly 2600 posts is some trolling & its not me making it up to fit is it?
    but speaking of trolling: you've utterly misrepresented both my posts, coloured in your own detail almost entirely and are responding to what you seem to want me to have written; that bears no resemblance to what is actually there; so that you can engineer a disagreement to it.

    Where do I mention "screaming get the f*** out of the way" or that I "scream past from behind at high speed" (kinda hard on a Birdy folder or a big heavy sit up and beg utility bike y'know)? Or actually "stopping to chat to everyone" - I said I'm happy to wait or ..... its entirely different (well it is to those not so bereft of a rational argument that they have to imagine stuff to pursue a fallacious one).

    I'd be happy to win the lottery jackpot 3 weeks running or sleep with Winona Ryder, its not the same as me actually doing it is it?

    Anyway, to enlighten some of your glaring ignorance of my cycling routine. My commute tends to be predominantly on non pedestrian (fast, countryside, hedges, bendy with no pavements & nowhere to viably walk to) connecting lanes or quite busy bigger roads where little ting tings don't make much impact against the external sound insulated, radio playing tin boxes that are invariably approaching from behind.

    I don't just commute by bike though. It's when I'm out for pleasure or on running an errand or out meandering with with the kids or dogs (yes, on a bike) and much more likely to come into contact with real live people that I'm quite happy to play it by ear.
    Maybe if you actually made the effort to open your mouth and say hello/excuse me etc, you'd find how friendly people can be and what nice little conversations you could have. Lighten up, let people in. you might not have such a jaundiced view of us all then (your default in your posts is Bell-less cyclists are foul mouthed speeding bullies and most people are antisocial strangers - sad and wrong).
    Have you thought that possibly its you that people don't want to interact with, as someone who clearly demonstrates they're worth nothing more than a mechanical instruction to get out of your way?

    I have no use in my cycling life for a bell and get on quite happily.

    It is your fantasy misrepresentations that certainly aren't realistic.
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    No Bell: My voice is far better for differentiating direction and urgency & its a far less arrogant way of going about things, engaging properly with people rather than some stupid little ting ting that might as well say, You're not important enough for me to lower myself to speak to, now get out of my way. (rant over - I hate bells).

    Reflectors: Absolutely! Pedal reflectors especially are one thing that does uniquely differentiate us out as a nearby cyclist rather than possibly a jogger on the pavement, any one of many jobs that see people wandering about wearing hi-viz nowadays or possibly having lights mistaken to further away that you really are. Often they're the only thing on a Ninja BSO that does give you a clue the idiot is there in the dark.


    I dont know about that - I think a quick ting on the bell is better than screaming "get the f*** out the way!!!". Seriously though, do you really shout at all pedestrians that might get in the way? I usually use the bell even if the pedestrian isn't in my direct path just to let them know I'm coming past. I think this is common courtesy as you can give people quite a surprise as you scream past from behind at high speed.

    What sort of horrible person are you? The planet you come from must be awful if that is the set of standards you choose to invent and Judge people by?

    Personally I prefer a cheerful 'Good Morning, can I come by on your left /right' and will happily wait, stop for a chat etc. I've said on here before one of the joys of cycling is being part of the world, not cocooned away from it.

    If your version is your default way of interacting with people though it's probably better you do use a bell.


    I'm not sure if you're a troll but I'll bite anyway. I don't think your ideas are realistic. If I acted like that, stopping to chat to everyone, I'd never get to work as the shared paths are so busy round here. Add to that not everybody wants to engage in conversation with a complete stranger - most people would rather go about their day without others butting in. A quick ting on the bell just let's a pedestrian know I'm there and keeps us both safer.

    Nearly 2600 posts is some trolling & its not me making it up to fit is it?
    but speaking of trolling: you've utterly misrepresented both my posts, coloured in your own detail almost entirely and are responding to what you seem to want me to have written; that bears no resemblance to what is actually there; so that you can engineer a disagreement to it.

    Where do I mention "screaming get the f*** out of the way" or that I "scream past from behind at high speed" (kinda hard on a Birdy folder or a big heavy sit up and beg utility bike y'know)? Or actually "stopping to chat to everyone" - I said I'm happy to wait or ..... its entirely different (well it is to those not so bereft of a rational argument that they have to imagine stuff to pursue a fallacious one).

    I'd be happy to win the lottery jackpot 3 weeks running or sleep with Winona Ryder, its not the same as me actually doing it is it?

    Anyway, to enlighten some of your glaring ignorance of my cycling routine. My commute tends to be predominantly on non pedestrian (fast, countryside, hedges, bendy with no pavements & nowhere to viably walk to) connecting lanes or quite busy bigger roads where little ting tings don't make much impact against the external sound insulated, radio playing tin boxes that are invariably approaching from behind.

    I don't just commute by bike though. It's when I'm out for pleasure or on running an errand or out meandering with with the kids or dogs (yes, on a bike) and much more likely to come into contact with real live people that I'm quite happy to play it by ear.
    Maybe if you actually made the effort to open your mouth and say hello/excuse me etc, you'd find how friendly people can be and what nice little conversations you could have. Lighten up, let people in. you might not have such a jaundiced view of us all then (your default in your posts is Bell-less cyclists are foul mouthed speeding bullies and most people are antisocial strangers - sad and wrong).
    Have you thought that possibly its you that people don't want to interact with, as someone who clearly demonstrates they're worth nothing more than a mechanical instruction to get out of your way?

    I have no use in my cycling life for a bell and get on quite happily.

    It is your fantasy misrepresentations that certainly aren't realistic.
    Totally agree. In nearly fifty years of cycling I have never shouted foul mouthed abuse at pedestrians who were in my way. Nir have I needed a bell. A polite human voice does wonders, nit only in clearing the way but in creating a pleasant ambience. The kind of bullying foul-mouthed antics which seem to be this other guy's default position, failing a bell, are precisely what makes cyclists disliked in many quarters. And the agressive attitude towards anyone who feels otherwise indicates it isn't only when he's in the saddle that he feels that way.

    There is quite a bit of middle ground between a stopping off to chat and racing through with a 'get the f*** out of the way'. A polite excuse me wiuld seem to fit that bill very nicely.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    boogi11 wrote:
    I know the law, but what to people actually do, take it all off?
    Bike looks better without them

    I took it all off. I tend not to be out on my road bike in the dark anyway, and am almost always on the road so don't have great use for a bell, barring the occasional pedestrian stepping out into the road.

    My commuting bike is another matter. I have a bell on that, as well as 3M spoke reflectors, and Respro reflective ankle straps that do the same job as pedal reflectors, but are visible from more angles. Add the random bits of black reflective tape, and the reflective stripe on my tyre sidewalls, the reflective details on my jacket, and it all makes me a lot easier to spot on the winter commutes.

    winter-spoke-reflective.jpg

    :D

    I prefer to ring a bell than speak to let people know I'm coming. I find that the sound of a bell carries better, and is more obviously a cycle approaching. I also think the sound is more penetrating for those iPod zombies. I also prefer the drriiing-drriiing bels, but my Brompton has a pinger on it.

    Sorry about polluting the road section with commuting. ;)
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • shouldbeinbed - I dont know what your problem is. You started off saying people who use a bell on their bike are "Arrogant" and then suggested I was a "horrible person" just because I disagreed on weather it is better to use a bell as a warning to pedestrians or attempt to engage with them in conversation.

    Rule 66 of the highway code:

    You should
    keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear
    keep both feet on the pedals
    never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
    not ride close behind another vehicle
    not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain
    be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted


    Perhaps if you'd get off your high horse for a second you'd recognise my behaviour is merely in accordance with the recommended actions for use of the the public highway.

    Clearly, in rule 66 there is scope for a verbal warning to a pedestrian but, round here there are parts of the city where a proportion if the residents don't even speak english.
  • BillyMansellBillyMansell Posts: 817
    AS THIS IS THE ROAD BEGINNERS SECTION then yes remove it all. They're obligatory at point of sale but not beyond.

    I keep a bell on my mountain bike for when I'm riding on trails and paths but as THIS IS ROAD BEGINNERS then don't worry about bells, whistles or reflectors on a road bike
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    don't worry about bells, whistles or reflectors on a road bike

    Unless you're riding it in the dark, or on shared use facilities. ;)
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • BillyMansellBillyMansell Posts: 817
    Agent57 wrote:
    don't worry about bells, whistles or reflectors on a road bike

    Unless you're riding it in the dark, or on shared use facilities. ;)
    Unless, unless unless. If's, buts and maybes. I could go on adding subjective sub-texts that will always disprove the events of specific situations.

    I see your smiley but lest us apply practical guidance rather than set rules.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I see your smiley but lest us apply practical guidance rather than set rules.

    Don't worry, I already said I'd ditched them on my road bike in my earlier post.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    I personally think each to their own... I don't use them on my road or mtb.. But people who do fair play to them..

    I don't ride my road bike on paths or in the dark..

    And when I ride my mtb in the dark I have 2000 lumens that can strobe.. I find they slow the traffic downed they think it's an alien invasion, not a cyclist!

    Just be safe out there guys and do what you think it takes for your own riding conditions.
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
    De Rosa R838
  • ThebigbeeThebigbee Posts: 570
    First thing I did on my new bikes is take the bell off.

    Am just one of those people that has had a bit of a Curb experience in a shop with someone in a disabled buggy ringing their bell at me.

    Which I found beyond rude - but hilarious after. If people are in my way on a shared pathway I would just rather say "excuse me" - even though 99% of the time I have headphones in - I just find that rude.

    Reflectors - I am sure they have some purpose but on my road bike I just removed them and use a rear light on flash ALL the time and a Knog Frog on the front all the time too.

    I doubt there is any conclusive evidence that bells or factory reflectors do a jot to save lives or reduce accidents - if there is I haven't seen it.

    IMO you are much better running some cheap flashing lights in the day and being polite to any walkers in your way.

    I also don't get why car manufacturers changed the colour of indicator lenses to clear as I find them much harder to actually see. Anyone know why they did that?
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    A good advantage of a rear reflector is that they always work. I took mine off when I first bought a decent road bike but after a couple of years put it back on. I sometimes ride on pitch black country roads and, because I cannot tell if my rear light is working or not, am happy to know that at least the reflector will help warn approaching traffic.
  • jim453jim453 Posts: 1,420
    Thebigbee wrote:
    First thing I did on my new bikes is take the bell off.

    Am just one of those people that has had a bit of a Curb experience in a shop with someone in a disabled buggy ringing their bell at me.

    Which I found beyond rude - but hilarious after. If people are in my way on a shared pathway I would just rather say "excuse me" - even though 99% of the time I have headphones in - I just find that rude.

    Reflectors - I am sure they have some purpose but on my road bike I just removed them and use a rear light on flash ALL the time and a Knog Frog on the front all the time too.

    I doubt there is any conclusive evidence that bells or factory reflectors do a jot to save lives or reduce accidents - if there is I haven't seen it.

    IMO you are much better running some cheap flashing lights in the day and being polite to any walkers in your way.

    I also don't get why car manufacturers changed the colour of indicator lenses to clear as I find them much harder to actually see. Anyone know why they did that?

    Is anyone else amused by the thought of the notoriously angry Bigbee going mental in a shop at a disabled person in a wheelchair? Are there no depths...?
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