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To bell or not to bell

t0mmywt0mmyw Posts: 17
edited October 2013 in MTB general
What's the general opinion on bells on bike radar. I do a fair bit of riding on tracks/trails/bridleways that involve walkers/runners/horses. Most people hear you, but the odd one requires a cough or sharp back wheel skid to let them know you're there. You guys know of any bells that don't look ridiculous, or am I asking a stupid question!
Bike List: Giant Trance x1 & Cube Acid 29er
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  • When cycling along towpaths,walkers have said a bell would be agood idea instead of riding up behind them and startling them. I got a small black bell from tesco 2.50.
  • I've got a bell on mine and it just makes life easier, I'll admit to not being able to hear cycles approaching until they are next to me when I'm walking.
  • If the dogs dont pick me up first I normally make myself known 40-50 metres before I reach them followed by a thank you when I pass. If they have a face like thunder a really cheesy good morning when I pass. There is a woman i pass most mornings who walks four labradors and is so happy she could sh*t, makes my morning when I greet her.Rarely have problems so no bell for me.
  • I don't have one on my mountain bike, mostly because I rarely see anyone on my local trails. I hate trail centres but I would definitely have a bell if I did still ride them.
    My daily commute includes a few miles of towpath and several miles of cyclepath. A bell is absolutely essential to keep moving safely. You still get idiots with headphones on who shout at you for not using a bell because they couldn't hear it over Ronan Keating's Greatest Hits.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    If you are riding winding covered trails with alot of walkers and especially dogs on then it is a good idea as it lets them know you are coming. If you are in the middle of nowwhere then it is not really worth it.

    As above you can't help muggers favourite target wearing headphone or in my case a large lady with alot of tatoo's who through the idea of an extendable dog lead was to garotte mountain bikers with ;)
  • I use a bell tried without too much hassle
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    I agree - use the bell but do it at a distance - I find it quite annoying to hear a bell from just behind me so learn from that.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    rsh1960 wrote:
    When cycling along towpaths,walkers have said a bell would be agood idea instead of riding up behind them and startling them. I got a small black bell from tesco 2.50.

    I know walkers say that, but I don't see the difference between ringing a bell and calling "Excuse me!", so I don't have one.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Save yourself some money and use this thing called your voice, it works trust me, you can speak to people it's an amazing skill. Go on give it a go.

    Alternatively do what I do and let a Hope Pro hub do all the talking for you, they hear that before my voice or any bell would alert them.
  • Dog walkers i hate,they hear your bell and fail to gather there dogs up until you are nearly to them then the damn thing walks in front of you causing a brake lock up. Or they are on one of those extending leads chasing rabbits at the other side of the track,then they look at you like you shouldn't ride a bike
  • then the damn thing walks in front of you causing a brake lock up

    Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, but surely the brake lock up was caused by your lack of observation or anticipation, followed by overly zealous application of the brake lever(s)?... :wink:

    If someone's got a dog loose where I want to be riding past then I slow right down to pass (out of self preservation and courtesy) - doesn't matter whether you're right or wrong (and who's to say that we've got any more right to be riding on (for example) a towpath than they have to be walking their dog there?), it'll still hurt the same if you fall off. I find that if you slow down and show some courtesy then most people will reciprocate by bringing their dog(s) to heel.
  • rsh1960rsh1960 Posts: 17
    MrChuck wrote:
    rsh1960 wrote:
    When cycling along towpaths,walkers have said a bell would be agood idea instead of riding up behind them and startling them. I got a small black bell from tesco 2.50.

    I know walkers say that, but I don't see the difference between ringing a bell and calling "Excuse me!", so I don't have one.

    As you pass I say good morning/afternoon and thank you :D
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,305
    I commute along a 20k section of towpath that's fairly busy with cyclists and walkers of all descriptions, a bell works best in my experience.

    Thing to remember on mixed used paths is that the pedestrian has complete right of way.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
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  • t0mmywt0mmyw Posts: 17
    I do agree with the idea of having a bell. just a tart and don't really want to have one on the handlebar spoiling the look of my bike! might have a scour of ebay and the like for a really small one!
    Bike List: Giant Trance x1 & Cube Acid 29er
    Bike Want List: BMX of some sort
    Todo List: 24hr team race, coast2coast, put out the washing
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    they are great for warning any wildlife hiding in the undergrowth to get the F out of there.

    nothing worse than a suprised animal.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,378
    You still get idiots with headphones on who shout at you for not using a bell....

    I have shouted "DINGALINGALINGALING" at such people before now...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Briggo wrote:
    Save yourself some money and use this thing called your voice, it works trust me, you can speak to people it's an amazing skill. Go on give it a go.

    Doesn't work. I find you can shout "Good Morning" or "Excuse Me" all you want, 80% of the time there's no reaction. At that point you've got no idea if they haven't heard you, or if they have heard you just didn't react for whatever reason. Much of the time I've shouted good morning, and thought they've heard me, only for them to jump out of their skin when I ride by.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Just ride up behind them really fast and shout 'Strava strava strava.'
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • paulcpaulc Posts: 161
    If they don't know your coming till last minute the dinging a bell or using your voice is going to startle them either way.

    I always use my voice a quick excuse me doesn't hurt anyone.
  • Small bell on the handlebars (most - if not all - new bikes come with one included). Aerosol horn in the backpack / bumbag. If the former does not get a reaction, the latter certainly should.
  • kirby700kirby700 Posts: 458
    Its bloody silly season near where I live recently, 100's of walkers in packs all talking really loudly and marching like a platoon of squaddies on a route march, NO amount of bell ringing or shouting gets any reaction. Very annoying. I was even accused of been sh&*ty with them and rude when I squeezed past the them.

    However I like Cooldads idea "STRAVA STRAVA" yell should split them up nicely!
    GIANT XTC 2.5
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  • kirby700 wrote:
    Its bloody silly season near where I live recently, 100's of walkers in packs all talking really loudly and marching like a platoon of squaddies on a route march, NO amount of bell ringing or shouting gets any reaction. Very annoying. I was even accused of been sh&*ty with them and rude when I squeezed past the them.

    However I like Cooldads idea "STRAVA STRAVA" yell should split them up nicely!

    I've had similar issues with big groups of hikers taking up the entire path, and them getting huffy with me. However it's similar with any big group, if you're in a group you assume a greater importance to your position. Same happens with groups of cyclists when a car wants to overtake.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,867
    I do tend to find shouting works better. Usually I shout and say which side I'm passing them on. Do agree you get some either deaf or ignorant walkers. Reading this made me wonder, instead of shouting strava what would be the reaction to shouting rape. Anyone with a go pro please video it.
    For some reason it makes me chuckle thinking about their reactions to it
  • step83 wrote:
    I do tend to find shouting works better. Usually I shout and say which side I'm passing them on. Do agree you get some either deaf or ignorant walkers. Reading this made me wonder, instead of shouting strava what would be the reaction to shouting rape. Anyone with a go pro please video it.
    For some reason it makes me chuckle thinking about their reactions to it
    Now I am quietly chucking to myself and thinking that I am an awful person for doing so.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    step83 wrote:
    I do tend to find shouting works better. Usually I shout and say which side I'm passing them on. Do agree you get some either deaf or ignorant walkers. Reading this made me wonder, instead of shouting strava what would be the reaction to shouting rape. Anyone with a go pro please video it.
    For some reason it makes me chuckle thinking about their reactions to it

    Is it a good idea to announce your intentions like that?
  • I have a very small black bell bought from Tesco. I spend an equal amount of time on the tow path walking my dog(always on a short lead) as I do riding my bike on there.so I can see it from both sides really some people whether they are walking a dog,fishing or cycling, are just anti social sometimes and intolerant of other folks in general.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    A bell on a bike

    nqa0.jpg

    A bar end on a bike

    3wa2.jpg

    A bell-end on a bike

    pc0v.jpg
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • arran77 wrote:

    A bell-end on a bike

    pc0v.jpg

    That must be you then...
    MmmBop

    Go big or go home.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    arran77 wrote:

    A bell-end on a bike

    pc0v.jpg

    That must be you then...

    Nope, try again.
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • pinnopinno Posts: 39,178
    Me thinks that a bell is not enough:

    315CVK1PMUL._SY300_.jpg
    S - https://i.pinimg.com/564x/35/cd/f1/35cdf125f02216d233fc9aa90f8607e6.jpg
    W - (still at Atlantic boulevard). Neill broke his collarbone.

    "Why are the tractors beeping in the night? I dunno woss goin' on"
    Tricky, 9yo
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