No ordinary bell

There was a time when I was too cool to even contemplate putting a bell on my bike. If I’d have turned up to a club run with one I would have been tarred and feathered. Ridiculed and sent home to remove it.

Fast forward 20 years and 1. my cycling has changed a fair bit and 2. I’m old enough not to really give a shit what people think anymore.

Retired, I do dream about a return to my racing days but realistically they’re over but back then just looking pro in the amateur peloton was a competition in itself.

Nowadays I like to mix the terrain up a bit. I can’t justify an MTB where I live without driving somewhere with it so I have a gravel bike for that and occasionally wander offroad where, inevitably you are going to meet walkers and horse riders. For a long time I resisted a bell opting to politely shout instead but it became apparent even with a gentle shout of ‘cyclist or a bib, bib that’ those non-cyclists sharing the trails either ignored you, didn’t hear you or despised you for just wanting to safely get past. After a couple of ‘interractions’ with some self-entitled cocks I decided action was needed and I purchased a bell.

Don’t bother

Initially it was just a low-profile £5 ebay job. Definitely not the loudest but the results were a revelation. Ping, ping and walkers would turn, check and politely move aside for us both to safely pass. Who knew? Sometimes it was like what blue lights do on a main road as drivers scuttle out of the way. But… and there is always a but, during lockdown with more and more people taking up exercise, a lot of walkers and runners use earphones for music while out and that presented its own problems. Often they couldn’t hear me, sometimes even when I was right behind them only for them to then jump out of their skin and perhaps think I just snook upon them. So I searched for a better bell. But the choice of bells is pretty small for 31.8mm bars. Eventually I found one by fluke on a Facebook ad. I took a punt and paid my £12 shipped from China and a week or two later it turned up.

Its a bit fiddly to fit using a metal band that clips inside it and around the bars then the top screw on the dome screws down and pulls it all together and tight. But…..what a ping. It’s a really loud but more importantly a really piercing one that lingers and penetrates those earphones.

You can buy one here

So far on all my rides it has been super successful warning walkers from afar that I’m approaching and they move aside which is great for all of us sharing the trails

I’m that impressed I’ve bought another

It’s a revelation!

2 thoughts on “No ordinary bell

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