Bells

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
grufty
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Joined: 26 Sep 2017, 2:24pm

Bells

Postby grufty » 22 Nov 2020, 4:02pm

Has anyone else noticed that many walkers don't seem to hear a bicycle bell but will respond to voice? Often I'll ring my bell several times but won't get a response unless I call "good morning" or similar pleasantry. I have no problem slowing down to walking pace and will always apologise if I startle someone. I usually start tringing about 100 yards away but will stop about 10 yards away and use voice. My hearing is deteriorating with age, but I still hear a bell.


The other thing I've noticed recently is the number of people who rely solely on hearing before crossing a road. Its a good job noise will be added to electric vehicles!

simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: Bells

Postby simonhill » 22 Nov 2020, 4:20pm

I have had people telling me off for not having a bell, when I have been ringing it. Other people say, oh I heard something, but didn't realise it was a bike bell because they are so rare nowadays.

I ring, ring and if no reaction, then I use my voice. In more of an emergency (eg someone stepping out in front of me) I always shout.

My biggest bug bear with bells is the lack of them on other (faster) bikes that pass on a fairly narrow cycle path. They whizz past with no warning - I think this is dangerous behaviour. It's ironic that cyclists complain about close passes by cars, but don't worry about doing it when on a bike.

grufty
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Joined: 26 Sep 2017, 2:24pm

Re: Bells

Postby grufty » 22 Nov 2020, 4:28pm

I was often startled by faster "stealth" riders, not so much of a problem since recently fitting a handlebar mirror.

gregoryoftours
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Re: Bells

Postby gregoryoftours » 22 Nov 2020, 4:35pm

Quite a lot of 'ping' bells are pretty hard to hear, even though they sound loud enough when you're operating them. The big 'ding dong' and old fashioned 'ring ring' ones carry sound the best, I think. Some of the more expensive 'ping' bells such as lion bells of Barnsley cut through way better than the cheaper ones too. I guess a 2 pronged attack of voice and bell might be the best, although it could just lead to confusion paralysis!

Barks
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Re: Bells

Postby Barks » 22 Nov 2020, 4:45pm

I very much doubt anyone would near a bicycle bell from a 100 yards away. You are undermining your own point right from the start. Just wait till you are reasonably close, a few yards away, and ask politely, proceed past slowly.

Jdsk
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Re: Bells

Postby Jdsk » 22 Nov 2020, 4:54pm

Some of my family use pinging bells, I don't and call either "Hello" or "Bike". There are some occasions, for example in crowds, where I'd use one if I had it.

Not a big deal either way for me.

Maintaining speed that's dangerous would be.

Jonathan

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mjr
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Re: Bells

Postby mjr » 22 Nov 2020, 5:04pm

Barks wrote:I very much doubt anyone would near a bicycle bell from a 100 yards away.

As said above: Lion bell.

You are undermining your own point right from the start. Just wait till you are reasonably close, a few yards away, and ask politely, proceed past slowly.

As I have written before, if someone sneaks up behind me walking and suddenly speaks, you will get an earful about not ringing your bell and possibly your way barred by my stick! Just get a decent bell for a few quid.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

jaybee66
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Joined: 4 Aug 2020, 11:55am

Re: Bells

Postby jaybee66 » 22 Nov 2020, 5:06pm

The answer could be this https://ebay.to/2IZ3seS worlds loudest bicycle horn 140db !!!

jaybee66
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Joined: 4 Aug 2020, 11:55am

Re: Bells

Postby jaybee66 » 22 Nov 2020, 5:08pm

Sorry broken link try this for the worlds loudest cycling horn https://ebay.to/2HntYO6

Jdsk
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Re: Bells

Postby Jdsk » 22 Nov 2020, 5:18pm

mjr wrote:As I have written before, if someone sneaks up behind me walking and suddenly speaks, you will get an earful about not ringing your bell and possibly your way barred by my stick!

That's unfortunate. Our encounters either way round seem to proceed without any aggression or violence.

Jonathan

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Bells

Postby Cyril Haearn » 22 Nov 2020, 5:22pm

Nothing funny about using a loud horn 140db
It could cause shock causing a fatal heart attack leading to a personslaughter charge
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

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simonineaston
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Re: Bells

Postby simonineaston » 22 Nov 2020, 5:35pm

I have had people telling me off for not having a bell, when I have been ringing it.
Lost count. A reasonable conclusion is that the pedestrians don't hear the bell... at least, not in any meaningful way. Not their fault. And of course, there's that old paradox - if they do hear it, then they split, like sheep spotting a collie, into fractured groups, suddenly occupying the free space you were aiming for, a second ago...
byyeee,
SiE

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freiston
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Re: Bells

Postby freiston » 22 Nov 2020, 5:50pm

I often ring my bell (a Crane Sakura "pinger") 50 yards or more behind the walker (I would say sometimes but rarely 100 yards away and mostly about 60-70 yards away). I usually give a quick double ping and it is almost always on quiet narrow country lanes. Results are varied but I would say more often than not, the walker(s) will turn and see me, and get in to the side. If they don't, I give another double ping about 30 yards away. If that doesn't get a reaction, I slow right down and pass at not much more than (their) walking speed, loudly saying hello as I approach. It is rare that they don't react after a second ring. I usually say hello as I pass irrespective. If it's a horse in front travelling the same direction as me, I usually try to "softly" shout hello instead of ringing the bell and ask if it's ok to pass.

I don't use shared paths enough to say what happens there but there is a short stretch of pavement on a fast road where I cycle along for about 200 yards from when I turn onto the road before turning off into a churchyard as a shortcut. Normally, I don't encounter pedestrians there but if there is a a pedestrian in front of me, I don't ring my bell but slow down to their walking pace and stay well behind them unless they see me and gesture/manoeuvre for me to pass (same in the churchyard).

Bad experiences are so rare that I can't remember one.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

drossall
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Re: Bells

Postby drossall » 22 Nov 2020, 6:34pm

I firmly believe that people differ in their reactions to bells. Some respond well. Some, we're told above, don't hear them at all. Some, I think, find them aggressive (but then certain cyclists use them in aggressive ways!)

At least for country riding, I've always preferred to whistle a cheerful tune. Horse riders, in particular, will hear that from hundreds of yards away, and it usually produces a very positive reaction and a good-natured exchange as I pass.

Jdsk
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Re: Bells

Postby Jdsk » 22 Nov 2020, 6:37pm

I click and keep talking for animals.

Jonathan