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Bike Bell – History and Appearance

bike bell

If you’re a cyclist, you know how much discomfort other participants of the road movement can cause you. They may don’t let you bypass them or give you the way. Very often, it looks like they play deaf because they ignore your presence on the roads or didn’t hear that you’re coming.

Bicycles are quiet, it is true and they produce much less noise than cars and mopeds. Some pedestrians are even louder than many cyclists are. Today, it’s hard to ride without a bike bell, because city streets, roads, parks, and even bicycle lanes are often stuffed with cars, motor vehicles, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

The importance of a bike bell

bell on bicycle

To let everyone know that you’re coming and that you need to pass or to attract the attention of the nearest drivers or cyclists, cyclists use a bike bell. This simple, but yet useful invention dates back to the distant 1890s when bicycles had only entered the city streets.

Although the ancestor of a modern bike bell was quite different, the main principle of its functioning remains the same – you use your thumb to move a small handle lever that makes this special «ding-ding» or «ring-ring» sound.

Types of bike bells

bicycle bell

There are two main types of bike bells: classic bike bells and air horns. Classic bike bells had preserved the original design and working principle of ingenious bike bells. Once you flick your thumb over the handle lever, it hits the main, hollow steel hemisphere, producing a specific sound because of the echo effect.

There’s another type of classic bike bells. Those bells produce the sound thanks to the gear moving. When you move a handle lever, which is located in parallel to the handlebar, it brings into play the gears. Those gears strike the bell’s hemisphere making the «ring-ring» sound.

Air horn bells work in another way. A cyclist needs to squeeze a rubber bulb. Outgoing through the horn’s opening air will produce a loud, harsh to the ear sound.

«Ding-ding» bells are much more common than air horn bells. Nowadays there are different bike bells. Some of them are modern-looking, some have preserved the classical appearance. Some new models of bells work with electricity. Electrical bells are not a rarity and it isn’t surprising considering the level of the technological process.

The best bike bell has a classical design and can serve for decades. Bike bell is a necessity if you cycle within the city and face a lot of other road movement participants. Today’s streets are loud and there is only a little chance that you would be heard without a bell. It’s up to you which bell type you should use. It depends mostly on the surroundings and appearance of your bicycle.

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