Bicycle Bells and Horns
For cyclists seeking safety on shared bikeways and paths, a bicycle bell or horn is a tool to notify pedestrians and other cyclists of your approach. For trail riders, the right bicycle bell can also serve to deter bears. For young riders, bicycle bells and horns add an element of fun and style.Who are the major manufacturers of bike bells?
Bike bells are manufactured by several companies around the world, including the following:
- Knog: An Australian company that manufactures bike locks, accessories, and blinking lights, Knog designed an OI bell that hugs the handlebars.
- Bell Sports: An American company that offers a bell that is weather resistant, Bell Sports offers a bell that combines both a chiming sound and one with a compass.
- Delta: This brand manufactures an air-powered blasting horn called the Airzound. This unit operates at high decibels and may be suitable for noisy, urban environments.
- Kettler: This brand manufactures a bike bell with a thumb tab to activate the chiming.
- Crane: This Japanese company manufactures a brass bell that clamps to the handlebars.
A bike bell is mounted to the handlebars of a bike. As to which side of the handlebars, the right or the left, there is no consensus nor any regulation or law requiring the bell to be on either the right or the left side. Preference for the right side or left side mounting may depend on whether you are right or left-handed, the location and grip of the brake levers for your bike, and the overall design or type of bike.Should you consider a bell or a horn?
Bells and horns are used on bikes for both your safety and the safety of those who may be sharing the road, path, or bikeway with you. As well as pedestrians, you may encounter automobile traffic, which may necessitate a loud horn.
Assessing your habits and where you ride is the first step in determining how much noise your bell or horn will need to generate to be heard by passive or active threats to your security while on your bike. In an urban area with a high concentration of automobile traffic, the use of an air-powered horn may be necessary to ensure you will be heard by the motorists. For those concerned with alerting pedestrians of their approach, a bell may be all that you need.