When most people think of bike bells, they think of kids’ bikes. Bells, handlebar streamers, and baskets – the hallmarks of a childhood bike.
But bells (like baskets) aren’t just for the kids – you’ll have to make up your own mind on handlebar streamers. In some states (New York springs to mind) it’s illegal to ride a bike without a bell. Especially if you’re riding on designated bike paths, where there’s no traffic noise to contend with, a bell is an easy way to alert other cyclists or pedestrians that you’re approaching. And it’s a lot nicer than “On Your Left!!” (Although given the number of people who wander about in a daze with their earbuds in, a “ding ding” from the bell isn’t always going to cut it – you might still have to yell some of the time).
In addition to keeping you from getting a ticket and helping alert others to your presence, a bell is also a great way to express your personal style on the bike. Whether you want to be funny, or serious, make a fashion statement or a political statement, you can do it with your bell.
Check out some of the possibilities:
And yes, Montague owners, if you were wondering, it’s easy to put a bell on your Montague bike. Montague handlebars are standard diameter and wide enough to accommodate a large horn, if that’s what you decide to go with. (Although if it’s big enough, the horn might affect the folded size your bike – but then it would have to be BIG).
Do you have a bell on your bike? What does it look like? Big or small? How loud? Do you find it’s effective when you’re in traffic? On the bike path? It’s illegal here in Massachusetts, but does anyone have an air horn attached to their bike?