The best bike bells are the perfect way to alert others of your presence, to navigate through traffic, and ride safely on trails. Most are cheap, convenient, and fit on almost any handlebar. But there are others that are pristine, that stand out in a crowd while also doing the job.
You can find expensive and shiny bike bells with a retro look, or little thumb pieces that give a little ring. There are even bike horns, which are loud enough for cars to hear, and to alert others as you're speeding down a mountain bike trail.
Many cyclists find bells off-putting because of their look - but the latest crop of bike bell technology includes some impressive little contraptions, many of which can almost hide behind a cable or under a handlebar. Bells help increase cycling safety, both for the rider themselves and for surrounding pedestrians. Starting at just a few pounds, we’ve put together a list of the best bells for cycling, and then at the end of this article, we’ll help you determine which bike bell is best for you.
Best bike bells available today
Best overall: Trigger Bell – Unique Safer Bike Bell
A carefully-placed bell for safety and convenience
Price: £9.99 | Noise: medium-loud | Weight: 26g | Colour: black | Size: 4.6 x 3.2 x 2.5 cm
Fitting on the left-hand hood of drop bars, this affordable brass bell is meant to increase safety as much as it is meant to make noise. Great for trail-riding, city streets, or busy cycle paths, the Trigger Bell is said to improve ride safety, as well as be small and discrete. It doesn’t have to go on your hoods either – the mount is meant to fit 20-40mm handlebars, and can be fit on your drops or even flat bars.
Best cheap bell: Bonmixc Bike Bell Brass Mini
Affordable, capable, and easy to use
Price: £5.99 / $6.99 | Noise: clear, loud, double-ding | Weight: 47g | Colours: silver, gold | Size : unlisted (it's small)
The Bonmixc Bike Bell is an Amazon best-seller for good reason. At a relatively low price point, the bell does its job well, while also being convenient and aesthetic. Its double-ding noise is plenty loud to alert pedestrians, and can be installed in under a minute. While it can be installed on either the left or right side of your handlebars, the mount can only fit handlebars with an outer diameter of 21-23mm, making it unsuitable for bikes with thick handlebars.
Best road bike bell: Spurcycle Original Vintage Bell
A sleek and great-looking bell with a top-dollar price tag
Price: £49.99 / $49.99 | Noise: loud, high-quality | Weight: 45g | Colours: black, silver, brass | Size : 2.5cm high x 3cm across
There are few bells we’ve encountered that are as impressive as the Spurcycle Original Vintage Bell. The bell has a small footprint, vintage design, and fits in a variety of positions and styles. Ringing at close to 100 decibels, the bell can even be heard by drivers or pedestrians in a crowded city. The only limits of the Spurcycle are in its mounts – there are just two available (made for 31.8mm and 22.2mm handlebars) – which can scrape your bars. While many may be put off by the price tag, those who can afford it will enjoy a top-quality bell that works as impressively as it looks.
Best mountain bike bell: Timber! Mountain Bike Trail Bell
The best mountain bike bell that can also be used in and around town
Price: £24.50 / $24.50 | Noise: Continuous cow-bell (can be turned off) | Weight : 69g | Colours: black | Size: unlisted (mount + cowbell)
Designed specifically for mountain biking and trail riding, the Timber! Mountain Bike Trail Bell makes a continuous chiming noise that can easily be turned on or off. Its unique design is convenient for mountain bike riders and those on busy paths because you won’t have to constantly be moving your hand or thumb to ring the bell. Instead, the unit operates on its own, leaving you free to safely shred the trails while still alerting others of your presence.
Best-looking bell: Lion Urban
A beautiful bike bell made from copper, zinc, and nickle alloy that sounds as lovely as it looks
Price: £18.00 | Noise: loud ding, lasts 20 seconds | Weight: unlisted | Colours: brass | Size : 55mm in diameter
A classic bike bell taken right out of the 19th century, the Lion Urban is as much a piece of art as it is a bike bell. The ‘ding’ sound is loud, and lasts up to 20 seconds, making it perfect for city riding. There are a few different sizes of stainless steel mounts for your handlebars or stem, and you can even have the bell custom-engraved.
Best cruiser bike bell: Firmstrong Classic Bicycle Bell
A great, big bell option for adults and kids
Price: £18.00 / $18.00 | Noise: loud chime | Weight: 1.6oz | Colours: many, including blue, chrome, black, white, red, yellow, and more | Size: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
This bell can do it all. Fitting on road bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, beach cruisers and more, the Firmstrong Classic Bike Bell is a great option for any cyclist. It’s a bit larger than other models on this list, so it won’t be as discrete (in case you’re trying to hide the fact that you have a bell on your road bike). You can choose from almost any colour, although the price tag will be off-putting to some.
Best retro bell: Bobbin Embossed Ringer Bell
A classic-looking bell at an affordable price
Price: £7.95 | Noise: Ring ring | Weight: unlisted | Colours: silver, pink, yellow, "duck egg" | Size: 55mm in diameter
Unlike the higher-end bells above, the Bobbin Embossed Ringer Bell is a retro bell at a fraction the price. It comes in a wide range of styles and colours, and fit easily onto a variety of bikes. Simplicity is key here, and these bells are perfect for commuters and first-time bell-buyers, although it may be a bit too big for road or mountain bike riders.
Second-best value bell: RockBros Handlebar Stainless Steel Bell
Versatile bell that is loud, stylish, and affordable
Price: £9.99 / $9.99 | Noise: loud | Weight: 47g | Colours: black, silver, gold, copper, bronze | Size: 4.1 x 3.6 x 2.7cm
The RockBros bells looks and feels similar to the Spurcycle Vintage Bell, but it costs only a fraction of the price. While Spurcycle leads the charge in terms of originality and quality, RockBros offers a valuable option in many different colours, and a one-size-fits-all mount that fits on just about any bike. The only downside is that the RockBros Bell’s lever may be hard to reach, making it better for adults than kids, and not the best for a high-speed or traffic-filled scenario.
Best bike horn: RockBros Electronic Bicycle Horn/Bell
Loud bike horn for maximum alertness
Price: £8.99 / $8.99 | Noise: 90 decibels | Weight: 33g | Colours: black, blue, red, green, purple | Size: 3.5cm x 3cm
Moving away from bike bells for a minute, we have the RockBros Electronic Bike Horn. This small little contraption is a beast and has three different tone levels that can be heard by cars and busy pedestrians. The unit is simple and easy to install, water-resistant, and comes with a replaceable lithium battery.
Best value bell: Nutcase Thumbdinger Bell
A small and affordable bell for all ages
Price: £8.99 / $8.99 | Noise: polite | Weight: 0.95oz | Colours: black, orange, blue, green | Size: 3 5/8in x 4 7/8in
Thumbdinger is actually quite a good description of the Nutcase Bell. Rather than a horn, ‘dong’, or loud ring, the Nutcase Thumbdinger is much more subtle. You can alert walkers on the cycle path without startling them, and they’re cheap enough to buy for the whole family. The bell is small and sleek, and can fit on a variety of adults and kids bikes.
What to look for in a bike bell
Now that we’ve covered the gamut of best bike bells and horns, let’s help you find the best one for you. There are a few things to consider when shopping for a bike bell, so let’s jump right in.
How loud should my bike bell be?
Depending on where you’re riding, you could need a friendly bell that’s just a reminder or a horn that alerts others of your presence. Either way, you’re going to want a bell that fits the location. In other words, don’t bring a 90db horn on a bike path or you’ll end up scaring a lot of people, and a quiet ding will be unheard in the noise of a busy city. But if you’re shredding mountain bike trails in riding through city traffic, a loud horn is exactly what you need.
How much should I spend?
There are a few options on this list that cost 10x as much as others, so it’s worth keeping your budget in mind when shopping for a bike bell. The more expensive options are usually higher quality, made with better materials, and look a lot better. Functionally, they don't offer any more features than the cheaper options, but they are much more attractive.
Do I want it to be hidden or on show?
Do you want to hide your bike bell, or make it known? A few of the above bells stand out like a sore thumb, colourful orbs slapped on top of our handlebars. While other are slim and sleek, they fit right under or on top of the bars, and if you route your cables a certain way, it would be very hard to spot them. Casual commuters won’t mind the look of a bike bell, but others will want to keep it hidden on their local bunch ride.
Ensure your bike bell fits
Before making your final decision, make sure the bell you want fits on your bike’s handlebars. The bells and horns on this list all fit standard handlebars, but some are more limited than others. If you’re shopping for a kid’s bike, make sure the mount is small enough to fit safely around their handlebars.
Be aware of durability
Bike bells can be cheap – less than £10/$10 as we’ve seen – but that means that some of them are replaceable. A cheap bell will not be made from top-quality materials, and so it won’t last as long if you’re using it for daily commutes in the rain. A more expensive bell made from steel or brass, for example, will cost a bit more upfront, but will likely last you a long time. If you’re shopping for kids, opt for the cheaper bell in case they break it.
Zach is a freelance writer, the head of ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level rider in road, track, and Zwift racing. He writes about everything cycling-related, from product reviews and advertorials, to feature articles and power analyses. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Marian University-Indianapolis, Zach discovered a passion for writing that soon turned into a full-fledged career. In between articles, Zach spends his time working with endurance athletes of all abilities and ages at ZNehr Coaching. After entering the sport at age 17, Zach went on to have a wonderful road racing career that included winning the 2017 Collegiate National Time Trial Championships and a 9th place finish at the 2019 US Pro National Time Trial Championships.
Nowadays, Zach spends most of his ride time indoors, competing on RGT Cycling and racing in the Zwift Premier League with NeXT eSport.
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