Bells On the Trail

The trails here in Santa Barbara are in danger of being closed to mountain bikes (which would essentially mean unicycles too). A local group called the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers have been asking that anyone riding on local trails to wear a bell (looks like a miniature cow bell). Since we’ve started riding the trails in danger, we too have participated and now refer to the bells as biff bells since they really go off when you eat it. We wear them attached to the bottom of our backpacks.

So far we’ve had very good interactions with hikers and we’re always quick to yield the right away on the single-track and stop completely on all trails for equestrians. Of course it’s probably safe to assume that most are too in shock from the sight of us to be confrontational.

Just wondering if anyone else wears a bell when they ride off-road and if you’ve had any confrontations with hikers?


Re: Bells On the Trail

i can’t believe i’m the first one to point out that it’s all making sense now
just scroll down to the tony melton post

i’ve been wearing bear bells on my mtn bike for the past 8 years. the hikers really appreciate it going up and down the hills. it also helps me out as i don’t have to yell out. i can also go down faster as people hear me coming. the best thing about the bell is that it adds pressure to the guy in front of you as you close in for the “kill.” i also know that one guy was irritated by it. i think he was just feeling the heat as i caught him.

i want one

i want one they look cool any where in the uk got them?

Re: Bells On the Trail

thinuniking <> wrote:

> i want one they look cool any where in the uk got them?

You can sometimes find them in out door shops in the wilder areas. OR
try the early leaning centre, a little kids toy shop or your local
habadashery for sleigh bells on velco straps, its the same thing pretty


Union of UK Unicyclists
By and for UK riders

Re: Re: Bells On the Trail

But they won’t have the Kona logo on… it makes all the difference… :slight_smile:


So Matt, where did the bell in the picture come from, is it yours?

Sarah, are the bells you are thinking of a sleigh bell design. Aaron has always wanted to put a big bike bell on his uni for road use. It strikes me for muni it is an excellent idea and might be good to give walkers that little more warning before we reach them and politely say “excuse me please” or whatever.

Where can we get them with Kona on them? Aaron would not be so impressed if it came from the Early Learning Centre!!


Bells can be found in a variety of places.

The following are a few of my bells and where I got them…

The cow bell came from a farm in central Queensland, Australia.

Morris dancer bells of varying sizes can be purchased from music stores across the UK (Hobgoblin, I think). I bought mine in Manchester.

I found the antique hunting dog bells in a second hand shop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. They have a great tone and are surprising loud.

You can also get sheep / goat bells. I bought the pictured on from a bell maker in Nay (near Pau in the Pyranese region, southern France).

Most of my costume bells come from habberdashery shops. You can sometimes find them in music shops.

Try putting two bells of complementing tone on together. It gives you a nicer sound that should carry further.

Wayne van Wijk


The one in the picture is mine that I bought at a LBS here in Santa Barbara. Looks like they are also available HERE

I’ve seen people wear all sorts of different bells. Sleigh bells, bells off of cat collers, and even broken xmas ornaments. Anything to help let people know that a bike is on the way down. I’d still like to stress that it doesn’t give you the right to bomb the hill. Just gives people a heads up not to freak out when they see a piece of machinery coming around the corner. I always give right away to hikers and equestrians.


Obviously you don’t live in Hawaii. That bell with the clip on it is used by fishermen to tell them when they have a fish on the line. At which time, they put down their beer and pickup the rod. That what they use them around here for anyway.

I have been meaning to put a bell on my street cycle. I was planning to put a bike bell (or horn) on my cycle, but one like the one Matt has might be better. Thanks for the good idea.


DUH!!! I completely forgot about the fishing bells. The alligator clip on those would make it easy to attach. The Kona bell is quite a bit more resonant (sp?) than the fishing bells that I’ve seen.

I’ve heard bells are good for alerting wild life too.

Those of you going to the California Muni Weekend should read this notice I found on another web site:

Beware of Bears

The California State Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen, and golfers to take extra precautions and be on the alert for bears while in the Yosemite, Tahoe, and Northern Sierra areas.

They advise people to wear noise-producing devices, such as little bells, on their clothing to alert but not startle the bears unexpectedly.

They also advise you to carry pepper spray, in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity.

People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings:

Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur.
Grizzly bear droppings have bells in them and smell like pepper spray.

Done. Those would be my creaky Profile cranks and my Magura brake on Sun doublewide rim… :smiley:

Fortunately there are no Grizzly bears in California, except for that one on the state flag.

Re: Bells On the Trail

Cumbria_Muni&Trials_Club <> wrote:
> Sarah, are the bells you are thinking of a sleigh bell design. Aaron
> has always wanted to put a big bike bell on his uni for road use. It
> strikes me for muni it is an excellent idea and might be good to give
> walkers that little more warning before we reach them and politely say
> “excuse me please” or whatever.

Yes, Sleigh bells are about the nearest thing I’ve seen to a bear bell in
the UK. The bells from the haberdasher are cheap but not very sturdy.
There are also those little ding bells for bikes where you ping a rubber
thing against the bell, might mount ok on a bar end. A few spokey dokeys
could work for alerting peds but might drive you nuts when your alone. I
did once try a noise maker ( a zip tie on the frame with the tag hitting
the spokes), but the noise annoyed me more than it was noticed by the
drunks who tried to walk in front of me so i took it off the coker.

As for the branding issue, I have some stickers from a mountain bike
mag …


Union of UK Unicyclists
By and for UK riders

Speaking of bells for wildlife, there was a bearmauling which ended in death yesterday in the backcountry around Aspen. Details are still sketchy at this point. And on the MUni ride I did today, there was fresh bear skat every 20 yards or so, big skat piles. Kind of scary, as a friend got caught between a sow and cub just the other day. He made it through ok. The bears are trying to get as fat as they can these days. Every neighborhood in and around Aspen has there own bear, we get to see them all the time. I would not like to run into one on the trail though. This time of year I sing alot in the areas that I might expect to see one.