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It could go like this. “Ooh, good morning, can I just …”. “Where’s yer bloody bell, you should have a bell on that thing” and at other times, it’ll be more like this. Ding, ding. “Yeah alright, I’m not bloody deaf ya know, there’s no need to go ringing that thing”.

Bicycle bells are a pointed instrument. Their use is generally directed straight at someone and those on the receiving end, can at times, become somewhat grumpy. This grumpiness isn’t always what it might first appear; sometimes it’s simply a knee-jerk reaction to a sudden, unexpected noise. Other times, it might be a mechanism to defend the grumps embarrassment that you were able to ‘sneak up’ on them but mostly, they’re grumpy because you had the nerve to ring your bell AT THEM. Sadly but probably not surprisingly, if you decide to forgo your bell, then the dog walker, rambler, woman with pushchair or jogger in question, will be grumpy because you didn’t ring your bell AT THEM. Do I ding or don’t I ding? When you’re out enjoying yourself, it can be a tough decision; you really don’t need the confrontation.

Bolt-on and QR versions. Up for off, down for on … simple but surprisingly effective at banishing grumpiness. 


The Timber bell aims to change all that and restore peace and harmony to the world’s cycleways and towpaths. In essence, it’s a bell with a switch, so it can either be on or off. Obviously, as you might expect, if it’s ‘off’ then nothing happens. However, slide the switch to ‘on’ and the simple action of cycling will produce an audible warning of your impending arrival. There’s two models available and they differ by their means of attachment. One is described as ‘bolt-on’, so as you can imagine – it bolts on and requires a 4mm allen key to fit or remove. The other model, is quick release and is held in place by an O-ring. The bolt-on version will fit bars from 22.2mm up to 31.8mm and the QR bell also fits new fangled 35mm bars too.

In use, the bell produces a nice jingly-jangly, cow bell type sound that can apparently be heard from 200m away. Although still a bell, the beauty of the Timber bell is that when it’s on, it’s almost passive. It’s still making a noise and giving other people fair warning of your presence but in a far less direct and pointed way … because you’re not ringing it AT THEM. That might sound mad but it really does appear to work. The random jingling also seems quite good at preventing suicidal sheep from running directly in front of you and fending off overly inquisitive cows, which makes it just as handy when out in the hills.

Get yours HERE and help bring harmony and understanding back to the world because life’s too short for grumps.

5 Comments

  1. James Pawson says:

    Nice. I saw bear bells when in Japan that could be switched on and off in a similar fashion. Nice to see it adapted for bikes.

  2. Tim Doran says:

    That looks really good. I cycle on the cycle paths around Bath and get a mixed reaction of "where's your bell" or "don't ring that bell like you own the road". This looks great.

    I have lion bell and it is beautiful. A present from my partner, and no connection to the company.
    http://www.lionbellworks.co.uk/webshop.php#!/Classic-Bicycle-Bell-handlebar-mount/p/8200943/category=2594390

  3. Chris says:

    I've been using one of these for a while and it does work well most of the time. As Stu mentions, due to it ringing constantly (when switched on) walkers tend to just move to one side and let you pass, as a bonus they usually seem to do this with a smile on their face as well. Downsides? It could potentially catch the top tube on full lock (although it misses it on all my bikes) and it doesn't work on smooth tracks or cycle paths as it needs bumpy terrain to make it ring. Overall I'm glad I got one though and it really helps on shared trails that are bumpy enough to make it work.

  4. Chris Reid says:

    I just use my Hope free hub!

  5. Matt Mee says:

    It’s a brilliant bell. Most people smile at the tinkle as I approach. With a conventional bell elderly pedestrians are frequently startled and react as if they’ve been slapped in the face. Plenty of people ignore a polite “excuse me”.
    Probably not that great for urban riding.
    Agree that a noisy hub (or fat bike tyres) can do a similar job!

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