Jingle Bear Bells

I bought a bike accessory for Jolene and I as a stocking stuffer for Christmas - a bear bell.

TallSteve has one on his bike and told us about it. He rides solo a lot in American Fork Canyon where there have been a few bear incidents. And while a bike makes a fair amount of noise, a bell makes sure a bear knows you're coming so it can move away. A reasonable precaution.

But the bell is used more frequently to warn people. I can't count the number of times I've startled hikers as I've come up behind them on my bike. I try to make noise (cough, squeal the brakes, etc.) but they often don't hear me. Steve says hikers usually hear the bell and it doesn't startle them so the encounter is more pleasant.

I wish I would have had it for my bike ride yesterday as I came up behind 4 groups of people and none of them heard me coming. Their ears were covered and the crunching of walking on the snow was too loud. The bell is installed on my bike now.

This bell has some nice features:

  • The velcro strap attaches easily to handlebars.
  • The jingle bell makes a pleasant sound that is about the right loudness.
  • The mesh bag slips over the bell when not in use with a magnet at the bottom that attracts the clapper and stops it from ringing the bell.
This bear bell is made by Coghlan and I bought it for around $3 at C-A-L Ranch, but it's also available at REI and Campmor. Coghlan has another bear bell in colors that uses a strap for the magnet instead of a bag - seems like it should work for biking too.


Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

that is the COOLEST thing!

Do you think it would be worth putting on my road bike...at least for the musical tickling of the bell?

KanyonKris said...

A regular bike bell may work better for the road bike so you can ring it when you need it, but don't have a bell jingling the whole time.

I like using the jingle bell for the mountain bike because often the trails have sharp corners and objects hat prevent me from seeing far ahead so the bell may give the hiker some audible warning before I can see them. I always try to ride slow enough given the conditions that I can stop, but the bell is mostly to prevent me startling someone who doesn't hear me coming.

Anonymous said...

Oh great people will think this is a good idea and in a few years it will be the rule that all bikers must have a bell. All we need is more freaking rules.

South County Ciclista said...

I good idea for sure. I ride most of the time solo except for lunch rides. I have often thought I need something of the sort. Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

That is the exact same one I have- works great!

Anonymous said...

As a avid hiker, I always feel bad when I don't realize a biker is coming up behind me, often we have our 3 year old who talks the whole time, and on my back, our 10 month old, who babbles the whole time. I would rather hear the bell so I don't slow the bikers down and have time to get all of us out of the way safely then have an accident in the middle of nowhere. Plus we are constantly stopping in the trail to give drinks, observe bugs, or catch toads, not the safest way to be surprised by a bike. We sound like a platoon of school children, but the bikes are silent. I especially hate it when we are on a steep hill and don't hear a bike, I know having to slow down and try to keep the momentum up to keep going up the hill is a hassle. We don't mind sharing the trails, and enjoy the kids getting exposed to different interests from us. If you don't want to wear a bear bell, yell at us, we don't care. I would rather everyone have a safe and enjoyable time on the trails then have to be air lifted out somewhere.
Happy Trailing to All!

Anonymous said...

WIll buy these and put on our saddle while trail riding......good idea