28 June, 2017

Five Ways to Mount a Bell

By Scott

I've not been a big advocate of bells until recently. Most of my riding for years was on roads - ideally small lane ways or back roads where traffic of any kind - vehicular or pedestrian - was light to non existent. Didn't feel the need for a bell if I was rolling along those sort of places, but lately I've been on more bike paths and such, where interactions with pedestrians is more common and I find myself using a bell more often.  The rise of folks wearing ear buds while out walking means that the old trick of back pedaling and clicking the brake levers doesn't seem to work when folks are walking along a path listening to the latest Taylor Swift album. My experience so far as been that our bells seem to have a tone that people respond to well.  It's not harsh like a horn, but more of a gentle reminder to folks that others are out there and would like to pass alongside them.

So I hear you saying, "Gee Scott, that sounds a lot like how my riding has been going. How do I get a bell mounted to my bike?"  Well, glad you asked, 'cause we've got a blog post to help you figure out what will work for you.

Now all these options are based on using our Temple bell, brass or silver - you choose to match or contrast the build you have on your bike. The brass striker bell will work with option #1 and 2 only.

(Tomii Cycles Hammered bell mounted on bars)

Set up #1 - Handlebars - If you have standard  road bars or flat bars, you can clamp the bar right to the handlebars. Use a flat head or Philips screwdriver to loosen the clamp from the packaging, put it on the left or right side of the bar (I'd go with the dominant hand side) and then tighten it up. Done.

(Silver bell mounted on VO quill stem)

Set up #2 - Quill stem - A 1" quill stem is the right diameter to attach a bell to. So if you have no room on the bars, you can clamp the bell around the quill portion of the stem. Same rule as #1 - set up bell on dominant hand side. Done.

(Silver bell mounted to retro spacer)

Set up #3 - Spacer replacement - We have a couple options for this. You can replace one of the spacers in your headset (1 inch or 1 1/8") with our bell spacer mount. Or you can use the retro spacer if you have a 1 inch headset without a lot of extra room.

Set up #4 - GC stem - On our top of the line Grand Cru quill stem, we have a threaded attachment point about an inch below the top of the quill portion. You can screw the temple bell right into this, in the same way that the constructeur builders of the 50's and 60's did it. Igor did a nice write up here with some great photos.

(Brass bell mounted to shifter boss)

Set up #5 - Shifter boss attachment - All our frames have braze on's on the down tube for running down tube shifters or cool cable stops. But let's say you are running a 1 X set up and the left shifter boss is not being used. Well, here's a great opportunity to put a bell there. Fasten a down tube cover to keep it looking clean. Install a set screw and nut into the bell and screw the bell straight into the boss and voila, you're ready to rock.

Anyone have another place that they've put one of our bells?


ploeg said...

Take a Minoura accessory holder with a short bar and configure it so that the bar on the accessory holder is vertical when you mount the accessory holder on your handlebars. Then, cut a hole through the middle of a 2.5" x 2.5" x 2" piece of sponge and push the sponge onto the accessory holder bar. Secure the sponge by twisting a size 107 rubber band around the top of the accessory holder bar and gently pulling the sponge around the rubber band. You can then mount a size 4/0 Swiss cowbell thusly. Genuine Swiss cowbells are preferred as the taper on the bottom helps keep the bell from bouncing off of the mount when you hit a bump.

Zed F. said...

I like being able to ring the bell without taking my hand off the brake lever, just in case I need to stop or swerve in a hurry. I'm using an Osaka Roadie Clip-on bell clamped to the edge of my brake hood, like in the first photo on this page:


It works, but the bell is small and high-picked. I'd like a similar set-up with a larger bell.

dcain said...

I have a friend who mounted his bell on the seat stay rack-mount braze-ons. Not super handy for frequent use, but I think he thought it was a way to keep it available but out of the way for occasional use.

OlyBike said...

Sad that VO doesn't sell the black version of the threadless spacer bell mount for 1" threadless steer tubes. Silver just doesn't color coordinate on every bike.

Unknown said...

I installed a bell but it rings whenever I hit a pot hole, and to some degree, when running over uneven pavement. Is there a way to stabilize the bell or provide some shock absorption so that it won't make those annoying sounds?

VeloOrange said...

@ Cris - I'd make sure the bell is tight in place or try bending back the striker a bit so it doesn't hit


Luquas said...

Jan Heine and Peter Weigle mounted the bell on their entry bike for the Councours des Machines below the saddle, because it was supposedly "more aero". Joke aside, maybe that is a nice idea, when you dont need your bell very often and dont have much space on the handlebars.
Not sure how they mounted it though...

Mark Holm said...

Cris, I have my Crane Karen, spring striker bell mounted at about a 45 degree angle on my handlebars with the striker also at about 45 degrees down. This puts it right where my thumb travels from a top of the bar position, and seems to minimize uncommanded ringing. I am also riding 50 mm tires at about 2 Bar, 30 psi, pressure. That absorbs a lot of shocks that would ring the bell and ding my body.

Uptown Biker said...

The Crane E-NE bell mounts perfectly to a down tube shifter boss. Just remove the strap and its retainer from the M5 screw. The screw in the bell might have to be replaced or cut down a bit.