Grouptest: 6 Compact Bicycle Bells Reviewed

Sunday, 25 February 2018 12:18 |  Written by

You might shout to get hikers out of the way or just blast right past them. But there’s also a politer way, a way that the next time he sees a mountain biker, he doesn’t poke a stick in your front wheel. I’m checking out six compact bells in a price range up to 15 euro’s and subject them to several tests, including loudness, impact and ease of use. So, let’s first take a look at the contenders.

Video

Watch the full review video below or check out more MTB related videos at the MTB.guide YouTube Channel. Watch the video to discover how to participate in the giveaway. Below this video you find the video transcription.

Contenders

Starting with the cheapest bell in the test and working our way up. The Procraft MegaPing is at €2,50 a basic clamp style bell, with basic styling and it feels sturdy. The striker is only side-supported and it weighs 23 grams.

The Trivio EasyFit bell, is, as the name suggest easy to fit with rubber quick release straps in 2 sizes to cover a wide range of handlebar sizes. It’s looks might not fit you, but it’s the first bell in this list that can also be rotated. The Trivio weighs in at an average 25 grams.

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All the contenders on the handlebars, ready for a bumpy ride.

The Mounty Special Billy Plus is marketed as a loud bell. It’s looks a bit bigger and if it’s actually louder you can find out further on in this review. The Mounty doesn’t feel as cheap as the previous bells and can also be rotated. The Mounty is with 21 grams the lightest bell in the test.

The Cat Eye PB-800 Limit bell looks well built. The striker is properly mounted and the spring is protected against overextending. The mounting bolt is on the opposite side of the handlebar compared to standard bells and it weighs 22 grams.

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Line up of all the contenders.

The BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe has to prove its name in the loudness test, but seems well equipped. The quick release straps make the bell suitable for most handlebar sizes, it's rotatable and the striker is properly mounted like the Cat Eye bell. It’s also the heaviest bell at 34 grams.

And last is the Ting Tingbell. This bell was sent to me by Ting for review. The Tingbell is narrow and is a more design orientated bell, which also reflects a bit in the price. It supports a wide range of handlebar sizes, can clamp your brake and shifter cables and weighs in at 25 grams.

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Nearly all bells are sub 30g, not much of a weight penalty.

Now that we know the contenders, let’s start with the tests. All bells are subjected to 4 different tests, addressing the loudness, ease of use, rattle and strength.

Sound and Loudness

In this test is a sound level meter placed at 1 meter away from the bell, as it’s rang. All bells are tested 3 times, with the highest score shown as result. All bells come in order, so you can compare the sound as well as see the loudness.

grouptest 6 compact bells reviewed 11b
Examples to compare with: rock concert 110db(A), handheld drill 100db(A), lawn mower 90 db(A).

No manufacturer supplied the db(A)’s to compare these values against. But comparing them against each other it’s pretty clear, that the BBB Loud and Clear, isn’t as loud as the name suggests.

The Mounty Special Billy Plus is marketed as a loud bell. It’s looks a bit bigger and if it’s actually louder you can find out further on in this review. The Mounty doesn’t feel as cheap as the previous bells and can also be rotated. The Mounty is with 21 grams the lightest bell in the test.

Mounty-Special-Billy-Plus
Cat Eye PB-800 Limit
Procraft Megaping
Trivio EasyFit
BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe
Ting Tingbell

Ease of Use

Bells are often a set and forget type of deal, where ease of use is only experienced once. But in some occasions, you want to be able to easily remove your bell, for example in competition or in bike parks.

The bells with the rubber quick release straps win the ease of use test hands-down. You can install the bell in seconds without any tools. And with the supplied 2 sizes you can install it on many handlebar sizes. The BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe and the Trivio EasyFit also have the possibility to rotate the bell in any position you would like.

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The Cat Eye can interfere with the brake lever of shifter if placed closely.

Next are the clamp style bells. All nut inserts are secured in the bell, so you won’t lose it when you mount them, but that’s not the case with the bolts. Bells with the orientation of the bolt closest to you, are easiest to install. The Cat Eye PB-800 Limit has the bolt on the opposite side, making it more difficult to install as it can interfere with your brake lever or shifter. On the other hand, it gives you more clearance and you can’t really hit it with your knee.

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The nut on the Ting Tingbell is not secured and difficult to place back.

One that has a slightly different mounting mechanism is the Tingbell, and I unfortunately don’t mean it in a good way. With the spacer ring and rubber strips, you first have to figure out how it should be mounted. Then, when you want to mount it, you discover that the nut is not secured. The placement of the nut is also obstructed when you want to place it back and tighten it all up.

On the Trails

Having something rattle on your bike, is pretty annoying. And bells can often contribute to that. So, I went on the local trails, with 6 bells mounted on the handlebars and checked it out.

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Bumpy terrain to check for rattle or worse.

All bells stayed on the handlebars during these rides and only the Trivio EasyFit had some slight rattle on bumpy terrain. The top cap mounting is somewhat loose, which is the cause of the rattle. It unfortunately can’t be tightened to solve it.

Impact Test

Bells don’t usually fail by themselves, but is more commonly a result of a crash. In this test the bells are dropped 5 times from a 2-meter height.

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Do they fail on impact?

I expected the cheaper bells, especially the Trivio to also fail, but they did not. I was also skeptical of the Ting being able to keep it together due to its design, but it all went well. The only bell that didn’t pass the test unscathed is the BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe, having more play and a rattle after the impact test.

Conclusion

All bells survived the test, however, some better than others. Two bells that didn’t perform well are the Trivio EasyFit and the BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe. The EasyFit has a rattle straight out of the packaging and the Loud & Clear Deluxe isn’t loud and created a rattle after the impact test.

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A nice designer bell that needs some work to be done.

The Ting Tingbell also isn’t that loud and needs some work in the way it’s mounted to the handlebar to better justify its price. It survived the trails and impact tests, without any issues. It’s in my opinion also the best-looking bell in this test, but I’m not sure if it necessarily suits on a mountain bike. It would be at home on a road bike with little room on the handlebar or on a nice commuter bike.

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Best value for money: the Procraft MegaPing.

The cheapest bell, the Procraft MegaPing, didn’t fall apart in the tests. It even performed descent, withstanding the impact tests and having an average loudness of 95.4dba. It’s not the nicest looking bell, but at €2,50 it’s the best value for money in this group test.

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Overall winner: the Cat Eye PB-800 Limit Bell.

There are 2 bells left, the Cat Eye PB-800 Limit and the Mounty Special Billy Plus. Both similarly prices, both scored high in the loudness test and survived the impact tests without any issues. Only small differences and personal preferences makes one stand above the other. The Cat eye has the clamp on the opposite side, creating more clearance on your side of the handlebar, but can also interfere with your brake lever or shifter. On the other hand, the Mounty has striker that protrudes more and isn’t protected for the spring overextension. Since the Cat Eye also has a better finish more solid design, that makes the Cat Eye PB-800 Limit bell the overall winner of this group test.

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