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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
BBB Loud & Clear Deluxe
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.