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I have a bike with drop bars which I need for commuting, but I live in a city which is not only full of idiots both on foot and on bikes themselves (thus meaning going bellless is idiotic), but also full of broken paths and cobblestones.

I've now lost two bells due to them vibrating enough to the point of coming apart — I try to screw them together after every few rides, but at some point they just come apart while riding and I lose the bits needed to put them back together:

Broken bell

Issues

  • Bell: Unfortunately, the screw head holding the whole thing together slowly becomes looser over time, making the bell function worse and worse and even becoming somehow "out of tune" making it not work well even when tightened with one hand while riding... and then when riding over lots of e.g. cobblestones, I hear it go ring-ring-ring while loose and then it stops ringing... forever. Screw head gone missing.
  • Bike: I've got drop bars with old brake levers which can hardly be used at all from the hoods, meaning that I spend all my time in the drops and thus that the bell has to be accessible from the drops.

How can I fit a bell to my bike which is durable enough to survive lots of vibration and yet still be easily accessible from the drops?


In this regard, possibly the only places in the world which can safely be called idiot-free are all in the Netherlands or Denmark.

  • Have you tried putting some rubber or foam or something to dampen vibrations on the mount? – Batman Aug 23 '17 at 18:17
  • Yes: that's the black stuff on the stem in the photo. – errantlinguist Aug 23 '17 at 18:21
  • Do you need a bell? If its legally required in your area then yes. Personally I politely use my voice, which only dropped once and that was many years ago. Or look at an airhorn, either bottle powered or squeeze-bulb powered. – Criggie Aug 24 '17 at 5:34
  • There are other styles of bells like the Oi that might work installed on the drops right below the brake lever. Or an airzound pressurised one. – Criggie Aug 24 '17 at 5:39
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    From where you are now, how about getting a nyloc nut to match that thread. Self locking so should hold position. – Chris H Aug 24 '17 at 9:00
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If your screw head is actually a nut, like the picture looks like, replace it with a nylock nut. If that is not possible, thread lock fluid like blue Loctite works nicely.

  • It's not a nut but rather more like a round cap of sorts; I really wish I still had it in order to take a photo of it, but then I probably wouldn't have had to post the question... – errantlinguist Aug 23 '17 at 18:12
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    If you find it or get a new similar bell, Loctite is probably your best bet. – ojs Aug 23 '17 at 18:14
  • If it's not something that has to be removed under normal conditions for maintenance reasons, Loctite is my vote as well. I would use purple or blue for this type of application. A nylock nut would not look as nice for this application. – Benjamin Kelley Aug 23 '17 at 19:08
  • The cap on a capnut is there to protect the threads on the outboard side from weather. All you need is something to clamp it down and allow the bell to resonate, so any nut that fits the thread is fine. +1 for threadlocker. – Criggie Aug 24 '17 at 5:36
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The simple cheap design of bell that makes a single ping when the lever is flicked against its spring should be more robust. I've never had one fail. The screw that attaches it to the bar should stay tight but anyway can be tightened if it works loose. The adjusting screw (if there is one) should have some friction.

  • I'm sorry; I know this was meant well, but that is the exact type of the bell in the photo, which is what broke. – errantlinguist Aug 24 '17 at 7:32
  • @errantlinguist, this is what I meant, it's a much simpler design: evanscycles.com/fwe-bell-EV196317 (the spring is also the lever). In fact on the model I linked there is no adjusting screw. On the one I have the whole bell turns stiffly to adjust. On my tourer I have it on the bar tops despite mainly riding in the drops, and move my (left,non-dominant, back-brake) hand to the bell when needed – Chris H Aug 24 '17 at 8:37
  • it seems I can't change my vote unless you edit the answer... – errantlinguist Aug 24 '17 at 17:04
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If you are not happy with the loctite suggestions above, then you can try a different type of bell.

The Knog 'Oi' bell has a fundamentally different construction which doesn't rely on a the traditional bell dome. It will not come loose.

However, it is expensive (for a bell) and you may feel it is too much for a bell.

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If it's an old road bike I presume it's 1" threaded.

Get a bell with a 22.2 clamp diameter and no other fasteners but the clamp. Incredibell Brass Duet is one such. Mount it on the quill and Loctite the threads.

You could also just use a bar end mount bell.

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