Know How Bicycle Bell Works: The Mechanism

how bicycle bell works

Dring-dring! You hear the sound but ever wonder how bicycle bell works? Well, you must be curious about it. And we are here for you!

A bicycle bell is an essential tool to have. No one should ever think of riding a bicycle without a bell, as this handy tool ensures the safety of both the riders and other people surrounding him. However, despite so many advantages of the instrument, we barely know the mechanism of it.

In this article, you will be learning how it works; the mechanism. We will also be mentioning different parts of a bell and information related to them. We recommend you go through this article as there is no harm to having extra knowledge, you know.

Happy reading.

What is a Bicycle Bell?

A bicycle bell is a necessary part of a bicycle. It is a signaling instrument whose primary function is to warn pedestrians and other cyclists. These are mounted on the handlebars and are activated by your thumb.

Why do you need a bell on your bicycle? Well, the answer is obvious. You don't want to scare people or run over them. You use the bell to aware people before you cross them so that they get alert and give you side. Don't ring the bell too late; otherwise, you will confuse people. And never ring the bell excessively.

Before using a bell in the streets, you must practice ringing. There are some cases when people can't ring at the right moment because they don't have any practice. It would be best if you had a finger practice. This will create muscle memory.

Also, bells are located in different directions for different bicycles. You must check before buying a bike which direction is comfortable for you.

how bicycle bell works

What Are the Different Parts of a Bicycle Bell?

  • Washer
  • Beater
  • Resonator
  • Butt
  • Stepped pinions (8 teeth inside and 22 teeth outside)
  • Rack (12 teeth—10 are operational)
  • Axles
  • Pinion (10 teeth)
  • Lever
  • Housing
  • Finger press

For a clear understanding of the mechanism, you must know the number of beats and rotations executed by different parts of a bell:

This is the Calculation for a One-way Rack Cycle





Stepped Pinions



Beater Pinions


  • For each finger press: 2.2 rotations x 2 washers (one per beater): 4.4 beats
  • For a one way cycle of the rack: 4 beats
  • In conclusion, there are eight beats per to and fro cycle of the rack for a single finger press.

How Bicycle Bell Works:

When the washer hits resonator butt, a vibrating sound emits. After hitting the resonator, the washer goes back. While it continues to turn, the washer goes back to the beater’s edge.

Let's get into a technological explanation.

  • Your thumb press activates the bell. Now, the portion where you pressed, there are two extremities there. At one end, there remains the class 1 lever and a curved rack at the other.
  • The force of the finger causes the lever to rotate, and also the racks get into turning. The smaller stepped pinion is engaged with the rack, and the larger one is with a third pinion. This third pinion is combined with the beaters.
  • This mounting causes multiple movements, and two complete beater rotations are obtained that too for a light pressure of a finger. The beaters are made to turn, and they have two washers at the two ends. Due to their speeds, the washers tend to go away from the beaters' center of rotation. And then the washers stop on the retaining axles.
  • When they hit the resonator butt, a vibrating sound emits. At the same time, due to the force of impact, the washers move to the center. In the meantime, the beater continues rotating, and the washers move back to the edges for the rotation speed. This phenomenon continues when the washers pass by.
  • When we don’t pressurize it anymore, the recall spring returns the lever to its original position. And further, beats are produced on the returning path of the lever.
  • The eight beats four in each direction produces a succession of beats, causing the ringing.


Cycling is a great of fun and exercise. You must love cycling, that's why you scrolled through the article. Well, we hope to provide you with enough information on how bicycle bell works.

You must always be careful while riding and use the bell correctly. And don't ring your bell when you are alone or not riding. A bicycle bell makes the journey safer. We don’t need to tell you the benefits of a bicycle bell. You must know it. And now, you also know how it works!

Happy riding!

Know How Bicycle Bell Works: The Mechanism 1

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