Is a Bell Necessary?

Remember the old knock-knock joke?

– Knock, knock

– Who’s there?

– Is a bell

– Isabel who?

– Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?


Well, the answer is yes, at least in Germany. According to traffic regulations here a functioning bell as well as front and tail lights are compulsory.

Over the past few months I have been creating a series of pictures of bicycle details – and am very happy to be able to publish them here. Any bicycle details will do – bells, baskets or any parts that look interesting and catch my eye. Today I am just posting bells. These pictures were all taken in Munich on my walks or rides around town. I don’t move or rearrange my subjects to get a better point of view or background or more favorable light. They aren’t my bicycles after all, so I don’t touch them, I just take their pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I'm a US born ex-pat, having lived most of my adult life in Munich, Germany. Cycling and photography are my favorite things.

10 response to "Is a Bell Necessary?"

    • By: Suzanne Posted: February 6, 2018

      Thanks, Janet! My substitute pleasure, when I can’t ride I can at least take pictures of bicycles.

  1. By: Scooter Posted: February 6, 2018

    Hey, how did you do that? Nice touch, adding the photos as a slideshow.

    • By: Suzanne Posted: February 6, 2018

      Hi Scott – it was easy. When you add the photos there is an option to make either a gallery or a slide show. Just one click and voilà.

  2. By: brianbikes Posted: February 7, 2018

    Love it! Cool photos.

    I love my bicycle bell. I love it so much that I have thought about upgrading to a bigger, louder bell.

    • By: Suzanne Posted: February 7, 2018

      Or how about two bells? One for each hand? That is if your hands aren’t totally frozen!

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: February 9, 2018

    Love the pics, Suzanne 🙂 There is certainly a lot of variety. I particularly liked the frog (of course!) and the dino on a bike. Bells are compulsory here in the state of New South Wales, too. I suppose it makes sense in Sydney and other urban areas, but it is pretty hilarious for me when most of the riding I do is on country roads or highways. Ding! Ding! Watch out kangaroos, I’m coming through!

    • By: Suzanne Posted: February 15, 2018

      Ding dong kangaroos – had to laugh! Glad you liked my bells.
      I often use my bell on bike lanes in the city. It seems tourists think they are supposed to walk on these specially marked areas of the sidewalk. Well, that’s my explanation anyway. Why else would they all be there?

  4. By: AntC Posted: February 15, 2018

    I caused an argument in a local bike shop when I mused aloud that the Road Rules state a warning device must be attached to a bicycle and “how could you sell bikes without a bell or horn?”. The young guy informed me that bells were useless as vehicle drivers could not hear them. I mentioned that pedestrians could and got another earful so I left. And have never been back!

    My own squeeze type air horn packed it in recently and I found a nice brass bell on the Internet.

  5. By: Suzanne Posted: February 15, 2018

    How dare he suggest a bell isn’t useful? Aside from the fact that they are also ornamental. I once had a bell that had a little compass on top. A multi-tasking bell.

Leave a Reply