ADDTECH | Electric Bike Mechanical Components - Bike Bell or Electric Horn

By Addmotor | 27 April 2024 | 0 Comments
Regarding bike safety, a bike bell or horn is a crucial component. Most beginner riders don’t think too much about using the bike bell and prefer to ride without ever using it. However, they are important to prevent crashes and make sure everyone is safe while on the road. Riders should learn to use the horn properly and alert drivers and pedestrians. In this article, we’ll talk about the differences and best practices for safety when riding electric bike outdoors.

Why Do You Need a Bicycle Bell When eBiking Outdoors?

As mentioned, most newbies don’t use the bicycle bell enough. They don’t alert others of their presence and ride recklessly. Meanwhile, others use it too much, riding everywhere with one hand on the bell at all times. A bicycle bell or horn is an essential accessory. However, it should only be used under the right conditions and not to annoy or harass other people. So here are some of the most crucial situations for when you need to use an eBike horn and when you shouldn’t:

During Emergencies

There can be various types of emergencies where you would need to use the horn. We can’t list them all so this is one of the situations where it’s better to use your own discretion. However, most of the time, it’s acceptable to use the horn during situations such as:
Enjoy your Ride and Let Safety be Your Trusted Guide!
Addmotor commuter electric bikes with bell and horn
- When you or someone else is facing a medical emergency and need to alert others to your presence.
- When you need to alert others to an obstacle or hazard that’s getting in the way. These can be fallen branches, potholes, debris, or another accident.
- When you’re riding and need to alert others to get out of the way. This can be important if your brakes are down and you have trouble stopping.
- When you need to make an emergency stop and you want to alert the riders or traffic behind you. 
- When you need to alert someone who’s distracted and walking or riding toward you.
- When the weather is bad and creates
limited visibility. It helps to use the horn and warn drivers and pedestrians whenever you’re passing by. 
- When you need to scare off cats, dogs, or other aggressive animals that may be blocking the road.

Essentially, in any situation where you need to avoid a crash or communicate something urgently. 

To Pass Through Traffic and Pedestrians In a Safe and Courteous Manner

Sometimes, you need to use the horn to alert people, riders, and traffic whenever you’re passing by. When you’re coming in from behind and overtaking people or other riders, it’s a good idea to use the bell. This helps alert others to your presence so they’ll stay out of the way and avoid a crash. A good practice is to ring the bell 2-3 seconds before you overtake them. This gives you and other people enough time to react. So by ringing the bell early, you can tell if they will make space or not. 

To Comply With Local Rules and Regulations

In certain states, having a working bell or horn on your eBike is a mandatory requirement. Officers will check your eBike for the bell and penalize you with a fine if you don’t have one on your eBike. 

Differences Between a Bicycle Bell and Electric Horn

How does the Electric Horn Function?

An electric horn, also called electric bell, functions by means of an electromagnet to convert electrical energy into sound energy. It works as follows: 
- Activation: When you press the horn button on the handlebar, it triggers an electrical circuit.
- Electromagnet: The current flows to an electromagnet within the horn.
- Diaphragm Movement: The electromagnet rapidly moves a diaphragm back and forth.
- Sound Creation: This movement generates pressure waves in the air, which we hear as the sound of the horn.
The electric horn may have different sound settings and can be quite loud, often exceeding 100 decibels to ensure it's heard in traffic. Some e-bike horns are rechargeable and can be easily mounted on the handlebar. They are designed to be a more noticeable and effective way to alert pedestrians and other road users compared to traditional mechanical bells, especially in noisy urban environments.

How does the Mechanical Bell Function?

The operation of a traditional mechanical bell on an electric bicycle adheres to the principles established by its counterparts on conventional bicycles. It is composed of a metallic dome that, when impelled by a spring-actuated striker, emits a resonant tone. Actuation is achieved through the depression of a lever or thumb trigger by the cyclist, which in turn propels the striker against the dome, culminating in the generation of the quintessential "ding" sound. This mechanism is entirely mechanical in nature, functioning independently of the electric bicycle's electrical system, and does not draw power from the battery or motor. The absence of electrical components in the bell's design ensures its status as a dependable and low-maintenance accessory suitable for all bicycle variants, inclusive of electric models.\
Addmotor EB 2.0 Electric Bike System: Electric Horn
electric bike with electric horn
At Addmotor, our eBikes have two options when it comes to bike bells. There’s the regular mechanical bell that’s standard for push bicycles. Alongside that, there’s a customized electric horn with a maximum decibel level of 108. It also has a maximum range of 492ft. The only exception is the GRANDTAN TURBO electric trike, which only has a traditional bicycle bell. 
There’s a lot of utility when it comes to having both options and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. The electric horn is useful for cutting through loud traffic. It’s best used when you’re riding in urban city streets during the rush hour. The mechanical bell is soft and doesn’t have a larger reach. However, it’s less annoying to other bike riders and pedestrians. You can safely use the bell even when you’re closer to other people and bike riders.
So ideally, you want to stick to the mechanical bell when riding in parks or bike paths. Then, rely on the electric horn when you’re on the street with cars and other vehicles.

Comparing the Addmotor CITYTRI VS the Lectric XP Trike

One thing many beginners fail to look for is the horn and bell. Ideally, you want to make sure your favorite eBike gives you both options so you’re safe on the road. So when comparing folding electric trikes for under $2000, two options are the Addmotor CITYTRI E-310 and the Lectric XP Trike. Both are solid options. But when it comes to the bell, we recommend the CITYTRI E-310. It’s got the best of both worlds: an electric horn and a mechanical bell.


The bicycle bell or horn is another feature that many people forget about. However, it’s an important consideration as you want both options no matter where you will be riding. A mechanical bell has a softer sound with a low range. But, it’s less annoying to other people and better when used while riding in parks or bike paths. Meanwhile, an electric horn is louder. It will make your presence known to cars and heavy vehicles. So this is best used when riding on the street with heavy traffic. Both options have their use cases and it’s important to focus on an eBike with both an electric horn and bell. We recommend sticking with Addmotor eBikes and eTrikes. Almost all our models support this dual setup for extra versatility. 

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