Typical bicycle bell, mounted on the handlebar and activated by a lever, was there already in the early 20th century. Its work principle and mounting – usually on the left handlebar – has remained unchanged until today, although the bells of the first half of the 20th century look slightly different.

In addition to traditional single-cap bell, there were other solutions as well, especially in the 1910s-20s. Several bells had two caps, making dual sound. In another common variety of bells (mostly two-cap), the pressing of a button made the caps rotate fast, resulting in longer and denser sound than regular bells.

Slightly similar, but much more exciting solution was to make the bell caps rotate not by pushing the knob/ pulling the lever, but by operating the front wheel drive. Such a bell was usually mounted to the front fork, operated by pulling the rope extending to the handle bar, which activated the hammers hitting the bell cap against the front tire. Such a bell made loud ring similar to the phone ring of these days, and its loudness depended on the speed of the bicycle. Therefore, such bells were banned in Estonian traffic in late 1920s as they agitated the horses.

Roughly similar structure was used in sirens activated on the front wheel, which also made very loud noise. It was possible to mount the front-wheel-operated bells and siren on a bicycle, if it had the old-type front mudguard, which did not extend further than the front fork – such mudguard types were rather common until the end of the 1920s, but not later.

Bicycles occasionally also had horns, in addition to the bells. A typical rubber bulb horn was common automobile and motorcycle component, but it was also frequent with bicycles.