I’ve been unhappy with bike bells in the past. I’ve found that standard ones take up too much room (for me) or rattle, and some don’t work well. So I’ve placed and replaced bells over the past few years, currently none of my bikes have a bell mounted.
Knog, the Australian company that makes lots of little flexible-mount lights, went to Kickstarter to launch a new bike bell. I really like the shape, as it doesn’t take up much space on my bars and blends in nicely. Plus I’m a sucker for Kickstarter projects, so I backed it for a limited-edition model (under $24 including shipping).
They raised over $1 million (AUD, or about $750k USD) for the project, shipping the bells about eight months after the project. Granted, the shipping was almost three months late, but by crowdfunding standards that isn’t bad.
The bell came in a nice retail-friendly box. I carried it around for a week or so until I had time to mount it and get pictures. As you can see in the pictures, the mount is flexible enough to fit around bars. It uses a single screw- with a 2.5mm hex head. I wish it was 3mm, because I keep four different hex drivers within reach on the bike, but that isn’t one of the four. (perhaps I’ll talk about the hex drivers in a future post)
The semi-circle of the bell is mounted so it can move around- necessary to get a good ringing noise.
The clapper is easy to flick, making the bell easy to use. Unfortunately the sound is on the soft side- it’s sufficient but no more. (keep in mind it’s louder than is in the video- I’m limited in camera gear and editing while on the road)
Edit- after riding some more miles, it’s far too quiet. It might work on the quietest of MUPs but even pedestrians will have trouble hearing it. I’ll try some of the bells recommended in the comments.
Verdict? For $25, it’s a stylish bell
that I’ll add to all my bikes. I talked to Gladys Bikes, who said they are carrying the bell- I don’t know if they are in stock yet, but they certainly should be soon.
Programming note: I won’t be putting up a weekly video roundup, as instead I’m cycling in Southern Utah. That’s where I’m filing this review.
– Ted Timmons, @tedder42