At TWC, we're sticklers for cycle safety. So when it comes to being seen and heard on the bike, we think it's worth that extra little bit of attention.
The first bicycle bell came into production around the 1800's. They were heavy lumps of metal which would often be difficult to operate. Fortunately, we now live in an era where everything has to be lighter, stronger and more discrete.
How many of us had bicycle bells adorning the front of our childhood bikes? I bet you had a cool sticker or smiley face to accompany it as well - I know I did. Then as you got older, things like bells and helmets apparently became "uncool" somewhere along the line.
Nobody wants a lump of metal on their bars, distorting their ever so carefully balanced and streamline cockpit. But bells have come a long way since those childhood days, and great efforts have been made to incorporate safety, function and cool points. I think the new Knog Oi bell ticks all those boxes, and more.
The Knog Oi Bell
The Australian brand is perhaps most commonly known for their innovative and wide variety of bicycle lights. They also offer simple and stylish accessories whilst keeping safety as their main focus.
Earlier this year, the brand took their new Oi bell design to a crowd funding website in order to raise enough pledges to get the bell into full production. With a staggering 20,787 backers having pledged over $1 million AUD, the project was brought to life.
We managed to get our hands on one of these stylish bells and took it out for a a test. What better way to test a new piece of kit than on an epic 100 mile ride as well.
The Oi bell arrives neatly boxed, without all the marketing faff. The design is a simple sleek circular piece that opens and clamps around your handlebars, using one bolt. I have the large size for my bike, and being made from aluminium and nylon, it only weighs 28g.
I've set the bell up on my left hand side, but you can choose where you prefer to have it placed. Just ensure the thumb trigger is within a reasonable distance of your hands.
Once fixed to the bars, and manipulated into a suitable position, it was clear just how slim this bell is. The black bell blend in perfectly with my stealth cockpit, and it doesn't have a tall profile to make it look very pronounced.
Throughout the 100 mile cycle, I found myself using the bell a whole lot, especially through the more pedestrian areas. The thumb trigger has a raised lip, making it easy to locate and use without your thumb slipping off. The trigger spring is loose enough to operate easily, but not too loose that it rings on it's on accord.
As far as bicycle bells go, this one has a lovely ring to it. Striking the aluminium once creates a delicate, but resonating sound which is loud enough for people to hear from a distance. I didn't have any issues operating the Oi bell, and most - if not all- pedestrians heard me coming, whether they moved out of my way is a different story.
Colours: Black, Brass, Copper and Silver
Sizes: Small 22.2mm diameter (18g) - Large 23.8mm - 31.8mm diameter (28g)
The new Oi Bell from Knog is seriously stylish, functional and safe. It works well in all weather conditions, making you feel safe and heard when you need to catch someone's attention.
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