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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A better bicycle bell, made in the USA | Spurcycle Kickstarter

Powerful sound from a trim, precision form—a bell for any bike: modern road, mountain, or vintage townie.
Our objective was simple: design a bell that is exceedingly effective in a busy, urban environment AND that looks sexy on any bike. We tasked ourselves with distilling your average clunker bell into a smaller, more potent, and more streamlined form—befitting even a peleton-crushing road bike. To do so forced us to reconsider every design aspect and engineer to a higher standard.

FORM:  We set out to design a compact, well-integrated component. A large bell may sound great but protrudes and looks bulky installed on many modern bicycles. Meanwhile, the tiny micro bells on the market are too small—dinky really, and generally cheaply made. We pursued the best form by way of the cleanest execution, encompassing both modern and classic aesthetics. It’s a bell that’s just the right size, tidy not tiny. Streamlined and effective.

MOUNT: Even a bell of the right size and shape flows best if it can be reoriented and positioned to match the bike's form. Our mount was engineered around adjustability. A single fastener is visible through the top of the dome, and that’s the only bolt needed to secure the entire assembly. This thru-bolt design allows the overall form to stay super clean but fits a broad (22-32mm) range of diameters. That means you can mount it near the brake of your flat-bar commuter or near the stem of your oversize road handlebar. 

ACTUATION: Our unibody wire lever is a powerfully simple design. Utilizing the wire's natural torsional springiness, we can deliver proper ergonomics and modulationwhile maximizing aesthetic simplicity and functional reliability. 
We wanted an actuation that doesn't require much reach, just a flick of your thumb without repositioning or stretching the width of your hand. Moreover, modulation is key: from a light courtesy "ding" while passing another rider to an alarming "DING-DING-DING" to grab a driver's attention. 

Better still, our bell doesn't rattle or ring when it isn't supposed to, over rough road or potholes. In fact, we've raced mountain bikes with our bell, which made not a sound until we needed to pass.
SOUND: We didn't work on a beautiful bell and ignore the critical function of a bell. It's got to be loud enough to alert other riders and drivers. Of course, it's nicer if the sound is effective without losing its pleasant tone. That's why we've chosen to work with Bevin Brothers—a company that's been making bells since the Industrial Revolution—and why we've chosen alloys that make an inherently better sound. After all, if you just want to annoy people, you can always buy a horn.

MATERIAL: To make the highest quality bell, you need premium materials. We've chosen metals that will never rust: stainless steel, aluminum, and brass. No plastic. No junk "pot metal". No shortcuts. 
Dome size: ⌀30mm x 20.5mm Total bell weight: 42g


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