Thirty-six quid? For a bell?! Yes, your indignant cries are loud enough to have reached us from the future. And we know. That’s a lot of cash for a bell that, in the strictest sense, performs no better than the £9 model sold in most shops.
But Singletrack is an enthusiast’s publication and as much as we try to stay grounded within our own industry let’s face it: the amount that each of us spends on bicycles and ephemera can be difficult to defend on paper or in pixels. The fact of the matter is that we lust over and even purchase bicycles, components, packs, and jackets as much for their appeal to our emotions as their incremental improvements over what came before. We love the adventure that they promise, their backstory, the context in which they’re presented, and even the things that (we imagine) that they say about us.
Spurcycle know this. With their appropriately-named Bell, the brothers Spur set out to make the best bicycle bell the world has ever seen. And to build it in the United States. They’ve taken the thinking that led Chris King to develop his eponymous headset and applied it to a tool that improves walker-biker relations and can clear a crowded race course faster than shouting can.
Built of stainless steel with a substantial brass ringer, the Bell is a thing to behold. The packaging is clean and well-considered, including bands for both grip (22.2mm) and clamp (31.8mm) area attachment. Fitting is straightforward, with the mounting screw at the top of the bell’s dome. And the sound? It’s sweet and high with a sustain that would make Nigel Tuffnel swoon:
Can’t see the video? Click here.
Is it perfect? Though the construction and sound are hard to fault, the combined lever/spring can be a stretch when mounted inboard of brake levers- the ideal location seems to be between the clamp and grip when paired with longer (such as SRAM) brake levers)- something that those with smaller hands or stubby Shimano brake levers should keep in mind. Beyond that, the lever is easy to locate and the sound has the ability to bring a smile to the face to all but the surliest hiker.
Value is a nonlinear concept. Just as an £6000 bicycle isn’t four times faster than a £1,500 one, nor a £140 headset four times smoother than a £35 model, the Spurcycle Bell can in no way be said to ring four times more effectively than inexpensive alternatives. But joy is also nonlinear – and the Bell is simply a joy to look at, to touch, and to ring. For those who appreciate first-world manufacturing, love handsome products that do a simple job exceedingly well, have the cash to spend, and consider themselves courteous trail users: Spurcycle have your number.
|Tested:||by Marc B for Three Months|