Granite Design produces some great little items that you’ll use once and wonder how you lived without them, is this what we think of the Cricket Bell though?
What is it?
The Granite Design Cricket Bell is a small bell designed to mount to your handlebars. In the packet, the bell comes with a built-in handlebar bracket and optional rubber spacers to step down the clamp for narrower bars. With the largest spacer fitted the Cricket Bell fits on bars as narrow as 22.2mm, a second thinner spacer takes it to 31.8mm, and without the bell fits modern 35mm bars. So while the idea of a bell might bring about visions of shopping bikes, the Cricket Bell is designed for anything from kids’ bikes, gravel bikes, mountain bikes to even DH bikes.
If all the Granite Design Cricket Bell was was a simple bell then we wouldn’t have much to speak about, but this actually has two modes that make it much more useful for technical off-road riding.
Granite Design calls these two modes Single-Strike Mode and Cowbell Mode. Switching between the two modes is a simple tool-free pull of the bell. When extended to Cowbell mode the Cricket measures 73.5mm while pressed into Single-Strike Mode the bell is just 67.5mm tall. The compact height ensures you can mount it as close to your stem as you like and not worry about interference with your top tube.
What is it for?
No matter where you ride it’s likely that at some point you will come across a group of walkers or a family hiking when riding on a shared trail. For years I’ve relied on slowing to a walking pace and politely calling “Excuse me”. This generally works, but when walking and relaxing in nature even the most proper and polite “Excuse me” can startle a daydreaming walker, and the last thing we want is to cause an issue with other trail users, which is where the Cricket Bell comes into play.
In Single-Strike mode, the Cricket Bell doesn’t lock on to a target and quietly remove them from the trail, but rather act as a traditional bell meaning it requires the flick of a lever to alert other trail users to your presence. Single-Strike mode also locks the ringing bell mechanism so that it is completely silent while riding and will only make a noise when rung with the spring-loaded lever.
But having to ding your bell and cover your brakes might not be the most ideal or safest of options so there is also a Cowbell mode. By pulling slightly on the bell, the ringing mechanism is unlocked and the bell will now ring gently as you ride along. It’s not ultra-sensitive so on smoother terrain it might need a manual ding, but on bumpy terrain, the ringing is constant and easy to pick up in a natural setting.
What are the benefits?
The benefits are that you will no longer startle walkers even when you try your best not to, and you will no longer receive a passive-aggressive ‘where’s your bell?’ question even when you’ve had what you thought was a rather pleasant interaction.
It’s not a very loud bell, but the sound carries and walkers plus other riders seem to hear it easy enough. The fact that it’s not too loud means you can ride with it in Cowbell mode all the time and it never gets irritating.
Nothing major, I’ve found that the bell isn’t locked sometimes even when pressed, but usually opening and closing it again solves this.
What we would like to see.
- Urban riders might want something louder.
What we love.
- Simple design.
- The quality composite clamp has enough give to open wide enough for fitting to bars without removing grips, brakes etc
- No more funny looks on the trail.
Will you keep using it?
Yup, it’s a simple little product that isn’t in the way and does exactly what it says on the box.
|Tested:||by Andi Sykes for 3 months|
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