Forget bulky dome-shaped bells that stick out from your handlebars like a sore thumb, because the slim Oi offers a much more practical and stylish alternative.
The bike bell is a must-have if you ride around lots of other people, especially pedestrians and slower-moving cyclists, and I can't imagine cycling without one. But even as the number of styles and colors of bike bells has increased by a huge factor over the last couple of decades, the shape has tended to remain almost exactly the same, with the only real choices being between that of a vertical dome or a horizontal dome shape.
However, that's about to change, as there's a new bell on the block, and this version, from Australian bike accessory company Knog, really breaks out of the standard design box with a unique and stylish take on an essential urban biking safety tool.
In my experience, bells tend to be the last thing you add to your new ride, and Knog CEO Hugo Davidson says, "Bells are the first thing you unscrew from your new bike," so it's refreshing to see a totally new approach to this accessory, which may also help to boost bike bell usage. (Note to my fellow recreational cyclists who don't use a bell, but would rather yell out, "On your left!" when passing me: Thanks for the heads-up, but I'd rather hear a bell than you shouting. Just sayin'.)
Take a look at, and have a listen to, this sweet new bike bell from Knog:
"What if a bell looked great and sounded even better? If it was discreet, but really stood out through elegant design. With Oi, we have appealed to a breadth of personalities and riding styles without compromising any." - Davidson
The Oi comes in five different finishes, ranging from copper to titanium, and is available in two different sizes to fit most bike handlebars. It's not cheap at AU$26 (~US$19), but it's certainly affordable, and considering that it might very well last your entire life, barring any freak bike bell accidents, it looks to be a heck of a deal for something that is not only functional, but is also a beautiful addition to your favorite pair of wheels.
Knog is using a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to launch its new bell, and based on how quickly this campaign hit and surpassed its initial goal (by a factor of 10), the Oi appears to have struck a chord with a fair number of other cyclists. A pledge of AU$26 will net you a standard Oi, or if you'd like to stand out even further, a pledge of AU$47 (~US$33) will reserve the titanium model for you, and the product is expected to ship to backers in August of 2016.