Accessories Make yourself heard: the Spurcycle Frankenbell

JShort

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Posts
69
Location
Adirondacks
I do a lot of riding in the city, including a lot of bike paths and rail trails to and from singletrack. I got tired of constantly saying "on your left!" or slowing down and sneaking by groups. I went to the bike shop and was about to buy a Spurcycle bell, when the cashier said "by the way, this thing is $90." I put it back on the shelf.

Turns out, Spurcycle sells their "blemished" bells on their webpage for "only" $32, with 10% of the sales going to donations. It's still a lot for a bell, but already it's my favorite bike accessory I've ever bought. It's also made in the USA.

In the packaging is the bell and two metal strips, one for narrow MTB bars and a longer one for road bars. The strip hooks into the bottom of the bell, and it is tightened onto your bars by a simple Allen screw at the top of the bell. Could not be easier, and the connection between the bell and the bar is super secure. It's also a very narrow mount - the whole bell fits between the brake clamp and the support strut that the latest Shimano brake levers have. It also leaves plenty of room for my thumb to reach the dropper lever. This lets my left thumb handle the bell and the dropper lever, while my right thumb handles the shifting, all without taking my hands off of the grips.

When I hit the trails, the first thing I noticed is that the thing is LOUD. It's so loud that at first I thought it was a bit obnoxious. But then I started sounding the bell much earlier than I would start saying "on your left!" or something, and it worked like a charm. You can hear it from such a long ways away, people have time to hear the bell, register what it is, turn around, see me and get out of the way all before I have to even think about touching the brakes.

Also, the thing is beautiful. I chose the "raw" color, but there is also a black one for those wanting to keep their murdered out cockpit (it's $6 more though). it will look good on your city beater or your $9k Santa Cruz, guaranteed. For road bikes, I'd probably mount the bell part facing forward rather than up. To ring it would take just an easy swipe down with the thumb, and it's more aero!

Overall, by far the easiest bike-related recommendation to make. This bell is going on all of my current and future bikes.

https://www.spurcycle.com/collections/all/products/factory-seconds?variant=11426743685
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
4,462
Yup, these are the real deal.

The ring clarity and longevity is impresssive.

As is the price, but I've got one that is on its third mtb. Still sounds like new.

Pro Tip: For best ring, do not overtighten.
 

RobSN

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Posts
845
Location
Prescott Valley, AZ
If your purpose is to absolutely and without doubt ensure that you are heard (as in safety with SUVs and drivers putting on make up, yeah been there, seen that) as opposed to on trails etc., I'd strongly recommend the Airzound instead. However, I have both an Airzound and a bell (although not the Spurrcycle). On e.g. a multi-use path I'll use the bell and my voice unless the person has their ear buds at max in which case a light hit on the Airzound is indicated. In traffic, I have been known to lay on the Airzound which gets the attention of even SUVs with the sound system on loud ...
 

Apicem-AZ

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Posts
16
Location
Coconino County
Many thanks for sharing your experience with the Frankenbell product! I just ordered one for my fatbike. As I ride mostly in the rural areas around Flagstaff and Sedona, it should be just right.
 
Thread Starter
TS
JShort

JShort

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Posts
69
Location
Adirondacks
Update: the bell does sound noticeably duller in the rain or when it gets muddy/wet, but not the the extent that people can't hear you. Not sure if this happens to all bells in the rain, but it sure happens to this one
 
Top