Knog launch the world’s sexiest bike bell – Oi!

Knog Oi sexy bike bell

I see it, and I want it. The elegant bicycle bell delivers a contrast with its ocker name Oi! Australian company knog already has a reputation for changing the rules and this bike bell ticks a lot of boxes. Aussie bike riders are required by law to have a bell, even the roadies and MTBers on public roads. To prove a point, Police in Sydney and Brisbane conducted a blitz on bike riders last week and issued 450 infringement notices. 

The selection of bike bells available on the market is underwhelming, so by rethinking bike bell design bike have a small, well integrated and functional option. The Oi is subtle and compact and can match the elegance of your beloved bicycle. However you can’t go out and buy one now as knog are launching this on kickstarter. Starting at $34 (via kickstart) is in a different league to standard bells, but it is also for bike riders who are in a different league.

I asked Sam Moore of knog for more details about the bike bell and the launch strategy.

Christopher (BNA): How did the idea to do this arise? Was there anything in particular which lead to this solution?

Sam: The idea was ignited when we noticed that most people buy a bike, get it out of the box (literally or metaphorically) and immediately unscrew the bell. Because it’s ugly and sounds terrible. Bar space is a sacred thing, especially nowadays with multiple devices sitting on it, so the bell needed rethinking. This solution was a no brainer. If a bell wasn’t domed, what shape would a cyclist make it? Wrapping – even levitating – round the bar seemed like a pipe dream (sorry, had to).

Christopher: Is the sound / tone comparable to a regular bike bell?

Sam: No. It’s better. Where most bells have a single high pitched tone, ours has one strong sound, at a fractionally lower pitch, and several shorter higher pitched tones. This results in a more pleasant sound, that also cuts through other noise. You can see this in the kickstarter page – there is a demo of the noise.

Christopher: Is there a different tone with the different metals? 

Sam: In truth, the four aluminium models – brushed, brass, copper, black – sound very similar. The premium Titanium Oi has a slightly deeper main tone. A bit more guts to it. But not more or less effective and safe. You should hear these bells – the video doesn’t do it justice!

Christopher: What sized handlebars does it fit? 

Sam: There are two models. Small Oi is for 22.2mm diameter bars, and anything larger than that up to 31.8mm requires the Large Oi. (Uses spacers to ensure a snug fit on the bar). Note, the bell opens up and fits over the bar easily. No need to take off grips and slide up the bar.

small oi bike bell large oi bike bell

 

Christopher: As an established brand, why go to kickstarter? 

Sam: This is something we considered very carefully. We understand the intent of Kickstarter and are huge fans of the crowdfunding model for individuals and start-ups. Our answer is: time. There are obvious marketing benefits to Kickstarter – reaching a new audience, demonstrating demand etc – but we are a product design company. As such, we love making products and want to get them in people’s hands as soon as we possibly can. Since our core products are locks and lights, the totally new bell tooling and testing would require a much longer lead time without the pledges gained from our new Kickstarter supporters.

Of course I’m assuming we’ll have some, because we’re confident that this is a great product. But if the worst should happen, there is yet another benefit of direct feedback and dialogue with consumers so we can constantly improve.

Speaking for myself, I want one for each bike (that’s a lot of Oi) and if you are curious too, have a look at the Oi on kickstarter.

knog titanium bike bell



Alternative Text
About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

6 responses to “Knog launch the world’s sexiest bike bell – Oi!”

  1. Guy says:

    I think this is a brilliant design and likely to be very popular.

    The one thing I’m curious about is the various aluminium versions. Will the surface coating last? Maybe it makes more sense to different the chime part by complete material, rather than just surface plating: copper , brass, alu and titanium. The bells sounds will then also be naturally different, in the way the various Crane bells are.

  2. Ross says:

    I don’t understand Knog’s answer regarding why they took it to Kickstarter. Surely they have to do R&D to make sure it works in either situation? As for tooling, do they really manufacture their products in-house or sub-contract it out to some overseas supplier? Presumably some sort of tooling would of had to be made to enable prototypes to be made, so they managed to make these without crowdfunding, why not just continue using these?

    I think Knog, being an established company, should of done what most normal businesses do and go to the bank and get a loan if they didn’t have cash reserves themselves to fund this, rather than go through Kickstarter. They seem to be able to do this with the various lights and locks the produce, so why not the bell?

    Cycling is already an expensive sport/hobby but I must be the only person in the world that thinks paying $34 for a bell is outrageous (I admit it looks nice…but not $34 nice). I will continue to use my $5 K-Mart bell that is much smaller and does exactly the same job for a lot less money.

  3. Mike Westerman says:

    Beautiful, but why support an ongoing nonsense? The most effective warning device is yelling “oi” or more politely calling “bike” – bells are merely a regulatory irritant.

  4. The kickstarter approach is marketing orientated and has been very successful. Just a better way of getting more eyes.

    On the price, it depends, some people will spend $15k on a bike or get a custom made bike, even when an ‘off the shelf’ will give them the same effect. I have pledged because I like it and it is compact and looks good.

    Mike, yes shouting is louder and more effective. But having a bell is the law in Australia and you will get fined if the Police want to, so best to have one and work to change the law.

  5. Dane Madrazo says:

    Knog is a bike accessory brand that is well know for its innovative design in bicycle lights and locks. Until now, we haven’t focused on the humble bell. So what better way to test a revolutionary new product design than put it up on Kickstarter?

  6. Matt says:

    Ross said: “I must be the only person in the world that thinks paying $34 for a bell is outrageous”

    I’m certain you’re not – but judging by the popularity of the Spurcycling bell hereabouts, nor am I the only one who thinks over double that is reasonable for a quality product.

    Of course “does exactly the same job” is subjective – and true in the same simplistic way that a $400 Kask Protone does exactly the same job as a $5 Melbourne Bike Share helmet, or for that matter a Honda Civic does exactly the same job as a Ferrari…

    My experience with very cheap bells is actually that they often don’t work – the plastic spring is too stiff or fixed at the wrong angle to make contact, otherwise they make a difficult to hear ‘thunk’ sound and the bands are often too narrow to fit modern handlebars. Plus, of course, they’re ugly. I have zero buyer’s remorse over either of my Spurcycling bells.

    The Knog bell is also very appealing, though when I first saw promo photos I thought it was designed to replace a headset spacer which would be even more awesome.