Knog of Australia – known for its Frog and Blinder LED lights – has placed its latest product on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The “Oi” bicycle bell appears to levitate around the handlebar, says Knog. The project went live last night and exceeded its $A20,000 goal within hours – it is now nearing $A50,000 from almost 1000 backers.
“Bells are the first thing you unscrew from your new bike,” said Knog CEO Hugo Davidson. “What if a bell looked great and sounded even better? If it was discreet, but really stood out through elegant design?”
The Oi is the result. It hugs handlebars and, says Knog, it has a "beautiful tone, but also a remarkable style."
“It’s to get to market faster, and explain the design process more thoroughly,” said Davidson.
Knog’s Kickstarter campaign asks why bicycle bells have to be dome-shaped and “protrude from your handlebar like a blister?” Instead, “what if they looked sexy and sounded like an angel playing a glockenspiel?”
Kickstarter pledgers can choose from four aluminium designs, and there’s also a top-of-the-range titanium model. The early-bird base model cost $A26 (£13) (but these are now all gone), with the ti Oi costing $A47 (£24).
Trade pledgers could order 30 of the Knog bells for $A777 (£402), with the first five of these backers getting free Eurobike passes.
The first bicycle bell – a classic dome-shape – was created by Coventry-based bike builder John Richard Dedicoat in 1875, with a patent granted in 1877.
In 2013, brothers Clint and Nick Slone of San Francisco raised $331,938 to fund their Spurcycle bell.
In the UK, bicycle bells have to be included on bikes at the point of sale but do not have to be left attached to bikes out on the road or trail. It’s different in some parts of Australia – Queensland’s Road Rules state that all cycles have to be fitted with bells, and cyclists have recently been slapped with $117 fines for not riding so equipped.