The Oi bike bell is not only a reinvention of the bike bell, but a reinvention of the bell. It is not dome-shaped, but cylindrical. It has been designed to turn a previously forgotten, embarrassing accessory, into a memorable icon that you can be proud to place on your bike.
The most obvious feature of the Oi bell is its shape. Where most analogue bells are domed, the Oi is a cylindrical shape, perfectly wrapping itself around the handle bar. In fact the CNC-machined metallic metal ringer almost levitates off the bar, held by small springs attached to the mount. This results in a low profile, both vertically and horizontally for the rider. As there are more and more pieces of equipment demanded on the handle bar by cyclists, the Oi is a beautiful addition, without taking up valuable space.
With an O shape product for the handle-bar, you would expect it needs to slide onto the handlebar, requiring the removal of grips and other accessories. Not so with the Oi. In fact the metal component is C shaped, and the mount is flexible, so can open over the bar. This makes it convenient, and with a hex key in the pack, easy for the owner to fasten and remove when necessary. In addition, the mount has a cable management system built into the form so there’s no need to worry about wrapping on top of cables. In fact, the Oi helps gather them up neatly, adding to the clean aesthetic most riders prefer.
The sound the Oi makes – the essential function of the product – is crisp and pleasant. Balancing safety and pride of ownership is difficult with safety products. For example, high vis vests and sturdy helmets. Bike bells need to have good sonic cut through. Many bells and bike horns are an abrasive sound to shock those nearby. However, a sound that is too soft will not cut through ambient noise. After months of testing materials and different forms of the bell, the end result is a sound that has one longer lasting lower tone, and several higher notes. This results in a pleasant sound, that has longevity, but also with those high notes cuts through the cluttered street noise to demand attention.
The size of the handlebar is obviously very important for Oi to work well. So there are two model sizes – one for the common 22.2mm diameter bars. This is the size of many fixi, vintage, and older road bikes. And the large size is 31.8, more common among modern Road and Commuter bikes. But in the large pack come two spacers so that bar sizes between these two sizes can be accommodated. Added to this are different finishes – a Classic aluminium version comes in brushed and anodised black, brass, and copper. Plus a premium Titanium model.
The Oi is a small product, but regardless, as with our other products, the packaging is as small as possible, and uses a biodegradable pulp tray, plus recyclable plastic sleeve. (Although not a hard measure, it should also be noted that the inspiration for the Oi was to tackle the problem of obsolescence with bike bells. In many countries, a bell must be sold with every bike and due to bells’ unpopularity they are often the first thing thrown away. In the near future, we are working hard to have a version of the Oi as an OEM product for major bike brands, hereby reducing the likelihood of throwing away the bell).