In March of 2016, Knog started a project on kickstarter to fund a new design idea for a bike bell. I found the idea and looks of the bell very intrigueing and wanted one instantly. It arrived a couple of weeks ago, so here’s what I think about it.
The initial impression of the Oi! is really nice. It seems well made, there are no sharp edges and mounting it to the bars was no problem at all. It comes in a well made box which also includes a small allen key.
After mounting it, I found my first thought to be “how long is this fragile thing going to last” with the immediate answer being “one crash”. The part of the Oi! actually making the sound wraps around the bar and is hooked onto small springs which allow it to vibrate when hit by the little bell “hammer”. This looks and feels rather fragile and even putting the bike rubber side up to fix a flat seems like something you should not do uncautiously with this bell on your bike.
This is what sold me on the Oi! immediately. Just look at the comparison pictures…
It just looks amazingly streamlined compared to your average bike bell. I think it is just gorgeous!
While my reason to buy the Oi! clearly was a kind of “i HAVE to have this nice thing”, the most important thing a bike bell has to be able to be is heard. And this is where the Oi! horribly fails. It is very quiet compared to other bells and people just don’t hear it. I bought two samples of the bell, one for myself and one for my wife and both have the same loudness. In case you are wondering: it is the small one for mountain bike bars diameters. I also had the opportunity to test the large version for racebike handlebars and talk to a bike courier that had it on his bike and he also could not find any nice words other than the looks for the Oi!
Listen for yourself:
Imagine this with just a bit of gravel under your tires or a bit of wind going. People just do not hear this unless you are already too close to them.
My take: Do not waste 20 bucks on this bell. It might be the nicest bell you have ever seen but it just does not accomplish what it is intended to do: get people out of your way.