Spurcycle Bell Review
I’ve used the Spurcycle Bell for more than two years. By combining my experience, the company’s claims, third-party online feedback, and comparisons with the competition, this article can help you buy more wisely.
About the Spurcycle Bell
Within the cycling parts and accessories industry, the Spurcycle Bell is a perfect example of crowdfunding success. How so?
The San Francisco-based company introduced this unique product to the world via a 2013 Kickstarter campaign, which raked in $330K+ from more than 5,800 backers.
Today, cyclists continue citing the Bell among their favorites, as Spurcycle has since added models to their lineup. They’ve also expanded into other accessories like key clips, water bottles, tools, and saddle bags.
Compared to many competitors, though, the Bell comes with a premium price. Should you pay for it?
I’ll walk you through what I learned after riding with it for years, discuss what other riders are saying, and see how it stacks up against popular competitors. First, though, let’s quickly zoom in on its details.
Taking a Closer Look at the Spurcycle Bell’s Specifications
All Spurcycle Bells are manufactured in California from a premium brass and stainless steel alloy. The Silver version is unfinished, while the Black features a Diamond Like Coating (DLC), which they explain reduces friction and boosts hardness.
After machining and forming the dome to Spurcycle’s specifications, it’s trimmed and hand brushed in-house for an unrivaled finish. From there, precision manufacturing ensures that the Bell’s remaining parts fit together seamlessly.
Spurcycle’s Unique Mounting Mechanism
Compared to competitors (more soon), Spurcycle engineered a unique mounting system they say, “attaches to any handlebar, standard and oversize, aluminum or carbon.”
This involves two metal bands; the Standard version fits handlebars 22-26 mm, while the Oversized version can accommodate diameters between 32 mm and 36 mm.
Once securely in place, Spurcycle also advertises their Bells deliver maximum resonance, a powerfully loud, enduring, sound, and a convincing tone. In fact, it’s said to ring 3X longer than any other bell.
All Bells come with a lifetime guarantee, whether related to performance or appearance—simply send it back to the Spurcycle factory and they’ll handle the rest.
|Materials||Brass/stainless steel alloy|
|Dome Size||30 mm x 20.5 mm|
|Handlebar Diameters||22-26 mm, 32-36 mm|
|Mounting Location||Anywhere in the cockpit|
|Available Finishes||Silver (Raw), Black (Diamond Like Coating, DLC)|
|MSRP||$49 (Silver), $59 (Black)|
Installing & Maintaining Your Spurcycle Bell
With only two parts (dome and band), along with the need for just one tool (2.5 mm hex wrench), installing your Spurcycle Bell is a relatively straightforward process:
- Choose the appropriate band size. Wrap it halfway around your handlebars so that both ends are pointing in the same direction.
- Insert each hook into its slot located in the back of your Bell.
- Position wherever you prefer. Use a 2.5 mm hex to secure in place by turning the front screw in a clockwise direction.
Despite its seemingly simple setup on paper, I’ve found that, in practice, it can take some trial and error to align everything properly. However, based on this experience, I have a couple of tips that could help minimize your frustration. Check out this quick video:
After installation, Spurcycle recommends adding one drop of lubricant to the pivot once per year. They point out you might also experience some patina over time, which is more pronounced in wet, coastal regions.
To remove this patina or other surface deposits, they advise applying gentle metal polish or carnauba wax using a soft rag.
I’ll explain more about what I’ve learned with the Bell next.
My Experience Using the Spurcycle Bell
I was introduced to the Spurcycle Bell several years ago at a local bike shop, where I was intrigued by its looks but shocked at its sticker price.
I didn’t even need to test it to see that the Bell was thoughtfully constructed, though. It was also much smaller than any other options available and manufactured from higher-quality materials. But, really—$60 for a bell?
Not Perfect, But a Great Cycling Investment
Fast-forward to today, and I’m 100% glad I decided to make the investment. I’ve found it’s easy to install (once I got the hang of it, of course) between different bikes, and can be mounted almost anywhere in my bike’s cockpit.
It’s also unobtrusive while riding, easy to access when I need it and delivers a piercing, but not unpleasant, tone and volume. It gets most people’s attention, along with a friendly “on your left!”
The Diamond Like Coating has held up quite well after more than two years, despite one scratch from a particularly nasty mountain bike crash. I also lost my Bell’s lever and hammer in the process, which Spurcycle currently sells for $4 and was super easy to reinstall.
Although I was initially concerned about the Bell’s metal band, it hasn’t left any noticeable damage on my handlebars. However, this is a common complaint from many online cyclists (more soon).
Pro tip: To potentially help prevent this from occurring, the Life Is a Beautiful Detail blog walks readers through how to add shrink-wrap to the band for extra padding. I haven’t attempted this, so I can’t attest to its usefulness.
My Bottom Line About the Spurcycle Bell
Whether you ride road, mountain, gravel, or anything in between, I’d consider the Spurcycle Bell a must-have cycling accessory. It’s easy to install and use, constructed using high-quality materials and processes and has held up exceptionally well to regular use.
Is it inexpensive? No. But, like most cycling accessories and parts, you get what you pay for.
Third-Party Online Feedback For the Spurcycle Bell
Cyclists on third-party sites like BikeRadar, CyclingTips, and Amazon.com seemed to report many of the same positive experiences with the Spurcycle Bell. Common compliments cited that it was easy to fit and install, designed well, durable, delivered an exceptional sound, and rang longer than any other options.
Unsurprisingly, the top complaint was that the Bell was expensive. More than one also complained that installation was difficult.
Is the Spurcycle Bell necessarily the only game in town, though?
Spurcycle’s Bell vs. the Competition
First, You Might Watch Out For Spurcycle Knockoffs
When a product (cycling or otherwise) has attained crowdfunding success, it’s quite common for overseas manufacturers to produce lookalikes and flood the market quickly. Here are just a few of Spurcycle’s:
|RockBros Mantis Shaped Bicycle Bell||$10.99|
Despite their very similar appearances, most knockoffs come with meaningfully lower average ratings than Spurcycle; typically somewhere around three stars on sites like Amazon.
While many cyclists certainly reported positive experiences, most complaints revolved around lower quality than expected, difficulty fastening, as well as a less pleasant tone than Spurcycle’s. Your mileage will obviously vary, but this is important to consider if you’re thinking of saving money.
Other Spurcycle Bell Rivals
There are also several other companies manufacturing popular bike bells competing for many of the same customers as Spurcycle.
Although not all are designed the same, they share many similar features including brass and stainless steel alloy construction, compact designs, all metal parts, and availability in several colors and finishes. These include:
|Knog Oi||$17||Completely circular design|
|Origin8 Time Clock Bell||$12||Side-mounted strike lever|
|Crane Suzu Bell||$17||Side-mounted strike lever|
|TIMBER! Mountain Bike Bell||$25||Quick release and bolt-on versions, automatically rings when moving on trails, lock-out mode|
|Mirrycle Incredibell||$10||Pivoting dinger|
Given all of these details, where are you left when it comes to Spurcycle’s Bell?
My Thoughts About Whether Or Not You Should Buy the Spurcycle Bell
Should you buy Spurcycle’s Bell? Ultimately, choosing any bicycle gear or accessory is an intensely personal process, and this is no different.
But, based on my hands-on experience over the years, I think it delivers an incredible level of value, despite its meaningfully higher price than differently designed competitors. If you have the opportunity, I’d strongly recommend picking one up.
What did you experience with Spurcycle’s Bell? Leave a comment below and give the product a star rating up top!
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