the Crane Brass Suzu: What a Bell!
I love this cockpit.
Here's a picture from the cockpit of Wheelio. "Cockpit" is the word that some pretentious cyclists, (myself, for example) use to mean, "Everything I can reach from my seat."
I like the term, "Cockpit." I feel like a Top Gun pit crew mechanic every time I try out a different shifter or wrap handlebar tape. Prepping the cockpit...
Anyway, as a way of easing into my goal of reviewing everything I own for this blog, I present to you: the Crane Striker Brass Bell. Crane is a Japanese company that makes several models of very lovely bells. I am sure that they are all very nice, but this one is the supreme dinger.
This bell is great looking. They make one in copper, too. I think it's too shiny. And another in a grey-colored brass. It's fine. The brassy-brass one, though... Sheesh. It develops this patina that is so darn olde worldey! I credit the Crane Bell for the beginning of my own ridiculous(ly hot) tweed fashion thing. Not that one needs woolen knickers for this bell. It goes with anything.
On performance: The spring's got a great feeling action on the striker hammer. Some bells just feel good when you ding them. This is one.
Also, the hammer never rattles or dings as I slam over potholes. I repeat, that thing where most bells make a little noise when your bike jostles or jitters doesn't ever happen. And if it does, you can bend the metal of the hammer just a touch to adjust its distance from the bell and it stops.
And! It still sounds like a bell in a downpour. Does anyone understand why some bells are totally muted by heavy rain? Nah, don't answer, I guess I get why that happens. What I DON'T get is why that doesn't happen to this bell. Must be all the patina.
It dings so sweet! The sound is the right balance between the two messages I like to send with a bell: "Hey, we exist! Don't hit us with your car!" and "Hey, nice to see you! You are my friend or something and I'm saying, 'Hey!' from aboard my bike." The appropriate number and intensity of rings can make it clear which I am trying to communicate.
And so much sound! I ding this thing once and the ding just peels out for a full thirty seconds or something. It's peaceful.
At this point I've equipped dozens of bikes with this bell. Every bike we own has one. If there is a better bell out there I'd love to ding it.
How about you? Do you know of a better bell? Do you have a favorite small accessory or component? Comment, for the luvva Pete!