Handbuilt Bicycle News

Bicycle Accessories


Aaron Allen

Monday 11 April 2016

Spurcycle: music for a cyclist's ears

Spurcycle makes the best bicycle bells that money can buy, and is the result of a marriage between old style craftsmanship and modern technology.

Spurcycle: music for a cyclist's ears
Photo: Spurcycle

The best bicycle bells a cyclist can buy. This is the boast of a small company nestled in a slightly removed and extremely beautiful nook of Sausalito, CA, just three kilometers to the north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Spurcycle is Nick Slone and Clint Slone, both of whom are avid cyclists, talented designers and quite savvy on the business side.

Nick and Clint Stone

Nick and Clint Stone. Photo: Spurcycle.

Their story is one of old tech meets new tech, where the artisan’s attention to quality benefits from using modern tools, and of marketing hitting the fast lane with the latest business building software.

Yet the road seldom runs that straight, at least not for Spurcycle. The company started by making grips. They built capital using crowdfunding and had adequate results with that, but then they hit on the idea of a bell that discerning customers would want to mount on a high-end bike. They started a Kickstarter campaign and boom!

“We felt like we needed a bell crafted with the same level of quality as the bikes we love to ride,” said Nick Sloane.

To their delight and surprise, they raised roughly $100,000 in the first week! By the end of the campaign they had raised over $300,000 and were faced with an immense challenge of meeting an unexpectedly high demand. They also realised this meant they also needed employees now, and a new space. Essentially they’d leapt in the space of a month from being a small crowd-sourced brand to owning a product category.

Tray of bells

A tray of Spurcycle bell tops awaits assembly. Photo: Aaron Allen.

The bell itself is finely crafted and aesthetically beautiful. You might think a bell is just a bell, but they’ve paid close attention to things like consistency of tone, volume and resonance. The dome of the bell has to be made with a great deal of care and tight manufacturing tolerances. All the bells sound the same and they truly do resonate for a long time. Much like Nigel Tufnel’s ‘59 Les Paul, this thing has sustain!

Spurcycle recently collaborated with Chris King on a bell to match King’s 40th anniversary limited edition components. Check it out here. They have started making a neat key clip which is also US made.

This truly is the bell to rule all other bells, and owners we’ve spoken to readily agree it’s money well spent. One variation we would like to see is a version with the bell trigger mounted horizontally rather than vertically. On some bar setups this would offer faster thumb activation of the bell, and let’s face it: often a split second can make all the difference.

Spurcycle is ringing the changes, and we’re expecting to see some interesting products in the future from this artisan operation. Find retailers or purchase one from the source at  www.spurcycle.com.