The bell is an accessory that, for reasons many of us still do not understand, is vilified by racing cyclists. Many seem to think a bell is a sign of amateurism. Having said that, it is a device which is not so much for your own safety, as for that of other road users. And while we may be well adjusted to the speeds at which we zoom along, other road users often aren’t. Even the loudest opponents of the bell must know that shouting is a poor alternative. Time for a change, therefore—because nowadays safety is sexy.
A challenging mission
That must be what the makers at the company CloseTheGap must have thought. They accepted the challenge to develop a bicycle bell that would even be accepted by the most hard-core racing cyclists. And that, we know from personal experience, is a challenging mission. But we live in a world of possibilities. And that’s good for creative optimists: hence HideMyBell.
As you can probably guess from the name, this is no normal bell. And that’s perhaps this accessory’s strongest point. A normal bell takes up valuable space on your handlebars but, more importantly, it looks stupid. And so against our better judgement we don’t buy bicycle bells for our racing bikes. The HideMyBell, however, kills all those counterarguments in one fell swoop. It doesn’t look stupid and takes up no room on your handlebars—instead, this bell is integrated in your bike computer holder.
No reason not to
All the reasons that I have (as a guy on a racing bike) not to mount a bell on my machine have been eliminated. And to be honest, once you’ve got it, you can’t do without it. The reality of cycling in the Low Countries is that we have the luxury of travelling along bicycle paths. But this also means that we have to mix with the rest of the users of these transport arteries, often when they are busy.
In the bell-free past you either hoped that your shouts would warn other people you are approaching, or just gambled and whizzed past them at high speed. Riding with a bell is actually much more pleasant. And because the bell is hidden under your cycling computer, it is never in the way. Yet it’s ready to ding when you need it. And the move is very similar to the one you make to use your cycling computer.
More room on your handlebars
In fact, you actually have a lot more space on your handlebars thanks to the HideMyBell. During the early morning commute it’s sometimes too dark to ride without lights, and regular commuters know only too well how quickly your handlebars get crowded with bike computers, bells and lights. The HideMyBell, however, even includes a bracket for a light, creating more room for your hands. If you are an adventurous type, the light mount can also swapped for a GoPro camera holder. All this in the knowledge that your handlebars won’t get cluttered.
All in all, a very convincing solution to a small problem, which is bigger than it should be. The bell itself has been developed to work in all circumstances, meaning even in the dirtiest mountain bike ride. And the solution is so convincing that even World Tour pros have been spotted using them.
Are you secretly also interested in a bell for your racing bike? The HideMyBell comes with a standard Garmin fitting. But don’t worry, the package includes adaptors for Wahoo, Bryton, Mio and Polar bike computers too. That caters for most of the popular cycling computer brands. Different handlebar styles are also catered for by the HideMyBell—there’s a version for aero handlebars. The HideMyBell comes in red, white or black. The ‘regular’ (pictured above) model costs €36.95.