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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 110 > THROUGH THE GRINDER

THROUGH THE GRINDER

Winter is on us! Time to get out as much as possible, keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. No one cares what you look like, just go and get muddy! And when you’re not, you can read about what the Grinder Team has been trying to erode this issue.

TIMBER

BELL

Price

£22.99

From cyclorise.com

Cyclorise,

Tested Six months

Some riders can leave their house and be on sweet singletrack in minutes, without hitting a single road and ride for hours without seeing a single person. And then there is the real world, where even if you live in the countryside, there’s always the canal, or the country park, or the duck pond and riding school between you and your favourite rooty turns.

Some riders fit bells to their bikes, but most don’t. If you run more than one bike, it’s a pain to swap them over and many pedestrians find the single ‘PING!’ of a cheap bell a little aggressive. And while you can ‘ping’ a walker as you approach, that doesn’t stop you from crashing into the next one round the corner. But then we all know the rider who has an annoying dingly-dingly bear bell that chimes all the time and who is forced to ride at the back until he learns his ways.

The Timber Bell fits into this admittedly niche, er, niche of wanting to let other trail users know you’re approaching without either giving them an over-chirpy ‘ding!’ or annoying your riding pals. It does this by way of a retractable clapper.

The Timber attaches to your bike by a strong O-ring or (as we have the prototype of here) with a regular bolted clamp. There’s a neatly ‘rounded square’ bell that hangs below the bar, with a very intuitive thumb lever on the clamp. To deploy the clanger (and I never thought I’d have to one day write that phrase for a living when I was growing up) you put the switch down and a gentle ‘dingly dingly’ ringing fills the air as you ride along. It’s loud enough to be heard a long way off, but not annoying enough to make your riding pals avoid you. When you’re away from the crowds, it’s a simple flick of the thumb and the bell is utterly silent, without any chance of accidentally going off when you’re poaching Mr Magoo’s secret woods.

Placement of the bell can be surprisingly tricky, as it hangs down a couple of inches below the bar, so care is needed to avoid it clonking either downtubes or kneecaps. The new bolted clamp does let you place it securely forward of the bars, a little out of the way.

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About Singletrack

International Adventure: Switzerland – Winter in Switzerland doesn’t haven’t to mean skis and snowboards. Sim checks out the growing fat biking scene there. Editors’ Choice – Chipps and the gang pick out their very favourite products, events and locations from the year. Interview: Tom Ritchey – Chipps talks to this man of steel (tubing) about framebuilding, fast racers and innovative product design. Trail Hunter – Nan Bield – Tom Fenton adds one of the Lake District’s hardest challenges to your must-ride bucket list. Dressing for winter – How can we best recommend winter gear for you? By starting with a shivering Australian, of course… Bike Test: Battle of the Titans – Three bikes from the biggest names in the industry: Giant, Specialized and Trek. Grouptest: 27.5in Trail Forks – Seven, 130-140mm forks for every price point tested. Classic Ride: Aviemore – Pete Scullion takes us on a tour of this area of Scotland better known for its skiing than its shredding. Grinder Bike: Stif Morf – Is this hardtail as playful as it looks? Through the Grinder: The team bring you their verdicts on products that have survived the first frosts of winter.
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