I decided to go for three of them since they looked so pretty. They arrived around the beginning of October, just two months after they were originally promised, which is great by Kickstarter standards.
Two small Aluminum ones in different colours, and one large Ti one.
The acid test: first how loud are these. The second point: are these going to ring properly while wet.
Here is a video. The four bells tested are:
Listen for yourself
Note that the relative volume of the bells is a bit different between the two clips as the microphone placement on my phone and my camera are a bit different.
The Cateye and the Incredibell are my standard bells, and they are both plenty loud.
I like the double strike of the Cateye.
If you’re tight for space, the incredibell is smaller and just as loud. It also has the advantage that the azimuthal angle of the striker is adjustable.
I’m afraid that I can’t recommend the small Aluminum version of the Oi. Its size makes it possible to fit in odd places like under a brake lever, but it is not loud enough to be an effective bell. Very pretty, though.
The large Ti Oi bell puts out a sound that I would say is adequate for use.
Bottom line: My impression of the Oi is mixed. They are pretty, but the smaller one is not recommended, at least for use in the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto.
- this review from Bike Portland comes to the same conclusion.
- the stream of comments on the Kickstarter page are 50% negative.
- the comments after this post about another Kickstarter from Knog are also negative on the Oi bell.
December 2016: the retail versions of the Knog bells are now in retail shops. I tested the small bell at Hoopdriver Bicycles, and it was louder and more sustained than the ones I have, to the point that it is a decent bike bell.