Monday, January 8

Worth the price of submission

Over New Year's weekend, I was loading up bikes on the back of the Honda Fit of Rage.  The regular fitment dilemmas.  Your post up, my post down, my bars forward of your seat post, your bars... watch the brake levers...


On the way to the USNWC, Mills's bike was not drooped and mine was.  We're talking to some other guys in the parking lot while I'm loading up for the drive home, and I'm not playing close attention... his post is down.  Hit the button.  I can see the look on Mills's face.  It's not good.  It's communicating terror but the mouth part is silent.

His post all the way up.  He says, "You just broke your bell."

Meh.  I ripped out the hammer/spring/lever assembly.

I do love my Spurcycle bells.  A happy Kickstarter supporter and owner of both a raw and a black bell, made right here in 'Merica.  I feel like I'm hugging JOBS every time I sound off with my "ding ding."

Anyways, they ain't cheap.  They were slightly less when I bought them, but now you're looking at $49 and $59 respectively for the raw and black bells.


I can't see buying a new one, just on principle.  Mebbe I just don't deserve to have nice things.  I'm a moron, and I broke my bell doing what a moron does. 

I figure that I'll reach out to Spurcycle and inquire about possible repairs.  Mebbe $20 with round trip shipping to fix my $60 bell, making it then an $80 bell?  Of course, I'll try my hand at bending the whole thing back into shape, but what shape should it be to begin with?  I have no idea how to tear one apart or put it back together.  Dammit.

An email on Monday and a response on Tuesday.

"Sorry to hear about your bell trouble but the good news is that it is a pretty easy fix if you're the least bit handy."

The great news is that they sell spare parts.  I click the link.  I shit my pants.

$4? WTF?  I was sad about a $4 part?

Anyways, there was a link to a video demonstrating the repair, and it looked so easy that even mine own moronic hands could handle it.  I noticed that they also had replacement rubber foot grommets... for $2 each.  I had screwed up the one on my tarck bike entirely moving it from bar to bar to bar, re-positioning, and perhaps over-torquing it.  The one on my Vertigo Meatplow V.7 was not in that great of shape from all the half-assed shimming I did trying to get the bell to clear my brake lever (before getting the Lindartets Belltower), so I added a couple to my cart.

Click, click, click... shipping and billing information... wait for that moment when I find out that shipping and handling on my $8 worth of parts will be $12...

And it's not.  $0 shipping.  $0 handling.

I reach into my computer and hug the folks at Spurcycle.

Bent on right (less bent because I did mess with it a bit), new on the left.  Foot grommets above.

The lever replacement was a 15 second job.  The feet were a little more involved.  All said and done, my bells honestly sound better than they did before this all started (I blame my partial-to-total destruction of the foot grommets).

Pardon the weak pun, but consider this my "ringing" endorsement of a $50 (or $60) bell. They stand behind their product with reasonably priced parts and a non-ass-reaming process to get them in your hands. 

No ragrets here.

Well, mebbe that I didn't buy four of them while they were still on Kickstarter.  I've got two bikes with substandard bells, and I just don't get the same pleasure from ringing them. Srsly, but the idea of owning $200+ worth of bells... seems a bit indulgent.  Dammit.


hellbelly said...

Great stuff. The only problem is that now I have no reason not to buy a $60 bell. I became a bike bell fan after I was in RVA last year riding the very crowded JRPS with old friends. One had a bell that came very handy in alerting the many out enjoying the day without incurring the ire that generally comes with hollering at them, sneaking around, etc. Chasing the perfect tone, quality build and a company that backs it up is the goal. Still, it's tough explain to most why you spent that kind of dough on a bell. Sigh.

AdamB said...

Yer math skills are skewed dude. Kickstarter saved you merely 10 clams per bell. Bells that'll apparently last you a lifetime of use doing your most favorite thing in the world.

But now I'm gonna finally order one.

dicky said...

My math adds up. I'm, like, a jenius.