I found a new favorite place for my bell on the bike. On our last bike packing trip – including tent and bad weather – I came to a conclusion. I need some more packing space the next time. When Matthias offered me his old handlebar bag this solved one problem and created another 🙂
Up until now I’d been using a Knog Oi as bell for 2 reasons: The looks and it’s sound. But in case I wanted to use the handlebar bag this would unfortunately interfere with the bell.
So I spent some days looking at the bike and trying to find a place. Then I had a thought. But since I depend upon my bike for commuting every day I didn’t try it out for some time. When I did, I ran into a really stupid problem. I messed up the torx screw when attempting to take off the stem. I was careful – yet it seemed to be too stuck. The screw also was a special kind fitting to exactly that stem. Damn. That needs to be drilled out now.
For quite some time I had planned to accept Hotte’s invitation for a tour of his workshop and maybe even do a project together. This got postponed quite often due to covid restrictions. Especially since visiting Hotte means traveling across a border. So when the window opened and both restrictions and our schedules allowed I instantly went hunting for the necessary parts. I added another experiment on stem length and angle to the project and brought all the parts along with me. We met up in the early morning and I turned my home office day into an Hotte office day. This made it possible to jump into the workshop immediately after work finished. Talking about his place and workshop could fill several blog posts on it own. Wonderful place!
Thanks again for the hospitality to Hotte in case you are reading this! I hope I can return the favor in not a too distant future!
Here some pictures from the broken screw and the first test of the bell with the handlebar bag on when I got home. Check!
Now there was one issue left which only occurred when on rougher surface. The metal sounding body of the Knog would wobble a little and hit the dust cap and ring. Kind of like a cow bell 😀 … at least on gravel. Today I had the chance to try to fix that problem and I also have the chance to show you the bits and pieces Hotte and me used to place the Knog where it is. I ditched the first approach to place some cushioning of sorts on the dust cap after very few attempts and have concluded to following setup.
It starts with a dust cap from acros from their zs44 headset. It had the correct width of the steerer tube of the Stevens and was the slimmest I could find. Really like the (red) rubber they use to seal the headset of nicely.
Then I cut a carbon spacer in half to fit between the dust cap and the Knog without increasing the distance too much. It starts looking weird then (I tried). A search later in the day also showed there is no such thing as a 1mm spacer… at least I didn’t find it.
Next you use the small sticky rubber piece that comes with the Knog to fit to the size of the steerer tube. The rubber and tightening the Knog well is important. If you don’t you will drive the upper spacer literally in between the bell and the steerer tube. And the whole setup can’t tighten correctly.
Then add a spacer (or not depending on your stem height) and tighten it all down as usual.
All finished. The bell is not in the way of anything. I also chose this position to fit a top tube bag behind it.
Obviously I didn’t take a good “before” picture. But I found this old one from when I was trying out options where to place things for a bike packing trip. You can see the big original Stevens spacer which is now replaced with the Knog Oi Spacerbell. I think it would be really cool of them to make an official version of this which needs less hacking 🙂