Bike bells have been around forever. But bells for runners? I’ve never seen anything like it and don’t know if it’s a good idea or just plain silly.
The Runbell for “frustration free urban running” is designed to be worn on two fingers and rung by a spring-powered striker flicked by the thumb.
The brass bell sounds with a predictable high-pitched ring, warning pedestrians, other runners, or cyclists that you’re “coming through” without saying a word.
The Runbell weighs about 1 ounce. It comes in two sizes (the company calls them “his and hers”) and ships with silicone sizing inserts. To wear with gloves, you remove the inserts entirely.
The Runbell might work for super crowded city sidewalks where yelling “on your left” over and over can get tedious. It’s probably a little overkill for most places, where a simple vocal warning is plenty.
It reminds me of a half-set of brass knuckles, but no word yet if it’s any good in a fight.
For about $25 (the price during fundraising) the Runbell is a unique solution to running through crowds. It has some support so far, raising $10,000 on Kickstarter of a $20,000 goal.
With more than 10 days remaining in the campaign, there’s a good chance you can strap a bell on your fingers and go for a run in the near future. — Sean McCoy