The Five minutes with series presents a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week, we’re joined by Trigger Bell creator Stefan Buxton.
Can you tell us the history of the company?
The idea for Trigger Bell was born one sunny afternoon in 2011. I was lying flat on my back on the road with my bike on top of me looking up at the smashed brake lights of the 4×4 that I had just hit. I had been forced to swerve to avoid a pedestrian that had walked out into the road without looking. I could not ping my bike bell to warn them without sacrificing the grip on my brakes, so I chose to brake instead to reduce the force of the impact. It was (almost) at that point that I thought that there must be a better bike bell design that didn’t compromise braking or control.
Ultimately, the ergonomics of bike bells has not changed in 200 years (though there have been some beautiful additions to the market recently). The issue with traditional bike bells is that the hammer is always too far away from where your thumb naturally sits when you are riding. Trigger Bell solves this by being mounted discretely underneath your handlebar with the hammer close to your thumb. Trigger Bell is a safer bike bell because someone cycling at 10mph can ping their bell up to 20 feet sooner.
In 2014, we were incredibly fortunate with the support we received for our successful Kickstarter campaign, after which Trigger Bell went into production. We are now on v4, and Trigger Bell is adorning the handlebars of tens of thousands of road bikes, city bikes and trail bikes in over 30 countries. We are also delighted that v4 is manufactured and assembled entirely in the UK.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
Our objective is to make cycling safer and more fun. Trigger Bell allows you to safely and quickly let other road users know that you are approaching all while confidently maintaining your speed and control as you ping away. Ultimately it would be wonderful to see a Trigger Bell on every bike.
What gives you an edge over other brands in the industry?
We are 100 percent dedicated to Trigger Bell. We have made a massive investment to design the best bike bell possible. Since 2011 we have developed almost 100 prototypes and have performed countless material, acoustic and performance tests. We also want our customers to be delighted with their Trigger Bell and the service they receive from us. We are thrilled that our passion has led to Trigger Bell jostling for the position of highest rated bike bell on Amazon.
What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment?
Anything that encourages more people cycle. Simple things like improvements in hi-vis clothing, puncture resistant tyres and lighter bike locks to more advanced kit like laser lights, e-bikes, augmented reality glasses and action cameras.
Then there are the great improvements in cycling infrastructure, especially segregated cycle lanes. London, for example, has been transformed in the last few years and continues to move in the right direction. Now they just have to find a way to maintain some lovely sunny weather.
What does the future hold for the company?
Trigger Bell and more Trigger Bell! We are really excited about getting Trigger Bell to more cyclists in more countries.