First look: Winkku indicator mirror

Mirror, indicator, and running light all in one

by Barney Fletcher   January 15, 2009  

winkku_01_press

Terrified of turning right? Maybe you need a cycle mirror with a self contained LED indicator and running lights. just such a device landed in the road.cc office last week – it's called a Winkku.

Indicators for bikes are not a new idea – we've seen our fair share of gizmos trying to solve this particular 'problem' over the years, everything from LED gloves through to full on lighting arrays for the front and back of your bike. The problem with all of them was that their were either too heavy, fiddly or complicated, expensive, or all four, to catch on.

While some experienced cyclists might scoff, the difficulties associated with turning right are acknowledged as being particularly off-putting for many beginners and less experienced cyclists.

The Winkku seeks to help here it's a cycle mirror containing clearly visible LED indicators (21 of 'em) which they claim are easy to operate without taking your hands off the 'bars. The brainchild of product designer Graeme Bell the Winkku is powered by three AA batteries and clips on and off the 'bars easily so you can take it with you when parking.

"We all know that being able to zoom up between lines of traffic is one of the great advantages of cycling" explains Bell, "so we've designed Winkku to fold back flush, then it clicks into the correct position again instantly when you next need it".

So what's it like to use? Big Dave has been commuting with it for the last few days and ahead of a full review here's what he thinks of it…

First, it's immediately noticeable, when riding in the dark with the lights on, that drivers give you more space. it definitely makes a big difference to the perceived width of a bike, even if in reality it's only adding 6 inches or so.

It is pretty well made, I was worried that it'd be hard to activate, or easy to activate accidentally, but it's easy and intuitive to work. and the 'ping' lets you know if you've turned it on by mistake, or forgot to turn it off.

My main criticism of the Winkku is that it just isn't a very good mirror– the reflection is a bit distorted and with the lights on it's really hard to see anything at all in the mirror. there needs to be more shielding between the two

Overall it seems well made. It doesn't affect handling and it's easy to snap back for narrow alleys and to take on or off when you park up.