ICGloves are a recent Kickstarter success that had their first major outing at the Bike Show back in February. They combine a comfortable fingerless commuting glove with an integrated LED and motion sensor on the back of the hand. The simple idea is that when you raise your hand to signal, the orange lights 'indicate' for you, mimicking a car's indicator lights.
Testing the indicators at home before their first ride, I thought I had a dud pair. Then I realised that I was turning my hand so I could see the indicators and the motion sensors didn't read this as a signal to switch on. The gloves are in fact sensitive enough to know which way my hands were facing and sure enough, once I stuck my hand out thumb on top as if actually signalling they did their thing. Very clever. The upshot of my mistake was to show how unlikely the gloves are to indicate at inappropriate times. Certainly when out on rides, the lights only activated when I signalled properly, not when on the handlebars, when reaching for a water bottle etc.
The light unit is unobtrusive when on the hand; the gloves only weigh 130g per pair. The unit is protected by a rubber cover which provides decent weather protection (as proved by a simple tap test). For washability, the unit is easily removed from within its pocket and the rest of the glove can be chucked safely in the wash. Once out of the internal pocket, the battery is simple to slip out of the circuit board. Just remember to put it back the same way it came out, else the motion sensor will be inverted.
The LEDs in the gloves are bright enough to be seen on a lit city street, but almost impossible to pick out in daylight. Fortunately the lightness of the gloves meant that I was happy to wear them at any time of the day, whether I needed the indicating facility or not.
Claimed battery life is around 30 days of commuting use, and I didn't find a need to actually turn them on and off to save on battery life as the LEDs only activated with a very specific set of movements.
The gloves themselves are a soft nylon suedette with stretchy light nylon between the fingers and a mesh back. The palms are very comfortable, with a rubber grip patten and double layer on the parts that come into contact with the bars and additional gel padding along the base of the hand. The wrists are finished with a velcro tab and a neoprene cuff which dried quickly and provided a good seal against the elements. There are pull tabs on each of the fingers and Terry towelling thumbs completes the functionality.
The black, grey and lime colour scheme is quietly stylish, and the construction of the glove was clean. I found the medium size we were sent to test a good fit - I am usually a M-L in women's gloves. If you are unsure whether to go M, L or XL then there is a downloadable hand chart on the website that you can use to measure yourself.
Clever commuter gloves that light up when you signal to make your intentions clear
road.cc test report
Make and model: ICGlove Indicating Cycling Gloves
Size tested: Medium - Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A world exclusive: The Indicating Cycle Gloves from ICGlove are fully automated indicators for cyclists. The gloves are triggered to flash as you lift a hand from your handle bars.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Batteries Included (coin cell CR2032)
20 second automatic shutdown timer
30 days continuous use battery life
Removable electronics for glove washing
Silicone palm padding
65 grams per pair
Waterproof to IPXIII
Well made gloves with a neat finish.
Very clever sensors. The next step would be additional brightness.
Slight concerns about how the electronics would react if totally soaked.
Feels light on the hand.
I took off the label as it was the only uncomfortable element.
Reasonable costs for gloves even without the tech.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In the dark, these gloves provide additional visibility at the time you may need it most.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The concept which was well carried through.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, one set for everyone in the family.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 5'7 Weight: size 16
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure