Flawed in places, but a good effort to solve problems that commuters often face
A mirror, light and indicator in one, the Winkku is designed to address some of the problems faced by commuters – especially inexperienced ones, or those facing heavy traffic. It's not the first time we've seen a bike mirror, or an indicator, or an outboard light, but the combination of the three is novel and well realised. It's a pity the mirror isn't better, and there are flaws in the design, but overall it's a decent product and one that will appeal to segments of the commuter brigade.
Did you enjoy using the product?: yes
Would you consider buying the product?: maybe - if the mirror was better
Would you recommend the product to a friend?: yes, though not to everyone
Your overall verdict of the product taking everything into account
Flawed in places, but a good effort to solve some problems that commuters – especially inexperienced ones – often face.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Winkku bike mirror and indicator
About the tester
I usually ride: Schwinn Moab, urbanised with 700cs
My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with upgrades
I've been riding for: 10-20 years
I ride: Every day
I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: Commuting, Fitness riding, TT, MTBing, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling
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?
Winkku say, "winkku® incorporates 3 essential safety features into one neat handlebar-mounted unit.... Ultra-bright flashing orange indicator, wide-angle mirror and front and rear-facing running lights."
It's being marketed primarily as additional safety, again from the Winkku site: "Making a turn or changing lanes in traffic can be hazardous - glancing round for a second gives you little chance to assess the traffic situation. Then taking a hand off the handlebar to signal, reduces control of the bike - particularly if you hit a bump or pothole!"
So Winkku are saying it replaces a hand signal. I'm not sure it does, particularly (and importantly) from a legal standpoint. Are there standards for a bike indicator? There aren't that I'm aware of. If I get knocked off making a turn with the Winkku flashing, does that count as the same as a clear hand signal?
Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?
It's a plastic moulded unit with a resin mirror and rows of LEDs at the base of the mirror to handle the front and rear lighting. There's two mounts, one which fits into the end of a bar and one which attaches with a Velcro strap.
any further comments on construction?
It feels a bit plasticky but is actually pretty sturdy. It'll need to be too as it constantly gets knocked, especially when you're wheeling your bike about.
any further comments on performance?
A bit of a mixed bag. First up the mirror. My main criticism is that it just isn't a very good mirror - the resin unit gives a distorted image and so it's sometimes to make out what's going on. I'd pay more for a better one.
The indicator is really good. I was concerned that it would either be hard to use, or too easy to set off by accident, but actually it's just right. You just have to give the button a nudge with your hand. Even if you do set it off by mistake the audible 'ping' warns you that it's on. It's nicely visible and certainly very usable.
The front and rear lights are bright enough to give a bit of extra protection and it's immediately obvious that you get a lot more passing space when the lights are on. Obviously the bike is a bit wider but cars seem to give you a couple of extra feet: it seems that as a driver you give a bike light a certain amount of room, and if you move the light out a bit you get more space!
There's an issue with the shielding of the lights: when they're on you can't really see the image in the mirror. A bit of a rethink needed there.
One last comment: there's no need for a separate on/off switch. There's a light switch, and an indicator switch. The third switch is redundant.
any further comments on durability?
No problems so far, despite the Winkku being dropped and knocked on every door frame and gatepost from work to home...
any further comments on weight?
It doesn't affect the handling, but it is reasonably heavy
any further comments on value?
Not cheap, but I can see that it's a product that many people would be prepared to pay for
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well. It's better as an indicator than a mirror, so if it's just a mirror you're after you might want to look elsewhere, there are better options. But the outboard light and indicator too give the Winkku something extra. It's easy to fit (and remove), folds to let you through the door (even if you forget!) and cars seem to give you more space.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The indicator mechanism is really good, and the lights are nice and bright. The audible indicator is a plus too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The mirror. It really lets the unit down. And the fact that you can't see the mirror view when the lights are on is a big design flaw