Zackees introduces winter cycling gloves with turn signals built right in

zackees gloves
© Zackees

A few years ago I reviewed the Zackee turn signal gloves with some trepidation; I worried that they are another gimmicky thing that cyclists didn’t really need, more promotion of “a culture of fear” where people don’t feel safe riding a bike and only venture out if covered with lights and hi-viz clothing.

However those fingerless gloves did not get a lot of use; I live in Toronto and most of my night riding is in winter, and I need warm winter gloves.

me in my zackeesLloyd Alter/ me in my Zackees/CC BY 2.0
Now Zackee has introduced what he calls winter gloves and I have been using them a lot. And a few things have changed in the three years since I first reviewed them, when I was adamant that biking shouldn’t require this kind of stuff, quoting an English writer:

In Europe's top three cycling nations -- Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands -- timorous old people cycle, women as often as men, children bike off unaccompanied to school. Cycling is not a moral manifesto or a carbon offset. It does not require DayGlo or £500 alloy wheels or attitude. Cycling is, as it should be, banal. Because it is safe.

But since then I have had a few nervous-making close calls with cars, I have put my helmet back on and even wear a yellow vest at night now, because Toronto is not yet a Copenhagen or Vancouver style bike friendly city. Cycling should be banal and safe but I have learned that it isn’t necessarily so where I live.

click action © Zackees

The winter gloves work like the fingerless ones did: a ridiculously simple system of two metal discs closes the circuit and sets the lights flashing. However it is smart enough a circuit to know when it is day or night, and adjusts the brightness accordingly.

I have learned to give up the traditional car-based right turn signal and just point in the direction I am going. And you really do get noticed with these gloves. I have actually found them most useful in the separated bike lanes, warning other cyclists of my intentions before they pass me at high speed, as so many do.

sizing© Zackees

If I have one complaint it is the sizing; Zackee invests a lot of energy on their site making sure that you get the right size. And in fact, it works, they fit like a glove- if you are buying fancy Italian leather gloves. But that is too tight for cold climates, where you really want a little room in the glove; it is 32°F today and my fingertips were frozen after 15 minutes of riding. Get one size bigger than they recommend.

Some day I hope to look back and think how silly all this stuff was, the lights and vests and helmets. But right now, on a dark wintry night, they are nice things to have, and nobody misses the Zackees.

The video is unlike most of the ones you see; it actually shows the gloves being made in a Chinese factory, and makes it very clear that the CEO has personally inspected it for ethical worker treatment and fair pay. It looks it, too. More at Zackees.

Zackees introduces winter cycling gloves with turn signals built right in
Now my fingers are warm and visible at the same time

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