Reviewed by Hannah Chan
Indik8a are a pair of handy lights on fabric straps to be worn over your hands and be used when cycling in the dark. When you are out cycling and need to turn you hold out your arm, even though you might have lights on your bike and the car might have lights on, it can still be difficult to see which arm you are holding up if you need to turn, especially if it is raining or foggy. That is where these guys come in, you press a little button on the finger strap and the light comes on showing the driver behind you which arm is being held out and they know your intent before it is too late. The aim of this product is to increase visibility and save the lives of cyclists.
When you need to indicate you simply press the button which is on your pointer finger so can be pressed easily with the thumb and they come on instantly. They flash orange and vibrate so that you know they are on and do not have to take your eyes off the road to check which is a feature I also really like. You can either press again to turn them off or they turn off by themselves after 20 flashes.
They are lightweight which I loved because no one wants something heavy on their hands whilst cycling and they go easily over gloves due to the Velcro fastenings and stretchy fabric. I think though over big gloves or for people with bigger hands they might be a little tight as even though they adjust the button for turning them on is not free moving so sometimes ends up slightly off where it is supposed to be so you sometimes miss it when pressing, however I believe you will get used to its position quickly, or fiddle around with it until it fits, but because it is in a fixed position, over gloves with large hands the button to turn the flashing on is not in the best position. Saying this the straps are very stretchy and the Velcro can stick on anywhere, they give you plenty of space for large wrists.
The fabric they have used is actually really soft (as well as being super stretchy) the type of fabric they have used also won’t go scratchy when rained on and don’t feel uncomfortable on the wrists when wearing them. I don’t have particularly big hands or fingers so the finger strap was a little rough as they have an orange big of rigid Velcro, which is great for safety but does rub a little after a while. However, I think it is also one of those things that will wear off quickly and get softer with wear.
It doesn’t come with any instructions, which for this day and age that’s great they’re saving on unnecessary packaging and paper. However, for some it can be tricky knowing how to download the instructions or scan the barcode using their phone. I asked a friend of mine who doesn’t use technology to see if they could figure it out without instructions. They were quite straightforward and even without the instructions you can figure out that the L on one glove means for the left hand and the R on the other means it is for the right, even if you don’t see the letters the on off switch will always need to be pressed by the thumb so you will know which hand they go on to and the charging cable is very simple. This makes the item very user friendly especially for those who learn how to use things in different ways or who cannot download the instructions for some reason.
The instructions on the website (they take you to these when you scan the code) literally say, strap them to your hands and you’re ready to go, there is also a good FAQ section on there and a bit about why they’re so good for keeping you safe on the roads. The website itself is super easy to navigate and there is no confusion about what the product is or what it is for.
The website says that the Indik8a has enough charge for two weeks of daily usage. I only had seven days to review the product but by day 6 the battery had no intention of running out. It was still running as it should be and I haven’t had to charge it once, however the charging lead is so simple you can take it anywhere. It is a USB only cable which charges both Indik8as at the same time which saves time (I love that feature, imagine having to charge them separately and then forgetting and having only one working). So, if you do need to use an actual plug take an adapter or plug with you so you can attach the cable, or it will go directly into a phone plug or your computer. They also come in a handy protective case which holds both indik8as and the charger.
My dad is a retired policeman, and he commented that these would have been great in when he was cycling at night whilst working. He also commented that a lot of people don’t pay enough attention on the roads anymore at night and fly down the country lanes often only seeing bikes at the last minute so these are ideal for turning corners at night.
Another idea for use is for horse riding, in the winter it gets dark very early so I might actually invest in a pair for my daughter for when they move the ponies in the dark, it would be useful for the extra visual cue that they’re going to turn.
In fact I liked this product so much that I also decided they would be great for my disabled daughter when she needs to cross the road in her wheelchair in the dark, she has lights on the front and back but these would make her even more visible to passing traffic when she crossed.
I give these 4/5 stars. I love the concept and the product and think the price point is fantastic. The only reason I didn’t give it the full 5 stars was because of the fabric on the finger piece rubbing my finger during use and the fact not everyone would be able to access instructions without a phone or wifi. However, if a shop which sold them could provide a printout of the instructions or guide the buyer towards the website this would be great.
Personally, I also believe it would be a good idea to promote these to young cyclists doing their proficiency courses whilst at school. A lot of children cycle to and from school in the dark when it gets to winter and days are shorter, I would purchase them for my children as an added precaution when there is a possibility of low visibility.
Indik8a sets can be found at www.indik8a.com and retail at £35 with free UK delivery. I would definitely recommend them for a gift, especially for those hard to buy for cyclists (police, riders, wheelchair users) who already have everything for their bikes and love gadgets. Saying that though they are not only for those who love gadgets, they really do play the safety card.
For more information or to buy visit www.indik8a.com.