It’s that time of year again, the weather is turning cold and I’m riding at least one way in the complete darkness. Last year for Christmas, I received a set of HokeySpokes for Christmas. I’ve had a lot of people inquire about them. Now that I’ve run them for a while, I thought I should write up a review.
I ran the HokeySpokes for almost a complete winter, through all weather conditions the NorthEast could throw at me. I had no problems with them running through the rain, sleet, and snow. They are absolutely great for drawing attention to yourself. I’ve had numerous motorists slow down to take a look, roll down their window and comment on how cool they are, or just give me a friendly honk. I run lots of light in general and the HokeySpokes are the only things drivers have ever made the effort to comment on. If you are a quick rider, then you should ask for a spring upgrade when ordering. I noticed that at speeds greater than about 20mph, they started to turn off. I contacted the company, they knew of the problem and sent out a higher quality spring to better hold the batteries in place.
They do affect the rotational inertia of the wheel. It’s not horrible, but you will notice a difference. I would not recommend running them on a bike wheel with a low spoke count or thin spokes. While I can’t prove it, I did have a wheelset that started blowing spokes like crazy after running the HokeySpokes on them. This started happening in the Spring after the HokeySpokes were removed, but I’m still suspicious that there was a connection. Prior to this, I ran them on an older, heavy wheelset and experienced no problems.
The HokeySpokes are great at displaying interesting patterns and also advertise that you can write text messages. Unfortunately, they have no way to compensate for the speed of rotation. This means the text will only be able to read at a certain speed and in practice, my family watching out the window as I road up and down the street, it’s really hard to make this work. If you are interested in this ability, there is a do-it-yourself project called SpokePOV which uses magnetic sensors to account for the speed of rotation and should work better for this purpose.
I’ll be running the HokeySpokes again, once I get a chance to change over to my “winter wheelset”.