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Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review


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Old 11-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
Firelord777
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Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review

Hey Twospokers,
Every year, a tragically high number of cyclist are struck and killed by vehicles, and an untold number of survivors with horrific injuries higher still.

A large part of these cases are from situations where there is limited visibility of cyclists, most notably when riding at night. While being visible may not guarantee we will go without incident on our next ride, it does increase our safety by a substantial margin compared to those that opt to ride without lights and dark clothing while hoping that every driver that passes them will notice them in time.

So in the midst of the large market for safety gear such as lights and hi-vis clothing, what’s next?

A relatively new start-up company has recently hit the scene whose founder and co-founder boldly poured a substantial amount of their life savings and time into taking safety to the next level (over $60,000 and countless of long hours). A pair of lighted gloves marks a major milestone in their company’s history - Zackees. But is it a practical solution that will revolutionize the way cyclists navigate and stay safe, or is it simply a passing gimmick?
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Intro to Zackees
First let’s take a look at the founders themselves. Zach Vorhies, a respected former software engineer from Google, had the initial idea of creating turn signal gloves that stemmed from the various other wearable electronics he developed with his friend Murat, a senior design engineer at Nuvation. Murat creates electronics, a critical component of the gloves.

They realized, after some time, that in order to market the gloves and enhance the safety of many people, they had to get serious, and really dedicate and devote themselves to the gloves, which prompted Zach to leave his stable, great job at google – something not many people have the guts to do. Zach himself has corresponded to me that no one is taking a paycheck home yet, and they are running on their savings and backers’ funds. In addition, Zach has no intentions to be strong armed by venture firms into selling to Target and Walmart, since he strongly believes “that IBD’s are where the true art and craftsmanship of cycling thrives”, and wants to see his products in these types of stores.

In spite of the minor shortfalls they are going through business-wise, as with most new startups, in my opinion, Zach and Murat make a formidable team due to their complementary skill sets and experience, and am confident they will be able to resolve present issues and grow to be a business driven by passion that benefits not only the cycling community, but many other sports.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
First Impressions
The very first thing that caught my attention on the gloves was the variety of textile surfaces used throughout the gloves’ construction. This is a welcoming aspect, since it shows each part of the glove was well thought out to offer the best surface for each part of the human hand, such as the breathable spandex top and cushy leather pads on the bottom. The glove has a fairly neutral color scheme and a nice looking blue accents on the logo and letters on the bottom of the glove.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories



Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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Part 2
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
My sample came in the large size, which feels about the right size. The fit was nice and snug – the cliché “just the right size”. Zackees presents a chart on their website to give a recommended glove size for those interested. One facet of the gloves that really shocked me was how Zach and Murat – the founders of Zackees, managed to pack the array of power LEDs (I’ll talk more about this in a bit), electronics and battery on such as limited space and still making the glove feel amazingly normal. Meaning, in spite of the hand containing a large number of nerves, like those sensitive to touch, at least to me, I cannot perceive the weight of the technology on the back of my hand. Although, admittedly, compared to other gloves, the Zackees can feel a few grams heavier, but in reality, the difference is negligible, and the gloves are particularly lightweight.
Inside of glove:
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Underside of glove – note the electronics are shielded both from the outside and the inside. Battery removal is straightforward and not as challenging as it may appear.

Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Brightness
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
I have several years of experience reviewing high-end flashlights, for various companies across a multitude of applications, from the strong, multi emitter powerhouses, to far reaching search and rescue photon cannons, to the occasional bicycle light that I review for my fellow TwoSpokers every once and a while. A significant amount of these flashlights reach well over 1,000 lumens, so believe me when I say this – although the Zackees aren’t pushing thousands of lumens, they are very bright. I am fairly amazed at how much light they put out, honestly. My concern is now not if they will be bright enough to be seen, but rather, if I won’t be blinded myself by them. The frequency on my review sample is roughly 2 Hertz (2 blinks per second)



Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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Part 3
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Despite being familiar with the LEDs out there, I was unable to identify the LEDs used in gloves. Trust me though, I can almost guarantee you will be easily seen at night. The amber color cuts through fog and rain, unlike cool-white tints which tend to dissipate more in shorter distances under adverse weather conditions.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Battery Use and Electronics
Zackees offers at the moment two distinct packages regarding battery and performance. The standard package comes with CR2032 batteries, while the second option provides LR2032 batteries and charger, which Zackees is reportedly developing its own USB charger.
Now, the main difference is not only batteries, but also performance. My sample arrived with the second option, the “Ultrabright” pack. I can’t speak for the standard package, but should users ever want to switch to the Ultrabright, they can get the pack from Zackees and the existing gloves will recognize the rechargeable chemistry and deliver a brighter signal.

CR2032 batteries (LiMnO2 – Lithium manganese dioxide) are the non-rechargeable type of cells that I would recommend more for users that don’t plan on using the gloves as heavily. However, if you think you may use the gloves frequently, perhaps you may want to consider the rechargeable route. In the flashlight world we use CR123A batteries for packing a lot of lumens into a tiny package, and the 18650 Li-ion rechargeable (equivalent to 2 X CR123A in size) for better convenience and for lights that have a demandingly high-draw. Both batteries have great energy density which made them the perfect choice for us weight-conscious cyclists, as well as the ability to be recharged without being completely discharged.

Keep in mind however, not to over-discharge these types of batteries as this may cause them to be damaged.

The charger maintains a simplistic design, the red light means it’s charging, and green for good-to-go. On the plus side, it is also highly compact and light, so it could be taken on longer trips if necessary.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories

Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #4
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Part 4
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Battery life for the CR2032 is, according to Zackees, 2 months with 4 minutes of use every day, while the LR2032 is two weeks with the same use due to the higher discharge rate.
Real Life Use
At the time of writing, I have used the Zackees gloves for roughly a month. I have taken them on my daily ride to school and on the weekend 40 mile group ride. Where the gloves see the most use is when I get home from school, when the sky is dark. I believe what these gloves have given me more than anything is a greater confidence when sharing the road with vehicles. Naturally, I ride in a heavily urban setting, the gloves are, as I mentioned, extremely bright and I find the gloves shine through even the most well lit roads here in Miami.

Lately there have been some heavy downpours, and these gloves, thankfully, don’t seemed to be scared of a little water. They are washable as well, according to Zackees. Since Miami is known for its tropical climate, needless to say, if you’re riding between the most intense hours of the day, IT’S HOT. I expected the gloves to become unbearably warm and sweaty, but astoundingly, I could feel air circulate from the breathable spandex white textile fairly well. This kept my hands cool, only a tad warmer than if I had no gloves, which is just wonderful in my opinion.
Here I took a few pictures using the gloves for cycling, skating, and running:
Cycling sprint position / Road Bike – (gloves in drops)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Cycling normal position / Road Bike – (gloves on hoods)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Cycling / Cruiser (My little sister)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories

Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:51 PM   #5
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Part 5
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Cycling / SS bike
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
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Part 6
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Cycling / Mountain bike
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Skating (Old Ripstik I had laying around the garage)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Running (Initially, we had photos of me running with a helmet, since I run at such high speeds that a helmet is needed, but it looked too silly)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #7
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Part 6
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Gloves in daylight (not activated)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Gloves activated (left glove)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Let me know if I should shave my legs…
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Night Beamshots
This is what we’ve all been waiting for, to answer the question, “just how bright is it at night?” Well, before we begin, note that when I do beamshots for flashlights, the flashlights stay on throughout the shot. However, with the gloves, the lights are only on half the time since they blink, which means I included two shots of each. The first shot is the environment, meaning how the setting looks at night. The second shot, will have an additional exposure time, in order to show the approximate brightness of the gloves. The second shot will have the environment appear brighter than normal, so the purpose was to show my fellow twospokers the control setting, and then the second shot to show how bright the gloves are, so you can imagine taking the brightness of the gloves in the second picture and visualize that brightness in the first picture.
Distance #1
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Distance #2
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories

Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:53 PM   #8
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Part 7
Distance #3
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Distance #4 (To simulate a driver’s point of view)
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
Final shot – My sister had this cool idea to have me ride down the street blinking the gloves, it turned out neat.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories

Uses:

For cycling, the gloves are well suited, they allow air to circulate and the padded undersides helps dampen road imperfections. For skating, the same can be said, although the pads could be used more for protecting against road rash, and circulation could be a bit less efficient since skating usually is done a slightly lower speeds than cycling, and so there is less air flow.

For running, I would say the gloves are fine, but unless you live in a cooler place than South Florida or run at night, the gloves can have some downsides such as insufficient air movement to keep your hands cool, since running is, firstly, more physically intense per distance traveled, and secondly, slower than compared to cycling and skating.

Nitpicks
Overall, the Zackees do the job they were designed to do well, even exceed expectations from a new startup’s first product. However, for future generations and variations of the gloves, there could be a few points to improve on.

First, the white portion of the glove tends to get dirty quickly. While not exactly a valid fault, as the gloves are washable, and Zackees offers different color schemes, it is something to consider if you plan to jump for the white version.

Secondly, while the contact plates seem like a great idea, for both having an audible sound and ease of use, part of the contacts are inside the glove. What this means is that the two bare metal pads presses against the inside of the thumb and the midsection of the index finger when on the hoods. Over long rides, this effect may not be noticeable initially, nevertheless, it can cause your hand to feel a bit fatigued, especially, as mentioned, if you ride mostly on the hoods. This just applies for road bikes, there aren’t any issues with other types of bicycle types.

I don’t know how exactly Zach and Murat would go about solving this, but I would propose inserting a bit of cushion, much like those pads on the bottom of the gloves’ fingers to smoothen out the hard plate. Alternatively, the contact pads could be thinned.

Conclusion

At $75, the starting price for the gloves, the price reflects Zackees’ aim to be taken as a more serious piece of gear, one that is reliable, high-performing, and appealing across many disciplines. For cycling, many cyclists on our large weekend group rides expressed a great deal of interest, especially those that, not surprisingly, have had stories to tell when riding at night.
For the Ultrabright pack, at $100, this can easily make one think twice whether or not to jump the fence and buy the pieces of wearable technology.

It is up to the cycling community to figure out if the gloves are worth increasing the chances of getting home safely and support future advancement of this type of gear, whether be it a commuter, a night rider, a jogger, or skater - and ultimately alter the standard for cycling safety gear.

Through innovative brainpower, through immense dedication, and through sheer performance, Zackees delivers a product that just may burst the current paradigm of cycling safety and navigation.

If you guys have any questions or comments please feel free to post them or PM me,
-Alain
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Review - Gear & Accessories
---Many thanks to my kind little sister who help take many of the images for us to enjoy, she’s a proud member of TwoSpoke, and to me the best photographer ever---
---Zackees gloves kindly provided for review by Zack, Murat, and Alena---
---Cycling kit, pedals and cleats provided by the kind folks at Andante Bicycle Shop for personal use---

Last edited by Firelord777; 11-04-2014 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #9
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:56 PM   #10
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Neat looking gloves! I just wish the arrow pointed toward the fingers so when you put your arm out to signal the arrow point in the direction of turning instead of having to put hands behind you. But cool idea!


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