Saw my first hokey spokes up close

I’ve seen them on large group rides, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in the wild up close. Wow, they are very very noticeable from the sides!

Hokey Spokes wheels

This photo from my point-and-shoot camera doesn’t do it justice — the camera flash completely washes out the image created by the Hokey Spokes. The Hokey Spokes are the green bars in the front wheel in the above photo.

For those who haven’t heard of them, they’re electronic LED gizmos you install into a wheel. The LEDs flash to create pre-programmed patterns and text that’s visible as the wheel rotates. It’s really very cool to see. The Hokey Spokes run about $30 each. You need a minimum of two for it to work right, and three is better. Hokey Spokes for details. These might make a nifty gift for the commuting bicyclist in your life.

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0 thoughts on “Saw my first hokey spokes up close”

  1. gazer says:

    HokeySpokes are cool, but SpokePOVs are better.

    You can program the image on them….
    …and they’re available in a smaller size for my 20″ wheels

  2. Arleigh says:

    I want one or three! Does anyone have these? How does the rotational weight feel?

  3. jim says:

    Awesome timing. I was just looking at the Hokeys versus SpokePOVs last night. I like the DIY-ness of the SpokePOVs, but was unsure they’d work very well in the northwet.

  4. gazer says:

    Jim –
    I’ve left the SpokePOV on my bike through many a rainy commute. I do remove the batteries when it’s wet, and make sure everything’s dry before I put them back in, so I wouldn’t consider it “all weather.”

    I coated the circuit board with a silicone coating – I think it’s called “conformal coating.” Seems to work pretty well.

  5. Mark says:

    This will be my second winter running HokeySpokes. I considered going the SpokePOV route, but only have so much time 😉 I run them through rain, sleet, and snow without removing the batteries and they just keep on ticking. You can read my complete review if you want more information about my experience.

  6. Jim Carson says:

    Hi Mark, thanks; by the way, your blog prompts for a password when I attempt to read the “”more” portion of your review.jim

  7. Mark says:

    Jim, thanks for letting me know this. I’ve had a lot of issues since upgrading to WordPress 2.3 keeping the private family and public sections both happy. For now, I got rid of the “more” section and will take a look at the password prompting issue when I get a chance.

  8. Be Careful says:

    My first attachment tab broke after .6 of a mile. The rest broke by mile 20. I contacted the Hokey Spokes Company and they seem to be more interested in fixing the blame on the customer than in fixing the problem. Since I first learned of Hokey Spokes here, I feel a little obligated to say: “Be Careful!”

    First I was told that the problem was that I may not have attached the Hokey Spokes to the spokes with the v-grove in nut in the correct position. That was not the case, because the directions were clear in that way. Then I was informed that I was to blame because I used Loctite on the metal threads in the vicinity of the plastic attachment. There was no warning anywhere including on their web site until yesterday about the Loctite being an “erosive chemical” to the plastic.

    As far as I can tell I am out my money. By the time you pay shipping both ways and their restocking fee you might as well forget it. However, I do not even qualify for that because I allegedly caused the defect by using the Loctite on the threads of the metal screw that holds the nut on the spoke.

    I will say that when they worked they were fabulous. I bike commute about 15 miles each way. At this time of the year my morning commute is always in the dark and the evening commute is sometimes at night. They really could be a great. Strangely, the company has yet to explain why Loctite is sold in plastic bottles and tubes and yet a reasonable and prudent person would even suspect that it would be an “erosive chemical” in the vicinity of their plastic. If you go to the Loctite web site you will see a picture in the header of the product being applied to a plastic gear on a metal shaft. They warn against using Loctite with nickel or brass, but there is no warning about plastic. Nevertheless, Richard Barnes Ph.D. of Hokey Spokes assures me that my issue is with Henkel Corporation who manufactures Loctite and not with The Hokey Spokes Company.

    The fact is that the tabs broke when I was riding in excess of 20 mph and hit a bump (both times I was coming off a bridge). Fortunately, I do not listen to music when I ride and I heard the Hokey Spoke attachment tabs break. There is no evidence of erosion as in eating away of the plastic from the nearby Loctite. The tabs cracked like glass in normal winter bicycle commuting situations. I was lucky that they did not jam my wheel or drive train. No harm came to me, so I probably do not have a basis for a claim. The company has very quickly updated their web site to protect themselves from potential liabilities. I would recommend that you be very careful if you decide Hokey Spokes. Good luck , be seen and be safe!

  9. Mark says:

    On the flip side… This is my third season running Hokey Spokes and, knock on wood, I haven’t experienced any problems like Jan described. I didn’t, however, use loctite on them though. The only issue I’ve experienced with them is that above about 23mph, the lights start to turn off. I contact the company, they said it was a known problem and sent me a set of stiffer springs free of charge. Apparently, they must use a cheaper spring by default and few people travel this fast with them to notice. Jan, you are definitely lucky you heard them break, that could have been really messy.

  10. Gerry says:

    You can also check out

    I like the look of these even better (not to say hokey spokes are bad

    Tell them Gerry from L.A. sent you and they might give you something nice for free!


  11. Hokey Spokes says:

    We are really promoting bicycle safety with Hokey Spokes, a quality product that is waterproof and shock resistant.

    We just read the “Be Careful” comment listed above and would like to respond.

    While Hokey Spokes provides a one-year replacement warranty for manufacturing defects, we cannot provide coverage for improper installation any more than an auto maker would replace your car when you wreck it. Sorry about that.

    Also, putting Lock-Tite on any plastics will change the chemical structure of the plastic resin (actually dissolving it). Hokey Spoke advises customers NOT to use Lock-Tite or any other chemical on their Hokey Spoke. And, if you read the label on Lock-Tite it also tells you “not for use on plastics”… so you really have to read the label to protect yourself and your investment.

    There are instructions on the insert card for proper installation of Hokey Spokes. They come with a special nut with a “V” notch in them. Your bicycle wheel spoke goes into the “V” notch and that is what holds your Hokey Spoke in place. If you don’t follow the instructions on installation you will not be covered under any warranty… that holds for any product.

    We’ve purchased the POV Monkey Lights for product comparison. They are NOT waterproof and if you ride through a puddle, the batteries will get wet and rust and/or corrode. Plus, there is no IR circuit to have them communicate with one another. If you put two on a wheel to balance the weight, it appears gibberish with two patterns overlapping one another. They are brighter but they consumer more battery voltage for a 30 hour run. Hokey Spokes will last 50 hours. Plus when you replace batteries on the Monkey Lights you have to cut off the plastic straps and use new plastic straps when you reinstall. Hokey Spokes come off with the Philips screwdriver (which we give you free).

    We have excellent customer support and technical assistance. 99 percent of our orders are shipped the same day they are received.

    Good product! Good service! Hard to beat!

    (Unless you don’t follow instructions and read all labels…)

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