WINKKU Mirror, signal, manoeuvre… new invention indicates bright future for cycle safety

  • Launch of first combined flashing direction indicator and mirror for cycles.
  • Offers unique safety benefits for road cyclists.
  • Incorporates white and red night running lights.
  • Previews at Earls Court Cycle Show, stand C1A2
An ingenious new invention called ‘Winkku’ could be set to revolutionise cycling safety. Winkku will be unveiled at the Earl’s Court Cycle Show (9th-12th October. stand C1A2). Winkku is a compact device which clips on to any bike and gives the cyclist both a flashing direction indicator and mirror for the first time, together with 'running lights' for night use, positioned on the end of the handlebars for maximum visibility. Winkku, which hits the market this week, has been made possible due to advances in LED (light emitting diode) technology. Winkku is now available online at and costs £24.92, complete with fitting brackets and soft carry bag.

Winkku’s designer Graeme Bell has spent the last 20 years designing professionally for the likes of Conran, Land Rover and Malaysian Airlines, but turned his attention to cycling after discovering for himself how dangerous commuting by bike on Britain's crowded roads can be.

“LEDs are now so much brighter than just a couple of years ago" explains Bell. "They're being used for the first time in car headlamps and also household lights. So now we can design a bike indicator where we're confident it can be seen easily even in bright sunlight. LEDs are also a huge step forward in efficiency, and batteries last much longer with LEDs than with conventional bulbs."

"I've had several near misses when trying to change lanes or turn right" adds Bell, "and thought how useful it would be not to have to look round while trying to keep the bike in a straight line, as well as to be able to indicate my intention to turn just like any other road user. I noticed that the car manufacturers have started to incorporate flashing indicators into door mirrors, and this seemed like the obvious answer for bikes as well".

Winkku is powered by three AA-size batteries, and clips on and off the handlebars in seconds, so you can take it with you when parking. "We all know that being able to zoom up between lines of traffic is one of the great advantages of cycling" explains Bell, "so we've designed Winkku to fold back flush, then it clicks into the correct position again instantly when you next need it".

Three years in development, the designers have incorporated as many useful features as they can - the bright night lights shine red to the rear and white to the front, the mirror is both wide-angle and moulded in shatterproof resin, and there's even a bleeper to remind you the indicator's operating, in case you're concentrating on the traffic around you. "Being able to keep both hands securely on the handlebars while indicating was a critical feature we knew we had to build into Winkku" adds Bell, "so we've designed a clever switch which you can operate with a just slight movement of the outside edge of your hand".

A variety of factors from the credit crunch to health benefits and environmental concerns are persuading record numbers of us to switch to cycling for commuting, popping to the corner shop, or getting to school, but safety remains a major concern. "We have a long way to go in the UK to make our roads as bike-friendly as in many other European countries," says Bell, "and I hope that Winkku becomes an indispensable part of any cyclist’s road safety kit”. So for Winkku the future’s bright!