Glo Gloves: Turn signals for your hands

Gloglove.jpg I’ve mentioned them before, but when ever I wear them I get questions and comments so it’s time for a bit more coverage.

Glo gloves are simple, reflective over-gloves which will help you survive your night time rides. Here’s a good review by the Gadgeteer, but you won’t need too much convincing once you understand the value of the gloves.

These are the same gloves you see police officers directing traffic with, although there are 3 models, only one of which has the ‘stop sign’ on the palm. You can get this model online or at uniform stores here in Seattle and elsewhere.

The gloves will help you stay visible during one of the riskiest road maneuvers for a cyclist – turning. Signalling is a great way to improve your safety, but if drivers can’t see your signals they don’t count for much. Glo Gloves increase your odds of being seen. At around $20 they’re incredibly cheap insurance.

Lots of riding gloves come with their own reflective piping, but none bear as much as Glo Gloves. Plus, Glo Gloves are compatible with your favorite glove because they’re simple lycra finger-less ‘liners’. They go right over my cheap goretex winter gloves or any other gloves I have. I don’t ride at night without mine.

Some models also come with a palm reflector, which is helpful in signalling to oncoming traffic as well as those behind you. The version with a directional triangle reflector is probably best, although the stop-sign version is useful as well.

Tip: reflectors only work when they reflect light back towards they eye of the observer. Make sure to keep your glo-glove reflectors pointing towards what you want to see you. For cyclists this means keeping your hand vertical, facing backwards. A bit awkward at first, but well worth it in the long run.



12 Comments

Hmm—thanks for posting this.  I was trying to remember where I saw this, because I desperately need a pair.

I’ve ordered a pair of “Bright Hands Glow Gloves” (http://www.clubthings.com/product754.html), just on a lark, to see whether they work as needed for cycling, and if so, whether they can be lined to make them suitable for winter riding.

This is the most out-of-demographic purchase ever of clubbing paraphernalia ;-)

Ah, I don’t ride AT ALL without ‘em!

The multiple versions include one specifically designed for cycling tho, the Sport Glo Glov; this has a different fabric and a little palm padding. Not the same as the ones cops and the Port of Portland use to direct traffic at PDX, for example. Definitely preferable for biking.

Beat them senseless for years, now, and they’re still wearing fine. Zero thermal value (stretch-fit over thick wool winter gloves), but very noticeable to automobile users—taxi and truck drivers will comment favorably on ‘em.

Plus, they’re made in Oregon by a woman who runs her outfit over in Madras (www.gloglov.com—like the link in the article).

Hey, Ted: Please post how the Bright Hands Glow Gloves work for you, okay? While they definitely have more of a “Bike Hugger green” thing going on, I would suggest comparing viewing them at a distance with GloGlovs, too. The GloGlovs use some nice high-zoot fluorescent (—visible in daylight!) retroreflective materials, while the BH Glow Gloves rely on their own emissive source which may be harder to see in the weird lighting conditions of a lit street. But they are certainly going to be very cool on an unlit midnight ride!

Will do, Refunk.  I’m starting with the suspicion that these “club gloves” are only useful at very short distance—I think I read somewhere they were invented to enable people to communicate with sign language in the dark.

But hey, at $8/pair, it’s worth a test.

And if it works, it’s definitely going to up my cool stock with my twenty-something kids.  ;-)

GloGlovs are great, don’t get me wrong, but maybe we could see pix of yer Glow Gloves in a cycling application when you get ‘em, Ted. That would be cool stock, indeed. Hey—how about Glow Glove GloGlov liners, best of both worlds! (I offer my GloGlovs for experimentation) Hmmm, why am I suddenly thinking of blinking LED arrays Velcroed onto bike gloves…

Another item to check out are these: http://www.safeturn.com/ They sound interesting, but I’m a bit concerned about battery life and actual usage. OTOH, LEDs are good and I’d love to hear from anybody who’s trie them out.

Help!  Need advice!  I’ve got both pairs of gloves in, and I’ve arranged to meet a photographer-friend this Saturday night to get some photos of the gloves from various distances, in headlights.  Not having done anything like this before, I’m not certain how to set cameras to get as close as possible to “what what the driver would see”.  Ie, how to set shutter speed, aperture, ISO equivalent.  The best I can come up with is for a human (me or the photographer to take series of photos at different settings with a digital camera, and then make a subjective judgment about which camera settings produced images that best match what the judge actually sees.

Is there an accepted methodology for doing this kind of photography?  This is not a test of the products, but rather an attempt to create images that reflect real-life situations, to enable the reader to evaluate.

Done.  Preliminary post is at http://bike2work2live2bike.blogspot.com/2008/03/ooh-is-that-glove.html#throwdown

This is a WMV—once I get the AVI from the photographer, I’ll try to extract stills to post as well.

Long story short, the GloGloves are great—they performed even better than I expected—they were distinctly visible from 36 feet away.  Bright Hands have no value for cyclists.

  Fiber Optic Glove.

(ed note: edited the comment to provide just a link).

I bought a pair of these for bicycling. They are the worst gloves I have. The padding is just a 1/16th piece of felt sown on to the palm - basically no padding at all. The gloves are very thin and nearly fall apart after washing. The reflective material is of little use since it is quite small. If you’re looking for bike gloves pass this one by.

I really like the idea of these, but I have a concern with the regular gloves, do you feel or notice the reflective triangle (or octagon for that matter) in your palm when you’re resting on your handlebars?

It seems to me, a) you would and b) that this would wear out/break down the red reflective palm patch.

I’m not trying to dis, but hoping for some feedback from longtime users as to palm reflective material wear.

Leo

This is older post so not sure if you’ll get replied, but sure I’d expect it to wear off and then just get another pair.

Thx. Byron.  I guess I’d just anticipate the material in your palm being bulky and noticeable, but no one’s commented on that, so I guess I’ll just have to find out on my own.

LeoH.

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