Send Wheel Wizard Back to the Graveyard

Hokey Spokes

There was a discussion on the phred list this spring about how to make your bike more visible at night. One of the members said that the Graveyard Mall had a cheap alternative to Hokey Spokes for a lot less money.

Hokey Spokes are transparent “blades” that attach to your bicycle spokes. As these blades spin during riding, a computer inside the blades modulates the internal LED lights so that design images and custom text appear.

They cost about $30 to $40 per spoke.

A cheaper alternative

Wheel Wizard ad shot

Long before I ordered the disastrous Lock Alarm from Graveyard Mall, I got suckered into the Wheel Wizard at the bargain price of $4.99. I couldn’t resist ordering four of them. I figured I had some other riders who would love looking like the picture in the web site ad.

What’s not to like?

The ad copy made them sound better than sliced bread. Not only are these cool to use and need no batteries, but they also make riding your bike at night safer.

  • No batteries Necessary: Generates power as you pedal
  • Easy to install
  • Visible from both sides of wheel

Reality sets in

Huge Honkin’ Disk

I had pretty much forgotten that I had ordered the Wizard Wheels when a box showed up on the front porch.

I was excited when I saw the picture on the outside of the box.

That excitement died when I saw the size of the Wizard. Holy Cropoli, that sucker is HUGE, more like a time trial wheel than a Hokey Spoke blade. I’d be afraid to put that thing on my bike on a day with a strong side wind: I’d be afraid I’d get blown right over.

It DOES produce light

It’s got some kind of magnet setup that DOES actually produce light when I held it in my hand and spun it, but I’d never consider putting it on my bike. For one thing, I couldn’t get it to fit without using a crowbar on my fork.

I didn’t send them back

They weren’t what I expected, but for $4.99, I couldn’t expect much, so I wasn’t THAT disappointed.

Unlike the lock alarms, which were total junk, these performed as described, if not as desired.

I have two left. Serious offers entertained. (They make great gag gifts: give one to a friend and watch him gag.)

2 Replies to “Send Wheel Wizard Back to the Graveyard”

  1. How about using chemical light sticks?

    Tape the thin ones to a couple of spokes or thick ones to the forks or on the frame……You can get them in all sorts of colors and thicknesses.

  2. Trust me when I tell you I doubt Steinhoff can get any brighter when he rides. He’s already blinding. He’s got lights on his helmet, handlebars, Camekbac, seat tail in two places, fork, and a bazillion “blinkies” to fill in — those he buys in the gross from Home Depot, and hands out to other cyclists in the dark.
    Always wearing neon green, he looks like a rolling Christmas tree on steroids.
    Of course, the lights don’t compare to all his widgets and gadgets.
    So much stuff hangs off his bike and person, and beeps and blinks, that when we used to loop the island of Palm Beach, and stopped at a light or sign, or even for ice cream at Sprinkles, someone in a Bentley or Rolls would slow down and throw out a query, “Officer? Can you tell me…?”
    I’d snicker like mad at the thought — something about cops and Steinhoff SO don’t jive, especially on a bike. He’s crazy for firefighters, but cops – he’d just as soon avoid.
    He’s brushed it up with a few notables during his day, as a photog and on the bike. This grates his backside — as well it should. I’ll personally attest he follows the rules of the road to the letter.

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