Dofix signalling vest for bikesCycling in Belgium

Cycle safer in the dark

Sorry I didn’t see you!” Anything that means we hear or say that phrase less, is good news!

I seem to be focusing on safety recently. After my post on fire safety while hiking comes this post on improving your visibility while cycling at night or during poor light conditions.

I love cycling, and consider the bicycle to be one of mankind’s better inventions. So when Belgian company DOFIX contacted me and asked if I would review some cycling kit, I was definitely interested. It arrived in the mail, I tried it out, and here’s my review.

The DOFIX LED Signalling Vest

The product is a vest that you strap onto your body like you would a light backpack. It has a controller fastened to your handlebars that allows you to indicate whether you intend to go straight on or turn to the left or right. The LED lights on the vest then illuminate and flash, displaying your intentions clearly to other road users behind you.

The vest is a good size for an adult and its straps are adjustable to fit your body size.

Dofix 1

This shows the straps and buckles that you use to fit the vest onto your back:

Dofix 2

This shows the inside of the vest, which has the on/off button and a pocket to store any documents or a wallet:
Dofix 3

How was it “on the road?”

My daughter Suzanna and I both tried out the vest. Initially it was a bit fiddly to work out which straps clicked into which buckles, but once we’d worked that out it was easy to put on and take off. We thought it would fit a child as well as an adult as the straps are fully adjustable. You have to remember to switch the vest on BEFORE you put the vest on, as the on/off button is not accessible when you are wearing the vest.Dofix signalling vest for bikes

The vest is operated by a controller that fits onto the handlebars of the bike with the plastic straps provided.

DOFIX cycling vest

The controller was easy to operate and the buttons are well spaced. We both could operate it while wearing gloves without any problems. The vest is powered by a USB rechargeable lithium battery. A single charge (which takes 4 hours) allows for 15 hours of use.

The LED lights are bright and clearly visible from quite a distance away. Both the controller and the vest are apparently waterproof but we didn’t put that to the test.

Conclusion

I think the DOFIX signalling vest is a very useful piece of equipment for any cyclist. Anything that increases the visibility of a cyclist on the road is a good idea, as long as operating it doesn’t interfere with normal operation of a bike. In this respect it’s worth pointing out that DOFIX clearly state that the vest does not replace hand signals but complements them.

Its price is fairly high, at 49.99 EUR, but what price is safety? I think it’s well worth the investment, particularly if you are cycling to school or work every day. Delivery is free. Currently the vest can be delivered within Belgium or to the UK. The website is in four languages: English, Dutch, French and German.

I believe the DOFIX signalling vest would be an excellent purchase for a safety-conscious cyclist.

For ordering information, head over to the DOFIX website.

Categories: Cycling in Belgium

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17 replies »

    • Glad you liked the product and review Miriam. They also make a version that can be clipped onto the back of a backpack. I need to add that to the text.

  1. That is a wonderful concept and makes total sense. Often when these inventions come out, I wonder why nobody else came up with them earlier. I wonder whether they will become popular or not. Especially in the US, where bikers are NOT on the radar of the millions of motorists, this would be a good piece of equipment to have when hitting the road in the dark.

    Thanks for the review, Denzil. We have our own bikes now, but avoid being out on them at night. If these vests would be cheaper, I’d consider getting two.

  2. What a brilliant idea. There are lots of cyclists where I live, often traveling in cycling club groups. Unfortunately, drivers here in California are so dangerous – they drive too fast, turn on red lights, ignore pedestrians in crosswalks, and drive drunk or while texting – that everyone is at risk. This would certainly help ensure safety for cyclists and I’m all for that.

    • Your description of Californian drivers could apply to drivers anywhere, Sharon. I’ve seen truck drivers texting on the motorway here. Maybe there need to be instant bans and disqualifications brought in.

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