well...maybe the steel belted radial? I dunno. Enter the Bosch Icon.

I was taken aback by the simplicity and performance of my latest auto parts buy. It was one of those, "Doh!!!!...Why didn't I think of that," moments. Why has no one realized for 100 years that windshield wipers don't need to be very complex.

Think about it. The average wiper has a plethora of joints, hinges, springs and sliding connections. This allows it to conform to the window while also providing even pressure, all to get a good wipe. Seems complex in hindsight although I have to admit that I never gave it a thought until now.

Think of all the problems with wipers:

1) The joints freeze in the winter just when you need your wipers most (How many times have you desperately needed to wipe the salty grime off your window in the middle of a nasty Minnesota sleet storm and nearly died due to the streaks and bare spots left by your frozen wiper blades. Or is that just me?).

2) Unless you buy stupid looking airfoils to go on them your wipers inevitably lift off the windshield at highway speed and are useless (oh, wait maybe that was only me in my vintage brown Ford F150 going 95 in a 55 in high school).

3) The wipers get old and make horrible chattering and screeching sounds.

The Icon is cool because it doesn't have any moving parts, just an internal piece or two of spring steel inside a decent looking airfoil shaped strip of plastic. The wiper itself is pretty normal. Even the connection to the arm is shielded so that can't freeze up in the winter. The spring steel is curved, allowing the wiper to press against the windshield evenly. The airfoil keeps the wiper pressed against the glass at outrageous speeds (Trust me, I haven't tried. I'm a family man after all!).

I don't tend to get all huffy and excited about dumb things like wipers very often. This is different. Unlike most inventions this is so simple and elegant, and makes so much darn sense. It also works, unlike most gadget-y or newfangled inventions (Go-gurt or the Twirling Spaghetti Fork for example).

So, although I am not the Car Talk Guys, I would suggest that you spend the extra dough the next time you need wiper blades. I have never had this clean a windshield, or this quiet of wipers, on any car I have ever driven. Well... as long as you don't count that time my wipers didn't work and, with the help of Rain-X (another great product) and great acceleration, well...yeah...the windshield was dry and clean but the cop wasn't happy.