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re: visibility and reflective materials/night riding,...(11 posts)

re: visibility and reflective materials/night riding,...JS Haiku Shop
Aug 21, 2002 5:34 AM
anybody used these jandd products? this is what my LBS carries, and i'm in the market. any input would be appreciated. tape would be used on fork, seatpost, rims, seatpack, seat stays, handlebar, etc.

reflective ankle strap

3m reflective tape strip

I use reflective ankle straps.Sintesi
Aug 21, 2002 5:54 AM
Not the Jandd type tho. The ones I have are simple velco straps and they're as secure as could be. Much narrower than the one you show. I'd shop around.

Your not really going to gob up your bike with a bunch of reflective tape are you? I thought you had a nice bike.
I use alot of reflectors on my commuter...PdxMark
Aug 21, 2002 6:14 AM
I commute in the dark alot from mid-Fall to mid-Spring. My main sources of visibility are a Niterider headlight (15 watts?) and taillight (19 LEDs). In addition I use alot of reflectors under the theory that I cannot be too visible... Here's my reflector list..

Reflective tape as you propose, plus on the front and back edges of the crank arms (moving reflections.. surprisingly effective), pedal reflectors (I have platform pedals on my commuter), spoke reflectors, and a large yellow triangle reflector stitched to the backpack I wear to and from home. I also put Tirefly lights on the stems, but I'm not sure how visible those really are.
I too have been looking for night/evening visibility aids...Scot_Gore
Aug 21, 2002 6:36 AM
...since the days are getting shorter and shorter.

I've been leaning toward the wearable Illuminite stuff.

Both Performance and Nashbar have vests very cheap. Colorado cyclists has a full rain jacket on sale as well.

I have Illuminite shoes but have not used any of the clothing. When I've seen it from my car I've been amazed at the visibiity it provided the rider.



PS Don't forget to link to Performance via Gregg's link at the top of the page.
reflective tape suggestionsTig
Aug 21, 2002 7:13 AM
Many people use electrical tape to mark the height limit on their seatpost. Try using reflective tape here instead.
From the rear view it will be visible below even a large seat pack.

Small or medium sized pieces can be placed strategically on the bike without mucking it up. A 3/4" wide stripe opposite from the valve stem on the rims provides great motion visibility.

A small piece on the inside of your crank arms towards the pedal end will show up in headlights from a side view, and no one will ever notice them during the day. It could be used on the out facing side, but it might get worn down by shoes or just look plain ugly.

A narrow band around or near the rear and fork dropouts helps too.

Here's a place that many don't think about (depending on manufacturer's design): The mounting surfaces where your computer attaches to. There is usually a flat part facing forward on the mount, or maybe the band that wraps around the handlebar.

Get creative and you'll see small areas that tape can be applied to for extra visibility without making even the nicest mega-buck bike ugly. Consider what areas are not constantly or mostly hidden by our bodies while riding.

Blinkie lights alone won't make us visible in all directions. When a car's headlights shine on a few small areas of tape they shine brightly. Place them on moving pieces like wheels and cranks and it identifies you clearly.
The Ultimategrzy
Aug 21, 2002 8:07 AM
First, having tape and reflectors and vests and anything else to draw attention to yourself is good, but passive - it relies on other light to be reflected. Pedal reflectors and things on the wheels catch the attention of drivers b/c they're moving in a cyclic way and more active. Now, if you really want them to be unable to ignore you get yourself a Nightrider H.I.D. Storm/Blowtorch setup and the taillight or something similar. Yes it's expensive as h3ll, but way cheaper than getting maimed or killed. The amount of light these little arc lamps put out is simply *outrageous* and you'd have to be tripping on LSD to miss it as the driver of a car. They're the bicycling equivalent of those obnoxious lights on some of the new cars and the little pocket rockets that the kids hop up. We started using them for MTB riding at night in the woods and found that we can ride trails at full tilt as if it were daylight. Running them on a road bike allows one to descend in total darkness at full tilt. With a four hour burn time and only 5 hours for a full recharge it is one handy lighting system. It makes all the other bike lighting technology look like obsolete toys. Once you get a chance to ride with someone running one of these systems you will have total light-envy until you own one (well, at least I did).
I have a contrary point of view.Spoke Wrench
Aug 21, 2002 8:23 AM
All of those people who pass you more closely than is necessary, I don't think that it's because they didn't see you. I think that it's because they are trying to scare you.

Clearly there is a healthy level of night lights and reflective stuff. When you exceed that, however, I think that you make yourself significantly LESS safe. Too much identifies you as a bicyclist who is already somewhat intimidated. I think that the kind of jerks that brush by you pick up on that stuff and consequently target you for their most intimidating act.
what about reflective paint?DougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 8:49 AM
Anyone know of a source for reflective paint? I assume it needs the little glass beads or particles in it. Seems like that might be more permanent and better looking, especially on irregular surfaces, than tape. I hate tape.

Any ideas?

Aug 21, 2002 11:31 AM
I have the ankle straps.Humma Hah
Aug 21, 2002 2:35 PM
I use the straps to keep my pants out of the chainwheel, and the reflector is just an afterthought. Too low and too small, and on the wrong side of the bike. A similar strap on my wrist, however, would be good, to make hand signals more visible.

I've used the reflective tapes on bikes. I've found them to be quite bright, durable, and easy to apply. They're inconspicuous during the day. They can be positioned to reflect back at angles where conventional reflectors don't. I worry particularly about oncoming cars turning in front of me, and reflective tape may help a little.

In cooler weather, I wear a reflective jacket. It is probably about half as bright per unit area as reflective tape, but it is a HUGE amount of area, and very effective. Cars avoid me like I'm radioactive or something.
thanks, all. i picked 'em up last night. (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2002 3:42 AM