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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Spoke refectors, use them or lose them
Keep them, I ride at night. 38 23.31%
Keep them, no night riding. 5 3.07%
Lose them, and replace with reflective tape. 26 15.95%
Lose them and use another substitute (please specify). 21 12.88%
Lose them with no substitute. 57 34.97%
Don’t care either way. 16 9.82%
Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-28-07, 07:39 PM   #1
RussB
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spoke reflectors, use them or lose them

Hi all,
I got curious. I checked and couldn't find a poll for this one. What is your opinion of spoke reflectors. I see the point of trying to increase aerodynamics by taking them off. But I also want to see what everyone uses for safety.

Russ B
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Old 07-28-07, 07:48 PM   #2
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I wouldn't keep them on a racing bike, I suppose, but I ride at night, and because they move, and move fast, they are quite helpful (especially if you don't have side-facing lights, which I don't).

Anyone who removes them for aerodynamic purposes...I'm not sure I buy that so much.
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Old 07-28-07, 07:49 PM   #3
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I don't think I've had spoke reflectors since I was 10. I always use lights at night, though, front and back, and have panniers with very reflective surfaces. I look like a Christmas tree out there, and I'm pretty sure everyone can see me, even drunk people. But no spoke reflectors.
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Old 07-28-07, 07:57 PM   #4
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I've always removed them, personally -- but only on my road bikes. I don't feel I really need to be seen sideways that much. If it was really an issue, I would get tires that have a reflective strip. Now that's effective!
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Old 07-28-07, 08:08 PM   #5
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I took all the reflectors off my bike. The front one breaking off started it.

I don't ride at night though.
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Old 07-28-07, 09:13 PM   #6
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have them on all my bikes. I add them to wheelsets. There's two on the front wheel of my daily workhorse, one standard, one prysmatic that reflects on the diagonal.

I ride at night, and encounter traffic scenarios on a nightly basis where side visibility is an asset to safety.

removing them for 'aerodynamics?' hmm......
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Old 07-28-07, 09:59 PM   #7
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Upgraded my wheels. New one's didn't have 'em. I didn't give it a thought.
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Old 07-28-07, 10:11 PM   #8
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I keep them and use reflective tape all over the place, along with the reflective sidewalls of my tires, the reflective stripes on my fenders, reflective clothing, etc.

I don't care about aerodynamics or weight, nor do I ride off-road.
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Old 07-28-07, 10:22 PM   #9
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I keep one bike for night riding that has them and lots of other stuff. As I find other spoke reflectors I will use them on that bike.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:35 PM   #10
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I doubt you would actually be ticketed for it, but riding a bike without front, back, and side reflectors is technically illegal in most states. Lights are required in a lot of places, too.

I say keep them, unless you ride really rough roads or off-road. They do break and fall off. Maybe take them off and use reflective tape on the fork and chainstays? There's no movement there, though. The roundy-roundy is what makes wheel reflectors effective. Makes it obvious that it's a bike, even if the reflectors are the only thing visible.
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Old 07-29-07, 01:56 PM   #11
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i dont use em.

I did get a ticket for not having "reflectors" on my bike one day though. It got thrown out after i demonstrated that my bike (a handbuilt) did not come with reflectors. Nor did my handbuilt wheels.

^ use that to your advantage if you ever get ticketed for no reflectors.

Last edited by Bushman; 07-29-07 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 07-29-07, 07:38 PM   #12
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I did get a ticket for not having "reflectors" on my bike one day though. It got thrown out after i demonstrated that my bike (a handbuilt) did not come with reflectors. Nor did my handbuilt wheels.
I'm pretty sure you can get the complete set for under 5 bucks. I'm also pretty sure ignorance and laziness wouldn't pass under most circumstances.
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Old 07-29-07, 07:57 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure you can get the complete set for under 5 bucks. I'm also pretty sure ignorance and laziness wouldn't pass under most circumstances.
read the post again carefully. The ticket was thrown out by a JUDGE after it was determined that the bicycle was not equipped with reflectors from the day of manufacture. By law, bicycles must be equipped with reflectors from the factory. A handbuilt bicycle is exempt of such manufacturing laws, as it is classified as a 'home built". (hand built bikes are exempt if the maker builds less than 100 units a year)

Furthermore, i CHOOSE to not have reflectors on my bike.
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Old 07-29-07, 10:03 PM   #14
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Law here requires that you have it all the time, wether your bike was built by a company, by an individual or whoever.

I don't care if it's from a JUDGE, I CHOOSE to tell you what I think about it and I can read fine, THANKS.

You should have got a "comply or pay" ticket here, not a full blown normal ticket. (which is ridiculous for that)
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Old 07-29-07, 11:26 PM   #15
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So, what cool spoke reflectors do you guys/gals use, if you use them at all? I may have to do some surfing to see what I can find.
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Old 07-29-07, 11:29 PM   #16
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Law here requires that you have it all the time, wether your bike was built by a company, by an individual or whoever.

I don't care if it's from a JUDGE, I CHOOSE to tell you what I think about it and I can read fine, THANKS.

You should have got a "comply or pay" ticket here, not a full blown normal ticket. (which is ridiculous for that)

notice i dont live where you do.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:38 AM   #17
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They break off riding trails and become litter. I take them off and and use the reflective ankle bands when I ride at night. MO law states that a moving reflector must be seen from the front, rear and sides, but it can be on any part of the bicycle or bicyclist.
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Old 07-30-07, 08:25 AM   #18
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Hmm. My bikes have reflectors on the spokes, from when I bought them. I never really thought about them one way or the other. I have added reflective tape to the forks and seatstays, and wear a jacket with reflective striping, and I have lights.

I don't imagine that they weigh very much, and I figure the more reflectors the better. The only time I notice or care about them is when I'm locking up and they happen to be in the way.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:19 AM   #19
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I've been riding in the dark for years, but I hate spoke reflectors and won't use them. They make the wheels spin funny, and they contribute relatively little to your visibility unless you don't do things you should to be visible anyway.

I wear bright reflective clothing and have good reflective tape where it makes sense. I run HID in front and a NR universal in the rear in bad light conditions though I'll probably upgrade that to Dinotte. Reports I get indicate that I'm very visible from far away.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
read the post again carefully. The ticket was thrown out by a JUDGE after it was determined that the bicycle was not equipped with reflectors from the day of manufacture. By law, bicycles must be equipped with reflectors from the factory. A handbuilt bicycle is exempt of such manufacturing laws, as it is classified as a 'home built". (hand built bikes are exempt if the maker builds less than 100 units a year)

Furthermore, i CHOOSE to not have reflectors on my bike.
You couldn't choose that in this state. You're required to have reflectors, period.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:25 AM   #21
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I generally keep them and add more reflectors / tape. IMO, front and rear vis are generally more important than side vis, I like anything that moves, so I keep or add reflectors / tape to pedals, cranks and the inside of my rims.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:50 PM   #22
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I don't like them, so I don't use them. I replaced all my plastic reflectors with tape.Stealth Reflectors
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Old 07-30-07, 02:41 PM   #23
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You couldn't choose that in this state. You're required to have reflectors, period.
and pray tell WHY would in gods name would i want to live in the USA?

FYI, i probably should ahve mentioned i have 3M reflective tape on my forks, back triangle and a tons of it on my helmet and old messenegr bag.

Last edited by Bushman; 07-30-07 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:42 PM   #24
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Reflective sidewalls FTW.
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Old 07-31-07, 08:18 AM   #25
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I have side facing lights,

But I wonder just how useful any side facing illumination is on a bike. I rely on making sure a car is not going to T-bone me by not putting myself into a situation where it can do so, which means making sure the car sees me before I cross in front of it, or else assuming it does not see me and riding accordingly.

Side encounters with cars are very quick and very brief and I would never rely on side facing lights or reflectors to show cars at the last minute that I am about to cross in front of them.
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