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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Angle of reflection is everything. While night driving, I came upon a car that had no tail lights working, driving in the lane to my right, a few car lengths ahead. The built-in reflectors in it's tail light covers were practically invisible because I was not directly behind it.

    I agree that lights are the best bet.
    Good point LittleBiggy, Most of us have come up on a car with no taillights and even when right directly behind them the car reflectors are literally useless, especially if travelling at fast speeds.

  2. #27
    Newbie Chris Pouliot's Avatar
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    Here's a good alternative.

    Here's a good alternative. Self adhesive reflective bands , light and far more esthetically pleasing than clunky plastic spoke mounted reflectors. http://www.safetyonbike.com

  3. #28
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) reflective tape is pretty hardcore. This tape is made to withstand very rigorous conditions (sea conditions). I wouldn't be too concerned about it degrading regularly. It's amazingly reflective (Google some pictures, or maybe some folks here who use it will post up pics). This stuff is designed to help spot people at sea... it's pretty darned visible, and probably some of the best reflective stuff you can get.

    I'd still want some lighting that doesn't rely on reflectors... but I also wouldn't rely on just a blinky with no reflectors. The two complement each other.

    EDIT: Whoa.... just noticed it's a necro thread. Brrrrrrrainsss.... (still... at least people are using the search function)
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

    - William Saroyan

  4. #29
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Rather that reprise the subject here, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector

    Ever notice the alternating red and white reflective strips on trucks? That stuff works great and stands up to weathering and sun very well. I've used that on trailers, motorcycles, and other stuff.

    http://www.conspicuity.com/

    Granted there are lots of reflectors alongside the road, but in general, motorists try not to hit them. So if you have reflectors on your bike, they'll probably try to avoid hitting you too. So, they do work, but IMO, nowhere near as well as bright flashing lights...which don't work anywhere near as well as not riding at night.
    Last edited by Looigi; 04-08-11 at 07:06 AM.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
    While Sheldon may be completely right, legally, you might want to reconsider ditching the reflectors, at least in Alabama.

    Alabama's contributory negligence law and you

  6. #31
    Senior Member Johnny Rebel's Avatar
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    I put reflective tape on my fenders, it works very well, esp. on the rear. My tires have reflective strips, those work nicely as well. But I use two lights up front and two lights in the rear. They have reflective properties as well, of course. I hated the old red and amber reflectors, I thought they were practically useless. Maybe they have gotten better these days.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #32
    Commander, UFO Bike K'Tesh's Avatar
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    When my Mom got her new bike, she wasn't really interested in changing the appearance of her bike with reflective film, until she got caught out after dark. I cut strips of 3M Scotchlight (the white (applied to the frame)) and Avery's Retro Reflective films (the black (applied to the fenders)), and used Lightweights for wheels on her spokes.


    After application of the films, the changes are barely noticeable.


    Close in photo with flash after dark


    Distant photo with flash after dark

    Compare that to my bikes (where I was less concerned with altering the appearance of the bike).


    Giant Rainier 2004 and GT Transeo 1.0 2008

    For more info, check out this thread on BikePortland.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    As I ride a lot at night this has been an interesting thread, I have been using a combination of all three, lights, reflectors and tape. So far so good. My wife says I look like a UFO ..

  9. #34
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    I'm using reflective tape with the grade "DOT C2" printed on it. I think it's the "C2" grade or better that you have to use.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  10. #35
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
    reflectors work only under very specific conditions. Those conditions happen to prevail in most of the nighttime driving we do
    This means reflectors work most of the time. But indeed I also use active lighting... frankly I am of the opinion that the more you look like the alien mothership, the greater the odds that you will be seen. I like reflectors on things that move... such as pedals and wheels (reflective tape works there just fine.)

  11. #36
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) reflective tape is pretty hardcore. This tape is made to withstand very rigorous conditions (sea conditions). I wouldn't be too concerned about it degrading regularly. It's amazingly reflective (Google some pictures, or maybe some folks here who use it will post up pics). This stuff is designed to help spot people at sea... it's pretty darned visible, and probably some of the best reflective stuff you can get.

    I'd still want some lighting that doesn't rely on reflectors... but I also wouldn't rely on just a blinky with no reflectors. The two complement each other.

    EDIT: Whoa.... just noticed it's a necro thread. Brrrrrrrainsss.... (still... at least people are using the search function)
    Great idea... never though of using SOLAS tape... I viewed images and got a great idea for putting reflective tape on my boat which would make it much easier to see in an anchorage. I already use solar garden lights on the boat, but everything helps.

  12. #37
    Green Tea Lemonade Oil_LOL's Avatar
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    Yeah, the guy I bought my bike from put some of that on... it's stayed on through rain and snow, for ages.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I like reflectors on things that move... such as pedals and wheels (reflective tape works there just fine.)
    +100. I encountered some kids riding in our subdivision recently at dusk. They had no lights, but from their pedal reflectors, I could tell immediately that I was approaching bicycles on the road.

  14. #39
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
    , and used Lightweights for wheels on her spokes.
    How long have you had the lightweights on? I'm going on my 3rd or 4th year of using them, but doubt mine have seen the use yours have. No signs of wear on mine, and they still seem to attract attention when I'm crossing major streets in the dark.

  15. #40
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    Amber reflectors are the most reflective (see John Forester)
    Aren't the uncolored (white) reflectors even more reflective? Amber is certainly better than red, however.

  16. #41
    Commander, UFO Bike K'Tesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    How long have you had the lightweights on? I'm going on my 3rd or 4th year of using them, but doubt mine have seen the use yours have. No signs of wear on mine, and they still seem to attract attention when I'm crossing major streets in the dark.
    I destroy wheels before I destroy the Lightweights (I weigh a lot, and I ride a lot). Even if one were to be worn off (or I loose one to a broken spoke), the package contains enough spares to replace several. Besides, having one per spoke, you already have a redundant built in redundancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    This means reflectors work most of the time. But indeed I also use active lighting... frankly I am of the opinion that the more you look like the alien mothership, the greater the odds that you will be seen. I like reflectors on things that move... such as pedals and wheels (reflective tape works there just fine.)
    I like adding reflective tape on the inside of my crank arms, good for side visibility.

    I can't say looking like an alien mothership works, but as an alien scoutship, it seems to work for me.

    Qapla!
    K'Tesh
    tlhIngan VutwI Quv
    Commander of the UFO Bike

  17. #42
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I've got tape (fork, fenders, top tube), and front and back lights (multiples of each in case of one going out), but no reflectors other than the one that's part of my radbot 1000. Just no room and switching to clipless pedals means I lost the last two reflectors I had on there.

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