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  1. #1
    Hills scare me. mushrooshi's Avatar
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    Turning signals on bikes?

    I'm not quite bad at soldering and making simple electronics. I could make some car-style turning signal lights on a bike, should I do it or not?
    Bikes are snazzy.
    I own a 2008 Giant FCR3

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The main issues are visibility under bright daylight conditions and wide enough physical spacing to convey one's intent unambiguously, particularly if used in conjunction with a blinkie or two.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  3. #3
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    Bad idea. People will leave them on by mistake and cars will cut them off thinking that they are signalling a turn when they intend to go straight.

    I learned this very early while riding motorcycles. Leave your left turn signal on by mistake and an approaching car will think you are turning left and left hook you.

    It will only work if it has a very loud obnoxious alarm that sounds while the turn signal is on.
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  4. #4
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    I was born with two turn signals.
    i may have overreacted

  5. #5
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    My thoughts last year: Why don't I see turn signals on bicycles?

    From this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...59#post7311859

    Cliff's notes: I think that if you're in a position where you need a turn signal to be safer, you're dependent on the ability of others to pay attention and decipher what they're seeing. I don't put that kind of trust in people on the street.

    Another post I made in a later thread:
    Turn Signals?

  6. #6
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mushrooshi View Post
    I'm not quite bad at soldering and making simple electronics. I could make some car-style turning signal lights on a bike, should I do it or not?
    More power to ya!!

  7. #7
    Faster than yesterday
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    meh, I just stick my arms out and point emphatically to tell others where I'm going

  8. #8
    Conservative Hippie
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    I just use arm signals.

    But something I've been thinking of is replacement trailer lights such as is sold in any autoparts store would work well for this. You'd just have to carry enough battery to run them, which is why I haven't done it. You'd also have to rig up some way to mount them to the bike so they would be far enough apart, but that wouldn't be difficult.

    The LED replacement trailer lights would make great taillights.

  9. #9
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    When I was a kid I had a turn signal unit for my bike, so they do exist.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
    I was born with two turn signals.
    Good point, I always thought bright colored cycling gloves would be good at night.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    ...Cliff's notes: I think that if you're in a position where you need a turn signal to be safer, you're dependent on the ability of others to pay attention and decipher what they're seeing. I don't put that kind of trust in people on the street...
    me either. I go when I have enough room to do it.

    On rare occasions when traffic is very heavy and very slow, and I want to turn, I get the attention of the driver and make sure he gives me the room I need before I go.

    It just kills me when I see someone just stick an arm out and go (they probably think it's a safe thing to do too!)
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    I'm adding front and rear turn signals and a rear brake light. I just ordered affordable, amber strobes with 22 LEDs on each strobe light (yes, they're coming from Hong Kong, but a pair of strobes for under $7.00, with the controller, was far cheaper that what I could find from sellers here). I want something bright enough to be seen in daylight. I've come to the conclusion that most younger drivers have no comprehension of hand signals after a number waved when I was signaling a right turn and they definitely don't understand the hand signal for stop. I think it's time for safety regs to be updated and require turn signals and brake lights, especially on power-assisted bicycles. Let's face it, turn signals and brake lights have been required on cars for such a long period, most drivers on the road today have no reason to know hand signals.

  13. #13
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    I think that that turn signals would be largely overlooked, unless they were somehow überbright.

    Arms convey the message far better, imho.
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  14. #14
    rwp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    More power to ya!!
    My sentiments exactly. If you put something together that works well - give us a description with some pics or video.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    The only reason that I've been tempted toward electric turn signals is the inability of drivers to understand the signal for a right turn. (Hard to believe they don't understand, but it seems to be the case)

    Maybe I'll try using the hand-up right turn signal with my hand curved over my head, index finger pointing to my right. The stop signal might be used with all fingers spread in an obvious "stop" gesture.

    Electric turn signals are still tempting, but I'm afraid that anything that is really up to the job will require quite a battery.

  16. #16
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    When drivers don't understand arm signals, they don't mean a thing. Like I said in my previous post, younger drivers who've seen me signaling a right turn have thought I'm waiving. Given how long turn signals and brake lights have been mandated safety equipment on cars, most drivers under 30 don't even understand hand signals. It's cold comfort that we cyclists may know hand signals, but if the operators of larger vehicles don't, their use is irrelevant and dangerous.

    New lighting technology enables clear views of turn signals both during the day and at night. I really think it's time that safety regulations require turn signals and brake signals on bicycles. The amber strobe lights I've ordered to use as turn signals have 22 bright LEDs on each strobe and the units are good-sized--4 inches by 2 1/2 inches. They'll be visible in daylight and highly visible at night. The brake light will have 9 super bright LEDs. I already have double bright head lamps and a battery-powered LED tail light. I will be adding spoke lights as well. At dawn, dusk and nighttime, you can't have too many lights.

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I always use my right arm to signal right turn. The standard right turn signal seems like it's designed for use while piloting a left-hand drive automobile.

    I used to have a turn signal back on my bike back in the late 70s, thought it was the coolest thing ever. It wasn't really effective, though.'

    Perhaps a single LED flashing on the handlebar-mounted control switch (I'm guessing this is what will be used) would be an adequate reminder that you've a signal on.

    Chevron indicators like I've seen on some SUV/truck sideview mirrors would be nice, I'd think.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
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    I was actually going to mention this in my "oh hi I'm a huge n00b" post. So, here's what I would've said:

    And why has no one invented turn signals for bikes? I hate arm signals. Not only do I feel they look dumb, but I don't trust most drivers to know what they mean anyway since they're so scarcely used. Half of them will probably think I'm flipping them off (we won't go into the safety implications of that). A blinking turn signal, everyone understands.

    I thought of this on my ride today when waiting to turn left into the driveway of our complex; another car was coming and I stopped, just as I would've in my car, but the driver probably wondered for a split second why I was stopping. But what was I to do, stand there with my arm out until she was past? She probably would've thought I wanted a high-five!

    If there's little traffic, no problem. If I'm already in the left-turn lane, no problem. Simple right turn, no problem. But what about changing lanes in traffic? Maybe it's not as difficult on a bike as in a car, I dunno, but sometimes my turn signal is the only thing that gets me space to move over in heavy traffic (and sometimes it just signals other drivers to speed up so they don't have to let me in--boy do they get pissed when I nudge in anyway! But that is SO not possible on a bike).

  19. #19
    Hills scare me. mushrooshi's Avatar
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    Motorcycles have turn signals placed on the handlebars; if people can understand motorcycle turn signals, shouldn't they kind of think 'Hey, those lights on the left are blinking, its yellow like a turn signal, and I've seen them on motorcycles. Hes turning left'. Even in America, I'd hope people aren't thinking. "Those flashing decals are tacky"
    Bikes are snazzy.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    Good point, I always thought bright colored cycling gloves would be good at night.
    I took a piece of yellow reflective 3M tape and taped a piece of cloth duct tape to the back, then sewed that to the back of one pair of cycling gloves.

  21. #21
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    Here you go: wireless turn signals w/ iPod charger!

    http://craziestgadgets.com/2009/08/1...-ipod-charger/

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    It just kills me when I see someone just stick an arm out and go (they probably think it's a safe thing to do too!)

    That seems to be what most do in their cars.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    In California we're allowed to signal a right turn with our right arm. I just point right.

    http://www.gloglov.com/index.html
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  24. #24
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    I prefer to signal a right turn by sticking out my right arm. The old fashioned method results in too many people waving back at me.

    By the way, as a kid in the 70s I can recall electric turn signals being sold for bikes.
    i may have overreacted

  25. #25
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linkon654 View Post
    I think that if you're in a position where you need a turn signal to be safer, you're dependent on the ability of others to pay attention and decipher what they're seeing. I don't put that kind of trust in people on the street.

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