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  1. #1
    vol
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    How serious without reflector?

    The red reflector that was mounted on my rear rack somehow fell on the road one day when I was unaware of (screw got loose). I haven't bought a new one yet. I always regarded that little red thing useless, because during the day people see me and my bike better than the little reflector, while at night I have very bright tailights on. But it's a law requirement. So I'd like to know, could there be consequence if I ride without one? Perhaps not until I have an accident, even if the accident was not cause by this fact? Will the cops give me trouble for not having a rear reflector?

    (By the way, I know a couple who were arrested by cops and detained overnight just because their car didn't have a taillight. This is in NYC where there are far more serious crimes going on that need the cops presence.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    CYA: Get a rear reflector. I'm a big fan of mounting a tail light with a reflector to that rear rack.
    My Bikes: 2010 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  3. #3
    vol
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    If I get a new rear reflector, I want a better one, a large and bright one. Any recommendations?

  4. #4
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    If I get a new rear reflector, I want a better one, a large and bright one. Any recommendations?
    why not get the PDW radbot1000. cya with the reflector built in + a bright 1W rear light to boot. http://www.ridepdw.com/goods/lights/...%E2%84%A2-1000

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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Good idea. Doesn't the radbot have a rack mount? I keep a Planet Bike Blinky 5 mounted to my non-dynamo bike's rack.
    My Bikes: 2010 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I found DOT Class II conspicuity tape (or whatever that stuff is called) in red to be a better reflective material than the built in radbot 1k one. Of course the later may cover you legally and the former may not. (I don't know and may depend on locality)

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    I don't run reflectors on many bikes. Never been a problem for me.

    The wheel and pedal reflectors are the catchiest and the first thing I notice if I'm driving.

  8. #8
    snob rogwilco's Avatar
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    I don't use reflectors, because I don't like how the bike looks with them. Stupid? Maybe, but I don't care. I do use lights always when I ride at night (or when it rains or so).

  9. #9
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    only wussies use reflectors

  10. #10
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Why not just head down to a co-op. I bet they have a few laying around.

    In a civil suit it may be worth millions.
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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogwilco View Post
    I don't use reflectors, because I don't like how the bike looks with them. Stupid? Maybe, but I don't care. I do use lights always when I ride at night (or when it rains or so).
    But electrical devices can fail.
    The bike I use for night-riding has white reflective tape on the rack bag, but I intend to add a reflector to it since the state law specifies a *red* reflector.
    No point giving a cop an opportunity to ticket me.
    Last edited by Shimagnolo; 11-04-10 at 12:57 PM.

  12. #12
    vol
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    I really doubt how useful this rear reflectors are, since they are too dim for night (you use taillight anyway), and not necessary for daylight (the bike and the person sitting on the bike are the first thing drivers see before they notice any reflectors on the bike), not to mention the reflectors are highly directional.

    I did get a radbot 1k (yes it does have rack mount), but I would have to take it off when I park the bike outside. Also mounted on the rack there will be chance that it will hit an object and gets broken. If I mount it on the seatpost, it is not very visible.

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I found DOT Class II conspicuity tape (or whatever that stuff is called) in red to be a better reflective material than the built in radbot 1k one. Of course the later may cover you legally and the former may not. (I don't know and may depend on locality)
    Looks very expensive?
    Last edited by vol; 11-04-10 at 11:27 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I've had enough rear lights fail that I always use one or more rear reflectors as a failsafe. Sometimes the electrical goes out, or they pop the lens, or snap off at the mount when I hit a pothole.

    I have an original large red bike reflector from may early 1980s bike. It performs much better than the thumb-sized facets on the reflectors that come with new bikes. It's mounted on my seat post.

    My trunk bags are all equipped with amber and red automotive reflectors on the back. The amber is most visible; the red meets the legal requirement. I attached them to the bags using zip ties or cord.

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    Has anyone read this? http://www.cpsc.gov/volstd/bike/BikeReport.pdf

    A 1994 report that looks at recognition methods. The interesting thing there was that blinking red lights didn't register as a bicycle, and a cpsc reflector was recognized quicker, although a blinking light was noticed farther away. Also said that pedal reflectors were used for recoginition better then blinking lights.

    As now more and more people use blinkies, I'm wondering how much the recogntion gap has changed. Its an interesting read.

  15. #15
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCROUDS View Post
    Just had a quick look--only one picture, the Figure 3. It shows that the later the reflector was produced, the less the effective reflection area.
    I would like to get the one produced in 1974.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    But electrical devices can fail.
    So use two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Just had a quick look--only one picture, the Figure 3. It shows that the later the reflector was produced, the less the effective reflection area.
    I would like to get the one produced in 1974.
    Actually it was saying size went down but they still met the same CPSC reflectivity standard. Which people on here think is too little.

  18. #18
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    could there be consequence if I ride without one?
    In Portland you are required to have an active front light and rear reflector from dusk until dawn. The cops -will- give you a ticket if you are riding during those hours without one. Know your local laws and make sure your bike meets those codes or be prepared to deal with the fines & hassle.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Know your local laws and make sure you meet the minimum. In CO its a front headlight, rear reflector and some sort of side reflectors from dusk til dawn. I'd add a rear light to that.
    My Bikes: 2010 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  20. #20
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    I just use colored reflective tape. I don't like reflectors, but they are mandatory. the tape is there so no one can say I don't have reflectors if I ever get into a crash or anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    Know your local laws and make sure you meet the minimum. In CO its a front headlight, rear reflector and some sort of side reflectors from dusk til dawn. I'd add a rear light to that.
    I'm meeting the side requirements on my night bike with the reflective sidewalls on the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes.

    A couple months ago at McGuckins Hardware in Boulder, I noticed a huge red reflector in the cycling section.
    It must have been ~3" diameter.

  22. #22
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    I just use colored reflective tape. I don't like reflectors, but they are mandatory. the tape is there so no one can say I don't have reflectors if I ever get into a crash or anything.
    Some localities may have laws requiring an approved reflector type or reflector size requirements or red or other color requirements. Even if the tape is better it may not meet law in those locations.
    Last edited by noisebeam; 11-04-10 at 04:23 PM.

  23. #23
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    and in a given day I can ride through 6 or 7 cities. I'm just going with state law
    Last edited by hairnet; 11-04-10 at 04:33 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    If I get a new rear reflector, I want a better one, a large and bright one. Any recommendations?
    Do you have fenders? If so, This Scotchlite reflective tape is good stuff. Cut some pieces to stick to your rear fender, not the frame itself.
    This stuff is DOT approved, and lights up quite brightly. Note that the adhesive is quite strong, so be careful when placing it. Amazon sells a 36 inch roll for $4.60. I use this, and a PB superflash as well.
    The peoples' republic of MA also requires either pedal reflectors, or reflective ankle bands. I find the ankle bands to be quite effective, since motorists see the up and down motion of your legs.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  25. #25
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    The bike I use for night-riding has white reflective tape on the rack bag, but I intend to add a reflector to it since the state law specifies a *red* reflector.
    AFAIK, every state specifies red rear reflectors, (and almost all allow amber as a supplement in any direction, but most prohibit white at the rear except for certain specific applications) yet every seat bag, pannier, etc. that I've seen with any reflectors on it always has white facing the rear. Anything more than the occasional white pinstripe, I tape over with red or amber Scotchlite. Add in a solid rear light, a Sette clone of the PBSF on the left pannier, and a CatEye reflector on the rack, and I'm not too worried about the bike's visibility. For sunrise/sunset, I will add a class 3 vest, though.

    WalMart also has some flat, rectangular red reflectors for trailers and such that work well on a rack or anything else that has a flat spot at the back.
    Last edited by KD5NRH; 11-04-10 at 04:52 PM.

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