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Old 11-03-10, 09:34 PM   #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.)
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Old 11-03-10, 09:38 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:41 PM   #3
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If I get a new rear reflector, I want a better one, a large and bright one. Any recommendations?
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Old 11-03-10, 11:36 PM   #4
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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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Old 11-04-10, 09:29 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 10:18 AM   #6
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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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Old 11-04-10, 10:26 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 10:31 AM   #8
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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).
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Old 11-04-10, 10:53 AM   #9
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only wussies use reflectors
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Old 11-04-10, 11:16 AM   #10
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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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Old 11-04-10, 11:19 AM   #11
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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).
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.
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Old 11-04-10, 11:21 AM   #12
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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.

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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)
Looks very expensive?

Last edited by vol; 11-04-10 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-04-10, 11:50 AM   #13
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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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Old 11-04-10, 12:15 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 12:50 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 01:15 PM   #16
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But electrical devices can fail.
So use two.
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Old 11-04-10, 02:11 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 02:48 PM   #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.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:42 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:47 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:56 PM   #21
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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.
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.
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Old 11-04-10, 04:18 PM   #22
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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.
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.
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Old 11-04-10, 04:28 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 04:44 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 11-04-10, 04:48 PM   #25
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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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