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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-31-09, 02:50 PM   #1
RhinoBiker
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Safety - Day glow commuter

I commute and want to find brighter day glow togs. I would love to find a pair of shorts reflective strip across my butt (as if it isn't big enough to be noticed now ) My reflective vest rides so far up my back that I chopped up a day glow green vest to pieces and had my wife sew it to the bottom. Now it hangs like a tuxedo with tails, but people comment on being able to see me now.

Do jersey's come in LONG sizes? (hey Love2pedal?)

I would love to see a vest with flashing lights and reflective strips all over it like a Colonial soldier's uniform (Include a rechargeable battery in there too). Reflective strips down the pant legs would be nice too!

Who else is concerned about safety?

Why aren't there more lighted helmets? Red blinkies in the rear and white ones on the front?
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Old 07-31-09, 02:59 PM   #2
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Planet Bike makes a spiffy little light set I see a lot of commuters using up here. Don't remember the name of them, though.

There are companies which make active (LED lit) safety vests, but I don't know about rechargeable batteries.

Get a race-number belt and a reflective slow-moving-vehicle triangle, wear that low on your back. That's pretty standard among the randonneur crowd. Another option is an adjustable reflective sash.

Some companies use reflective piping and trim on their wind pants, some tights have reflective panels. You can always buy some sew-on reflective trim and add it to your favourite riding pants. There's a bunch of types available online from both Identi-Tape, and Seattle Fabrics.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:54 PM   #3
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I got some mesh HiVis construction worker shirts that have about 2"-wide silver reflective strips in a big H both on front and back. I wear those on my cooler commutes but they get a little hot during the worst summer heat (but more daylight hence less need for reflective wear). My long-sleeved construction shirts were about $20 each and cut loose. The reflectivity will degrade after many washes; read the tags.

Illuminite clothes do well providing reflectability. Performance has a lot of these. The jacket I have isn't very breathable and my jersey is a little snug at the hip but the commuter tights are fine.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:10 PM   #4
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You can purchase retro-reflective tape & cloth. Stick / sew the stuff where you want it on your bike / outfit.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:05 PM   #5
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This LED vest looks pretty bright

+1 for reflective sew on though, for about $1 per foot you can get shiny fast!
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Old 07-31-09, 07:22 PM   #6
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I use one of these safety triangles. http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=31-460 You can sometimes find them at R.E.I. if you have one near you. They are made by a company called Nathan. You wear them around your waist with the attached belt. I have noticed I get more room since I started using it. It is quite visible in daylight also.
I also use the Planet Bike Blaze strobing headlight and their Superflash taillight. Both can be seen in daylight. Occasionally you can find these two lights packaged together for around $40. I have the 1/2 watt blaze but there is now a 1 watt version available.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:28 AM   #7
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http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-High-Vis.../dp/B000X78BTW
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Old 08-01-09, 01:06 AM   #8
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If you want helmet light, I use the Planet Bike Sport Spot (front) and Planet Bike Blinkie 3H (rear)...the Sport spot does a great job lighting up street signs (so I assume drivers see it as well) and the 3H just adds a little more to the rear visibility....as a set, they're totally Fred-tastic.lol.
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Old 08-01-09, 03:14 AM   #9
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Dunno, I wonder how I'd make a bike more visible at night? (check the image in the signature, that's a photograph)...

Ever thought of retro reflective tape?

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Old 08-02-09, 12:11 PM   #10
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If you buy a vest with LED lighting handle it gently. Forget which brand I had but it had one LED strip down the center of the back. Very simple circuit and the solder joint broke. I still use the vest but velcroed a PBSF to it.
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Old 08-02-09, 03:22 PM   #11
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Try a white long sleeve shirt that you can stuff into a bag and not worry if it is lost or damages.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:49 PM   #12
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Be careful about overdoing the lighting. In my experience, more is not better. If your lighting scheme is too busy, then cars have a hard time understanding what they're seeing. They figure it out, of course, usually when they're about twenty feet behind you, still going full speed.

I'd also avoid blinkies, they have a similar "confusing" effect. (though I do blink in storms, etc)

Reflective material doesn't seem to have this effect; they understand what they're seeing early on.

Lean this way and you'll do fine.
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Old 08-02-09, 05:20 PM   #13
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The commuting forum had an interesting discussion I was reading through recently Do you guys wear reflective vests?. I thought it was really interesting reading that to much lighting and reflectivity can be a bad thing and the reasons given. It makes you think and follows along the lines of what bluegoatwoods stated.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:55 PM   #14
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Some interesting lighting comments by Machka on the Touring Forum:

Touring & Riding At Night On Roads

BTW, when I ride at night, I use:

- 10 watt dual beam Cygolite Night Rover;
- Planet Bike helmet light;
- yellow helmet;
- at least two blinkers on rear (one on seatpost, one on rear rack)
- Yellow Illuminite jacket;
- reflectors on pedals and rear of bike.
- reflective straps on ankles
- colorful socks
- panniers with reflective stripes

Notice how bright the striping on the panniers is in this dusk photo:



Or here:





On an overcast day I may turn on the rear lights and wear a reflective construction vest so I look lit up.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:28 PM   #15
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Another shot of Roark lit up for nighttime commuting:



And the helmet:


Last edited by Neil_B; 08-02-09 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 08-11-09, 06:05 PM   #16
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IMO, don't go with red to the back and white to the front: it's too easy to confuse you with a far off car until it's a little too late. 3M makes great retro reflective stuff, I use their products all the time in EMS. My local construction gear store (mostly sells boots) have mesh reflective t-shirts that look pretty well vented (i.e. cool) and are as visible as it gets. blinking lights attract more atention, blue to the rear and 'off-white' to the front, keep it distinct from the headlights you see in your area.
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Old 08-11-09, 06:55 PM   #17
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http://www.streetglo.net/reflective.tape/
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Old 08-11-09, 07:38 PM   #18
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i have seen somewhere on the net black reflective tape as well...

no it reflected white orange or red if i remember correctly but it looked black!!!

I'll look for it later...
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