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  1. #1
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    Nite-Ize LED Reflective Vest, Anyone?

    I am ready for my first winter commuting and want to make sure I am well lit. I have all the lights for the bike already. I came across the Nite Ize LED Vest. It looks pretty useful. I found it at an online retailer for around $23. Extra batteries from the same retailer are $.79 each. Not bad. Just wondering if anyone has seen or used this vest before.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    in the dark it would be fine but it's a low visibility item in sunlight. If your commute ends up in dawn or starts back in twilight - that vest is a liability at those times.

    Ashamed they didn't make it hi-viz orange or lime...
    Last edited by dalmore; 09-21-06 at 11:43 AM.
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  3. #3
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    I have the tie on light from Nite Ize. It works great. I'll agree with the above post, on overall visiiblity. You need more. Get an Amphipod...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

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    Liability??

    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    in the dark it would be fine but it's a low visibility item in sunlight. If your commute ends up in dawn or starts back in twilight - that vest is a liability at those times.

    Ashamed they didn't make it hi-viz orange or lime...

    I don't really see how you can call anything that has reflective material a liability. A liability inherently increases your chances of something bad happening. I would agree that between this vest and a hi-viz orange vest this would be less noticible but not a liability, a liability would be something that causes you to blend in with your surroundings.

    I like the technology but these URLs have the hi-viz type vests dalmore is talking about with LED technology in them.

    http://www.commandsurplus.com/cs/all...r-p-18738.html
    http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/pr...ge.asp?mi=4027

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I really doubt that the LEDs add that much visibility to people in cars. The amount of light bounced back by good reflective material from a car's headights is pretty huge, likely many times that put out by the LEDs. That vest has just a couple of tiny little reflective strips; I'd probably stick with my $5 reflective vest, I've been told it's very bright and I bet a larger amount of reflective stuff does more good than some LEDs. Mine has two 2" strips over the shoulder, and about a 4" strip around the stomach.

    FWIW, CR2032 batteries are 45 cents from batteryspace.com in 5 packs, less in higher qty. Shipping is killer if that's all you're ordering though. I use a lot of 2032s and I buy a bunch of stuff from them a few times a year, so I toss one or two 5 packs in my order when I'm getting low.
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  6. #6
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFCommuter
    I don't really see how you can call anything that has reflective material a liability. A liability inherently increases your chances of something bad happening. I would agree that between this vest and a hi-viz orange vest this would be less noticible but not a liability, a liability would be something that causes you to blend in with your surroundings.

    I like the technology but these URLs have the hi-viz type vests dalmore is talking about with LED technology in them.

    http://www.commandsurplus.com/cs/all...r-p-18738.html
    http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/pr...ge.asp?mi=4027

    Hope this helps.

    Actually at dusk and dwan, I think it is a liability because it's mostly black. I think it might actually make you less visibile in situations where there is enough ambient light to render the led's useless. And also enough ambient light that some drivers will have their lights off.
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Today I was out on the road in a car. Had to sit behind a tractor till I could pass it on a straight. As I pulled out I saw something in the distance of about 1/2 a mile away. This something was in the shadow of trees and I was in full sun. Hesitated in case it was a motorbike about to break the speed limits and realised that it was a Cyclist with a fluorescant yellow Sam Brown style belt. I could see that from 1/2 a mile in daylight. Then yesterday- similar situation and I came across two cyclists. One was wearing red/pinkish fluroescant and the other yellow. I did not see the red but the yellow stood out a mile. Problem is- just imagine picking out that Yellow top in a **** Seed field.

    Take the situation and wear the right colour to suit the situation. At night I have lights but I have a dark blue top with Fluorecant white patches. That stands out a mile in headlamps but useless in the day.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I have a PolyBrite self-illuminating vest that operates on the same principle. I don't use it anymore. If I can give some advice, get a lime ANSI Class III vest like this one I'm wearing:



    Ordering: http://www.safetygearonline.com/prod...1&tid=1&pid=78 The benefit is that it has far, far greater reflective surface than that little NiteIze vest, all the way round the sides too. And it's neon-lime cloth so it'll show better day or night, whether headlights are reaching the reflective tape or not.

    For the self-illuminating goodness, get this from that vendor, while they still have some: http://www.safetygearonline.com/prod...1&tid=1&pid=95

    The benefit of this belt is that it adds to the massive reflective surface of that vest, and you can wear it low across your bottom where it actually is facing right at the traffic. It glows the entire way around, not just the rear, and uses two AA's.

    Now add a Planet Bike SuperFlash superblinkie to your bike's other reflectors and lights, or maybe a Cateye LD1000, so you have a really good rear light. These are substantially daytime-visible, unlike typical cheap little blinkies, so it might be worth just running them on every ride as a safety enhancement. Aim them carefully since their beam is focused pretty tight.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    By the way, my firsthand video testing agrees with what ItsJustMe said: the LED illumination of the self-illuminating stuff isn't nearly as good as its reflection when headlights are on it. For an example, look at the scenes shown here: http://www.mechbgon.com/visibility/activevpassive.html and you can see that the self-illuminating legband is mainly showing its reflective yellow, not its self-illuminating red, if there's even a weak light hitting it.

  10. #10
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    23 bucks should get you about a million miles of reflective tape, and some blinkies to spare. frankly, that thing doesn't look to me like it was designed by anyone who actually rides/runs/walks in the dark - too unimaginative in the layout of the light strips. you want some part of you to be visible/attention-getting from any angle. the crossover design on mech's vest is much better.
    ain't no man can help being born average. but ain't no man got to be common - satchell paige

  11. #11
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    With that in mind, a person also could make a heck of a reflective belt out of the 4-inch-wide stuff here: http://www.identi-tape.com/sew-on.html And they've got iron-on, too, if you already have a neon riding jacket and want to put a stripe across the arms & back, and another around the waistline, or whatever: http://www.identi-tape.com/iron-on.html

    I was thinking about getting the 4-inch-wide stuff and putting it as a hem around the bottom of my ANSI Class III vest, because when I'm actually sitting on my bike, my back is angled UP. The tape would be most effective if it were across my butt, and the hem idea might be just the right idea. Granted, I'm going overboard as usual, but if you ride in heavy traffic then it can't hurt to err on the overboard side

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