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Old 05-11-07, 04:14 PM   #1
Raiyn
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"Stealth" Non Dorky Reflectors

I started a new thread so the Commuter Bicycles Pics thread could get back on topic
]







The reason for the double pics is to illustrate what I call the "Stealth Reflector" concept and the use of Reflective tape on the wheels instead of CSPC plastic reflectors.
Basically the idea behind the "Stealth Reflector" is to use the same color (or reasonably close) tape as the frame so that it blends during the day, yet provides reflective properties at night.


Please keep in mind that reflectors and/ or reflective tape is no substitute for lights and are to be viewed and used as supplements to a lighting system not in place of one.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS BEFORE USING THIS SYSTEM
Quick link to bike laws including some international regs. http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/bikelaw.htm

"Stealth" reflectors are a wonderful thing, but I don't want anyone having legal issues because they don't comply with local laws. Remember: Lawyers Suck
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Old 05-11-07, 04:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
Nice bike. I just bought my son a Hardrock Sport and it is a great bike. I was riding it the other day thinking it would make a great commuter (I like the MTB style for commuting) with a rigid fork and bigger chain rings like you have. Hmmm, maybe in a few years when he upgrades I might take it back from him and commuterize it.
It's been good to me the last 7 years. The only thing that's stock on it now is the seat post and the steel frame. The chain rings are still a standard for a MTB 44-32-22, but it has a "road" 11-23 in the back.
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Originally Posted by deputyjones
The "stealth" car idea with police traffic cars is really nice one that is up and coming. The town I live in has one and this is a pic of Holland PD's "casper" car:

It's something I was toying with for a couple years, but when I spotted that .gif of the black cop car on Galls.com (also where I got my tape) I knew it would work fine on a bike. I kept the tape in the rear red as FL law demands "Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear." and I don't want a ticket on a technicality.

I used the same tape technique on my girlfriend's bike. The tape doesn't match the frame color as neatly as it does on mine, but the same effect is provided.

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Old 05-11-07, 04:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bigbenaugust
Where might I purchase this miraculous stealthy reflective tape substance!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by devildogmech
His post said www.galls.com.... That stuff is $25 a roll!
Yes to Galls, but NO my tape wasn't $25 a roll.

The way I cut it it worked out to 1 roll per bike. So between the two bikes I used
  • 2 rolls of black ( Some was used on my girlfriend's fork and the remainder of the 2nd roll went to add reflective surfaces to the inner trunk lid and the part of the car door where it meets the jamb on my girlfriend's black car)
  • Most of a roll of blue (She has a black fork so that's where the extra came from)
  • A roll of Red split between the two (seat stays)
  • 2 rolls of Silver / white (wheels)
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Old 05-11-07, 05:43 PM   #4
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sweet, 3M makes good stuff. I know guys that made decent money reselling the 3m clear film die cut to fit sportscars in lieu of the hideous black vinyl "bra"

how much does the reflectivity degrade when dirty? I know some are better than others.

thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-11-07, 05:51 PM   #5
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I started putting black relfective tape on my black rims. It's not near as reflective as the silver 3M but it does a good job.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lt.Gustl
how much does the reflectivity degrade when dirty? I know some are better than others.

thanks for sharing!
I have a tendency (almost obsessive) to keep my bikes clean. I suppose it would be like anything else, the opacity of the grunge involved would determine how much the reflectivity is impaired.
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Originally Posted by robtown
I started putting black reflective tape on my black rims. It's not near as reflective as the silver 3M but it does a good job.
True, but as I noted reflective tape is a visibility supplement.
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Old 05-11-07, 07:29 PM   #7
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Excellent!

Back in the day (Can I be so old as to say that? Circa 1980?) The 3M tape was unavailable to super expensive... my custom frame Campy equipped tourista therefore has cut up "State Farm" sticker in much the same fashion, free for the taking, same stuff!

Side note: pedals, wheels and cranks move a lot and attract drivers attention, might trick out your cranks and pedals. . .
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Old 05-11-07, 07:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Hamlin
Side note: pedals, wheels and cranks move a lot and attract drivers attention, might trick out your cranks and pedals. . .
Already have some on the wheels, and I have reflective material on my shoes.
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Old 05-12-07, 03:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
[color=blue]It's something I was toying with for a couple years, but when I spotted that .gif of the black cop car on Galls.com (also where I got my tape) I knew it would work fine on a bike. I kept the tape in the rear red as FL law demands "Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear." and I don't want a ticket on a technicality.
This is a great idea Raiyn, and one I expect to use on my own bike soon. With all the different colors available now it just makes sense to do so. We know well in law enforcement that reflective coatings work very well and although have flashy, blinky lights in the front and rear we use reflective everywhere else. The "casper" car above looks like any other old grannie Crown Vic headed down the road until you hit the side of it with a light and you would swear the lettering is dark grey. It also makes sense given how many accidents are caused in intersections and happen where a cyclist is hit from the side.

IMHO, It is a good idea to keep your "stock" reflectors on if only to remain legal, but I cannot foresee any legal issues with adding this type of colored reflectives to your bike.
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Old 05-12-07, 08:16 AM   #10
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I've used the black stuff on my folder before. Works pretty well!
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Old 05-12-07, 08:25 AM   #11
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I have a similar setup on all of my bikes.

Can I ask what was in your dryer?
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Old 05-12-07, 09:05 AM   #12
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I have some of the 3m silver awaiting use.
When I build a lugged frame commuter, I have been struggling with the idea of coating the WHOLE frame in this material. Basically, I could cover all of the tubing, and paint the lugs a contrasting color, and HOPEFULLY, no one would be the wiser during the day. Should be a fairly durable scratch resistant, and good looking finish. Should be better than a spray can job.
I've found some on ebay for a decent price.
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Old 05-12-07, 10:52 AM   #13
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Very cool, I need to buy a silver roll..
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Old 05-12-07, 02:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
IMHO, It is a good idea to keep your "stock" reflectors on if only to remain legal, but I cannot foresee any legal issues with adding this type of colored reflectives to your bike.
Hmmm. I'm not trying to start an arguement, but I have done some research on that. (this site was most helpful) It's my understanding that the CPSC reflectors are required to be sold with (generally that means installed) but that the law in no state requires them to be the reflective surface that is actually used so long as they meet the requirements of that state (ie visibility from a specific distance and / or surface area) which I assure you mine do in no uncertain terms.
I have another reason for running the tape instead of the plastic reflectors I occasionally take this bike offroad and some of the most common trail litter I come across is broken reflectors
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
Can I ask what was in your dryer?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevy42083
I have some of the 3m silver awaiting use.
When I build a lugged frame commuter, I have been struggling with the idea of coating the WHOLE frame in this material. Basically, I could cover all of the tubing, and paint the lugs a contrasting color, and HOPEFULLY, no one would be the wiser during the day. Should be a fairly durable scratch resistant, and good looking finish. Should be better than a spray can job.
I've found some on ebay for a decent price.
You do realize how much of a pain in the rear it will be to get a good looking job when you're dealing with that much tape on a round surface? Seams and what have you?
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Old 05-12-07, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Hmmm. I'm not trying to start an arguement, but I have done some research on that. (this site was most helpful) It's my understanding that the CPSC reflectors are required to be sold with (generally that means installed) but that the law in no state requires them to be the reflective surface that is actually used so long as they meet the requirements of that state (ie visibility from a specific distance.) which I assure you mine do in no uncertain terms.
I have another reason for running the tape instead of the plastic reflectors I occasionally take this bike offroad and some of the most common trail litter I come across is broken reflectors
.
You would be right about that in MI and are probably more knowledgeable about this than I am in different states. The comment about keeping the stock one was only to cover those cyclists in states where others have said they are required to have an actual reflector. I have heard that a few times here on BF from members in other states, but maybe they were mistaken, or maybe I misinterpreted?

In fact, here is the MI law which proves your point. As you said it requires "a reflector", but I can't see a difference between a actual plastic reflector and reflective tape as long as the tape meets the sight distance requirements which I am sure your tape does. Anyway, how the heck would a cop measure that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan Legislature
257.662 Bicycles or electric personal assistive mobility device; equipment; violation as civil infraction.

Sec. 662.

(1) A bicycle or an electric personal assistive mobility device being operated on a roadway between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear which shall be visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
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Old 05-12-07, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
You would be right about that in MI and are probably more knowledgeable about this than I am in different states. The comment about keeping the stock one was only to cover those cyclists in states where others have said they are required to have an actual reflector. I have heard that a few times here on BF from members in other states, but maybe they were mistaken, or maybe I misinterpreted?
I don't believe, nor has the bit of research I've done lead me to believe that the plastic reflectors are required in any state, however, I would certainly suggest that folks double check their local laws before removing the CPSC reflectors and riding on a public roadway
Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
In fact, here is the MI law which proves your point. As you said it requires "a reflector", but I can't see a difference between a actual plastic reflector and reflective tape as long as the tape meets the sight distance requirements which I am sure your tape does. Anyway, how the heck would a cop measure that?
I called my father (a recently retired police officer in MN) and he confirmed that the way I interpreted the law and executed the tape strategy would be correct in MN as well. The only sticking point could possibly be the lack of reflective material on the pedals, however he did say that so long as there was a reflective ankle strap (on both legs) or that your shoes had a sufficient reflective surface you'd be fine in most cases. He also said that if you wanted to you could stick a bit of tape on the pedal as well just to CYA.
As far as a cop measuring it.....I guess he could claim he didn't see you from the required distance, but he'd have a hell of a time proving it in court.
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Old 05-12-07, 06:33 PM   #17
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Why is the window of the washing/drying machine always photo-manipulated?

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Old 05-12-07, 06:45 PM   #18
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Why is the window of the washing/drying machine always photo-manipulated?
  1. It's nobody's business what's in our dryer.
  2. I don't disrupt your threads asking about your laundry.
  3. If you have that much of a concern as to what's in our dryer - you need to get a life.
  4. It's a courtesy move / policy on my part, and will continue in any future pictures taken in this location.
Now if you please, get your head out of my dryer.



We now return you to your regularly scheduled reflective tape thread
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Old 05-12-07, 07:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
I started a new thread so the Commuter Bicyles Pics thread could get back on topic

The reason for the double pics is to illustrate what I call the "Stealth Reflector" concept and the use of Reflective tape on the wheels instead of CSPC plastic reflectors.
Basically the idea behind the "Stealth Reflector" is to use the same color (or reasonably close) tape as the frame so that it blends during the day, yet provides reflective properties at night.
Please keep in mind that reflectors or reflective tape is no substitute for lights and are to be viewed and used as supplements to a lighting system not in place of one.
Excellent. First new thing I've seen here in a long, long, time.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Excellent. First new thing I've seen here in a long, long, time.
Thanks. The way I see it, the use of reflectors / reflective tape doesn't have to be an exercise in Freddiness. You can have nighttime visibility, without looking like a dork during the day.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
  1. It's nobody's business what's in our dryer.
  2. I don't disrupt your threads asking about your laundry.
  3. If you have that much of a concern as to what's in our dryer - you need to get a life.
  4. It's a courtesy move / policy on my part, and will continue in any future pictures taken in this location.
Now if you please, get your head out of my dryer.



We now return you to your regularly scheduled reflective tape thread
A. Don't take pictures that you plan to share in front of something you don't want to share.
B. My machine has no window.
C. I don't care whats in it, i was talking about "why edit it".
D. See A.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diff_lock2
A. Don't take pictures that you plan to share in front of something you don't want to share.
B. My machine has no window.
C. I don't care whats in it, i was talking about "why edit it".
D. See A.
  1. I'll take pictures where I like, how I edit them is my business.
  2. Why would I care about your dryer? Why would you care about mine?
  3. If you don't care why ask what's in it? It could be towels, it could be my girlfriend's underwear, it could be rotting parts of my dead neighbor's corpse. You'll never know, nor do you need to.
  4. See A
Now respect my editing / privacy and quit disrupting the damn thread




We now, once again, return you to your regularly scheduled reflective tape thread
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Old 05-12-07, 09:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
  1. It's nobody's business what's in our dryer.
  2. I don't disrupt your threads asking about your laundry.
  3. If you have that much of a concern as to what's in our dryer - you need to get a life.
  4. It's a courtesy move / policy on my part, and will continue in any future pictures taken in this location.
Now if you please, get your head out of my dryer.



We now return you to your regularly scheduled reflective tape thread
FYI, I was joking. In the first picture, your reflectors were so stealthy that the absolute first thing that caught my eye was the blank-out on the dryer. It took me a few seconds to see the bike! THAT IS STEALTHY!!!

I wouldn't want anyone seeing what's in my dryer either. Fortunately it doesn't have a window.
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Old 05-12-07, 10:03 PM   #24
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Geez learn how to use Photoshop already. Then you can resize the photos.
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Old 05-13-07, 12:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
FYI, I was joking. In the first picture, your reflectors were so stealthy that the absolute first thing that caught my eye was the blank-out on the dryer. It took me a few seconds to see the bike! THAT IS STEALTHY!!!

I wouldn't want anyone seeing what's in my dryer either. Fortunately it doesn't have a window.
I figured as much, but that other guy wouldn't leave it alone. Trust me there's no animosity towards you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
Geez learn how to use Photoshop already. Then you can resize the photos.
Just so you know, those WERE done in PhotoShop, hence the combined images and the opaqued dryer window. Perhaps you just need more resolution? They fit nicely in the post box @1280x1024


We now, yet again, return you to your regularly scheduled reflective tape thread


edit: I substituted in "signed" resized versions of the old pics 3/29/2008
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