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  1. #1
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Iron-on reflective tape pictures :)

    I recently got a neon-lime riding jacket, and decided to add reflective tape to it. I chose the iron-on 3M reflective tape instead of the sew-on stuff, since I'm probably even worse at sewing than I am at ironing The ironing didn't go as well as I'd like but the reflectivity is pretty good, so I thought I'd post some photos.

    I particularly wanted the reflective treatment on the arms, so that motorists have an easier time seeing my arm signals in the dark. It also adds quite a lot of reflective surface when viewed from the front and sides. Now if we could just get the motorists to all turn their headlights on when they ought to...

    I had some tape left over, so I also striped the back of a pair of full-fingered gloves, and put a stripe down each leg of a pair of cheap athletic pants I'll probably use for commuting as temperatures begin to get lower.


    Side view. There are two 2-inch stripes on the tail of the jacket, which comes further down than my reflective vest does (see picture #3). I also have a stripe down the side of the torso. This photo shows the tape more realistically than the next two photos, I think.


    Front view. The backs of my gloves are reflecting well here, too. That's 3M Scotchlite adhesive tape on my helmet, and Jog-A-Light reflective legbands.


    Rear view (in this photo, I'm also wearing my ANSI Class II neon-lime vest over the jacket).

    Photos shot using a Fenix L2D next to the camera as the illumination source, on lowest power, at a range of about 10 meters. The first photo is more representative of the reflectivity than the last two, which show the tape a bit too bright.

    Disclaimer: as most of you already know, reflective material only looks bright if the viewer (1) has lights, (2) the lights are actually turned on, and (3) the lights are aimed at you, and (4) the viewer's lights are close to their line of sight, so that some of the reflected light comes back to the viewer's eyes. Without illumination from my flashlight, I'd barely show up at all in these pictures unless I had my own lights turned on. Reflective material will never substitute for actual lights on your bike.

  2. #2
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    There was this movie called "Tron"...

  3. #3
    bikes are sexy Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamRoundBoys View Post
    There was this movie called "Tron"...
    haha lightcycles!
    [2010] Specialized P3 - [09] Origin8 Scout 29er - [08] Specialized Epic Comp - [08] Specialized Allez - [06] - Specialized SX Trail II - (((In Pieces - '08 Jamis Parker -- '07 specialized Hardrock Sport -- 2005 KHS DJ200)))

  4. #4
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamRoundBoys View Post
    There was this movie called "Tron"...
    Oh great, now I have to learn a whole new set of sound effects to make when I'm riding

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Wow, that really lights you up!

    A person would have to be DRUNK to miss you.
    Mike

  6. #6
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Wow, that really lights you up!

    A person would have to be DRUNK to miss you.
    Or drunk to hit you, depending on how you consider it.

  7. #7
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Dude, you're glowing!

    Good to see you around again.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    hey mechBgon - nice iron work! can you post a pict of that setup in daylight? I want to see how the gray arm stripe changes your outline after the sun comes up. particularly from the front.
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

    Change you can believe in - Bigfoot Nessie 08

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Dude, you're glowing!

    Good to see you around again.
    How could you miss him! :-D

    -Jon

  10. #10
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamRoundBoys View Post
    There was this movie called "Tron"...
    "Tron" FTW!!!!!
    Owner/operator of Fredkenstein™ I
    http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/289...r613833gj7.gif
    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  11. #11
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore View Post
    hey mechBgon - nice iron work! can you post a pict of that setup in daylight? I want to see how the gray arm stripe changes your outline after the sun comes up. particularly from the front.
    Sure thing, I'll try to shoot a photo before I jam for work this morning, and post it when I get home.


    Good to see you around again.
    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Twilight Requiem AdrianFly's Avatar
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    Dude, you rock.

    The Bearded Fred: Only known cyclist left in the world to be 100% natural and completely free from performance enhancing drugs. Also known for self reliance, amazing talent for satisfying the women and great guitar riffs. Honestly, a full racing kit is absolutely the most ridiculous looking stuff you can wear short of a clown suit."

  13. #13
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Ok, here's the daylight picture:


  14. #14
    Senior Member Cygnus67's Avatar
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    Wow! A superb job! THAT is what a cycling jacket should look like!

    I have never understood why cycling clothiers used reflective material so sparingly. Especially for things marketed towards commuters.

    Nice job!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Editz's Avatar
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    Keep us posted on how that iron on stuff holds up. And where did you get the ANSI vest?



  16. #16
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    I know what I'll be dressing up as for Halloween this year.
    Owner/operator of Fredkenstein™ I
    http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/289...r613833gj7.gif
    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Editz View Post
    Keep us posted on how that iron on stuff holds up. And where did you get the ANSI vest?
    Will do I got the ANSI vest from here: http://www.safetygearonline.com/prod...?tid=4&pid=182 I added a stripe of the iron-on stuff around the bottom of the ANSI vest too, as my "practice run." So if I wear both the vest and my modified jacket, I have six inches of the iron-on stuff across my rear (as you may be able to see in the third photo), plus the ANSI vest's own reflective tape.

  18. #18
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    How do you find the flexibility of the tape? I was looking at the site, and they only have small pics with little detail. I am considering getting the sew on kind and have a friend sew on the strips onto my jackets,.....

    Also, I use a Pearl Izumi Jacket which is some kind of polyesther,... what is your shell made of and how did it take to the ironing?

    Any close-up pics of the adheered tape to your jacket and the tape itself showing how it flexes with the contours of the jacket material would be MUCH appreaciated. Thanks for the heads up.

  19. #19
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Man you really light up in that jacket. You done a good job.


    .......but you'd still scare the beejesus out of me if I saw you in my headlights.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  20. #20
    Dropped myself Lizzylou's Avatar
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    My eyes hurt from those pictures, I WANT SOME!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Cygnus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirohsima View Post
    ...I use a Pearl Izumi Jacket which is some kind of polyesther,... what is your shell made of and how did it take to the ironing?
    Hirosima - I'm not sure which PI jacket you're referring to but if it's a laminated polyester like my Canari Eclipse - be warned that the iron-on tape will not stick well and will likely start peeling quickly like mine did. To be fair, the directions did make a clear point of mentioning this, I just chose to ignore the them. Lessoned learned...I ruined the jacket.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirohsima View Post
    How do you find the flexibility of the tape?
    The tape is not flexible when it's being ironed, because it's attached to a protective paper covering. After the paper is removed, the reflective tape is flexible like the fabric.

    Also, I use a Pearl Izumi Jacket which is some kind of polyesther,... what is your shell made of and how did it take to the ironing?
    My shell is also a Pearl Izumi. The fabric itself had no problem with the ironing. Like Cygnus67, I knew when I started that the iron-on tape might not stick to the fabric well. It does seem to stick to the fabric, but I plan to hand-wash the jacket in the future so it lasts as long as possible.

    Any close-up pics of the adheered tape to your jacket and the tape itself showing how it flexes with the contours of the jacket material would be MUCH appreaciated. Thanks for the heads up.
    Certainly Here are some photos:







    As you can see in the photos, I should've avoided ironing the reflective tape over seams. The result doesn't look very good when you're holding the jacket in your hands, but my main goal is how it works out in the real world, and it definitely works as a safety enhancement. People who are considering making a reflective jacket like this might want to buy a cheap shell in neon-lime (example at Performancebike.com), and work on that, instead of using an expensive jacket like I did. I also suggest using short or medium pieces of tape, instead of trying to use long, continuous pieces like I did.

    The tape went much easier on the legs of those athletic pants. I wish I had some more tape so I could also do that to my tights. Maybe I'll get some more.

    Also, if you're deciding between the sew-on or the iron-on tape... look again at the first two pictures. My rear pannier has a stripe of the sew-on tape, and it doesn't seem to show as well (it is also much older, though). But it's still much better than even the "screaming yellow" non-reflective cloth that the jacket's made of.

  23. #23
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    Thanks for the daylight shot - I'm glad to see it doesn't kill your outline! My next modified jacket will have the arm stripe.

    Regarding how well the iron on tape holds up. I used a jacket with the iron on stuff for winter. Washed probably 10-12 times. No problems at all. Still adhers fully. I only stopped using that jacket when I decided the tape I used is not reflective enough. I used some flourescent orange tape thinking it'd be more visible in the daytime than the silver. It has a very narrow angle of reflection.
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

    Change you can believe in - Bigfoot Nessie 08

  24. #24
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    Thanks to mechBgon for the detailed pictures and great description. I think I am going to beg a co-worker who sews to put some sew-on fabric on my jackets and vests. If that fails, I think the iron-on stuff is the way to go. Thanks again for the detail and for taking the time to get me those extra shots. Very much appreciated!

  25. #25
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if you can use iron-on reflective tape on lycra shorts and synthetic materials (namely Nashbar Essential Jersey and/or Performance Century II Long Sleeve Jersey)? I'd hate to try it out only to ruin a perfectly good jersey or shorts.
    Owner/operator of Fredkenstein™ I
    http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/289...r613833gj7.gif
    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

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