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  1. #26
    vol
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    When the LBS installed the rear rack for me, they removed the rear reflector; as a result, I don't have one since (even if it's still on the seat post, it wouldn't serve any purpose since the rear rack, saddle bag and shelf bag are always there to block it).

    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    In all honesty, I don't know why when they sell someone a bike that the bicycle dealers just don't give you a peal-off card of reflective stickers.
    Good idea.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    The little white front and red tail reflectors that come with a newly bought bike are not only useless in most cases, but often take extra room and interfere with mounting lights etc. on handlebar and seat post. They are useless nuisance. Couldn't the manufacturers just make part of the bike frame reflective with reflective painting or reflective tapes (like many of us do)? What do you think?
    The answer is yes, of course they could. In the absence of government regulation to require it, then this is governed by free-market economics. It seems to me that reflective paint is something waiting for the right marketing to make it mainstream. Ultimately if there's a feature that gives you an advantage in the market, manufacturers will likely adopt it. If Surly (just for example) started selling a reflective paint Cross Check or LHT version and this sold well, then other manufacturers might follow suit. If it didn't sell, then it's not likely to catch on with others.

    The other way this works is from the demand side. If you feel strongly enough about it, then advocacy takes the form of lobbying manufacturers to do it. If you can convince one or more that there's demand, then you're more likely to see someone take the chance on it. Bear in mind that incorporating reflective paint into the product represents a significant investment. There's lots of cost and risk involved so the more of a sure thing it looks from the sales side, the easier time you have making the case that there is ROI on doing it. Create a facebook page, use other social media, etc. If you don't care enough to put the work in (not saying you should care enough) then don't be surprised if it doesn't happen. Just that change generally requires a change agent, even if it seems like a "no brainer". It's just how the system works.

  3. #28
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Halo powder coat http://halocoatings.com/ hire a powder coat service done to your bike .

    Dont wait for the 'you guys should' committee to do it for you, take care of it for yourself.
    Alas, that is expensive and labor intensive to prepare for.

    It would be nice if bikes were painted like this to begin with. I wouldn't expect it to add much to the cost if done when the frame is painted originally, and it would make a huge difference in how visible bicycles are at night, especially if ridden without lights.

    Of course, people might think that this takes the place of lights, but that's true of any safety measure.

    Now that I think about it, that would be cool to paint an entire car like that. Of course, blinding other drivers with their own lights might be frowned upon.

  4. #29
    Randomhead
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    there is another vendor of retroreflective powder coatings
    I think it's a great idea, and I have tried to talk people into doing it for me. So far I've failed. I wanted to do wet paint with reflective additives, apparently it's tacky looking

  5. #30
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have a frameset that is entirely covered in reflective tape. It does work. You're free to do this with your bike, too.

    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  6. #31
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You may like the Reflective powder with a transparent color on it,
    a liquid paint, so its not rough feeling.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Reflectors are a legal requirement in all states in the US. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are a good idea. Active lighting would be a much better requirement.
    People would then need to actually turn the lights on and remember to keep charged batteries in them. Not going to happen for a lot of people. Reflectors are passive and require no action by the rider for them to work.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  8. #33
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    People would then need to actually turn the lights on and remember to keep charged batteries in them. Not going to happen for a lot of people. Reflectors are passive and require no action by the rider for them to work.
    ...and they don't work if light doesn't fall on them. There are lots to situations where a reflector isn't going to have anything to "reflect". If you are coming to an intersection and the car is at 90 degrees to the bike, the reflector is going to be useless. Angled intersections are going to do the same. In fog or snow, the light can't travel very far and even straight in front of the car, the reflector can't reflect the light back. If the reflector is dirty, it won't reflect.

    On the other hand, laziness isn't an excuse. Every state law that I have looked at requires a front white light. Some require a reflector as well but all of them require active lighting for the front. Some, like my state, require a reflector for the rear but not an active light. Because of this, I carry a red reflector but I only do so because the law requires it. It's useless and I would rather have a light required but that's going to take legislation to change.
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  9. #34
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    I like this idea because it is a (I ASSUME) a possible low-cost win for all. Brands and manufacturers would have some cost to change their design and process, and possibly some cost per item for higher cost of materials. I picture the material cost as replacing the current paint on the assembly line with a reflective paint, and/or replacing the current non-reflective stickers used in assembly with reflective stickers.

    If the bikes look nearly the same, the same, or better, during daylight, and add reflectivity at night, that seems like a win for cyclists, and may add incentive to at least a few to replace their present bikes.

    If the brands/manufacturers can add value to purchasers at little cost to themselves, that seems like a win/win.

    And it should not keep anyone from using proper cycling lights, front, back, and to the sides. This would add to safety, not replace lights or any other safety feature.

    For me, individually, this would be a better reason to get a new bike than an updated group set or the latest aerodynamic tubing that would save several seconds off a 40k ride. But you could have it all -- the new group set, ceramic bearings, electronic shifting, aero tubing, plus a reflective frame finish or at least large sections outlined by the brand stickers which are reflective instead of dull.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...and they don't work if light doesn't fall on them. There are lots to situations where a reflector isn't going to have anything to "reflect". If you are coming to an intersection and the car is at 90 degrees to the bike, the reflector is going to be useless. Angled intersections are going to do the same. In fog or snow, the light can't travel very far and even straight in front of the car, the reflector can't reflect the light back. If the reflector is dirty, it won't reflect.

    If the light is turned off or battery is flat it is less useful than reflector, even a dirty reflector. If a rider is too lazy or stupid to clean a reflector once a week or so then what hope have they got of remembering to put a light on their bike, keep a charged battery in it and then turn it on when it gets dark?!

    If you are coming to an intersection and the car is at 90 degrees to the bike, the lights are going to be virtually useless as they aren't pointed that way. Unless you happen to have some sort of side lights, but I don't know any cyclists that have these, and what colour would thety need to be if you did?

    I agree that lights are better than reflectors but a reflector is better than having nothing at all. A bike reflector weighs SFA and takes up about the same amount of room. Or, as others have already mentioned you can use reflective tape. I had some black reflective tape on a previous bike (not as much as in the pic a few posts back!) that was black so you couldn't really notice it during the day but it was reflective at night. Available on eBay or in shops in a range of colours to blend in with the paint on your bike. Or for those that want to go to the trouble of repainting the bike you can get additives such as phosphourus (sp?) to add to the paint to give it a reflective or luminous effect. A reflector is meant as supplementary vision (to be seen, obviously not to be seen with), not primary.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    On the other hand, laziness isn't an excuse. Every state law that I have looked at requires a front white light. Some require a reflector as well but all of them require active lighting for the front. Some, like my state, require a reflector for the rear but not an active light. Because of this, I carry a red reflector but I only do so because the law requires it. It's useless and I would rather have a light required but that's going to take legislation to change.
    Correct, laziness isn't an excuse but it's how a lot of people are. A lot of recreational cyclists wouldn't know or care what the law says in relation to bikes and lights and/or reflectors. Shouldn't need a law to tell you that riding a bike in the dark without lights is a stupid and dangerous thing to do, but you see plenty of people still doing it!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    I rarely ride at night... when I do I have plenty of lights. But it isn't terribly unusual for a storm cloud to roll in and darken things enough.... that reflectors could help a cyclist be seen... even more so if it rains.

    I keep the "safety equipment" on my bicycles. I even hunt down the proper replacement reflectors for the bikes I restore. I always wear a helmet, and I wear bright reflective clothing when I bicycle as well. The reflectors are required by local law where I live.... a bell is also required by law. The law even details that the bell must be of the two tone style. I don't own a bell... on any of my bicycles.

    I think the laws already go too far! I think anyone not smart enough to take basic safety precautions when cycling.... might be causing the gene pool a little pollution. OR they may be smart enough to know that reflectors don't protect cyclist from bad luck, drunkenness, distracted and/or daydreaming drivers. Reflectors or not, bells or not.... every cyclist alive today will die.

    Of course.... only a very few of them will die while cycling. That is fortunate for cycling, Bicycle Shops, and bicycle makers. But for serious cyclists.... I think many could imagine worst ways to die.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 01-01-14 at 04:07 PM.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    If you are coming to an intersection and the car is at 90 degrees to the bike, the lights are going to be virtually useless as they aren't pointed that way. Unless you happen to have some sort of side lights, but I don't know any cyclists that have these, and what colour would thety need to be if you did?
    Bike lights with decent intensity will make a pool of light on the roadway and light up signs and other objects. That isn't as good as having the light shining directly at the observer, but it helps. Many lights do have a little bit of side visibility as well.

    The best thing is to have a helmet light, so you can point it at drivers who might not see a headlight on the bars. I use both.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    The best thing is to have a helmet light, so you can point it at drivers who might not see a headlight on the bars. I use both.
    I use all three at night: lights front and back, helmet light, and side lights. Plus reflective vest, bands, and clothing trim.

  14. #39
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    In keeping with the subject of reflectors; Adding to what others have already said on the pro's and con's, most of the OEM reflectors on bikes really are of poor quality. That's quite sad because there are better materials out there that are way more reflective. One example is the "Reflexite" brand of reflective tape.

    The OEM reflectors sold with most bikes probably cost peanuts. Obviously the government really cares or knows little about safety equipment for bicyclist. Upgraded "Reflexite" type reflective material would triple the effectiveness of the current front, rear and wheel mounted set-ups currently sold on most new bikes. Add some 3M type reflective straws to the wheels and the "see me" factor again gets multiplied. Now before someone adds, "Yeah but it won't help unless lights are shining on them"...Actually, good reflective material is WAY better than standard equipment and will gather and reflect very low levels of light. I've passed bikes parked in bike racks more that a 100 ft. off the road and could see the reflection of the 3M wheel straws 45 to the angle of my head lights. Impressed me so much I made a mental note to pick me up some by spring.

    I don't use most of the OEM reflectors on my bikes. The only original reflectors I use are the wheel reflectors. Just before I posted this I did a little test on my wheels to test the effectiveness. I couldn't believe how pathetic they were. Looks like I'll be adding some 3M tape to those to boost their effectiveness. As soon as the winter is over I plan on adding some of the 3M reflective ( color matched ) tape to my frame. Even though my bike is covered with lights ( front , rear, and sides ) I figure some more reflective tape can't hurt.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 01-02-14 at 06:28 AM.

  15. #40
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    A different spin on the topic

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/01/02/...ke/#more-71424

    ****

  16. #41
    vol
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    To add to what 01 CAt Man Do just said: when the reflectors happen to be visible, they are usually only visible for a split second, because they are so small and directional (unlike the amber reflectors on the pedals, which, though also small and directional, repeat movements and so can keep being visible). Aside from the ineffectiveness of the little reflectors, they are extra parts installed on bike taking room and weight (ok, not much weight but not 0 either), whereas the bike itself has much larger area and can be a more effective "reflector" by itself. And to repeat what Athens80's point: how much effort is needed to use reflective stickers for the logos?

  17. #42
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    If the light is turned off or battery is flat it is less useful than reflector, even a dirty reflector. If a rider is too lazy or stupid to clean a reflector once a week or so then what hope have they got of remembering to put a light on their bike, keep a charged battery in it and then turn it on when it gets dark?!
    One does not necessarily follow the other. I never clean reflectors. But I do fastidiously charge batteries or replace batteries as needed. And I carry multiples of all my lights. If you ride enough at night, you learn not to depend on a single light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    If you are coming to an intersection and the car is at 90 degrees to the bike, the lights are going to be virtually useless as they aren't pointed that way. Unless you happen to have some sort of side lights, but I don't know any cyclists that have these, and what colour would thety need to be if you did?
    That would depend on the light. If you are running a "been seen (but not really)" light, may be your scenario would be true, although the motorist would have to not be looking for crossing traffic. With higher intensity light, a motorist sees my headlights in the same manner as they see other vehicle lights. You don't look for the running lights of a car coming at you an a crossing street when you drive, you look for the headlights.

    Reflectors, on the other hand, can't be seen at all by a motorist on a cross street because the light doesn't hit the reflector. The side reflectors can only be seen when you are directly in front of the car. That's too late to provide any kind of warning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    I agree that lights are better than reflectors but a reflector is better than having nothing at all. A bike reflector weighs SFA and takes up about the same amount of room. Or, as others have already mentioned you can use reflective tape. I had some black reflective tape on a previous bike (not as much as in the pic a few posts back!) that was black so you couldn't really notice it during the day but it was reflective at night. Available on eBay or in shops in a range of colours to blend in with the paint on your bike. Or for those that want to go to the trouble of repainting the bike you can get additives such as phosphourus (sp?) to add to the paint to give it a reflective or luminous effect. A reflector is meant as supplementary vision (to be seen, obviously not to be seen with), not primary.
    I disagree. Having reflectors is worse than nothing at all. If you had nothing on the bike, you are more likely to think (I hope) "I could get squished because someone can't see me on my bike." But too many people think, "I've got reflectors so I'm good to go!" They still get squished. Derby Bicycles got sued and shelled out $2 million because some bozo thought that reflectors were enough for night riding. Look up Johnson vs Derby Bicycles. In essence, the jury ruled that although the bike had the full set of CSPC reflectors and the Derby owner's manual said to ride at night with lights, it only said to ride with lights off-road. He was stupid and got squished which is why all bicycles have that silly little CYA sticker on them about night time riding. At the time of the judgement, 85% of high school students (the age of Mr. Johnson a the time) thought that the reflectors on a bike were adequate for night time riding. Reflectors weren't adequate then and they aren't adequate now.

    You can tart your bike up with as many reflectors as it can carry but you would still be as dumb as a bag of hammers to ride without lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    Correct, laziness isn't an excuse but it's how a lot of people are. A lot of recreational cyclists wouldn't know or care what the law says in relation to bikes and lights and/or reflectors. Shouldn't need a law to tell you that riding a bike in the dark without lights is a stupid and dangerous thing to do, but you see plenty of people still doing it!
    There are lots and lots of things that you shouldn't need a law telling you not to do but we still have...and need...them. Driving drunk, texting while driving, using the phone while driving, robbing banks, attempting to violate the laws of physics, etc. are all things that you shouldn't have to need to law for but we still have them and people still think they can get around them.
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  18. #43
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ....Having reflectors is worse than nothing at all. If you had nothing on the bike, you are more likely to think (I hope) "I could get squished because someone can't see me on my bike." But too many people think, "I've got reflectors so I'm good to go!"
    While I agree that reflectors alone are inadequate, I can't believe you would say ,"Having reflectors is worse than nothing at all". Simply not true. Now about what other people think when it comes to using reflectors and what you said about that; I don't think anyone would think that having reflectors would mean that they were completely safe riding on the road. I think most people would think that having reflectors would mean, "They have a BETTER chance of being seen". I think most people understand that there are no guarantees in life. Cars with full lighting get hit all the time. I would think most people who are aware of that fact would understand the ramifications of just using reflectors while riding a bike. Then again there are always going to be people who are ignorant of certain facts. As such, there are always exceptions to the rule...unfortunately.


    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    .... Derby Bicycles got sued and shelled out $2 million because some bozo thought that reflectors were enough for night riding. Look up Johnson vs Derby Bicycles. In essence, the jury ruled that although the bike had the full set of CSPC reflectors and the Derby owner's manual said to ride at night with lights, it only said to ride with lights off-road. He was stupid and got squished which is why all bicycles have that silly little CYA sticker on them about night time riding.
    I'll not say too much about that lawsuit other than to say that sometimes juries do the wrong thing. In that case Mr. Johnson got himself a good O.J. lawyer and rolled the dice. Sadly sometimes juries rule on sympathy rather than on common sense. People play the lotteries everyday. Odds are not in your favor but "someone" occasionally wins. Does this mean you will get rich playing the lottery?....probably not. Same principle applies to frivolous civil lawsuits.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    .... At the time of the judgement, 85% of high school students (the age of Mr. Johnson a the time) thought that the reflectors on a bike were adequate for night time riding.
    ...that's because 85% of the time they're right.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Here is an old thread on the same subject. See the picture in #32 of the spokes with reflectives? Seems to me these and reflective frames would be more efficient than the little reflectors with tiny areas and often blocked by racks or bags when mounted on the seat post.
    I think most of the answer is simply that a reflective frame can only be seen from the side.

    Bike headlights go onto the front of the bike and project forward. Bike tail lights go on the bike of the bike and project rearward. Those are the two places a car usually needs to see you from - either in front of you, or from behind you.

    Having your bike frame be reflective from the side is not very useful. It's not lit up by a car behind you, and it's not lit up by an oncoming car either. The only time it's lit up is when you're crossing parrallel to a car - at which point usually the car is either stopped already, or it's going to hit you and there's not much you can do about it. (This is a little different than lights on the side, as reflectors would only light up when directly in front of the car.)

    The only place that's actually visible on your frame in the rear is the rear seat stays (you can't put reflective material on the part of the tire that's coming into contact with the ground), which get covered in dirt and grime any time you ride after a rain. In the front it's not as bad (the back of the front fork gets dirty but the front stays fairly clean), but now your reflective material is below car-level.

    Bottom line - they put reflectors on bikes because you cannot easily make the frame reflective at the same location where you would mount a bike like or a rear blinky.

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    P.S. I've personally avoided hitting someone on a bike only because they had a front reflector. The idiot was riding at night with no lights, I went to pull out in my car, and only the fact that my tail lights lit up the reflector on the front of his bike caused me to see him in my side mirror, and not pull my car out right into the side of him.

    There's no doubt a front light would have been FAR superior, but a front reflector was better than nothing at all.

  21. #46
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    While I agree that reflectors alone are inadequate, I can't believe you would say ,"Having reflectors is worse than nothing at all". Simply not true. Now about what other people think when it comes to using reflectors and what you said about that; I don't think anyone would think that having reflectors would mean that they were completely safe riding on the road. I think most people would think that having reflectors would mean, "They have a BETTER chance of being seen". I think most people understand that there are no guarantees in life. Cars with full lighting get hit all the time. I would think most people who are aware of that fact would understand the ramifications of just using reflectors while riding a bike. Then again there are always going to be people who are ignorant of certain facts. As such, there are always exceptions to the rule...unfortunately.
    The idea that you are "completely safe to ride with only reflectors" is the heart of the Derby lawsuit. That is exactly the argument made by the plaintiff's lawyer. He argued that Derby should have "forced" the plaintiff to ride with a light and because they hadn't, the bicycle company was responsible for his injuries.

    As for reflectors, ask yourself, would you even think of driving a car at night without lights and only with reflective surfaces on it? You might forget to turn on the lights...I saw a truck explode in front of me when he hit a driver without lights on a rainy night...but you probably won't go far without the lights on. Cars have reflective lens but no one would consider using one at night without active lights.

    People, on the other hand, use bicycles at night without lights and don't even think about it. The logic is that the bikes have 'reflectors' so they must be safe to ride. I know it's dumb but it's the way that people think. That's what makes them worse than nothing at all. If you have active lighting, you don't need reflectors and if you have only reflectors, you need active lighting. If bikes had no reflectors, people wouldn't think that they could get away with riding at night without lights.
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  22. #47
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The idea that you are "completely safe to ride with only reflectors" is the heart of the Derby lawsuit. That is exactly the argument made by the plaintiff's lawyer. He argued that Derby should have "forced" the plaintiff to ride with a light and because they hadn't, the bicycle company was responsible for his injuries. .
    ,,,which of course is utterly ludicrous. No one can force anyone to do anything unless of course they are presently standing over them with threat of violence. Now if this was a situation where the guy was test riding a bike at night and the clerks at the store didn't insist on the guy using a lamp...well, that would be different. According to the website details on the case the guy had the accident after he bought the bike and was out on only his third ride. This tells me he bought the bike and was riding in the manner that he wished to do ( for good or bad ). Utterly ludicrous when someone tries to shrug off their own personal responsibilities and blame someone else BUT it happens everyday. This is why tort law keeps getting refined to keep people from using the court systems for their own, "Get rich scheme". If this case was to be retried today it would never get to first base.

    Adding to what someone else said, I too have seen many people using bicycles at night with just OEM reflectors. Not going to say I had any near accidents with these people but if they had no visual "see me" aids at all they certainly would have had more of a chance of being hit than not. Keep in mind reflectors are used for other road side purposes as well. I see reflectors on road side markers / road barriers / lane dividers / construction cones..etc, all the time. If they didn't work I don't think the municipalities would continue to waste the public's money by installing them. Still, using them on a bike is not likely to make someone think they are "super-visible". ( but that is of course my opinion and position ).

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...People, on the other hand, use bicycles at night without lights and don't even think about it. The logic is that the bikes have 'reflectors' so they must be safe to ride. I know it's dumb but it's the way that people think. That's what makes them worse than nothing at all. If you have active lighting, you don't need reflectors and if you have only reflectors, you need active lighting. If bikes had no reflectors, people wouldn't think that they could get away with riding at night without lights.
    Nope, your first statement here is the correct one. Quote, "People, on the other hand, use bicycles at night and don't even think about it", unquote. Since they don't think about it they are not incorporating logic or contemplating the issue. Now if they do contemplate the issue different people will come to different conclusions, of that I have no doubt. Where we seem to differ is in "what conclusions are most often drawn ( by the novice cyclist ) about the use of reflectors". I guess I must have a little more faith in the intellect of the common man because I would find it hard to believe anyone would feel completely safe riding a bike on the road at night with just standard OEM reflectors.

  23. #48
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    ,,,which of course is utterly ludicrous. No one can force anyone to do anything unless of course they are presently standing over them with threat of violence. Now if this was a situation where the guy was test riding a bike at night and the clerks at the store didn't insist on the guy using a lamp...well, that would be different. According to the website details on the case the guy had the accident after he bought the bike and was out on only his third ride. This tells me he bought the bike and was riding in the manner that he wished to do ( for good or bad ). Utterly ludicrous when someone tries to shrug off their own personal responsibilities and blame someone else BUT it happens everyday. This is why tort law keeps getting refined to keep people from using the court systems for their own, "Get rich scheme". If this case was to be retried today it would never get to first base.
    If the case were retired today, I'd expect the same, or similar, verdict. There is a modicum of logic to Johnson's arguments. Automobile drivers are "forced" to use lights because the vehicle is equip with them. The motorist has no choice in the matter. I don't want all bicycles to come equipped with lights since I don't like the choices that would be made by the manufacturer but all bicycles are required to have a full CSPC compliment of reflectors just in case you happen to ride at night. If anything, Mr. Johnson should have sued the CSPC for their reflector requirement.

    You and I and nearly everyone who posts on the more utility oriented forums understands the need for as much light as we can possibly throw out in front of us. We understand the issues and the thoughts behind them. The general population doesn't necessarily think that way. Far too many people think of bicycling as some extension of walking and you don't need light to walk around.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    Adding to what someone else said, I too have seen many people using bicycles at night with just OEM reflectors. Not going to say I had any near accidents with these people but if they had no visual "see me" aids at all they certainly would have had more of a chance of being hit than not. Keep in mind reflectors are used for other road side purposes as well. I see reflectors on road side markers / road barriers / lane dividers / construction cones..etc, all the time. If they didn't work I don't think the municipalities would continue to waste the public's money by installing them. Still, using them on a bike is not likely to make someone think they are "super-visible". ( but that is of course my opinion and position ).
    People still manage to run off roads even with delineator posts (that's what they are called because they delineate the road from 'not' road) in place. They do it all the time.

    People do manage to get hit and killed while using reflectors alone. If you read bicycle accident statistics, you'll find that the majority of accidents resulting in death happen from 1800 to 0800. There are fewer people riding at night than during the day, which makes the likelihood of being killed higher. I would posit that many, if not most, of those night riding deaths are people who were riding bikes equipped with only the CPSC required reflectors and not active lighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    Nope, your first statement here is the correct one. Quote, "People, on the other hand, use bicycles at night and don't even think about it", unquote. Since they don't think about it they are not incorporating logic or contemplating the issue. Now if they do contemplate the issue different people will come to different conclusions, of that I have no doubt. Where we seem to differ is in "what conclusions are most often drawn ( by the novice cyclist ) about the use of reflectors". I guess I must have a little more faith in the intellect of the common man because I would find it hard to believe anyone would feel completely safe riding a bike on the road at night with just standard OEM reflectors.
    Either you misread or misquoted me. The "without lights" is the important part. Think about it. We even have a well known an commonly used name for people who ride without lights at night. I don't even have to mention it and 90% of people reading this post will know what that name is. That says to me that the problem of night riders without lighting is a large and persistent problem.

    You have more faith in people's intellect than I do. Any person who has reached adulthood in the US should know that a bicycle that is ridden at night is required to have at least a front white light. My driver's test back in 1971 had that question on it and I'm reasonable certain that the test my children took in 2001 had the same question. It was important enough to get mention in both the 1971 and 2001 driver's manuals. Even if you haven't taken the driver's test, logic would dictate that you should have lights on a bicycle at night but ninja's still exist and not in small numbers.
    Stuart Black
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    People, on the other hand, use bicycles at night without lights and don't even think about it. The logic is that the bikes have 'reflectors' so they must be safe to ride. I know it's dumb but it's the way that people think. That's what makes them worse than nothing at all. If you have active lighting, you don't need reflectors and if you have only reflectors, you need active lighting. If bikes had no reflectors, people wouldn't think that they could get away with riding at night without lights.
    That is YOUR logic. I'm pretty sure that if you remove reflectors from ninja's bikes, they won't go and buy lights.

  25. #50
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    If the case were retired today, I'd expect the same, or similar, verdict. There is a modicum of logic to Johnson's arguments. ..... I don't want all bicycles to come equipped with lights since I don't like the choices that would be made by the manufacturer but all bicycles are required to have a full CSPC compliment of reflectors just in case you happen to ride at night. If anything, Mr. Johnson should have sued the CSPC for their reflector requirement....
    Well I read over some of the clips from the transcripts. There is so much BS in those clips that if I was setting in the jury I would be thinking the whole time, "This is such BS. The guy ( on the bike ) ran into a car making a bad turn. If you're going to sue someone you sue the people responsible for causing the accident". Yes, I agree with you, Mr. Johnson could have sued the CSPC. However if they did that they probably would have lost. That's because government agencies can afford to hire expensive lawyers who would undoubtedly spend tons of our money to Cover their ...butts

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...Automobile drivers are "forced" to use lights because the vehicle is equip with them. The motorist has no choice in the matter..
    Well, of course they have to use lights. If they don't the 2 tons worth of metal they are riding in can kill *innocent people. ( * other than [ but not excluding ] the operator of the vehicle. ).... If a cyclist doesn't use a light it is the cyclist that gets killed. Rarely in any bike/automobile accident is the motorist going to be the one to get killed ( regardless of who has lights and who doesn't ).


    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...People still manage to run off roads even with delineator posts (that's what they are called because they delineate the road from 'not' road) in place. They do it all the time.....
    People run off the road for all manner of reasons. The list would be endless so no point in me elaborating on it further.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...People do manage to get hit and killed while using reflectors alone. If you read bicycle accident statistics, you'll find that the majority of accidents resulting in death happen from 1800 to 0800. There are fewer people riding at night than during the day, which makes the likelihood of being killed higher. I would posit that many, if not most, of those night riding deaths are people who were riding bikes equipped with only the CPSC required reflectors and not active lighting.
    Likely you are right. Just remember even if you are completely decked out in lights it doesn't mean someone won't hit you. It increases your visibility which increases your chances of not being hit but there are never any guarantees.



    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    ...Either you misread or misquoted me. The "without lights" is the important part. Think about it. We even have a well known an commonly used name for people who ride without lights at night. ....
    Sorry, my bad. I meant to include the entire sentence. Now about this commonly used name for the folks who ride without lights. I've never heard it. Care to share?
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 01-06-14 at 05:00 AM.

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