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Old 12-24-13, 11:56 PM   #1
vol
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Instead of reflectors, why not make (partially) reflective frames?

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?
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Old 12-25-13, 12:35 AM   #2
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How many people ride their bikes at night?
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Old 12-25-13, 12:44 AM   #3
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How many people ride their bikes at night?
So why requiring the reflectors?
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Old 12-25-13, 05:12 AM   #4
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More than you would think. The reflectors are not so much there there for nighttime use anyhow, there are there to meet gov't regs and are a good thing anyway. Still there is no law I really know of (and I WILL be corrected) that says you can't toss them in the trash with the do not remove under penalty of law tag on your pillow and men in suits won't hogtie you and force you to push good eating habits in public service annoucements on late night TV.

I use those 1941 Columbia reproduction split red rear reflectors on mine anyhow, right near the bottom of the fender. They fade to near amber in the first place. If I give one to somebody else they usually get added small yellow/ambers near the split red and the one on the seat stays if it was there as well as the front plus any spoke-mounted ones are added or replaced as needed. THAT was for my nurse practitioner when I rebuilt a green 60s Hawthorne internal 3-speed as a single-speed with coaster brake and wider rims/tires. SHE takes good care of me so I wasn't messing around and if you want to see it go to You Tube and look up user steadfastcoward or 'Tempest The Grey Bike Grows Up' for Part 3 (Her Friends) and Il Ciclo Verde.

And to answer the original question, I've seen reflective tape on many bikes. It's easy to do yourself and you can put it where you think the most help is required as well.

I can't hurt to have an bright apple green front fork either, like Tempest does.
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Old 12-26-13, 07:29 AM   #5
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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?
Sometimes the reflectors are the only thing that some people have to help them be seen at night. While they do little, a little reflected light is better than no reflected light at all. I see more people ride on the road without lights than I see people ride with lights. While standard reflectors have limited effectiveness they are better than nothing at all.
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Old 12-26-13, 07:37 AM   #6
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I have experience ninja/salmon types that were impossible to see coming at me.

I have seen the riders that have the front/rear/pedals reflectors.

So they do Work.
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Old 12-26-13, 08:47 AM   #7
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I'd like to see this happen. Whether they use paint or the transparent stickers, manufacturers can economically make large areas of the frame reflective while keeping it looking good.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:23 AM   #8
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How many people ride their bikes at night?
Enough to make reflectors a legal requirement in most jurisdictions, not to mention a good idea for personal safety.
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Old 12-26-13, 11:37 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 12-26-13, 04:03 PM   #10
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I have experience ninja/salmon types that were impossible to see coming at me.
I have seen the riders that have the front/rear/pedals reflectors.
Today, as a driver, I met one ninja with only pedal reflectors, and few km later on second one, without any reflector, light etc. Rain, after dark... Crazy or suicides.
I think that his-vis version painting could be a good option, but I don't think every one would want to have such a bike painting...
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Old 12-26-13, 04:43 PM   #11
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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?
I've often thought this would be a great idea. No reason the logo on the head tube couldn't be reflective or that the rear stays couldn't have a reflective racing stripe worked into the color scheme.
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Old 12-26-13, 06:27 PM   #12
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Some bikes are manufactured with reflective rims. It seems to me we could have standardized reflective rims and reflective spokes. They don't involve colors, so no interference with individual preferences.
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Old 12-26-13, 06:34 PM   #13
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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?
CPSC has dictated what comes as OEM reflectors on new bikes for decades.
Manufactures conform to those specs.
Lobby CPSC to change specs.

"[h=4]Are there requirements for reflectors?[/h]

Yes. To make sure that motorists can see bicycle riders at night, bicycles (other than sidewalk bicycles) must have a combination of reflectors. Because of the complexity of these requirements, we have not attempted to include all of the tests and detail in this summary. You should carefully read the provisions of 1512.16 for more specific information.

Generally, bicycles must have a colorless front reflector, recessed colorless or amber reflectors on the back and front sides of the pedals, and a red reflector on the rear. They must also have a reflector mounted on the spokes of each wheel, or reflective front and rear wheel rims or tire sidewalls. See 1512.18(n) for tests that measure the reflectance value of reflectors.

The front and rear reflectors must be mounted so that they do not hit the ground when the bicycle falls over. The requirements of the regulation also include specific angles for mounting the reflectors. See 1512.18(m) for tests that apply to front and rear reflectors.

The side reflector on a front wheel must be colorless or amber, and the rear wheel side reflector must be colorless or red. Reflective material on the sidewall or rim of a tire must go around the entire circumference, must not peel, scrape, or rub off, and must meet certain reflectance tests. See 1512.18(o) for these reflectance tests and 1512.18(r) for the abrasion test for reflective rims."

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business--Man...-Requirements/

Good luck w/ that.

PS:
What makes you think that "The little white front and red tail reflectors that come with a newly bought bike are not only useless in most cases"? Those ref fittings are designed to an old proven & well researched spec and have kept who knows how many bikes from being smacked by vehicular traffic after sunset by being fitted by CPSC mandate. Do better if you think you can.

I have zero CPSC ref kit fitted to any of my machines but think it's a good idea that the children in my neighborhood do.

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Old 12-26-13, 07:39 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-26-13, 07:43 PM   #15
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Some bikes are manufactured with reflective rims. It seems to me we could have standardized reflective rims and reflective spokes. They don't involve colors, so no interference with individual preferences.
No problem with that. But there's also reflective technology that is essentially transparent/invisible in daylight. It doesn't change any of the color choices of the underlying frame/finish. The reflective quality only appears at night (that is, in the dark).
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Old 12-26-13, 08:42 PM   #16
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Don't know if you've seen this thread, but K'Tesh has covered entire frames with reflective tape: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=reflective
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Old 12-26-13, 09:14 PM   #17
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Don't know if you've seen this thread, but K'Tesh has covered entire frames with reflective tape: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ght=reflective
Exactly. The time and effort and expense and skill required to do it yourself could be easily replaced by speciality tools at the factory.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:00 PM   #18
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Some bikes are manufactured with reflective rims. It seems to me we could have standardized reflective rims and reflective spokes. They don't involve colors, so no interference with individual preferences.
You'd have to convince the consumer and the manufacturer to give up rim brakes then- go fixed gear, coaster, or disc. Brake pads would degrade any reflective properties of the rim sooner or later, sooner if ridden in wet, grimy conditions- especially if someone isn't OCD about cleaning.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:08 PM   #19
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You'd have to convince the consumer and the manufacturer to give up rim brakes then- go fixed gear, coaster, or disc. Brake pads would degrade any reflective properties of the rim sooner or later, sooner if ridden in wet, grimy conditions- especially if someone isn't OCD about cleaning.
Yes, but the rest of the rim (not including the brake track) could be reflective. I have put reflective tape on those areas and it seems pretty effective.
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Old 12-26-13, 11:33 PM   #20
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E.g. this one has V-brake and the rims are said to have "reflective decal".
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Old 12-26-13, 11:48 PM   #21
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E.g. this one has V-brake and the rims are said to have "reflective decal".
Next time you're buying tires try here:
http://www.wiggle.com/tires/?s=reflex
Problem solved.
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Old 12-26-13, 11:52 PM   #22
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Appreciate everyone's replies, but it seems only Athens80 and bbbean really get the point I'm trying to make in starting this thread.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:44 AM   #23
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I'd like to see this happen. Whether they use paint or the transparent stickers, manufacturers can economically make large areas of the frame reflective while keeping it looking good.
Yes, I totally agree....as long as it is limited to cheaper retail store bikes, children's bikes, and bikes designed for road use. Mountain bikes should be left out because some people ride in wooded areas at night that require moments of stealth. A frame that glows would be counter-productive for stealth purposes ( most people who ride trails at night will know what I'm talking about )

The people most likely not to like reflective frames are the drug dealers that ride bikes to market their wares. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want a bike that virtually glows when light hits it.

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. The stickers are not that expensive and would take but a moment to apply. Yep, some reflective stickers and some reflective spoke straws would go a long way to add a bit of visibility to a bike.
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Old 12-27-13, 09:21 AM   #24
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Enough to make reflectors a legal requirement in most jurisdictions, not to mention a good idea for personal safety.
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.
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Old 12-27-13, 09:46 AM   #25
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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.
I didn't suggest reflectors alone were a 100% solution. They are, however, 100% better than nothing (which is what many riders do ride with). Going back to the OP, I think reflective paint on logos, head tubes, and seat stays would improve safety and avoid some of the current incentive to remove reflectors when they get in the way, ruin aero lines, or simply spoil someone's aesthetic sense. Reflective paint also has the advantage of not breaking or running out of juice halfway through a ride.

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