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Increasing Conspicuity

Old 03-03-17, 04:13 AM
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AdvXtrm
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Increasing Conspicuity

Having barely survived being hit and run over while out on my motorcycle last year, and permanently injured, I have, insanely no doubt, decided to take up bicycling while I was still crippled and partially paralyzed in the convalescent hospital. Must be the head trauma playing tricks on me.

I'm hoping to up the odds of being noticed by the thoughtless and careless lunatics on the roads. I've just ordered a new blinky taillight, but I'd like to do more if I can. So besides my own HiViz clothing, what other things can I add to my bike to help out? I'd like to attach something HiViz to the rear of my bike, but don't know what I can get or where to get it. I've seen some people have a HiViz triangle attached.

Do you have any advice and links to items that may help with this?

Last edited by AdvXtrm; 03-03-17 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 05:07 AM
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wow, sorry to hear about your injuries. get well soon. if you can!

front & rear strobes (even in bright sunlight cuz you can disappear in the shade of trees). front strobe is very useful for traffic pulling up to stop signs on side streets. helps them remember to actually stop. I also added a rear facing strobe to the left drop bar as an extra reminder to passing vehicles that they are not passed me yet. if you ride after dark, add reflective tape to everything. I also sometimes wear, on my helmet, a conspicuous sport cam. it's pretty obvious especially when I point it backwards (& to the left a little) toward oncoming traffic take a look at the electronics, lighting & gadgets subforum for a ton of references to specific products. Amazon rules for so much, might want to start there for shopping

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets

toss the "blinky"
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Old 03-03-17, 05:13 AM
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trailangel
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Don't buy a black bike. Don't ride a bike with black spokes... I hate all this blacked out look that everybody rides... hideous and not safe.
Buy light colored bike. White helmet. Light colored jersey.... and I dare say... white socks.
Reflexite V82 reflective tape. I put 4 pieces on each rim between spokes, some on cranks and other places.
https://www.identi-tape.com/reflexite-conspicuity.htm
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Old 03-03-17, 05:28 AM
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Commuter forum classic
http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...down-road.html
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Old 03-03-17, 05:29 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
Having barely survived being hit and run over while out on my motorcycle last year,and permanently injured, I have, insanely no doubt, decided to take up bicycling while I was still crippled and partially paralyzed in the convalescent hospital. Must be the head trauma playing tricks on me.

I'm hoping to up the odds of being noticed by the thoughtless and careless lunatics on the roads. I've just ordered a new blinky taillight, but I'd like to do more if I can....

Do you have any advice and links to items that may help with this?
I too was hit from behind as a hit-and-run (turned himself in next day) with residual bone, not neurologic, difficulties. I still ride enthusiastically. My safety aphorism is, "Make yourself as visible as possible, and assume nobody sees you."

More than even before the accident, with all visibility aids, I am particularly confident wearing a rear view mirror, actually two, right and left Take-a-Look eyeglass-mounted.


Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-03-17 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
Do you have any advice and links to items that may help with this?
LMGTFY
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Old 03-03-17, 07:35 AM
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Airzound Airhorn. Been using them for 20+ years. Each bike has one. Sound exactly like a hand held compressed air horn and LOOOOUUUUDDDDD!

You pump it up with your bike pump (a floor pump works best),
https://www.amazon.com/Delta-Cycle-A.../dp/B000ACAMJC
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Old 03-03-17, 08:03 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
I'm hoping to up the odds of being noticed by the thoughtless and careless lunatics on theroads. I've just ordered a new blinky taillight, but I'd like to do more if Ican. So besides my own HiViz clothing,what other things can I add to my bike to help out? I'd like to attach something HiViz to the rear of my bike, but don't know what I can get or where to get it. I've seen some people have a HiViz triangle attached.

Do you have any advice and links to items that may help with this?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...My safety aphorism is, "Make yourself as visible as possible, and assume nobody sees you."
IMO, reflective items are ancillary,and active illumination is necessary. Another one of my safety aphorisms is "When riding at night, look for cars, not just headlights." "Thoughtless and careless lunatics" are more likely to be driving without their headlights on.


I wear two rearward lights, for dyssynchrony (steady and blinking) and redundancy, in case one goes out.
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Old 03-03-17, 08:42 AM
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Even bright colored kit disappears in shadows on a bright day... heck even a not so bright rear strobe is hard to see if the sun is in your face and a rider up ahead is in the shadows. Now...

Georgia code says you "should" use a white headlight while riding ay night, and that you "can" supplement your rear red reflector with a red taillight for night riding. Both specify what you "should" and "can" do for "night" riding.

Nothing is stated about a strobe or light of any kind for "day" riding.

So... with this in mind I replaced my rear red strobe (Flare R) with a strobing headlight (which is seen from a long way off) and the way traffic responded was in an extremely positive manner. Gave more room and passed at a slower speed.

If your state law doesn't specify daytime lighting then try it for yourself.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:21 AM
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1. HiViz headlight, and taillight(not a reflector)
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Old 03-03-17, 09:33 AM
  #11  
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My tires have a reflective "white wall" all the way around.


continental bicycle Touring Plus


as do my panniers.


https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...ll-_-pp_100064


these in addition to my high lumen rear light, 750 lumen front light, yellow jacket and red helmet I am a disco party on wheels.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Harvieu25 View Post
Even bright colored kit disappears in shadows on a bright day... heck even a not so bright rear strobe is hard to see if the sun is in your face and a rider up ahead is in the shadows. Now...

Georgia code says you "should" use a white headlight while riding ay night, and that you "can" supplement your rear red reflector with a red taillight for night riding. Both specify what you "should" and "can" do for "night" riding.

Nothing is stated about a strobe or light of any kind for "day" riding.

So... with this in mind I replaced my rear red strobe (Flare R) with a strobing headlight (which is seen from a long way off) and the way traffic responded was in an extremely positive manner. Gave more room and passed at a slower speed.

If your state law doesn't specify daytime lighting then try it for yourself.
Please tell me you do not have a white light facing backwards, please. Plenty of really BRIGHT red lights for that purpose.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Please tell me you do not have a white light facing backwards, please. Plenty of really BRIGHT red lights for that purpose.
I did not read it that way, this time. But there are those who think they are smarter than the average bear and are going to work the angles no one else exploits because they can. Don't worry about them, they get theirs eventually.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Airzound Airhorn. Been using them for 20+ years. Each bike has one. Sound exactly like a hand held compressed air horn and LOOOOUUUUDDDDD!
Horn only works if you can see, and are aware of, a threat. I don't know.... in over 20+ years without a horn, I haven't felt threatened in the slightest by a traffic development that I could see coming!
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Old 03-03-17, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Don't buy a black bike. Don't ride a bike with black spokes... I hate all this blacked out look that everybody rides... hideous and not safe.
Buy light colored bike. White helmet. Light colored jersey.... and I dare say... white socks.
Reflexite V82 reflective tape. I put 4 pieces on each rim between spokes, some on cranks and other places.
https://www.identi-tape.com/reflexite-conspicuity.htm
You've crossed a line, I think... "Don't?" Really? I have a couple of blacked out bikes and I love them. 'Black Beauty' and 'Black Betty' stop traffic, Beauty has silver highlights, and Betty, has red highlights. Surely you are aware that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Riding a black bike is like wearing black shoes. If someone was struck while wearing black shoes, even though the rest of their attire was hi-viz, would you tell people not to wear black shoes?
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Old 03-03-17, 10:46 AM
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This can easily degenerate into a thread of people just recommending what they have. So with that caveat here goes:

60 lumens is about the equivalent of headlamp you would use for camping. The flashing strobe is pretty compelling.
http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/mProduct4_10551_10052_1132451_-1

750 lumens is about on par with a cars high beam. This is borderline obscene for bike paths and absolutely commands drivers attention. I leave it on flare mode for all but isolated trail and it never fails to get a negative response from some old crusty fuddy-duddy in blacked out gear on a reflectorless recumbent. Good. That means it is working for my safety like it is supposed to. As irritating as it is for him to stare into it, it also is for drivers to...My go to response is "Get hit much?"

On bike paths, and near dusk, I turn it to low because I am not a jerk.

http://www.performancebike.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/mProduct4_10551_10052_1212081_-1_catNav

I really don't know how bigger or brighter then either of these would be necessary. High vis clothes and reflective gear need light to work so usability does have some limitations. So keeping that in mind, use conventional wisdom concerning blind spots etc, and be where drivers will be looking.

Last edited by base2; 03-03-17 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You've crossed a line, I think... "Don't?" Really? I have a couple of blacked out bikes and I love them. 'Black Beauty' and 'Black Betty' stop traffic, Beauty has silver highlights, and Betty, has red highlights. Surely you are aware that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Riding a black bike is like wearing black shoes. If someone was struck while wearing black shoes, even though the rest of their attire was hi-viz, would you tell people not to wear black shoes?
Hey....WTF.....you go ahead and behold your black bikes.
Yes, black shoes with white socks.
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Old 03-03-17, 11:16 AM
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OK, great stuff everyone, thanks a lot. Right now I'm adding the Take A Look Mirror, a reflective vest, reflective tape to my spokes and other areas, HiViz Triangle to the rear.
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Old 03-03-17, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
OK, great stuff everyone, thanks a lot. Right now I'm adding the Take A Look Mirror, a reflective vest, reflective tape to my spokes and other areas, HiViz Triangle to the rear.
Are you riding in the dark, when other vehicles have headlights on?

Retro-reflective material needs a light source near the viewers eyes to reflect.

(We can safely ignore the rather rare alignment of the long sun shadow of the viewer pointing toward the bicyclist.)

-mr. bill
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Old 03-03-17, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Are you riding in the dark, when other vehicles have headlights on?

Retro-reflective material needs a light source near the viewers eyes to reflect.

(We can safely ignore the rather rare alignment of the long sun shadow of the viewer pointing toward the bicyclist.)

-mr. bill
I do ride at night a lot. The HiViz items will at least help me stand out while riding during daylight.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You've crossed a line, I think... "Don't?" Really? I have a couple of blacked out bikes and I love them. 'Black Beauty' and 'Black Betty' stop traffic, Beauty has silver highlights, and Betty, has red highlights. Surely you are aware that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Riding a black bike is like wearing black shoes. If someone was struck while wearing black shoes, even though the rest of their attire was hi-viz, would you tell people not to wear black shoes?
I have to agree with this.

Hit by car on bright neon orange bike: 2x
Hit by car on my black bike: zero times

Having to ride defensively as if every motorist is a texting oblivious moron: every bike

Also. I know several riders who use active day lighting. They spent $$$ on their lights for visibility. They don't work very well. I can barely notice their lights and they're a few feet ahead of me.

Know what actually works? Those super bright $6 neon yellow athletic socks from WalMart. Your legs are like bobbing up and down pistons, constantly in movement. So with bright socks you are effectively a beacon. I get WAY more passing room by motorists when I wear hi viz socks than any other active form of hi-vis, including lighting.
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Old 03-03-17, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Horn only works if you can see, and are aware of, a threat. I don't know.... in over 20+ years without a horn, I haven't felt threatened in the slightest by a traffic development that I could see coming!
In my experience, horns serve only to piss drivers off after they have done the 'infraction'.
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Old 03-03-17, 03:47 PM
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Over the past year or so I've added more stuff to enhance visibility:
  • Multiple front lights. Usually one flashing, the other steady. I run the flasher day and night. Steady, night only.
  • Multiple rear lights, including combo reflector/taillights, also steady and flashing. I adjust the Cygolite Hotshot flashing to quick blips for daytime, slow pulse for night.
  • Helmet lights, front and rear. The vertical separation between the bike and helmet mounted lights help others estimate distance, direction and speed more easily. Same principle as horizontally separated car lights. But bikes don't have enough room for horizontal separation.
  • Reflective tire sidewalls.
  • Hi-vis jerseys. I avoided these for awhile, but without doubt hi-vis yellow/green pops out under any conditions. I noticed other cyclists and joggers much more readily even at dusk, under heavy tree shade, gloomy days, whenever, in hi-vis yellow/green. Safety orange isn't quite as poppy but still good. White doesn't really help unless it's against a high contrast background.
  • Reflective shoes. My Merrell cycling/walking shoes for platform pedals have highly reflective heel counters. When those suckers are bouncing up and down while I'm pedaling they really shine -- I've seen them in photos and videos taken by fellow cyclists during group rides.
  • Multiple springy clip-on reflective bands. I wrap 'em around the tubes on various places on the frame, and sometimes on my arms or ankles. I also give 'em away to ninjas I see bicycling, walking or running at night -- they cost only a buck for a pair at Dollartree. So far everyone I've offered 'em too has accepted and wore 'em on the spot. Probably helps to hear from another nighttime rider that "Hey, I can barely see you, try this."
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Old 03-03-17, 03:49 PM
  #24  
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Spend the majority of your rides on multiple use paths where riding in traffic is not required. Your location should have a few of these available Drivers are always going to treat cycles like another motorized vehicle. My main concern if for drivers that do not leave sufficient clearance when passing. All the lights and HiViz clothing in the world will not save you when veering an inch will land you in the hospital. There are many tires available with a reflective sidewall which will help in the dusk. If you plan on riding in the dark, good luck.
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Old 03-03-17, 07:45 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Over the past year or so I've added more stuff to enhance visibility:
  • Multiple front lights. Usually one flashing, the other steady. I run the flasher day and night. Steady, night only.
  • Multiple rear lights, including combo reflector/taillights, also steady and flashing. I adjust the Cygolite Hotshot flashing to quick blips for daytime, slow pulse for night.
  • Helmet lights, front and rear. The vertical separation between the bike and helmet mounted lights help others estimate distance, direction and speed more easily. Same principle as horizontally separated car lights. But bikes don't have enough room for horizontal separation.
  • Reflective tire sidewalls.
  • Hi-vis jerseys. I avoided these for awhile, but without doubt hi-vis yellow/green pops out under any conditions. I noticed other cyclists and joggers much more readily even at dusk, under heavy tree shade, gloomy days, whenever, in hi-vis yellow/green. Safety orange isn't quite as poppy but still good. White doesn't really help unless it's against a high contrast background.
  • Reflective shoes. My Merrell cycling/walking shoes for platform pedals have highly reflective heel counters. When those suckers are bouncing up and down while I'm pedaling they really shine -- I've seen them in photos and videos taken by fellow cyclists during group rides.
  • Multiple springy clip-on reflective bands. I wrap 'em around the tubes on various places on the frame, and sometimes on my arms or ankles. I also give 'em away to ninjas I see bicycling, walking or running at night -- they cost only a buck for a pair at Dollartree. So far everyone I've offered 'em too has accepted and wore 'em on the spot. Probably helps to hear from another nighttime rider that "Hey, I can barely see you, try this."
Great bullet list!

I have the NiteRider MiNewt 600 that is my original headlight. I recently bought a NiteRider Lumina 750. I rotate their use.

I have never found a light that would stay on the back of my helmet. PlanetBike has ones that are junk. They won't remain stable at the base.

Are you referring to bike tires similar to whitewall tires on a car?

I have never been able to get reflective bands, to stop falling down my arms or legs.
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