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Reflective Tape

Old 09-18-15, 05:28 PM
  #1  
Colorado Kid
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Reflective Tape

Almost everyone is selling some type (And color) of reflective tape these days. There is Silver, Red, Blue, White and so many other colors that it boggles you mind! Which color and type is the best for cyclist?
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Old 09-18-15, 05:54 PM
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I don't think colors matter...I've got boring pale yellow on my bikes. I'd recommend you buy some tape, get creative and have some fun!

It is a pain to take off, so you may want rein in your inner Jackson Pollock...perhaps try some conservative taping on your crank arms and add more later if the mood strikes?
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Old 09-18-15, 09:00 PM
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I use the tape on my wheels. Red for my fun bike and green for my commuter. I would go with orange, red, or white. They even have a black one that shows up as white when reflected.
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Old 09-18-15, 09:09 PM
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https://www.identi-tape.com/reflexite-conspicuity.htm
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Old 09-18-15, 11:21 PM
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Check your local laws. May dictate certain colors in certain places. Not that you can't add more.
Usually red to the rear, white to the front, and yellow to the sides and in the pedal or foot region.
Not that anyone will ever check.
Tape on the rim is extremely visible and gives a strong intuitive sense of direction.
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Old 09-19-15, 09:45 AM
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Any color tape Other than silver-white-clear, is adding a filter layer

reducing the reflected light allowed to pass through it, to just that color .

That is why it Or any color appears to be the color it is.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-19-15 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-19-15, 11:21 AM
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I've used white, red and red and white striped tape on my helmet, frames and fenders. But for my new bike, which is black, I went with yellow and black caution tape!
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Old 09-20-15, 10:52 AM
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Here are a couple ideas, one is tape and the other is a reflector. They have some great reflective tape at Home depot in the mailbox section. The inside of the cranks are a great place because of the movement. They also have the reflector shown below (mailbox section also) with adhesive tape on the back and a white frame around it that can be bolted onto the plastic gray cover found in the electrical section. The reflectors come in two packs and are cheap. I have removed the white frame. If the red reflector by itself falls off, I'll put the one with the white frame around it on with bolts.

While driving at night, I always noticed those mailbox reflectors and the ones that have the long sticks people put on the sides of the driveway, etc. They all have the same reflector more or less in them and are visible for a long ways off.







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Old 09-20-15, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Any color tape Other than silver-white-clear, is adding a filter layer

reducing the reflected light allowed to pass through it, to just that color .

That is why it Or any color appears to be the color it is.
Correct. Though RED colour is one that grabs most human attention. I put red on the rear, white on the front and sides.
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Old 09-20-15, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jonc123 View Post

Nothing to add, but just wanted to comment on how damn clean your crankset is; like showroom clean.
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Old 09-20-15, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Nothing to add, but just wanted to comment on how damn clean your crankset is; like showroom clean.
I had just cleaned it...I don't do that everyday.

As far as what colors work, just go out at night and see what works. Pay attention to other riders and see what works for them; they probably don't know very well but you would because you are looking at them from a distance and a perspective they cannot.

Last edited by jonc123; 09-20-15 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 09-20-15, 03:47 PM
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Search for the 3M stuff. Scotchlite, Scotchbrite....something. Doesn't matter the color of the tape, at least around here--never the first problem with police. I have black tape and it reflects white in headlights. Match your bike so it's not so obvious in the daytime....it will be noticed at night. So long as the car is positioned to see it. Like a mirror the angle of the dangle has to be right for it to reflect back to the light source. A drawback to ANY passive (reflective) lighting system.

Commuter Forum Sticky on the subject.
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Old 09-20-15, 03:59 PM
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Just picked up a white roll and a red one. I'll try not to get too carried away with it.
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Old 09-21-15, 11:43 AM
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I bought a length of 3M "conspicuity" tape to decorate my kittier (pic pic), it is amazingly reflective, and has stuck securely with no hint of peeling for a couple years now. Every time I drive into the garage at night and car's headlights hit my parked commuter, I feel good.
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Old 11-06-15, 10:21 AM
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Since I am commuting by bike and now more often in the dark when winter comes I used reflective Scotchlite tape on my bike. I really like it. Red tape for the red frame and black tape for the black fenders. It blends in and is not visible at all when not reflecting.
I have two more bikes with a silver frame which I also like to make safer. Especially my sons bike which he is riding to school. I could use the black tape but it kinds of ruins the appearance of the frame. I know it sounds picky... lol
I have seen that there is a white/silver tape from Scotchlite but I don't know if it is more white or more silver. Or if it just means that it is reflecting in white like the black tape does.
Scotchlite Reflective Striping Tape 79901, White(Silver), 1/4 in x 50 ft - Shop3M
Has anyone used that color so far? I am just trying to figure out how good it would blend in on a silver frame.

Thanks
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Old 11-06-15, 10:28 AM
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Any Color other than clear/silver is a filter coating, reducing the amount of reflected light to just that Apparent color.

SOLAS stands for safety of life at sea , the Idea Is directionality , so the light from the Coast Guard Helicopter
will be able to find you when your Boat sinks out from Under You..

I got a Carhartt Made Parka they make the reflective striping bonded, part of the fabric ,

rather than sewn on Top, Though I got a La Crosse parka made like that Too.. neon Lime .. ANSI standards..

The Parka is more visible than a few tape patches on the Bike

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-06-15 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 11-06-15, 10:40 AM
  #17  
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I had my workhorse powdercoated sky blue after its frame repair. Bought the 3M blue tape to decorate it with. Virtually an exact color match. The bike sports 10' of it but in daylight you can't even see it.

As Fietsbob said above, reflective colors work by subtraction. The many feet of blue are far less bright than the small amount of white on the white fender. Nevertheless, it is obvious watching the cars around me that his bike gets seen. Fun for a bike that is near stealth daytime.

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Old 11-06-15, 10:47 AM
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Based on my experience:
The white/silver 3M Scotchlite seems to give the most effective and visibile "glow" from wider angles. "Reflexite" or "Conspicuity" tape (like on construction barrels) is great, too, but seems to have a narrower field of vision.

The others are correct that any coloration besides white will reflect less light back. The tape vendors online will show the stats that prove this; colored tapes are less effective. But colored reflective tape is cool looking, so just make up for it by using more.

I think moving reflectors are more effective than fixed ones, because they easily identify you as a vehicle instead of just a mailbox. The "stock" pedal and spoke reflectors are actually excellent for this; anyone who sees their movement can immediately identify you as a bicycle.

I stick small patches to moving surfaces, like: pedals, rims (facing the hub), crank arms. I also stick a big patch to the rear of the fender. I also replaced the rim strips on my fatbike (with cutouts in the rim) with blue reflexite.

I bought a box of these reflective spoke covers and they're actually pretty great. They come in a box of 72; I split them up and used them on every fourth spoke so they covered four bikes.
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Old 11-06-15, 03:32 PM
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yeah i bought refective tape but I have yet to install it on my bike. I have to wash it first. It is a mess with all the rain we have had.
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Old 11-06-15, 04:16 PM
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I have mostly "white" on my commuter, with a patch of red on each wheel to give some sense of my speed.

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Old 11-06-15, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Any color tape Other than silver-white-clear, is adding a filter layer

reducing the reflected light allowed to pass through it, to just that color .

That is why it Or any color appears to be the color it is.
ah yes, reflective color theory.
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Old 11-06-15, 10:50 PM
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Useful info

https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyl...ed_ArticleText
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Old 11-08-15, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Good article.

Like I said, the signature movement of pedal and/or spoke reflectors makes you easy to spot, easy to identify, and gives the observer some clue of your direction.

When I first got serious about bikes and bicycling, I took reflectors off my bikes to be "cool".
Now, I keep the stock reflectors and add extras!
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Old 11-08-15, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
"Day or night, visibility is all about contrast — how much something stands out against the background. In the daytime, bright and sometimes fluorescent colors pop out so much because they bounce back the sun’s ultraviolet radiation."

That's why I think in daytime fluorescent lime color is more eye catching than white reflectives, because white blends with surroundings. White is better at night.
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Old 11-09-15, 09:16 AM
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I thought I was the only Fred who shopped for bike upgrades at Home Depot! I was testing the reflective tape by taking pix with and without flash:



It's misleading to do with digital imagers, since they try to adapt for to the lighting levels.

Edit: and I was standing on my head, apparently.
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