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Bike Indicators

Old 11-02-09, 07:20 PM
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hsmith81
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Bike Indicators

Hi folks,
i've just taken up cycling to and from work to get fit and save some petrol as well.
I'm from the UK and the nights are drawing in here. Poor visibility and rush hour traffic are not ideal for a safe ride I must admit...
Just wondering if anyone rates any indicators and whether they are worth looking into purchasing to improve safety and visibility...

Any thoughts...

Harry
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Old 11-02-09, 07:51 PM
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scroca
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My strategy is to be as visible as possible. I use a white flashing front light and a red strobe rear light on the bicycle. I also wear a bright shirt or jacket (it can be difficult to see a white light when it's foggy) and I believe an unnatural color is the best i.e. you don't want to blend into any background. If you wear clothing with reflective material, that's fine, but that is not always enough as it only works when the car lights shine on you.

Good luck.
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Old 11-02-09, 08:46 PM
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Are indicators the same thing as turn signals?
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Old 11-02-09, 10:41 PM
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Lights are crucial and reflective items can be very helpful as well.

Here is a good all-around rear light on sale for 8.00: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Sm...ht/5360026001/ This is a rebadged Planet Bike Superflash, one of the all-around favorites. If you can afford a DiNotte 140 taillight at around US$120 (takes 4 rechargeable AA cells), they are very powerful and come highly recommended.

You can get all sorts of front lights, ranging from rechargeable ready-made bike lights to pocket torches that you mount on your handlebar. One of the hot items lately is a Chinese-made light called a MagicShine: http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?...tcrc4482f2hsl6

I also suggest reflective legbands because their motion attracts the eye and cues the viewer that you're a human. Since I'm looking at Wiggle's site, I see they've got ones with LED lights built in: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Po...nd/5360037537/

Tires with reflective sidewalls also give a visual cue that it's a cyclist, so consider that feature when it's time for new tires. If you don't mind putting reflective tape on your frame and wheel rims, this is some very good reflective tape: http://www.night-gear.com/reflective...-reflexite-539
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Old 11-03-09, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mikewille View Post
Are indicators the same thing as turn signals?
Yes, hence the unwittingly off-topic replies!
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Old 11-03-09, 05:36 AM
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I don't think they're necessary. I've posted about it before, but I've got to go to work now.
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Old 11-03-09, 06:14 AM
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Bontrager has indicator lights to shove into the ends of your handlebar. They're available for both dropbars and flatbars. Besides that, I've seen blinkies that can be clipped around your arms and legs and pedals with blinking lights in them.

Have fun with that and I don't think visibility will be an issue this winter
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Old 11-03-09, 06:25 AM
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Most of the turn indicators I have seen for bicycles are novelties that are fun for kids, but not practical on bicycles - just more junk for your bike.

Whether you chose to use electronic signal gear, be sure to use hand signals. Hand signals are easier to see and drivers are more accustomed to seeing hand signals than blinkie turn signals on bicycles.
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Old 11-03-09, 06:29 AM
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imi
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Do you mean this sort of thing? http://www.bicygnals.com/

I was passed by a bike the other day using this kind of indicator... looked serious and practical but I'll probably never get them 'cos I'm a retro grouch
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Old 11-03-09, 09:48 AM
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Some savvy cyclists here in the Northwest have taken a clue from Washington state ferry deckhands and use GloGloves for traffic signals.

Simple, high visibility, low kludge factor.

glo gloves
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Old 11-03-09, 12:37 PM
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For bicycle turn signals to be useful, they have to be easily discerned from more than just point-blank range. That requires some horizontal separation of the lights, as well as a great deal of power (think noon sunlight from 50-100 meters away, from either front or rear). Best just to use hand signals, in my opinion.

If you sew or iron on a stripe of reflective material down the arm of your riding jacket, front and rear, that'll help in situations where people have their headlights on.
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Old 11-03-09, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
Some savvy cyclists here in the Northwest have taken a clue from Washington state ferry deckhands and use GloGloves for traffic signals.

Simple, high visibility, low kludge factor.

glo gloves
+1

I frequently wear reflective ankle straps on my wrists after dark.
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Old 11-03-09, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
Simple, high visibility, low kludge factor.

glo gloves
+1
I wear a glo glove over my left hand cycling glove. Since you do things backwards in the UK, you might want to wear it on your right hand.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:55 PM
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Ah, found my posts:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...9&postcount=66
http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...3&postcount=14

Cliff's notes: I don't think they're necessary.
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Old 11-03-09, 09:10 PM
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I used large, super-bright amber LED strobes wired to a center-off toggle switch on my handlebars to create turn signals on the front and rear of my bike. (There are 22 LEDs on each LED unit.) I also used a micro-lever switch wired to the rear brake cable to create a brake light. I got the LED strobes for a little under $7 US for a set of 2, with free shipping (used a Hong Kong vendor, suntekstore.com for the first time, I was impressed with their service since I received the order in under 3 weeks). Best of all I run the turn signals and the brake light off one 9V battery (I have 1 9V for the 4 turn signals and 1 9V for the brake light.)

Here are some photos as well as a You Tube video showing the LED strobes before I installed them.






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvOPIW_TRZI
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Old 11-05-09, 07:07 PM
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Harry,
loads of varieties of rear indicators...
This link for a UK design might be of interest

http://gb.espacenet.com/search97cgi/s97_...en/textdraw.hts
Might be worth checking at this article about a patent for a new turn signal indicator...

Dean
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Old 11-06-09, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Whether you chose to use electronic signal gear, be sure to use hand signals. Hand signals are easier to see and drivers are more accustomed to seeing hand signals than blinkie turn signals on bicycles.
In my experience most drivers, especially younger ones and recent arrivals to this country (US), have absolutely no clue what hand signals mean. I've seen looks of utter confusion bordering on horror from on coming traffic as I signal a left turn. They seem to think I am pointing at them or telling them to move over.
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Old 11-06-09, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for all the posts people.... Has definitely given me food for thought....
The new Indicator from the UK that you put on your arm is definitely interesting but not sure if motorists pay much attention to hand signals or not....In the countryside where there is less traffic they definitely do...
Maybe hand signals with a flashing light could be an option??
Any thoughts??
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Old 11-06-09, 01:25 PM
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Since automobiles have had turn signals and brake signals as standard equipment in most parts of the world for many decades, drivers seem less familiar with hand signals. I put turn signals on my bike because many though I was waving at them when signaling a right turn. I'm not sure indicators on your arm will do any good if there's a lack of understanding what your arm movements mean. If you're concerned, the best piece of mind is to add turn signals. There are inexpensive LED strobes that you can order to build your own. (A set of two large amber strobes cost me less than $14.00 US from a Hong Kong dealer that provides free shipping--and it wasn't DX so I got my order in about 14 days.) Since you are in the UK, you can also buy turn signals made for bicycles that are called bicynals (currently, this product cannot be sold in the US or Canada, I suspect there's a patent dispute). http://www.bicygnals.com/
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