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Reflectivity

Old 11-05-09, 02:26 PM
  #1  
rumrunn6
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Reflectivity

I'm looking into adding reflectivity to my clothing and bikes because I may experiment with riding in darkness. I picked up some REFLEX Reflective Snap Bands but was disappointed to see that they aren't very long and won't go all the way around my ankles unless they are bare socks, meaning they don't go all the way around pant legs. Looks like they will stay on but I would still have to use another strap to gather the rain and wind pants I use. Maybe I'll use these on my wrists. :-(

Anyway what are you guys doing to add reflectivity? I was thinking of getting reflective tape or dots, etc to add to the back of my calves and jacket. They look cheap enough that I can replace them when they fall off or if I want to wash anything. I've tried on reflective vests but I don't like them.

http://www.rei.com/product/634417
http://www.rei.com/product/680649
http://www.rei.com/product/733373
http://www.rei.com/product/543007
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Old 11-05-09, 02:27 PM
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alert shirts
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Old 11-05-09, 02:38 PM
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Tires, Vests, Tape




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Old 11-05-09, 02:38 PM
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I went for lighting instead of reflectivity. My GF gave me these little LED flashers called "Mullets". Put one on my handlebars and hung another off the back of my helmet. Then I have an LED headlight (a Blackburn - good for being seen but not for seeing). Then I have not one but two LED tail lights - one on the seat post and the other on the rear rack. I keep them all in flashing mode. I ride down the road lookin' like a friggin christmas tree.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:38 PM
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I've used 3M Iron On tape and their adhesive tape. I just used a household iron and is really easy to use. I ordered both products from this website. http://identi-tape.com/
The site looks a little janky but they shipped quickly and I had no problems with them.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-05-09, 02:43 PM
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Auto stores sell 3M reflective tape. I use red on the back half of my bike, white up front, and just wrap it around the tubes so it has 360° coverage. You can never have enough bling...
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Old 11-05-09, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
+1000 Great stuff and at a reasonable cost. There are tons of lousy vests out there (especially anything with yellow tape). The Alert Shirt stuff is ANSI rated so you know it works! For normal night time riding I wear the vest (ANSI Class 2). For rain I have the rain coat and it is rated at ANSI Class 3.

for adding additional reflective tape to the bike, just make sure you buy 3M tape. Their stuff it top notch and realy works. Again there are lots of immitators, but few that can match the qaulity. There are plenty of vendors out there selling it. Expect to spend around $25 on a roll, but it goes a long way. I bough the SOLAS tape. It is coast guard approved. Therefore I knew it would hold up in wet winter conditions. So far after 2.5 years of year round commuting the tape works great. My wife has driven behind we and tells me that I light up like a chistmas tree, between the active lighting and lots of reflective tape AND the reflective vest/coat. I also added tape to the back of my helmet to make my head more visable (my wife's suggestion).

Reflective tires is great too if you can get it. Somewhat suprisingly the Nokia winter tires don't have the reflective strip. I need them over the Schwalbe studded winter tires as the Nokias can handle deeper snow better and I DO live in Buffalo NY. We get frequent snow fall here in the winter so I have to go for best snow tread, not lower rolling resistance and reflective side wall.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 11-05-09, 03:00 PM
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I essentially have my bike coated in the 3M retroreflective tape.

I also have strips on my helmet.
I have a small blinkie on my helmet, a PBSF on the left pannier, and a Cateye blinkie mounted on the rack.
I also have two front lights (120 Lumen and 900 Lumen).
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Old 11-05-09, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
+1. I just bought a vest from them on clearance. Shipping was super quick and it seems to be a very nice vest. VERY bright!
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Old 11-05-09, 03:04 PM
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http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/115/1872

Scroll down to "Reflective Marking Dots."
They are weatherproof, self-adhesive, cheap, and as bright if not
brighter than any other reflector, and they reflect brightly at just
about a full 180 degree angle-of-incidence. The drawback is they
only work if someone points a light at them.

Not my bike or photo:




Also alertshirts kick ass, I have a yellow one that hurts the eyes to look at.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:17 PM
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I'm going to pick up this kit some day...

BrightBike

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Old 11-05-09, 03:20 PM
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I found this picture/review on the interwebs.

April 2008
Product Review: Schwalbe Marathon Tires



Tires with reflective sidewalls are legally required in the Netherlands. I can see why, and cars can too. What a simple way to be passively visible - no lights to remember, no batteries to burn out. The idea is just so simple.

The Schwalbes are simple too. They're well made and easy to put on your rims. I'm not sure I even really needed my tire iron. I haven't flatted yet but they're still pretty new so let's just knock on wood. I think they're attractive and add a slightly old-fashioned sporty look to my bike, like a safety version of the old V-necked tennis sweater.
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Old 11-05-09, 03:59 PM
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I put generic reflective tape (from Auto-Zone IIRC) on my rims. Very attention getting with the bike in motion.



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Old 11-05-09, 04:20 PM
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Not the best pic of it, but I've got a bunch of reflective tape on my brevet bike. It lights up pretty well; plus I have 3 taillights, a headlight, a helmet light, ankle bands, RoadID, AmphiPod reflective harness, reflective tape on my helmet, and reflective piping on most of my clothing.
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Old 11-05-09, 04:25 PM
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I replaced the stock reflectors with light weights, in addition to adding lights and reflective clothing. I wished I had some of that stuff with me last week when we were the first ones on the scene of an accident and all I had was a pair of wimpy flashlights - I wanted that Christmas tree you can see from outerspace look.
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Old 11-05-09, 09:16 PM
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I've seen tutorials on sprinkling reflective glass beads onto parts of the bike. They're the same stuff that street crews use on road markings to make them reflective.

There's one at Inscrutables where a guy sprays a clearcoat onto a plastic quick-release fender, then while the coat is still wet, dusts it with these beads, which make it reflect white.

Another site (couldn't find it last time I looked) did the same thing on the bike frame itself. It looked like the frame reflected in color, not just in white.
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Old 11-05-09, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by freefallkev View Post
Auto stores sell 3M reflective tape. I use red on the back half of my bike, white up front, and just wrap it around the tubes so it has 360° coverage. You can never have enough bling...
The 3M tape I've found at auto stores is basic encapsulated-lens (glass-bead) stuff. Not very reflective compared to the good stuff, I'm afraid. Here's a source for Reflexite's top-of-the-line V82 prismatic tape:

http://www.night-gear.com/reflective...-reflexite-539

In the photo below, I bet you can tell the difference between the 3M basic stuff and the high-end Reflexite prismatic tape:



The silver color reflects most strongly. Next-best is the school-bus yellow, then red, then blue. This is an oncoming view of my Soma with the Reflexite silver tape on the underside of the downtube, a pinstripe down the top tube, down the fork blades, and on the wheel rims (flash / no flash):



As far as stuff that REI carries, the Jog-A-Lite reflective legbands are really good, get a couple of those.

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-05-09 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 11-05-09, 10:10 PM
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^^^^^I was admiring your bike and not at all expecting the pic to change. Very cool.
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Old 11-05-09, 10:30 PM
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I've used both Scotchlite and Avery's retroreflective films to cover my bikes. With careful attention to the existing colorschemes of the bikes, the films can fool most people in daylight, but at night there's no question, the bike reflects.

My signature image, and avatar are actual photos of my bikes.

Now, if you'll forgive me, I'm pooped (185+ miles on the bike since Monday), so I'll have to pick up later...

But before I go... check out my photoset:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike...7606341007268/



And here's one for my Mom's bike:





The reflectors in the spokes are Lightweights for Wheels (use the promo code "Rok3g" when ordering)...

Rubberside Down!
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 11-05-09 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 11-05-09, 10:43 PM
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http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...er=1013N/670.0
&
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Old 11-05-09, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
I've used both Scotchlite and Avery's retroreflective films to cover my bikes. With careful attention to the existing colorschemes of the bikes, the films can fool most people in daylight, but at night there's no question, the bike reflects.
I am interested in how you did this. Is the bikes color reflecting through? Or is the blue the color of the tape?
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Old 11-05-09, 11:11 PM
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Can't show pictures since I'm out of town at the moment. But recently I was passing by the bargain bins at the local REI and saw this reflective sash marked down to $1.83:
http://www.rei.com/product/680650

Didn't really need a sash, but I did need the strap and fastener to repair part of my backpack and figured I could use the reflective material for something on the bike.

So I cut it into pieces that are about 2" x 3" and sewed them to the backs and sides of my panniers. Also used a few of them to sew onto the backs of two pairs of gloves (open fingered and full fingered) - they make it much more obvious when I extend my hand for giving turn signals. And I cut a couple strips long enough to serve as leg cuffs with the addition of a bit of velcro.
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Old 11-05-09, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JFlurett View Post
I am interested in how you did this. Is the bikes color reflecting through? Or is the blue the color of the tape?
Where you see blue, I used blue colored film. There's also some white, red, green, "old gold", and (surprise they do make it) reflective black.
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Old 11-06-09, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I replaced the stock reflectors with light weights, in addition to adding lights and reflective clothing. I wished I had some of that stuff with me last week when we were the first ones on the scene of an accident and all I had was a pair of wimpy flashlights - I wanted that Christmas tree you can see from outerspace look.
Funny!

With Two MiNewt X2's, and a MiNewt 200, AND a TriNewt, AND an Ice Blue Down Low Glow, AND 5 Superflash taillights (then there's all the reflective gear)... I match that discription...

Honey... It's NASA... They're asking if you can point your bike some other direction, the shuttle is complaining again
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Old 11-06-09, 06:24 AM
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Wow, this has been a really helpful thread. The sew-on 3M reflective tape seems like just what I wanted to customize a future backpack and messenger bag in mind.
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