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Reflectors on or off?

Old 08-28-15, 07:57 AM
  #1  
avidone1
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Reflectors on or off?

My '16 Specialized crosstrail comp is kinda bad ass looking.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/multi-use/crosstrail/crosstrail-comp-disc

It has a flat black frame with semi-gloss black highlights, and black rims.
The reflectors on the spokes and handlebar are kinda dorky looking.
I took off the rear reflector because I have my hotshot tail light installed,
and i took off the front reflector because I have a metro light I use in low light conditions.
That leaves the spoke reflectors. I use motion activated lights on my tire valves at dusk or dark.
I understand there are laws regarding reflectors, and I also understand that no matter how many times
I say that I'm not looking for opinions regarding legality and safety, I will still get these opinions.
What I am very specifically asking is.........
Do you take off your reflectors or leave them on?

Last edited by avidone1; 08-28-15 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 08-28-15, 08:14 AM
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bmthom.gis
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Off. I have lights instead, and handlebar reflectors are lame. I'll leave on the wheel reflectors except on the mountain bikes, which see zero road time.
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Old 08-28-15, 08:15 AM
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I don't have any spoke reflectors. I will think about it if I see any good ones that match my bike.
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Old 08-28-15, 08:15 AM
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ShortLegCyclist
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Originally Posted by avidone1 View Post
My '16 Specialized crosstrail comp is kinda bad ass looking.Specialized Bicycle Components
It has a flat black frame with semi-gloss black highlights, and black rims.
The reflectors on the spokes and handlebar are kinda dorky looking.
I took off the rear reflector because I have my hotshot tail light installed,
and i took off the front reflector because I have a metro light I use in low light conditions.
That leaves the spoke reflectors. I use motion activated lights on my tire valves at dusk or dark.
I understand there are laws regarding reflectors, and I also understand that no matter how many times
I say that I'm not looking for opinions regarding legality and safety, I will still get these opinions.
What I am very specifically asking is.........
Do you take off your reflectors or leave them on?
I use a taillight with a built in reflector to meet the legal requirement here, take all front reflectors off, and replace bar style spoke reflectors with spoke clip style, because at night the visibility vulnerability even if you have a good headlight and taillight is from the side.

These are unnoticeable during the daytime, add negligible weight and light up brightly when hit by car headlights from the side.

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Old 08-28-15, 08:18 AM
  #5  
indyfabz
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Why do you ask, especially since you don't want any opinions about legality or safety? You just looking for ons and offs in a vacuum?
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Old 08-28-15, 08:36 AM
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I took all my reflectors off. Not sure about the legality but we never ride at night so why keep them on? I didn't throw them away so they'll go back on if I get hassled about it. They really look bad, especially the wheel reflectors
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Old 08-28-15, 09:12 AM
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Have vanity or safety as your main consideration?

There is reflective tape that Looks Black in daylight but still reflects lights shined on it at Night, But it wont reflect with a red color.

You do have active lights, you say, .. but the rear if the battery is dead does not incorporate a passive reflector, or does it?


I have B&M dynamo LED Taillights they include a Passive reflector as well , but I also have red Reflective tape on my back Mudguard

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-28-15 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:51 AM
  #8  
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I commute year round so I need to be seen. All three bikes have front 180-degree front and rear lighting for 360 lighting, plus lighting on my helmet. None of my bikes have the stock front and rear reflectors, but I have reflective tape to make up for it. I kinda went overboard on my 97-Nishiki and backed off a little. I have a lot of discreet reflective tape on my 1983 Nishiki road bike. And my new 2015 Charge Plug has even better discreet reflective tape. I also add reflective tape to my helmets, although they seem to come with more than they used to which was none 20 years ago. I also have reflective tape on the fenders of the bikes with fenders and on my backpack and Iwear a reflective sash/vest at night.

My new bike is black, and when I went to get my usual red and white reflective tape they were out. So I got yellow and black reflective caution tape and that looks cool!

My big concern is what if the batteries fail? Even with redundant lighting on my helmet, I figure it can't hurt to be lit up.
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Old 08-28-15, 11:12 AM
  #9  
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None of my bikes have reflectors. I've even removed the pedal reflectors. However, I do not ride after dark as that's when they come out.
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Old 08-28-15, 11:20 AM
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none, don't ride in the dark though and always on bike trails......Do have a light just in case though
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Old 08-28-15, 12:57 PM
  #11  
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As fietsbob said, do you value vanity over safety? Do you ride with or without a helmet? Personal choices, but possibly grave impacts.

Wheel and pedal reflectors are extremely effective because they move in a way that instantly identifies you as a bicyclist. They flash and twirl, and that catches the eye.

The flat front and rear reflectors are less effective because they are a single, un-moving, dim point of light. Actual head and tail-lights are more effective than the reflectors, but they aren't very visible from the side.

If you never ride after dark, or never cross paths with cars (remember that many bike paths intersect with streets), then it doesn't seem unsafe to remove all reflectors. You get a cleaner look and save a half an ounce.

Otherwise, it's smart to keep the at least the wheel reflectors on (and the pedal reflectors if yours have them), or replace them with something that works with your aesthetic. Drivers are increasingly distracted, so it's good to be a bright shiny thing.

I recently picked up a blacked out Foundry Auger. I added some of the spoke clip reflectors that ShortLegCyclist showed, and some small patches of 3M reflective tape in other places like the pedals and fenders.
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Old 08-28-15, 01:35 PM
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.I have a powerful headlight 550 watts. I set it to strobe and it has side vents. I actually get complaints that it's too bright.
I have the companion HOT SHOT rear light that I also set to strobe so I am highly visible from the rear.
I have tire stem lights so I can be seen from the sides. (the little kids find me way cool)
I wear bright colors with reflective highlights. I ride a lot at night, and am not stupid or suicidal. I am lit up like a friggin Christmas tree.
I simply wanted to know what others are doing?
It is a simple, straight forward request.
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Old 08-28-15, 01:36 PM
  #13  
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OFF

Most cycling clothing has reflective strips. And if you ride when a light is needed... use a light.
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Old 08-28-15, 01:55 PM
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I tend to ride starting at 4:30 AM so visibility is important to me.

I had a reflector on my wheel until it got loose, hit the frame and broke off.

I have since replaced them with the spoke reflectors which add plenty of visibility.




Next I purchased a Sugoi Zap jacket made with Pixel fabric. this fabric comes in solid red, black high vis yellow and I think blue. There could be other but I am not sure. On the fabric are little tiny micro spheres of glass I think. In ordinary multidirectional light, they look the color they are. When unidirectional light hits the jacket, the whole jacket reflects white!! You can see as you get closer and the light is more bleeding from each light sourse, the jacket looks more red. In full sun, it is matador red. (my wife is modeling the jacket in front of our car with low beams on.


Finally, I have a NiteRider lumina 700 headlight (one on the bars and a second on the helmet) and 2 taillights: a NiteRider Sentinel and a Bontrager Flare R. This is the Sentinel with the laser lane markers on. Even under an LED streetlight, the lane markers and red light from the side is very visible.


I grabbed the Bontrager Flare to improve daytime visibility since it is twice as bright as the Sentinel and is touted to be visible to 2km in daylight,
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Old 08-28-15, 02:07 PM
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thanks to fly2high and short leg for the pics of the snap on spoke reflectors.
What a great idea!
I ordered a set in blue. It should look very nice, as I have accented the black frame and rims with blue bottle cage and saddle bag.
Thanks to those who replied as requested. I was pretty sure that many of the avid cyclists here removed the clunky LBS installed reflectors.
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Old 08-28-15, 05:23 PM
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My hybrid has all reflectors plus front and rear lights since I ride in the dark sometimes. I never ride my road bike in the dark and somehow managed the break the rear reflector and plastic cassette ring so I removed everything but still always run a flashing rear light.
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Old 08-28-15, 06:55 PM
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OFF. I never intend to be caught out on the trail after dark. I have the indoor bike for that
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Old 08-28-15, 08:37 PM
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I thought this thread might have turned a little hostile. Glad to see it hasn't. It's funny to me, the things cyclists argue about
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Old 08-28-15, 08:53 PM
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Reflectors and lights on both my Huffy Bikes............







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Old 08-28-15, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by avidone1 View Post
What I am very specifically asking is.........
Do you take off your reflectors or leave them on?
Front and original wheel reflectors come off. I always run a rear reflector, because it's the law in my state if you ride in the dark, (this is not an opinion) and because as long as they are aimed properly, they will never fail, and will light up when a cars headlights shine on them.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:19 PM
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I put reflective striping on the rims of the one bike I have that has disc brakes. Most of my other bikes have tires with reflective sidewall stripes.

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Old 08-28-15, 09:21 PM
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I am fine with front and rear reflectors, but not wheel reflectors.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Why do you ask, especially since you don't want any opinions about legality or safety? You just looking for ons and offs in a vacuum?
I too wonder why anyone would care what others do. Be yourself and do your own thing for the reasons that matter to you.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:24 PM
  #24  
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I don't have any reflectors except the one on my radbot 500. I do have 1/8th 3m reflective tape around my wheelsets.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:28 PM
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Stock rear reflector works well, fulfills the requirements of the law, and even looks good to boot.




Last edited by AlmostTrick; 08-28-15 at 09:40 PM.
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