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Wheel reflectors

Old 05-09-16, 08:48 AM
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I would not rely on reflectors by themselves, but anything one can do to make one more visible is worth doing IMHO. I seriously doubt they affect balance of the wheel.
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Old 05-09-16, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
... Plus it makes me feel good that I'm not a self conscious nitwit that thinks a piece of plastic speaks to my manhood.
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Old 05-09-16, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
Bicycle reflectors are meaningless. They weigh near nothing. Your bicycle wheels will never rotate/spin fast enough for the reflectors to be a balance issue.
thats not true, and im not even talking about light carbon wheels but old steel ones, they def cause imbalance
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Old 05-09-16, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by italktocats
thats not true, and im not even talking about light carbon wheels but old steel ones, they def cause imbalance
That certainly surprised me!
But... my wheels already spin true. Would I need to re-tune the wheels back to true if I removed my reflectors? Or are you using some sort of bubble-balance device to measure your imbalance.... and where do I get one of those? And.... what about that brass value stem? doesn't that throw your wheels balance off? Or... do you use some sort of counter-weight to balance out the difference for the value stem? I always thought the reflector helped equal out the weight difference of the value stem.... is that correct?

But please keep in mind.... my point had nothing to do with the function or problems associated with reflectors and/or safety. My point was simply... that the OP's wife had asked that the reflectors be left on. My suggestion was to imply that NO benefit could possibly out-weigh the benefit of pleasing a wife by assuring her of your own concern for safety.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 05-09-16 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 05-09-16, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
But please keep in mind.... my point had nothing to do with the function or problems associated with reflectors and/or safety. My point was simply... that the OP's wife had asked that the reflectors be left on. My suggestion was to imply that NO benefit could possibly out-weigh the benefit of pleasing a wife by assuring her of your own concern for safety.


Plus, it teaches a second important lesson: don't ask permission when you've already got your mind made up. Chances are, if she is anything like my girlfriend, she would have never noticed in a million years that your reflectors or dork disc or anything else along those lines were missing.
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Old 05-09-16, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Plus it makes me feel good that I'm not a self conscious nitwit that thinks a piece of plastic speaks to my manhood.
You brought up manhood sua sponte. Hmmmmmm?
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Old 05-09-16, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
You brought up manhood sua sponte. Hmmmmmm?
I said what everyone was implying.

You all are the ones measuring the impact of a piece of plastic behind your cassette or on your spokes in relation to other grown-up's bikes.
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Old 05-09-16, 01:18 PM
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leave them on. if you ride enough they will eventually come off (at least mine did)
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Old 05-09-16, 03:07 PM
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I took them off & replace with reflective tape. Also have lights. I don't get caught out in the dark too often, though, but at least it's there for when I do.
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Old 05-09-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chedarhead
I want to take off the wheel reflectors from my bike. My wife who is a worry wort thinks it is safer to leave them on. My question is who leaves them on or who takes them off. I am going to take them off as I feel they make the wheel out of balance but I will entertain any reasons to leave them on even if I don't follow the advice.
It all depends on your riding. If you don't ride at night, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

I have removed the stock spoke reflectors, they get brittle and break after a couple year and can cause damage to the wheel. For my commuting bike, I got some Lightweights and really love them for visibility without the weight. Here's my commuter (and you'll see that I did add a Cateye spoke light too):



For bikes that don't ride in the dark, I don't do any of this.
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Old 05-09-16, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk


Plus, it teaches a second important lesson: don't ask permission.
It is much easier to apologize for your indiscretion.... than concern yourself with someone's permission.

But... having a passion/hobby/sport that takes up your time and resources does require that any significant other is at least compliant. If your significant other perceives you outside interests to be risky... this will not benefit you. Whereas honesty is always and without question the best practice... this may mean deliberately doing things known to be inherently... safe. It is a price we pay.
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Old 05-09-16, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Funny how many people insist on flashing lights and being visible are essential, and then rip off such a visibility device because it is big and ugly.

Flashing headlights and taillights do little for cars approaching you from your side. Flashing headlights can get drowned out in street lights, making you rather invisible from anywhere you aren't looking directly at the headlight. I've seen both cross the road in front of me in the past few weeks, reflectors scream BIKE far more than any sort of flashing light.
Oh hell...I use neither.
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Old 05-10-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Funny how many people insist on flashing lights and being visible are essential, and then rip off such a visibility device because it is big and ugly.

Flashing headlights and taillights do little for cars approaching you from your side. Flashing headlights can get drowned out in street lights, making you rather invisible from anywhere you aren't looking directly at the headlight. I've seen both cross the road in front of me in the past few weeks, reflectors scream BIKE far more than any sort of flashing light.
The road bike rarely gets ridden at night anyways. Not that I care too much about fashion, but they were pretty horrible.

The rear light you can see from the side. The front light is on steady high bright and partially hits the ground forming a light pool. If the street lights are bright enough to drown out my lights then you would think I'd be about as visible with the light anyways. In other words if the drivers miss me they aren't looking.
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Old 05-10-16, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
But... having a passion/hobby/sport that takes up your time and resources does require that any significant other is at least compliant. If your significant other perceives you outside interests to be risky... this will not benefit you. Whereas honesty is always and without question the best practice... this may mean deliberately doing things known to be inherently... safe. It is a price we pay.
I certainly agree there. My point was more directed to the idea of asking to participate in what may be perceived as risky behavior, when that action would otherwise go unnoticed had you just gone about your business and not brought it up.

For example, I left the plastic disc off the girlfriends bike one day on accident after rebuilding the back hub. We got about 15 miles into a ride before I noticed it, and asked her if she wanted me to put it on when we got back or if she was fine without it. Despite having gone 15 miles without incident, it immediately because something she was concerned and worried about, when it was pointed out to her, when she would have never even realized anything was missing on her own. Needless to say, the plastic disc is back on her bike.
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Old 05-10-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
....., I left the plastic disc off the girlfriends bike one day on accident after rebuilding the back hub. We got about 15 miles into a ride before I noticed it, and asked her if she wanted me to put it on when we got back or if she was fine without it. Despite having gone 15 miles without incident, it immediately because something she was concerned and worried about, when it was pointed out to her, when she would have never even realized anything was missing on her own. Needless to say, the plastic disc is back on her bike.
Oh yeah. I understand that! Some decisions are best made (and kept) in silence.

Don't get me wrong. I value my wife's opinions. Even though at times her opinions, ideas, and/or feelings on a matter may vary greatly from my own. I know that she may be correct. But cycling is primarily my sport/hobby/addiction. I really don't feel compelled to put every choice or decision up for a vote. But we have discussed things like how many bikes I can actually sensibly store, safety issues, and when other activities/events may over-ride time that might otherwise be spent cycling.

Personally... I keep the legally required (factory installed) safety reflectors. And... I've seen far too many older bikes with mismatched rear wheels... to remove the dork disc. I've even tried to adapt to mounting a bell on some of my bikes. I always wear bright cycling jerseys when I ride. And when traffic is particularly heavy... I use a blinky. I know my wife appreciates my attempts to practice safe cycling... and she feels better because of that. Happy wife... happy life.
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Old 05-10-16, 11:57 AM
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100% in agreement, both on the keeping the lady happy when the argument is over such things and just using common sense while riding in general!

Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
I've even tried to adapt to mounting a bell on some of my bikes.
Have you found a good place to mount a bell on drop bars, just to Fred this thread up a bit more? Legally required to have one where I am heading next week, and if I have to have one, I might as well make it functional. Haven't really found an accessible mounting location yet, I'm ripping up my old tape and going to try right in front of the brake levers (somewhere it won't interfere with breaking, of course) to actuate with a thumb while on the hoods next.
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Old 05-10-16, 07:03 PM
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I took mine off but I have reflectors on my Vittoria Voyager Hyper tires.
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Old 05-10-16, 07:08 PM
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I built my primary wheelset with HALO retro-reflective powder coated Velocity Fusion rims. They're definitely noticeable at night.

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Old 05-11-16, 05:32 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
...Have you found a good place to mount a bell on drop bars, just to Fred this thread up a bit more? Legally required to have one where I am heading next week, ......
No. On my modern bikes with the larger stems and bars... I have NOT found a decent solution for mounting a traditional bell.

I (near daily) ride through the edge of a city that requires a "two-tone traditional sounding bicycle bell". I've even experimented with mounting a bell under the saddle. It bothers me (slightly) that I can't meet that requirement. Most of my bikes are fully reflector compliant, I always wear a helmet (the wife demands it), and because I am old and can't easily turn my head... I have a mirror on my cycling glasses.

On my vintage bicycles (I always have 1 or 2) I mount the bell right on the stem. And although I use my left hand and reach-over to the bell... I can use either hand. I don't ride my vintage bikes often... and sadly... tend to forget the bell is there.

The local MUPs are regularly crowded in warm weather and often run through (other) parks where youth baseball is played in summer months. A bell can be handy to warn pedestrians. Other-wise I politely shout... "bicycle". But the bell seems more effective (and nicer too). Everyone recognizes the bicycle bell sound and response correctly. I think the same can be said about those wheel reflectors too! I think every motorist. at one time or another, has spotted those bike reflectors a block away... and slowed down. Their effectiveness can be debated... but when they work... they work.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
It bothers me (slightly) that I can't meet that requirement. Most of my bikes are fully reflector compliant, I always wear a helmet (the wife demands it), and because I am old and can't easily turn my head... I have a mirror on my cycling glasses.

...

The local MUPs are regularly crowded in warm weather and often run through (other) parks where youth baseball is played in summer months. A bell can be handy to warn pedestrians. Other-wise I politely shout... "bicycle". But the bell seems more effective (and nicer too). Everyone recognizes the bicycle bell sound and response correctly. I think the same can be said about those wheel reflectors too! I think every motorist. at one time or another, has spotted those bike reflectors a block away... and slowed down. Their effectiveness can be debated... but when they work... they work.
I'm not even so worried about meeting legal requirements, I'm worried about my normal shouting of "ON YOUR LEFT" that I generally use on the MUPs not translating well into Flemish or Dutch I will agree, with recent experience trying out different mounting locations, people do react far better to a bell than shouting.

The helmet is my personal version of the OPs reflector question. I'm still probably not even 50/50 when the girlfriend is not around and won't know (I actually prefer it in the summer, contains my long hair far better than any hat, but cooler weather I prefer one of my warmer wool ball caps), but if she's riding with me I don't even bother arguing about it. Just not worth it.
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Old 05-11-16, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
....The helmet is my personal version of the OPs reflector question. I'm still probably not even 50/50 when the girlfriend is not around and won't know.......... but if she's riding with me I don't even bother arguing about it. Just not worth it.
I think we all have our safety issues... not just the safety equipment issues. My first road bike was a 41 pound "light-weight" Schwinn Varsity. Today.. I prefer a much lighter bike... accessories and extras included. It's easy to get caught up counting grams. I don't hold myself up as any example to be followed.

I applaud your efforts at pleasing your significant other! That was my only point to the OP. Our significant others are so deeply important to our happiness and well being. If I had to choose between my wife and my bicycles... I would miss her terribly.
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Old 05-12-16, 05:01 PM
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I don't like them. Primarily they offend my Libertarian views (CPSC). I use reflective strip tires.
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Old 05-12-16, 05:25 PM
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I just took mine off actually. I dont ride at night during the long summer days anyway. Iv had one break during a ride also, so now i just take them off. When the days get shorter and im riding in the dark again, Ill have reflective tape, lights, and lighted ankle bands. I also dont cross traffic.

I didnt know about the ankle bands/arm bands (lighted or reflective) until about 7 months ago. I was sitting at a red light waiting to turn onto the main road when a cyclist made a left turn off that road passing infront of me. It was really dark and raining really hard, so visibility wasnt great...But i saw his ankle lights best, going around in circles coming up the road, crossing infront of me, and then in my mirrors for quite a ways. I think those are great and provide visibility all around. Plus they werent making one giant lighted ring like spoke covers or reflective tires do - I like those though and to me they scream "bicycle", but you never know with some of these people out there.
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Old 05-12-16, 06:17 PM
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Guess this is an "agree to disagree" kind of subject here. Good points made here by all sides. I still have mine on my bike but I'm inherently lazy.
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Old 05-12-16, 07:33 PM
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The way I see it is, if there's a chance a motorist will see your wheel reflectors and recognize you as a bicyclist, why not use them? They will come in handy when crossing an intersection. I don't think they're going to throw the balance out too badly. They're not that heavy and we're not cycling at highway speeds. If you never ride at night then take them off if you want to. But don't belittle others for having them on. I occasionally ride at night and want all the visibility I can get. I wouldn't mind if my entire bike was painted with reflective paint. I'll even let you call me a "Fred" if you want, but at least I'll be an alive Fred. It's my bike and my ride.
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