Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Green Light Triggers

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Old 09-26-04, 02:14 PM
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Felt Z65
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Green Light Triggers

Copied add is below. Has anyone tried these? If so, how did they work?

The Green Light TriggerTM attaches to the bottom of any bike and helps make the bike more "visible" to traffic signal detectors.

Bikes with Triggers get stuck at red lights far less often than those without.

* Simple, safe and effective
* Thousands in use all over the US and overseas
* Read some testimonials
* Unconditionally guaranteed
* The most effective solution on the market
* Works on motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and bicycles
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Old 09-26-04, 03:31 PM
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Triggers? Stop lights? Run'em. (But show a little respect for the police and don't do it when they're watching.)

Put differently, if the intersection has that little traffic, go on thru. If it's that busy, a car will be along quite soon enough. That's what works for me. Problem solved.
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Old 09-26-04, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Maj.Taylor
Triggers? Stop lights? Run'em. (But show a little respect for the police and don't do it when they're watching.)

Put differently, if the intersection has that little traffic, go on thru. If it's that busy, a car will be along quite soon enough. That's what works for me. Problem solved.
what he said.
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Old 09-26-04, 03:40 PM
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hop off and walk across the intersection
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Old 09-26-04, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Phatman
what he said.
What he said x2.
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Old 09-26-04, 06:24 PM
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triggers? I'd always assumed it was just weight rolling over the sensor implanted in the pavement, and bikes just don't weigh enough. sounds like a scam to me (unless traffic lights work in a manner with which i'm not familiar. still, find it hard to imagine something like that would work. if it's visual, does it make you huge? if it's metal, does it make you heavier?)
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Old 09-26-04, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pgreene
triggers? I'd always assumed it was just weight rolling over the sensor implanted in the pavement, and bikes just don't weigh enough. sounds like a scam to me (unless traffic lights work in a manner with which i'm not familiar. still, find it hard to imagine something like that would work. if it's visual, does it make you huge? if it's metal, does it make you heavier?)
Many are magnetic. That is why, in days gone by and when steel ruled, a group of cyclists could often trigger a sensor a single cyclist could not. I even remember the trick (for very busy intersections) of getting off your bike and laying it on the ground across the sensor so there would be more metal surface area to detect.
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Old 09-26-04, 06:33 PM
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so you're saying if i'd just carry a 50 pound block of steel, i could trigger the red lights, eh?

i'm with everyone else. run it, if safe and no one's around. otherwise, wait for a car to help you out.
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Old 09-26-04, 06:44 PM
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Here's an interesting link about how traffic signals work.

The website for the Green Light Trigger indicates that it is a magnet. It costs about $13 which doesn't seem outrageous, but I think I'd try a few 50 cent magnets from the surplus store first.

As for the need, I have to agree with the assertion that if no cars come along to trip the light, traffic will be light enough to allow you to go through anyway.


I just thought of a product to market that also solves this problem that is a lot more fun just some boring magnet - a dart gun that's strong enough to push the crosswalk button.

Nah, somebody would probably put someone's eye out.
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Old 09-26-04, 07:08 PM
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In most states, you can legally go through a red light after waiting a reasonable amount of time. You pretty much can treat a red light as a stop sign on a bike since you cannot trigger the switchplate.
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Old 09-26-04, 07:21 PM
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In my area the "triggers" are illegal except for emergency vehicle use - like police, fire and ambulances. They send a signal like an EZ-pass to a sensor that's located on the same wire the traffic light is hung on. If you llok up at the traffic light line you can usually see the sensor mounted like a small camera. It's really to help emergency vehicles fly thruough green lights, which is why the triggers are otherwise illegal.

PS - I just slow down, look and then blow the light.....also illegal, but hey...momentum is an important law of physics.
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Old 09-26-04, 08:14 PM
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The trigger being referred to isn't an on demand changer like emergency vehicles use, it just lets inductive signals see a bike like it sees a vehicle. As pointed out above though, most states allow you to proceed if the signal doesn't pick you up. I have actually been suprised that my wife and I actually do trigger signals sometimes, but there are two of us so maybe that helps.
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Old 09-26-04, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Maj.Taylor
Triggers? Stop lights? Run'em. (But show a little respect for the police and don't do it when they're watching.)
huh... ?riiiiiiiiiiiight.
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Old 09-26-04, 11:49 PM
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DieselDan; I don't know all the rules in all the states but in Calif and Indiana that's not true about being able to proceed thru a red light if you waited long enough. The only way legally you can do that is if you can prove the light is not working or the cop realizes your right and waves the ticket off. I sat at a light once for 8 minutes because the dam sensor wouldn't sense the bike, when I finally got frustrated and went...and wouldn't you know it some cop saw me take off and attempted to give me a ticket; but once I explained the situation he let me off-but the vehicle code law did not let me off-the officer did.
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Old 09-27-04, 12:30 AM
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Run the red lights? All you guys advocating this are really good advertisements for darwinism. I suppose ignorance is bliss (sheesh, one poster didn't even know that the lights changed when the electromagnetic field in a coil buried in the road is altered by an object passing through it rather than by weight).

A bit more investigation of other threads on the forums might just reveal that redlight running is not the accepted practice some might believe. And the idea of just sneaking across without a police officer seeing you? The forums have been rife with stories about whingeing riders because they got ticketed by some "invisible" law enforcement officer hiding, just waiting to nab them.

There is some legal argument that if the coil in the road surface in the lanes leading up to a controlled junction don't trigger the lights to change when a bicycle passes over them, the lights can be considered to be malfunctioning. But you really should do a search on your local laws before considering it as a defence.

There are several other options to work through first. Make sure you actually pass over the coil as you approach the junction. Then if that doesn't work, go press the pedestrian crossing button to make the lights change.

The only application I could see for the new product is for CF frames where the amount of induction material is minimal.

The sensitivity of the coil can be altered by the traffic authority responsible for the lights. If there is a history of a light failing to change, it should be reported to the authority with the suggestion the sensitivity of the coil be changed. Occasionally this might not be possible -- such as in bus malls where the mass of the vehicles can set off a coil located metres away, resulting in unjustified light-changing.
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Old 09-27-04, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
There are several other options to work through first. Make sure you actually pass over the coil as you approach the junction. Then if that doesn't work, go press the pedestrian crossing button to make the lights change.
Most of these sensors are inductive loop sensors and one can usually spot exactly where the wires have been placed. Try to position your bike on those wires. Many cyclists will try to put their bikes in between the wires thinking that it's a pad of some sort when in actuality, it would be more effective to place the bike along the perimeter.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:55 AM
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I place my chainring right on the edge of the loop. I can trip about 80% of the sensors that way. The other ones I just press the pedestrian button.
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Old 09-27-04, 09:12 AM
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Most bike come with the green light trigger built right in to the pedals.. I have learned it from experience..
Every time I come coasting slow to a red light, waiting for it to turn green, it will stay red until the moment I unclip my foot and then the light turns green..
Conclusion: there is a sensor in the pedal that senses your uncliping and turns the light green..
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Old 09-27-04, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sorebutt
Most bike come with the green light trigger built right in to the pedals.. I have learned it from experience..
Every time I come coasting slow to a red light, waiting for it to turn green, it will stay red until the moment I unclip my foot and then the light turns green..
Conclusion: there is a sensor in the pedal that senses your uncliping and turns the light green..
What a coinky-dink! I have that sensor in my pedals too. Anyone know how to remove it?
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Old 09-27-04, 09:31 AM
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Another quikie solution is to carry a small piece of STEEL can or a small STEEL wrench. These loops are triggered by steel or iron only. Aluminum will not do it. I used to carry a 3/4mm box wrench in my jersey pocket, lay it down across the wire, pick it up just before the light changed and enjoy riding through on the left turn arrow. For those who aren't familiar with these, look for a square of cut pavement at a light (usually in left turn lanes). If you are driving, stop your car over one of the lines and watch the turn arrow trigger. It's funny how few people know about these. There was an article in Bicycling magazine 20+ years ago about them.
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Old 09-27-04, 09:42 AM
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Jeez, I dunno if we have different technology down here, but even my aluminium bikes have enough steel on them to trigger a signal change. It seems from the link posted above that large intersections are controlled by timers, and the smaller intersection on quieter roads are triggered by sensors. I mangage to trigger the lights at about 95% of the smaller intersections.
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Old 09-27-04, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mirona
What a coinky-dink! I have that sensor in my pedals too. Anyone know how to remove it?

I think that would be a violation of Murphy’s law.


There are situations where you are first to an intersection with heavy cross traffic, and the car behind you can't get close enough to the intersection for the steel in his car to register in the coil buried beneath the asphalt.

Because I ride a steel frame bike I can just unclip and lay my frame near the roadway for a second if my chain doesn’t trigger it. Those of you with alloy or carbon frames may need another plan.
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Old 09-27-04, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WorldWind
Because I ride a steel frame bike I can just unclip and lay my frame near the roadway for a second if my chain doesn’t trigger it. Those of you with alloy or carbon frames may need another plan.
The metal in the drivetrain of most bikes should be able to trigger the more sensitive detectors and those with quadrapole loop configurations. I really haven't had a problem. Of course, out here on the west coast and especially in the Seattle area, the detectors seem to be more bike-friendly.
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Old 09-27-04, 01:25 PM
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As othes have noted, those sensors that react to metallic mass are the ones that are in use in West Tennessee. I would argue that none of them inmy area would ever detect a bicycle. They won't even detect my 460 lb. motorcycle. Just recently in our county (Shelby) they changed the traffic code to allow motorcyclists to proceed through a red light after a two minute wait and of course making sure the intersection is clear.
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Old 09-27-04, 01:51 PM
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the sensors here suck. I have to stop and go on most of the redlights..so I jsut wait until the traffic on the other side of the road gets a go, or about 4 mins, and then go when it's safe.

A trafic light that doesnt turn for you is defective since we are technically vehicles...so basically you just go when it is safe and after making sure it isnt triggering for you.

BTW I used to live in Ft. Wayne, cops there will hassle you for basically anything...with how bad the city was when I left, I can't blame them either.
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