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  1. #1
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    Thinking of doing this...

    Anyone done anything similar?


    http://sarasota.craigslist.org/bid/4106715424.html


    Tradere Scriptura Magister

  2. #2
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    As weird as it might sound, check laws in your area. Cities and states usually regulate color and flashing. Blue may be restricted only for police vehicles, etc. Usually that is just for flashing lights, but it may apply to any colored lights.

    Something a little cheaper and self contained would be a valve cover.
    Amazon.com: 2PCS Green LED Flash Tyre Wheel Valve Cap Light for Car Bike bicycle Motorbicycle Wheel Light Tire Light: Patio, Lawn & Garden

    Not sure how omnidirectional they are, though. I tried buying a similar pair from Performance many, many years ago that could be angled 90 degrees to face the side, but they were too big to fit between road bike forks.

  3. #3
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    Thinking of doing this...

    I tried the valve tips, and wound up giving them to my kid. He thinks they're awesome, but they were lost in the ambient lights that I fight so hard in.

    I wasn't thinking blue or flashing. I was thinking white on the forks and red on the frame and chain stay. Local laws don't prohibit anything other than blue or amber, and that's for flashing.


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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Thinking of doing this...

    I like the idea of rim tape a lot, especially if done in segments to make movement recognizable.

    I'm simply looking for ways to fight surrounding lights to make my commute that much safer, while still having a fair balance of efficiency and speed.


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  6. #6
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    ^^ Rimskins makes a blue and a green you could do as half a rim of each. Or you could do the cheaper reflective tape for half of the rim. I taped UV flashlights and one per wheel saturated the rims, but they don't mount nicely and would be easily cut free by thieves.

    This guy Reflective Wheel Stripe Stickers - Page 3

    He may have the light solution if they aren't too expensive.

    If one was skilled at soldering and fabricating, the light heads from the flashlights, maybe shortened some, could be driven from a common battery pack or a USB 5 volt car converter (or buy the module) to a 12 volt pack if already used for headlights.

  7. #7
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    This guy makes some awesome stuff and just so happens to be local to me: Fiks:Reflective

    No batteries required. And appears to be cheaper than RimSkinz. No camo or other patterns though, only reflective colors available.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  8. #8
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    I have to decide whether this is the year that I put a monkeylectric light on my christmas list:

  9. #9
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    Another option is glow in the dark paint I used this on a fixed gear bike I did a few years back. Just be sure to do ALL the prep work if you want a decent finish and use 2 BIG cans of the glow in the dark paint.

    Make Your Night Bike Glow in the Dark with Phosphorescent Paint « Bicycle

  10. #10
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    ^^ Great link, outskirts...this part was my favorite, and more true than I'd like to admit...

    "Basically, you just take the bike apart and make sure you keep track of ALL the pieces. Putting a bike back together is very similar to an IKEA experience—terrible."

  11. #11
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    Yeah it can be intimidating if you haven't done it before, I have worked on and built bikes since I was 7 years old and dragging home every bike I could get. Now 20+ years later it's like second nature.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    I like the idea of rim tape a lot, especially if done in segments to make movement recognizable.

    I'm simply looking for ways to fight surrounding lights to make my commute that much safer, while still having a fair balance of efficiency and speed.


    Tradere Scriptura Magister
    Since you are interested in efficiency + speed, might I suggest reflective tape?





    Those were taken with my phones flash, I expect it looks about the same in car headlights.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  13. #13
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    ^^ Those are nice. But remember that the car's headlight beams must hit them and return to the driver. My videos say that happens about 0.25 to 0.5 sec before you cross in front of a car in the far lane deepening on how fast you are riding. See first passes here:



    The reflectors might get them on the brakes in time. So they add a bit, but not a lot. Rear or front views with headlights/drivers at better angles on front, rear, or pedal reflectors work fairly well.

    When in the near lane, and not taking your lane (close to the car's from bumper), the angles really screw up the visibility so that your front wheel is about even with the left fender when the Lightweights and rim tape show up. The Glo rims show up but that close the angle doesn't show them off well.

    If you can prop a bike up by itself in front of a stationary car and sit in a car with its lights on, you can look, move the bike, look again etc to see how the lights and reflectors work as you approach a cross street driver. No clothing or helmet light info unless you can get a "stand in". Our eyes are a bit better than my video camera for low light sensitivity, but older drivers have issues (so much so that they give up night driving art some point). You never know when you may meet one on their last few night drives. I suspect my video camera matches them pretty well.

  14. #14
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    The link in the original post is down now, so I'm not sure exactly what they showed there, but I see the discussion is about side visibility. My thoughts:

    1. the reflective tape is a good idea despite the inherent limitations of reflective material (observer's lights must be ON and aimed at the bike; performance drops badly with distance and/or fog/rain/snow; etc etc). It's cheap, lightweight, aerodynamic, has a long lifespan and doesn't require charging or maintenance.

    Also, reflective tape can be used to show the shape of a bicycle, and we all know recognition can be as important as detection. I used to be a proponent of Reflexite V82 but I think on bike frames, their V92 may end up performing better. night-gear.com is one place to get it.

    I've used reflective tape on my wheel rims before, but lately I sort of gave up on that because it's so tough to keep it clean enough to maintain effectiveness in the wet winter, especially with rim brakes that generate dark residue.

    You could also try some iron-on reflective tape to define a human profile. In my experience, it doesn't like to stick to cycling jackets, but while it lasts, the effect is useful:

    Name:  iron-on_tape_1.jpg
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    Reflective legbands are especially valuable because their motion gives the right "human being" cue, and they're omnidirectional and down low where a low-beam headlight will hit them well. I use the wide Jog-A-Lite ones from REI.


    2. active lighting is desirable because of the shortcomings and limitations with passive reflection.

    --I've used simple 2xAAA amber flashers clipped to my pannier side pockets.

    --BikeBrightz 2AAA light sticks can be zip-tied under the top tube (also available in amber/yellow), and aren't truly waterproof but held up OK. Ebay has some of the analogous Fibre Flare omnidirectional 2AAA light sticks that are nice for under the top tube or on the front of the seat tube.

    --For a flat-bar bike, the Trek/Bontrager Beacon bar-tip red taillights are also visible from the sides, but these appear to have been discontinued, so check your local Trek dealers if you want those (2 x AAA).

    --I don't really like lights that require disposable button batteries, but the Cateye Orbit or Nite-Ize Spokelit are visible from side approaches and send a very recognizeable "bicycle!" cue by their cyclic motion.

    --If you don't mind the drama-queen effect, you could also hang a very lightweight 1AAA keychain flashlight from your jacket's zipper pull and let it dangle. Having a light-colored jacket with the flashlight splashing its beam all over it would really catch the observers' eye, plus you have a really easy-to-find zipper pull! On LOW, these run a very long time; I use one on the front of my helmet to read my Garmin.

    --I think even a small helmet-mounted front and rear light have value in some situations. For example, if I ride close to a line of parked cars, someone trying to pull out from a side street may not see my bike-mounted lights until the last moment. But a helmet light has a much better chance, at least over the top of passenger cars. Similarly, in city traffic, someone approaching from the rear may not see my bike taillights, but my helmet is above the roofline of a passenger car. And of course the helmet light can be steered, and has vertical separation from the bike lights to provide a divergence cue that helps the observer determine range.

  15. #15
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    You cant be missed looks like something out of TRON. Awesome
    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    Since you are interested in efficiency + speed, might I suggest reflective tape?





    Those were taken with my phones flash, I expect it looks about the same in car headlights.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncoldbeer View Post
    You cant be missed looks like something out of TRON. Awesome
    True. But they show up in headlights about 0.5 to 1 second before you are directly in front, less if you are in the near lane. Just in time so they knew what they ran over. Sad but too true.

  17. #17
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    I've run these for a bit: SpokeLit LED Bike Light

    Went to my local Walmart and picked up a couple for a buck or two less than Niteize sells them for online.

    Relatively light, has both steady and flashing modes. The "Disc-O" model doesn't have a real steady mode, instead it slowly fades between several different colors....certainly eye catching. The gate security guards at my work commented they were pretty eye-catching.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

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