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  1. #1
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    Lights for Road use: enhancing road visibility

    Hi Folks. This subject has been discussed before but has been buried in the back log of threads. Rather than dig up the old thread I thought it would be a good idea to start a new one dedicated to " Enhanced Road Visibility". This can include front lights, rear lights, side lights, reflective clothing or reflective material on the bike. Feel free to add any idea that would enhance visibility for road riding at night.

    I'm really trying to get people to communicate their ideas on "What works best on the road" and "What makes the most sense" when riding on the road at night. However if you have an idea that will make day time road riding safer please feel free to comment.

    If you can contribute photos ( or videos ) of your set-up that would be a Super Plus!
    I will do so myself once I get the stuff I expect to get for Christmas.

    In the mean time I'll get the ball rolling:
    The other day as I was driving through downtown Baltimore ( at night ) I noticed a cyclist that was riding along in the mist of the heavy traffic. I couldn't help noticing him actually because he had a very good set-up. What I took notice of was two rear red lights ( one on the seat post and one on the outer chain stay ) and two bright front lights ( one on the bars and one on a fork leg ). He also was using the wide reflective tape on a jacket that was also very noticeable. As I passed him I marveled at how well I was able to see him.

    I was so impressed that I decided to pull off the road just ahead of him so I could see what he looked like coming down the road from the front. To my surprise I almost couldn't pick him out in all the on-coming traffic. When he got a couple hundred feet away I finally did see him. Wow, even with two front ( steady ) bright lights it was hard to pick him out in the array of on-coming car headlights ( and I was looking for him! )

    This has caused me to reflect. While the two front lamps ( spaced widely apart ) enhanced his visibility, his lamps still didn't stand out enough from all the lights that were around him. This got me thinking on how I could change that. The answer to me was clear. Make one of the lights a strobe or flash. Since cars or trucks don't use front strobes this should make one really stand out in heavy traffic to cars that are either approaching or coming out of a side street or parking lot.

    Since I have lots of lights that strobe I have been experimenting with this concept. I've mounted my mini-strobe ( Axiom ) on a lower fork leg. I am really impressed at how much more visible this set-up is. Before I use to mount the mini next to my main light and for the most part it was drowned out by the output of the bright main lamp. Having the mini mounted on the fork really makes the bike stand out. Now all I have to do is find a mini light ( red ) that is adjustable and will mount on the rear chain stay. I'll have to check to see what the LBS's have. ( suggestions from others are welcome )

  2. #2
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    Update: so here's a brief clip showing some side visibility options:



    From rear to front, the lights are a NiteRider Solas clipped to the rear of the trunk bag, a Sunlite HL-515 amber blinkie on the side of the trunk bag, a Cygolite Hotshot on the seatpost, a BikeBrightz amber LED blinkie-bar under the top tube facing downwards, and Trek Beacon bar-tip lights.

    The video also faintly shows the reflective items, which were being illuminated by my 2-lumen helmet light that I use just to read my Garmin with. Here is a still pic with a little more light:



    Reflective stuff includes 3M Diamond Grade red reflective tape on the rear of the trunk bag, Reflexite V82 all over the frame's main triangle, iron-on tape on the reflective vest and rear of panniers, and stock reflective stripes on the sides of the bags.





    If the rider had reflective material facing forward, it would've been illuminated by your headlights if your vehicle were facing him. It sounds like that wasn't the case, since you pulled over after passing him. But it highlights a problem with reflective stuff too: if someone's lights are not turned on, or not aimed at you, then it comes down to your lights alone. I've seen plenty of motorists driving with their lights off by mistake (pulling out of a well-lit parking lot, for example). Or they just leave them until way too late as it gets dark out.

    Trying to stand out against a backdrop of auto headlights is definitely difficult, and differentiating yourself with a front strobe is one approach (not always technically street-legal, though). A helmet light is another possibility, since it moves when you look around and sends the "not-car" signal. And a helmet light has a chance of showing over the top of parked cars.

    Some vigorous swerving can also help people pick you out before they pull out into your path, or turn across your path... I use that tactic often. It works even better with both a bar and helmet light... swerve the bars left/right with an opposite motion of your head. Trippy

    Some of the side lights I've used: Fibre Flare (amber fiber-optic rod), BikeBrightz lightbar (amber LED lightbar), Sunlite HL-515 (amber LED blinkie). All these run on AAAs so you can use rechargeables for long-term economy. Currently I just have one HL-515 clipped to each side of my trunk bag, they're very inexpensive.

    For flat-bar bikes, the Trek/Bontrager Beacon bar-tip lights come in a flat-bar configuration with two LEDs aimed rearwards, but they're also visible from the sides, so they qualify as a double-duty light. They give you visible width from the rear, too, which may get you some extra passing clearance and provide a divergence cue to help gauge your distance. They gobble batteries very fast, but fortunately they take AAAs so you can feed them NiMH rechargeables (one per side).

    I'll post some pics of my current setup when I get a chance. It's getting upgraded with a Shimano dynohub this weekend, so it'll have a B&M Cyo N as the baseline headlight (great for my dark highway training) with my DiNotte 1200+ as the vicious "dim your damn headlights THANK YOU" high-beam (and city be-seen headlght), and probably one of my S-Mini flashlights on the helmet as a deer spotter.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The answer to me was clear. Make one of the lights a strobe or flash.
    A front flash is illegal in Sweden, and AFAIK in the rest of Europe too.
    A rear flash is legal, if the frequency is high enough

    Reflective clothing is great, IMHO.
    Here in Sweden a lot of riders use reflecitive vests and in other european countries they are mandatory.
    That is the reason behind Mavics Vision series

    Veste VisionÂ*: La visibilitĂ© du cycliste par Mavic
    The Vision series also include vests, jerseys, arm warmers and gloves
    http://www.mavic.com/en/search/google_cse_adv/vision

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HakanC View Post
    A front flash is illegal in Sweden, and AFAIK in the rest of Europe too.
    A rear flash is legal, if the frequency is high enough

    ]
    Wow, that is strange. I've never heard that before. I suppose you could get around that law if you could find someone that markets a "Pulsating Light". Since a pulsating light technically doesn't turn off ( just goes from high to low in analog fashion ) it is technically not flashing just varying in intensity. Still, the effect would be almost the same as it would help draw attention. I have a rear light with an adjustable pulsating setting. It can pulsate fast or slow depending on what you want. If you can find something like that in a white light you should be fine.

    Another product that could be useful for the Euro folk ( if it exists ) would be a light stick with an internal moving LED. Once again, not flashing but if the light moves back and forth fast enough it would draw attention.

    Anyway, sad that someone would create laws that would jeopardize the safety of a cyclist by omitting a potential safety device but hey, what are you going to do? Heck, if it was me I'd just use a flasher and let the cards fall were they may. Us Americans...we be brave folk.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-07-2012 at 06:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    I see more of these higher power lights on bicycle out on the street. To me, they are just "plain Jane" without anything special worth noting. In my mindset, I see the light and thinking just another bicyclist and keep going. To be honest, I feel like I get much more respect from drivers, and pedestrian if my light setup is more unique, weird, strange, or odd.

    My setup at the back consist of two Magicshine tail light each pointed slightly outward and not straight back. I also have a Cygo Hotshot pointed straight back. In the front of the bike, I have two Gemini Xera under each drop set at low power and in blink mode. In the center of the bar is my 4 x XML which I run in low mode. Running one steady and two on blink while all in the low mode helps keeps the glare down. I also run a BR Speed II on my helmet (set on low power). Folks who looks right at the front of my bike swear that a train is coming right at them. That's funny because I work near a train track and co-workers think that the train has derailed and heading right at them. The separation distant of the my two Xera blinking gives me some definiation making me appear much larger than I really am. I had cars waiting for me from at intersection although they still have plenty of time to cross and making me pedal faster in the process. There were several occassion where I had pedestrian stopped walking and look at me until I passed them just so they can see what the heck was coming toward them. I hate to say it, a weird or odd setup can draw lots of attention but it can get to be a hassle at times. I recall one time where a city LEO from the otherside of the street made a U turn then follow me from behind for several seconds before speeding up and passing. I know my rear light setup might get me in trouble with the LEO because the flashing is a little much like a emergency flashing pattern, but so far I have yet to get pull over. I do sometimes turn off the center Hotshot or keep that on the steady mode if I am commuting pass the Police Station depending on which route I choose. It doesn't matter as long as my light setup keeps me alive, I am one happy commuter.

    Here is a sample video of my front light setup, bear in mind that there is some video noise from the PWM of the lights:
    roadie commuter bike front light blinkies - YouTube

    Here is a sample of the rear lights:
    roadie commuter bike rear blinkie - YouTube


    Photo of the front:
    http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...p/IMG_0293.jpg

    Photo of the rear straight view:
    http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...p/IMG_0291.jpg

    Photo of the rear from top showing the mounting angle:
    http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/...p/IMG_0295.jpg

  6. #6
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    This is a great thread Cat-man-do!

    I will keep an eye on this as I've just begun riding in the road too with my MTB. So far, i have the typical cheap chinese 5 leds lights on the rear and one MJ clone in the front with an angle lens. I have another small silicon 2 leds light i need to put on the helmet - one white 2 leds flashing in the front + another one with 2 red leds flashing in the back; not flashing like crazy as i hate those and it distracts the driver, but still flashing.

    colleen c, that setup is super. I can imagine all of those lights in maximum eheh

    Will post pictures soon too.

    Also, i now need a simple and lightweight cheap waterproof jacket and i'm searching for the perfect one: cheap (bellow 40 or 50$), waterproof, reflective, foldable and light. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated. The one HakanC posted looks perfect, but too expensive. It is easy to find many like that one in that price range, but pretty hard to find one in the sub 50$ range.

    Will keep an eye on this for sure!

    Oh, btw, in the past couple of months, i've been watching this:
    revolights. join the revolution. by Kent, Adam & Jim — Kickstarter
    and
    (my favourite)Nori Lights - Bicycle Illumination System by Chris Flynn — Kickstarter
    Last edited by PedroDank; 12-07-2012 at 10:28 AM.

  7. #7
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    Good topic. I've just recenly gotten into night riding (have a gemini titan bar mount w/an ultrafire 501b torch on the helmet thanks to catmando's advice) and I just recently took my first night road ride. I thought I had some sufficient planet bike small lights (namely tail/rear), but when I got off my bike, I could hardly see it...got me a little sketchy actually. So I immediately ordered some larger Planet Bike Blinky "3" 3-Led Rear Bicycle Lights for my fiance and me. With that said, I don't necessarily ride near traffic all that much living in the front range of Colorado, but having a hard time seeing my tail light, while I was right next to it, had me concerned. The bigger the better I guess.
    It's not how old I am, it's how old I feel - Minor Threat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ...I was so impressed that I decided to pull off the road just ahead of him so I could see what he looked like coming down the road from the front. To my surprise I almost couldn't pick him out in all the on-coming traffic. When he got a couple hundred feet away I finally did see him. Wow, even with two front ( steady ) bright lights it was hard to pick him out in the array of on-coming car headlights ( and I was looking for him! )

    This has caused me to reflect. While the two front lamps ( spaced widely apart ) enhanced his visibility, his lamps still didn't stand out enough from all the lights that were around him. This got me thinking on how I could change that. The answer to me was clear. Make one of the lights a strobe or flash. Since cars or trucks don't use front strobes this should make one really stand out in heavy traffic to cars that are either approaching or coming out of a side street or parking lot.....
    This is why I ride with two lights up front: a bright floody light on the bars for general visibility, and a narrow beam light with lots of throw on my helmet that I use to point and shoot at motorists that fail to see my other light. It works every time.

    After sunrise in the morning while it's still a little dim, I might put the helmet light on strobe to make me stand out more, but I would never use the same light in strobe after dark. I find it's too bright and distracting, it messes with my night vision, and the reflection of the strobing light off the road, signs, and other surfaces triggers an instinct in motorists to reach for the brake pedal when their lizzard brain tells them: "Cops!".

  9. #9
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    I subscribe to the "weird/unusual/outstanding" school of thought. I use color filters during the day on my DS-1300. The florescent yellow (shown here on an empty housing) is very "odd" looking, and not a color that you normally see. I'm also having some amber and florescent green made to see what they look like. Nice thing is if you get caught out as day turns into night, just remove the lens cover and keep going with the normal white.

    Great thread Cat...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    ... To be honest, I feel like I get much more respect from drivers, and pedestrian if my light setup is more unique, weird, strange, or odd.

    ... I had cars waiting for me from at intersection although they still have plenty of time to cross and making me pedal faster in the process. ...... I hate to say it, a weird or odd setup can draw lots of attention but it can get to be a hassle at times.... ]
    I'm laughing because I get the same reaction ( and what you said is so true.. )
    I've seen cars sitting at a intersection get a green light and just sit there waiting for me to go by. For me it was the rimfires that made a big difference.

    In the mean time I am considering a couple different strategies to enhance front and rear visibility. One of things I've done to enhance visibility riding during the day was to add a 501B torch under my seat that uses an amber lens. With an approx. 500-600 lumen output set on SOS it is pretty awesome. I've used it at night a couple times too when on a really fast and busy road with no shoulder. Hey, you do what you got to do to protect yourself. Some of these things might seem geeky but they work.

    Just the other day I was driving through the University of Maryland campus at night and noticed a bike setting ( well off the road ) in a bike rack that had those Lightweight reflectors on all the spokes. Goodness but those things work GREAT! Since then I've seen other people using them and I'm telling you these things are SUPER VISIBLE. Yeah, there is the geek factor to consider but I'd rather be a living geek than a dead cool person. If you're living in the boonies you likely don't need all this stuff but at least it's nice to know you have options if you think people aren't noticing you when you ride on the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDank View Post
    Also, i now need a simple and lightweight cheap waterproof jacket and i'm searching for the perfect one: cheap (bellow 40 or 50$), waterproof, reflective, foldable and light. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated. The one HakanC posted looks perfect, but too expensive. It is easy to find many like that one in that price range, but pretty hard to find one in the sub 50$ range.
    The O2 rain jacket meets most of your criteria. It's about $35 shipped on Ebay, permanently waterproof and windproof (other than the zipper), very lightweight, can be stuffed down to fit in a jersey pocket if you work at it, and is a medium yellow color (not fluorsescent yellow, unfortunately).

    Its shortcomings: it's not super-tough against ripping, it has no reflective material, and iron-on reflective material cannot adhere to it (I tried). However, you can adhere thin vehicular reflective tape to it in small pieces, such as less than 1cm wide and perhaps 6cm long. For this purpose, I can recommend Reflexite V82 or V92, or other very thin prismatic tape. For U.S. residents, you can buy Reflexite tape from night-gear.com, or Fred Meyer carries Peterson Manufacturing DOT Class II in the automotive section in an 18" flat-pack.

    My Movie (10) - YouTube

    ^ This video is a little outdated, but it's one typical mechBgon riding environment: a dark highway. The bike and equipment has changed a bit, but the general theme is to add reflective tape to the panniers, jacket sleeves, reflective vest and helmet, then use a "big-gun" taillight with some supplemental taillights. The reflective stuff shows up too late to give adequate warning at 60mph / 100kph, particularly when it's icy, but by then I've been "on the radar" for quite a while thanks to the taillights.

    On a practical note, if your bike has panniers and/or a trunk bag made of fabric, you can iron reflective tape onto them, Ebay is a good source of iron-on reflective tape. Or if you're good at sewing, you can stitch some on.

  12. #12
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    Mech, Nice video. One of the best commuting set-ups
    I've ever seen. Where I live you can't ride on roads over 50
    Mph unless posted.

    *Edit*...You have to pause the video just as you pass to see the full set-up. Looks like you have reflective tape on almost everything. Interesting to note that as you get down the road farther the tail lights on the cars passing you diminish into little specks but your rear lights are still brightly visible ( even as you begin to bear to the left around the slight turn )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 12-08-2012 at 08:45 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Mech, Nice video. One of the best commuting set-ups
    I've ever seen. Where I live you can't ride on roads over 50
    Mph unless posted.

    *Edit*...You have to pause the video just as you pass to see the full set-up. Looks like you have reflective tape on almost everything. Interesting to note that as you get down the road farther the tail lights on the cars passing you diminish into little specks but your rear lights are still brightly visible ( even as you begin to bear to the left around the slight turn )
    Thanks. For the video, I had a ~300-lumen flashlight next to the camera to illuminate the reflective gear, so I could study the overall effect, but the lights are essential.

    Where do you live that they have those restrictions (not riding on >50mph roads)? If there's not enough room, I could see it being a hazard to everyone involved if traffic's heavy enough to have a lot of "three's a crowd" passing situations. In my case, the divided highway has a massive shoulder and the secondary highways have lighter traffic and generally adequate sight distances.

    The biggest danger zone on the highway in the video is highway exits, where people may be taking an exit lane at >45mph / 70kph while I'm trying to cross the exit and continue down the highway. Or when I'm trying to reach the center turn lane to exit on the far side of the highway, while being overtaken by cars at 3x my speed. In those cases, the sooner they notice me from long range, the better. Especially on ice: Winter bicycle commuting - YouTube
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post

    Where do you live that they have those restrictions (not riding on >50mph roads)? If there's not enough room, I could see it being a hazard to everyone involved if traffic's heavy enough to have a lot of "three's a crowd" passing situations. In my case, the divided highway has a massive shoulder and the secondary highways have lighter traffic and generally adequate sight distances.

    The biggest danger zone on the highway in the video is highway exits, where people may be taking an exit lane at >45mph / 70kph while I'm trying to cross the exit and continue down the highway. Or when I'm trying to reach the center turn lane to exit on the far side of the highway, while being overtaken by cars at 3x my speed. In those cases, the sooner they notice me from long range, the better. Especially on ice: Winter bicycle commuting - YouTube
    I live in the state of Maryland. i perhaps should have been more definitive. I don't think Maryland allows cyclist on their 4-lane highways that have speeds 55mph or greater ( unless posted ). I have seen signs on some 4-laners permitting bicycle passage along the more rural remote sections. The only exception to this rule that I'm aware of is when you have a permit from a sitting judge allowing you to ride a particular section of highway ( for those who lost their Drivers license via a DUI ) Most interstates in my state are patrolled by the State Police. Clearly no one cycles those. On the other hand the more rural 2-lane highways ( generally 55mph ) are fair game.

    Yes, approaching exits on any road that has an exit lane or ramp is a real danger zone. On roads that have those I won't even cross those lanes until I'm sure there is no approaching traffic. In places like that having the brightest rear strobe available really helps but if someone driving a car has a truck, van or vehicle with darkened windows in front of them ( and they are tailgating ) they still might not be aware of your presence till they peek the nose of their car around the edge of the vehicle in front of them. By that time it could be too late. Yep, intersections with off ramps and heavy traffic are where you have multiply bogey's just waiting to take you out.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    The O2 rain jacket meets most of your criteria. It's about $35 shipped on Ebay, permanently waterproof and windproof (other than the zipper), very lightweight, can be stuffed down to fit in a jersey pocket if you work at it, and is a medium yellow color (not fluorsescent yellow, unfortunately).

    Its shortcomings: it's not super-tough against ripping, it has no reflective material, and iron-on reflective material cannot adhere to it (I tried). However, you can adhere thin vehicular reflective tape to it in small pieces, such as less than 1cm wide and perhaps 6cm long. For this purpose, I can recommend Reflexite V82 or V92, or other very thin prismatic tape. For U.S. residents, you can buy Reflexite tape from night-gear.com, or Fred Meyer carries Peterson Manufacturing DOT Class II in the automotive section in an 18" flat-pack.
    Thanks for your input mech. I am seeing it right now on amazon. Is it really breathable? I am a bit redundant as it looks like many other rubberized jackets, but after reading some reviews, i think it might be worth the shot... I found a few which seemed to be rubberized and others that do not. It is around 35$ indeed, so it might be worth the shot.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by PedroDank; 12-08-2012 at 09:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDank View Post
    Thanks for your input mech. I am seeing it right now on amazon. Is it really breathable? I am a bit redundant as it looks like many other rubberized jackets, but after reading some reviews, i think it might be worth the shot... I found a few which seemed to be rubberized and others that do not. It is around 35$ indeed, so it might be worth the shot.

    Thank you.
    It's not super-breathable. But I'd say it's not any worse than the various allegedly-breathable materials I've tried. The inside is flocked and not unpleasant on your skin. If I could change any aspects of the design, the first two things I would do is (1) de-elastic the wrists, so air can flow up the sleeve, and (2) add some armpit or across-the-back exhaust vents. But regardless, it's on my "essentials" list when I go on a training ride in the winter. If I'm doing hill repeats, I'll stop at the top and throw it on for wind protection going back down, then whip it off and cram it back into my trunk bag.

    I suppose you could get around that law if you could find someone that markets a "Pulsating Light". Since a pulsating light technically doesn't turn off ( just goes from high to low in analog fashion ) it is technically not flashing just varying in intensity. Still, the effect would be almost the same as it would help draw attention.
    DiNotte has a couple flashing modes on their headlights and taillights that work that way (single-flash and 5-flash), and Cygolite now has some too (badged "Steadypulse"). I've heard that peripheral vision is good at picking up flickering/strobing lights, so I can believe it would help draw the viewer's attention. And not just motorists either... ever had a pedestrian step into your path because they didn't hear a car and didn't look for a bike?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post

    ...DiNotte has a couple flashing modes on their headlights and taillights that work that way (single-flash and 5-flash), and Cygolite now has some too (badged "Steadypulse"). I've heard that peripheral vision is good at picking up flickering/strobing lights, so I can believe it would help draw the viewer's attention. And not just motorists either... ever had a pedestrian step into your path because they didn't hear a car and didn't look for a bike?
    Right now I'm mounting my mini 4-led Axiom light down on my lower fork leg and using it on "flicker mode" and aiming it up at a 20° angle. This helps most of the light go upward. This is helpful because as someone else has noted if you use a flash or strobe on the bars ( full time ) it can be disorienting to the rider if the flash is visible on the road surface. I have yet to test on the road yet but from what I can see inside my house the flicker from the mini is barely perceptible ( to the rider ) if you use it with the high-rate flicker mode and a normal lamp on the bars.

    Just to let you know I took a look at the O2 jacket as well. Not a bad deal for a basic waterproof shell. Looking on the O2 website I like the upgraded version better because it has the pit-zipps, pockets, reflective piping ...etc.. It does cost more for the extras though. Red ledge also makes some interesting products as well for a little more money.

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    Updated my first post with a video clip and a pic showing some side reflectivity/lighting options.

    Also from tonight's 29-mile ride:


    Welcome to Mordor, please enjoy your stay

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    Shine On!

    My lighting system is the Schmidt New Son 28 dynamo hub paired with a Supernova E3 Pro LED headlight (symmetrical beam pattern type) mounted at the fork crown. I am 100% pleased with its performance and negligible drag, plus the operational freedom it offers! I no longer run a dyno taillight however, without any flashing modes it wasn't conspicuous enough so it's been replaced with a Light & Motion Vista 180.

    On-bike passive illumination comes from the HED C2 Belgium rims' large reflectorized logos (nice feature!) and maybe those shiny Honjo hammertone fenders eh?

    I've attached pieces of 3M orange reflective tape to my helmet's backside, and the Sidi shoes have bright white reflector panels too. Recent additions are Pearl Izumi gloves with reflective patches, and a Castelli Gabba LS jersey with full-width white reflector stripe across the lower back.

    Nightriding has an eerie beauty all its own! A couple of personal highlights are having an owl parallel me, gliding along about ten feet from my handlebar and seeing that gigantic green meteorite over Northern California a couple months ago.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Updated my first post with a video clip and a pic showing some side reflectivity/lighting options.

    Also from tonight's 29-mile ride:
    Nope. Try as I might I can't figure out what I'm looking at. Just a bunch of red dots...(?!)..
    The video was interesting though. Your triangle looks like it glows.

    I've been playing around with the idea of putting some reflective stuff on my bike frame but so far have held off. I really don't need it as long as I'm using the rimfires. Still the other night I had an idea. The company "Lightweights" sells black tape that reflects "white" called stealth tape. Since the frame on my road setup is dark charcoal grey I was thinking I could buy some and put some thin strips along my main triangle and along the fork and stays. During the day it would be almost invisible but at night it would shine on. Only one problem. Damn stuff is expensive, $15 for 100 inches. I figure I might need at least 300 inches to cover both sides of the bike. The next size up is 400 inches ( $45 ) I'll think about it.

    Tonight I got lucky and found my Cygolite Hotshot. Strange how small stuff can get misplaced. Took about two weeks but I knew it would show up. Last year it was a nice torch I just bought. That disappeared and I pretty much gave up on it. Turns out it showed up a couple weeks ago ( almost an entire year later ) in an old coat I must of threw on one night to take the trash out. ...hate it when stuff like that happens. ( ** Not to be confused with "Trail Gnomes" who like to steal your bike stuff and then toss it on a trail. )

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    Nope. Try as I might I can't figure out what I'm looking at. Just a bunch of red dots...(?!)..
    Well, the main idea is it's got some active lighting that's visible from the side. You may have noticed that many headlights have the lens recessed into a bezel, and actually aren't visible from a side view... my other riding environment is main-drag city arterials where being merged into is a legitimate hazard, so side lighting is useful there.

    The company "Lightweights" sells black tape that reflects "white" called stealth tape.
    They're undoubtedly reselling another company's tape, so if you want the black stealth tape, look on Ebay for 3M Scotchlite 680 black tape, $5 for 10 feet of 1/2" wide. Be aware that the reflectivity of black reflective tape is very low compared to the high-performance stuff... where silver Reflexite V82 or 3M Diamond Grade would score around 1000 for reflectivity, the "stealth" tape is down there at 30. Better than nothing, of course. Tangentially, avoid 3M Diamond Grade for frame use, because it's very thick and will try to peel itself off. And guess how I know that

    My bike is silver already, so I'm lucky... silver Reflexite qualifies as "stealth" tape on my bike, it blends in great I would've done the rear triangle but I ran out.

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    Great tips on the reflective tape. Will get some myself for sure. A few to get into my long jersey and some other to bike's frame. My bike is white, so i guess i will use the silver one.

    Infinity123, i would like to se a rider coming towards me with that

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    Crankskins has a new line of reflective crank skins that are reflective REFLECTIVE PRODUCTS I have the carbon looking ones on my road bike as well as the rim stickers.
    James
    "My mountain bike needs a new motor; the current one is fat and lazy."

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    I also made a set of wheel lights. These things show up with out any external light sorce.
    James
    "My mountain bike needs a new motor; the current one is fat and lazy."

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