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  1. #1
    Life Is Short
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    Do you feel safer with reflective sidewalls?

    Been riding road and fireroads with the Maxxis Overdrive 700x38c tires.
    Though not an official "gravel tire", it does well off road. But I'm not worried about coyotes and mountain lions---its cars and trucks. (pic taken with a flash)

    The reflective sidewall though not a new idea has unfortunately given me a sense of false safety. Does it help when riding after dusk or do you think motorists really dont give a damn if they can see you a lil' better or not?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Do you feel safer with reflective sidewalls?-hjhjhjhjj.jpg  

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  2. #2
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    I think anything that improves visibility is worthwhile. The problem with reflective gear is that it's only effective when lights hit it. I use lights, reflective stuff, hi-vis colors and lane positioning to make myself hard to overlook.

  3. #3
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    Try some wheels lights for real hi viz, works well and gives the sense of bike wheel movement.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcat View Post
    The reflective sidewall though not a new idea has unfortunately given me a sense of false safety. Does it help when riding after dusk or do you think motorists really dont give a damn if they can see you a lil' better or not?
    My DIY videos of a much wider reflective tape on Deep Vee rims showed that all reflectors even wheel/rim tape shows up in a cross traffic vehicle's headlights about 20 feet or about 1 second before you are in front of that vehicle. There has to be a reflection back to the eye (or camera). Nothing beats side lighting for being seen. My older videos with headlights are no longer available on line, but this one is though it is of the bike going past my car placed at 90 degrees and the camera facing traffic coming from the right. You can see how fast the reflective stuff is "gone". It is best at showing drivers that they are about to hit a cyclist.


  5. #5
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    Any reflectivity is nice but spinning bright bits will attract the eye better. Schwalbe Kojaks have nice reflective labeling which I like.

    Also with reflective rim tape you don't need to limit yourself to certain tires. I used to put rim tape on half the wheel so it jumps out more.

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I am using Continental City ride tires on two of my bikes and they have the reflective sidewall. It helps with side visibility but do I feel safer? Nope. I would feel safer with a better cycling infrastructure but since that is not realistic, I am left having to light myself up like a Times Square billboard so that I am not hit by someone who cannot take responsibility behind the wheel of a vehicle and pay attention.

    This is just with a cellphone flash.

    Do you feel safer with reflective sidewalls?-tcglow1.jpg
    Last edited by TenSpeed; 10-14-2016 at 10:02 PM.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  7. #7
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    Same as everyone else I run them and it can't hurt but I don't feel significantly safer because of them. If it's dark enough to see anything reflective I'm running my lights.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    I have a reflective finish on my rims (Halo coating on Velocity Dyad rims). It helps, but I don't count on it anymore than any other reflective surface. I use a fair bit of reflective bits all over the bike, and this is just one. They work as a system alongside active lighting, bright colors, and predictable, defensive, observant riding.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I think anything that improves visibility is worthwhile. The problem with reflective gear is that it's only effective when lights hit it. I use lights, reflective stuff, hi-vis colors and lane positioning to make myself hard to overlook.
    Lights flashing forward and aft day or night, reflective bits and sidewalls. 3m conspicuity tape "flags" on several spokes, plus on my crankarms to be seen from front or rear to give that unmistakable "bicycle" motion.



    My winter jacket is pretty crazy too.

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  10. #10
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    Lights alone:



    Cell phone flash lighting up reflectors too:



    Lightweights on spokes, reflective and glow in the dark (when activated, not activated in these pictures) tape on the rims in quarters and halves to accentuate rotation and movement. No doubt they help, when close to identify me as a cyclist. I also have reflective clothing but anything above the handle bars only lights up in high beams. My side lighting on the helmet helps that. I can look at the driver and aim my helmet light that direction. Rude? Yes. Better than being maimed or killed? Definitely.

  11. #11
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    Do you feel safer with reflective sidewalls?-brightbike.jpg

    Crazy bright jacket - Endura Luminite II
    Continental Touring Plus Reflex Tires
    3M Consipcutity tape on frame, cranks, and attached as "flags" on several spokes.
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  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
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    I have one of those Endura Luminite jackets. Same hi-vis green. Works a treat, and seems to be particularly effective in foggy conditions.

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