LEDs for my wheels?

Printable View

  • 03-01-2008
    MW
    LEDs for my wheels?
    Strange question, but does anyone here run some kind of small LED on their wheels when commuting at night?

    I've seen some LED valve-stem caps for cars, but a) they're Schrader-only, and b) they look like cheap plastic bits.

    I've also read about some amazing "Persistence of Vision" setups that are cool in a Burning Man sort of way . . . but don't seem very practical to run day-to-day.

    I'm really just looking for a wheel-reflector replacement that's inconspicuous during the day . . . but provides good side visibility at night.

    Any suggestions? Or is there a reason Planet Bike, Knog, etc. etc. haven't jumped all over this?

    --MW
  • 03-02-2008
    wheelbender6
    I am going to try the cheap valve stem lights, as I rarely have time to ride in he daylight. You can fit them to your presta valves with a couple of those shrader/presta adapters that you use on tire pumps. The frame lights on "fossilfool.com" look cool, but cost a hundred bucks or so.
  • 03-02-2008
    Psycho Mike
    Simple solution: get some 3M reflective tape and put a bit on the wheels or flags on a couple spokes. Weighs next to nothing, not noticeable during the day, reflects like crazy at night.
  • 03-02-2008
    ezrider
    I have some TireFlys
    I have some tireflys and they work quite well. I have commuted on them for a few years and they definitely improve visibility. The only time I had one break was when a friend was trying to make it activate and he snapped it off the stem. Now, I have a set made out of metal. I also used to take them off if I was locking up my bike, but it was worth it since cars really saw me. I also used reflectors on the wheels and wore a reflective vest. Better to look like a circus than a pot hole. The only thing about the tireflys is that they use a spring to activate a sensor, and the spring is set up for cars. So, when I bought them, I bent the spring to make them easier to activate. They also require adaptors for going from schrader to presta.
  • 03-02-2008
    Forrestf
    There are several brands that make tires with reflective sidewalls. They're a good way to get some more visibility without batteries or more stuff stuck to the bike.
  • 03-03-2008
    MW
    In the vein of "more is better" I also stumbled across Fun Reflectors. Can't get back to their website to save me, but managed to turn up an eBay hit (of all things).

    This is 3M reflective tape, cut into a variety of shapes and sizes. Interesting thing is that they come in black. Black 3M reflective material? Anyone used this?

    Ezrider: circus not pothole . . . agreed. :thumbsup:

    --MW
  • 03-03-2008
    Forrestf
    I have black reflective tape on a couple of my bikes. It's better than nothing but is is probably only half as reflective as amber or red reflective tape. Here's a pic in my garage with a flash.


    In this pic you can see how it glows in direct sun on the rear wheel but doesn't look nearly as flashy as brighter colors.


    The color that reflects is not nearly as noticeable as red or yellow. It does, however, give better visibility than no reflectors. I cover a larger area that I would with brighter colors so it should make up a bit for it's lower visibility.
  • 03-04-2008
    jeffscott
    Commutting is all about every day and reliable...

    Forget the wheel lights, get some reflective tape etc.

    For lights get a good flashing red rear light (LED), get a good emergency front light if you ride where there are street lights.

    Get an excellent front light if you ride where there are not street lights.

    Try to keep those available and working.
  • 03-04-2008
    zarr
    white tires
    Go to nashbar.com.key in search for number yt-239 and press enter.Or go into tires size 2.1 on 2nd pge.get some kenda k-130 26x2.125 white tires, put your reflective tape on,&you're in business.---zarr
  • 03-04-2008
    GeeTeeOhh
    I have both the reflective tape and the Tireflys. However, one of the tireflys only lights up after a good jarring. Hmmmm, might have to try and tweak the spring like mentioned before. I modified them by using a plastic epoxy anf fitting a presta valve cap into the schrader threads. they have not fallen off yet. Easy to remove for those daytime rides when not commuting.
  • 03-11-2008
    kcurrin
    I really like the 3M reflective tape. It's lightweight and easy to apply.
  • 03-11-2008
    crux
    1 Attachment(s)
    We placed little LEDs on the rotor tips of our helicopters for night flying