Reflective PAINT?!?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reflective PAINT?!?

    Hey all. So ever since I purchased my first true commuter bicycle a few years ago, I have had this urge to paint the whole thing in reflective paint. I am well aware of reflective stickers, but was wondering if anyone had attempted to apply reflective paint themselves to a bicycle.

    I recently purchased a new bicycle for commuting, one that has the clearance for studded tires (welcome back to Wisconsin). And since I am riding at night much more during the winter, this urge to paint my bike in a reflective paint has resurfaced.

    So...Has anyone tried it? What did or didn't work? What paint did you use? I just read an article about Halo reflective powdercoating, which seems really intriguing, but wanted to see if there were any DIYers that had success with reflective paint.

    I did try doing a search of the forums here, so if I simply overlooked a thread concerning this topic, please direct me in the right way.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Do it Do it Do it! I want to see the results. If yours sucks I won't do it to mine.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    DIY all the way
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    Look up a company that makes road signs in your area.

    They would most likely sort you out for a six pack.

    That's how I sorted a similar case.

    Magura

  4. #4
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    In the spray paint department at you local hardware store. I have used the reflective spray enamel made by Rust-Oleum. If you just dust your bike with it you can't even see it at day but it has retro-reflective flakes in it that shine pretty good when the lights hit it at night.

  5. #5
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    I think you'll get much more reflective brightness from the sticker option. That's what they use to make road-signs.

    I know it's not quite as tidy.

    Keep us posted, I'm also interested in doing one of those two options.

    And there's always these guys:

    BikeWrappers - Like reflective clothing...but for your bicycle. - BikeWrappers - Like reflective clothing...but for your bicycle.

  6. #6
    Beastrider
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    I have Bike Wrappers on my Transport. They work GREAT even on cloudy days. Might want to give them a look.

  7. #7
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    These are interesting:

    <object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/feR8bKJYvpk&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&versi on=3"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/feR8bKJYvpk&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&versi on=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></embed></object>

    Reflective paint or tape needs light reflecting off it and back to a driver's eyes. I found that my reflectors did not show up in the headlight beams of right angle cross traffic until I am 1-2 seconds from being fully in front of the vehicle, based on a decent video setup. Too late IMHO.

    I wish they had even ridden one pass with minimal lighting for a comparison..

    You can see the problem when the light from the street lamp glints off the rear rim and other parts when the angle of incidence and refraction are just right. I don't think the bike has spoke reflectors, which would have been poor, but a good base line for comparison, In the still photo at the beach the spoke reflectors are barely giving any return, but the Bike Wrappers are very obvious. If reflective, the top and bottoms of the top tube one and the edges of the other two should look darker, and they don't.

    I wonder if they are chemiluminescent. But the implications are you can hide the reflective side in the day and reverse it for night riding, which would prevent light charging, unless the entire fabric is involved. If they actually glow as they seem to, wow.

    I wish they had a video with a minimal and a good light setup.

    Beastrider: Do you have other reflectors on the bike and lights to do a 1-10 rating at a distance? They cost enough, that I'd like a comparison before getting a set and posting video in the side visibility thread. They are 1/4 of a 3 layer powdercoat paint job. If the reverse side was 'Rusting POS' it might dissuade the casual bike thief, too!

    So how does this relate to the topic of paint? Paint has the same issue as reflectors. Some tapes have multiple angle output but you still need light to hit them and a vehicle's beams are only so wide sitting at a cross street. There is a paint with galss beads, but I heard it doesn't work in the rain. I would test a paint of interest on a tin can and place it to emulate a bike frame with respect to you as a pedestrian or motorist under different lighting situations to judge effectiveness before repainting a frame.

    Given how much my legs block the view to the triangle, the video surprised me then I realized he coasted by for maximum frame exposure! I wish he had kept a decent cadence. Cadence implies speed too, if a person can figure out that is what they are seeing.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Beastrider
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    These are interesting:


    So how does this relate to the topic of paint? Paint has the same issue as reflectors. Some tapes have multiple angle output but you still need light to hit them and a vehicle's beams are only so wide sitting at a cross street. There is a paint with galss beads, but I heard it doesn't work in the rain. I would test a paint of interest on a tin can and place it to emulate a bike frame with respect to you as a pedestrian or motorist under different lighting situations to judge effectiveness before repainting a frame.

    Given how much my legs block the view to the triangle, the video surprised me then I realized he coasted by for maximum frame exposure! I wish he had kept a decent cadence. Cadence implies speed too, if a person can figure out that is what they are seeing.

    Hope this helps.
    I have these on my ride. They work GREAT even on a cloudy day. As for the reversible aspect. Yes they are, and they are reflective on BOTH sides as well. They come off and go on easily which makes for simple cleaning.
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.. Ferris Bueller

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post

    I wish they had even ridden one pass with minimal lighting for a comparison..
    No kidding! It looks like they`re trying to convince people that riding with their wonderful product is the way to go. No sense mounting a bunch of stupid LIGHTS on your bike when you go out riding after midnight. Just a little reflecto stuff and look how bright you`ll be!
    Recalculating....

  10. #10
    Beastrider
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    No kidding! It looks like they`re trying to convince people that riding with their wonderful product is the way to go. No sense mounting a bunch of stupid LIGHTS on your bike when you go out riding after midnight. Just a little reflecto stuff and look how bright you`ll be!
    I use these and STILL have multiple lights. It's just another way of adding a LITTLE more notice-ability on the streets.
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.. Ferris Bueller

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am leaning mostly towards the Halo reflective powder coating, but that won't be until spring when the roads have cleared up. I am just now willing to ride my road bike or nice mountain bike through the salt and sand of Wisconsin roads.

    The stickers are an interesting idea, but I am riding a Trek (Fisher Collection) Sawyer for my winter commuter (single speed), and the frame has kind of curvy tubes, so I am not sure how well some stickers will lay on the frame.

    Plus I just think it would be very cool to completely paint the frame, just need some clear roads since that isn't an overnight project.

  12. #12
    Beastrider
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    Quote Originally Posted by addctd2adrnlne View Post
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am leaning mostly towards the Halo reflective powder coating, but that won't be until spring when the roads have cleared up. I am just now willing to ride my road bike or nice mountain bike through the salt and sand of Wisconsin roads.

    The stickers are an interesting idea, but I am riding a Trek (Fisher Collection) Sawyer for my winter commuter (single speed), and the frame has kind of curvy tubes, so I am not sure how well some stickers will lay on the frame.

    Plus I just think it would be very cool to completely paint the frame, just need some clear roads since that isn't an overnight project.
    I have found that, when putting stickers on "curvy" areas, that a hair dryer works great to give them some flexibility.
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.. Ferris Bueller

  13. #13
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    It looks like I need to spend some more money! I can sell the spouse on the safety.

    Be fun to see them in action on the street.

    admine: good luck on the paint job. Keep us posted. My other bike could use a repaint.

    BrianMc

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    It looks like I need to spend some more money! I can sell the spouse on the safety.

    Be fun to see them in action on the street.

    admine: good luck on the paint job. Keep us posted. My other bike could use a repaint.

    BrianMc
    The safety sell works, at least a little bit. That's how I pitched the Sawyer to my wife. Wouldn't want me falling and hurting myself since studded tires wouldn't fit on my Fisher Triton, at least not ones worth having. I mentioned that the new bike would be cheaper than a broken collar bone.

  15. #15
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    Anybody tried these reflective spray paints on fabric? Bike garments with reflective decals are at a premium and the reflective material eventually wears off in just a couple of months' laundry cycles. Might as well DIY my own reflective garments.

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