Wireless turn signals?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wireless turn signals?

    I commute about 10 miles on weekdays, and do a couple of 15 mile rides on weekends, mostly urban to suburban roads. My strobing PDW taillight and Urban 650 headlight seem to get noticed well enough by motorists. But in the city, I suspect a lot of drivers think a right hand turn signal is just me waving at someone randomly.

    I'd like to get some kind of wireless (Bluetooth, I think they all are) turn signals for both front and back of my Pugsley, but all of the ones I've looked at seem to have pretty feeble reliability ratings.

    Does anyone use one of these? Recommendations?

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    I agree that the right turn signal with the left hand is confusing for most (thank our terrible driver's ed for that one). I use the alternate hand signal for that unless for some reason I can't use my right hand for a signal.



    With that in mind, I'm not sure that any sort of lighted turn signal on a bicycle is really all that beneficial because it's going to be so close to the centerline of the bicycle to be nearly indistinguishable from a rear blinkie that so many drivers are accustomed to (at least in concept). I think it's more useful to have brightly colored/reflective gloves so that hand signals are more visible. They get farther from the centerline of the bicycle and are more likely to be noticed. I don't see active lighting of gloves to be of much use, either (I know that's a product that's available). Gloves are just not a platform that's well-suited for mounting a quality lighting option that's truly visible in all conditions.

    Further, there are ALWAYS going to be people who don't care about a cyclist's hand signals. I got into the habit of signaling well before my need to turn, checking behind (either a shoulder check or using a mirror) to see what traffic behind is doing, and making my move when there's an opening. At least when I've been commuting, there are enough drivers who DO notice signals and are courteous about them that even in fairly heavy traffic, there's usually someone who will let me make my turn. Even when there are people who blatantly ignore my signal and drive right past it despite time/distance to let me through.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I agree with your assessment. I have seen a couple of signals that have a progressive line of amber LEDS that light up in sequence - those seem like a good idea. There was also a line of cycling gloves that someone was trying to get funded, which activated rear-facing LEDs when the rider's arm position changed - a good idea, but 'way too clunky, I think. I notice drivers seeing my headlight fine, and mostly responding in kind. But sitting in a left hand turning lane, it would be nice to have something blinking to indicate a turn, I think. These days, I see SO many distracted drivers, that it kind of makes me wonder how anyone can feel truly "safe" - and I grew up riding in NYC - never had a problem there. Just yesterday, 20 feet in fornt of me (I was in kind of a parking/breakdown lane on the far right) a driver in a big SUV plowed into a stack of 2 cars sitting waiting to make a left turn, as she obviously wasn't paying attention at all.

    I also do a shoulder check before proceeding, but somehow I think I need to do more.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    I just don't have confidence that any of that stuff is going to make any more of a difference. I think generally making yourself more visible and noticeable is far more important than anything that blinks indicating a turn.

    I recently moved to a city that intimidates the hell outta me from a bike commuting standpoint. Asheville, NC is not a very bike friendly place in general. Parts of the city are, but I technically live outside the city limits and the outskirts are far more intimidating. Part of it is a space issue. It's such a hilly city that anything that adds to the width of a road corridor becomes extremely expensive and adoption takes a long time, as such. Travel lanes are particularly narrow here in most places.

  5. #5
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    Here in Rochester, NY, when I was a poor student years ago, I had a trusty Peugeot AO-8 10-speed. When I used to take it out on the roads to go to the supermarket, f'rinstance, drivers would routinely throw their beer cans at me, come up behind me and lean on their horns, and even try to run me off the road for no reason at all. These days, there are a lot of bike lanes, and a lot of roads with sort of a parking/breakdown lane, which is generally unoccupied and good for cycling. People seem pretty observant and tolerant of cyclists, but drivers are SO much more distracted. Just this morning on an otherwise deserted suburban street, a guy in an SUV was backing out of his driveway, and didn't notice me at all. Texting - while in reverse, no less! Luckily, I had automatically checked to see if he was looking down (as opposed to out...) and when I saw that he wasn't paying attention, I just stopped and waited for him to look up when he shifted into drive. I don't think anything short of an air horn would've helped much...

  6. #6
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    The good news is that you can get an air horn for your bike...
    https://smile.amazon.com/Delta-Cycle...words=airzound

    Also, I just point where I'm going to turn, and since my arms don't have wires I guess I do have wireless turn signals.

  7. #7
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    In a busy location, I will do a few look behinds first, then point with arm and pointer finger extended. I let those in a hurry speed by, and occasionally a kind and attentive soul will clearly slow up or stop to let me in. If not I just wait for an opening to change lanes. Also, when turning left (in US) take the lane and move over 1 lane at a time if necessary; if you stay right you will get squeezed out and effectively have to cross more lanes. My other technique is to jump in front of a car that is stopped to turn into a business, they kind of throw a block for you; for example there is a Dunkin Donuts on the left a bit before I need to get into the left turn lane, and it can be a good place to move over and then take the lane.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I think it's more useful to have brightly colored/reflective gloves so that hand signals are more visible. They get farther from the centerline of the bicycle and are more likely to be noticed.

    Further, there are ALWAYS going to be people who don't care about a cyclist's hand signals. I got into the habit of signaling well before my need to turn, checking behind (either a shoulder check or using a mirror) to see what traffic behind is doing, and making my move when there's an opening. At least when I've been commuting, there are enough drivers who DO notice signals and are courteous about them that even in fairly heavy traffic, there's usually someone who will let me make my turn. Even when there are people who blatantly ignore my signal and drive right past it despite time/distance to let me through.
    I had a town cop pull alongside and ask if I was waving him to stop. Idiot was fired for some other dumba$$ thing a couple of weeks later! A few pecks short of a bushel, I'm afraid.

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