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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    254

    why remove wheel reflectors

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    Why do people say to remove the wheel reflectors? Is it aesthetics or for some aerodynamic reason?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Well, they do look a little lame on a fast bike, right? Also they're heavy, if you're concerned about weight. On low-spoke-count wheels, they can have a tendency to loosen up and slide around, making noise and generally causing distraction... If you're riding during the day, they aren't doing much good, and if you're riding at night, lights are mandatory anyway, so are the wheel reflectors really necessary, esp. given how bright good blinking tail-lights are, and the fact that you'll probably have additional blinkies/reflective clothing... (someone's going to disagree with this though).

  3. #3
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    Visibility from the side is what I worry about. So I have reflective sidewall tires and kept the spoke reflectors. Very visible from the side, and have more surface area than if I mounted side blinkies.

    (I was driving my car and saw a bike from the side that had reflective tires. That bike lit up in my headlights and was clearly a bike! Big round wheels glowing at me!)
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-08-2007 at 07:28 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    548
    The reflectors seemed to make my wheels wobble when I went fast down the hill, that's why I took mine off.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Pacific Northwest
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    I think it's largely a style issue.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    I actually like the idea of reflective tires. Probably not for regular roadbike since I don't ride it at night often, but I've seriously considered a pair for my commute bike and might spring for it this winter when it starts getting dark early. The side visibility issue is important. I just don't like those spoke reflectors ...

  7. #7
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    I have Vittoria Randonneurs: 28mm on my road bike and 32 mm on my utility bike. The reflective sidewalls were only $4 more than the regular sidewalls.

    I think the sidewalls say "BIKE" in your headlights better than the spoke reflectors, but I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of gal.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Chi-town
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    These things are the coolest:

    www.lightweights.org

    I have them on my spokes, my gloves, the back of my helmet, my panniers, my Timbuk2 bag...it's kind of like "bedazzling" for your bike!
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    Quote Originally Posted by farrellcollie View Post
    Why do people say to remove the wheel reflectors? Is it aesthetics or for some aerodynamic reason?
    It's really a personal style thing....sort of like removing the chain guard behind the cassette.

    I wouldn't (couldn't?) put reflectors on my road bike...but as with Liza's, it doesn't go out in the dark.
    My commuter has reflectors still, and reflective sidewall tires for the winter (not now).
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    1,063
    I'm a Fred. I left my reflectors on. 90+% of my rides are during the day, but....occassionally I'm out very eary in the morning or in rain and fog. Not dark, but not full daylight. On those occassions, having the reflectors gives me just a boost of visibility.

    However, since seeing the reflective sidewall tires (thanks TE for expanding my knowledge!), my next tires will be the reflective variety and I'll probably un-Fred myself of the wheel reflectors. But, not the rack, the rack reflector, the handlebar bag, the dork disk.....sigh....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lise View Post
    These things are the coolest:

    www.lightweights.org

    I have them on my spokes, my gloves, the back of my helmet, my panniers, my Timbuk2 bag...it's kind of like "bedazzling" for your bike!
    Ooooh! They also have black reflective tape! How cool is that!?! I could put it all over my black bike, and still be reflective! Thanks for the link, Lise!!!

    We have enough gloomy weather here that I feel better loaded up with bright color and reflectors. (I just ordered a roll of 3M Scotchlite from TE http://www.teamestrogen.com/products.asp?pID=1982 )
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-09-2007 at 05:10 AM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  12. #12
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    Are you asking about those cheap clear plastic things on the spokes (about 2 x 4 inches)? Quite often they are there only for legal purposes. I've seen them loosen, get out of place and jam the wheel. Not a pretty picture. I've seen the plastic seatpost-mounted rearfacing type drop down, jam a wheel and cause an endo on a mtb.

    I'm all for using reflective stuff on the bike at night, but use reflective tires when you can and replace the cheap stuff with quality accessories and check the bolts often.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lise View Post
    These things are the coolest:

    www.lightweights.org
    Are all the products tape? It's hard to see in the photos. Have you tried the elastic version on your clothing? Does it go through the wash?

    That's cool stuff.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    Lise, what do they look like in the day light?
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Chi-town
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby View Post
    Lise, what do they look like in the day light?
    On the wheels, they're virtually invisible during the day. Otherwise, they look like silver patches on my purse, panniers, etc. The spoke stickers are rectangular; you wrap them around each spoke. The clothing ones are oval or round, in a variety of sizes. I made a pleasing display of oval shapes on purse and panniers. I put one shiny oval on the back of each glove, and when I signal, I hold my hand perpendicular to the ground so cars behind me can see me sticking out my hand for a turn.

    I tell you, these things rock. I recently realized that you can make them stick even better by using an iron on low; the clothing ones come with instructions which I didn't bother to read at first! Of course. I haven't gotten out the iron yet, but will do so soon. No ironing for the spokes
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

 

 

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