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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    400

    Reflectors - to keep or not to keep?

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    I'm fixing up my old bike that I've had since I was a teenager and I'm making it a commuter. It's still got the spoke reflectors and front and rear reflectors. My husband says they're dorky and I agree, but I do want to be as reflective as possible as the days get really short here and there's a good chance I'll be riding around at dusk or after dark. I'll be getting front and rear lights so I'm thinking the front and rear reflectors can go, but I'm wondering about the spoke reflectors. I have tires with reflective sidewalls, so I guess I don't really need the spoke reflectors, but I would think every little bit helps. So what do others do? Does the protection of the spoke reflectors override the dorkiness, or do they really not add value?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Keep all the reflectors you already have (including the front and rear) and add more, like reflective stickers on your helmet and/or fenders, and wear reflective clothing...

    Being a dork is GREAT compared to hearing "I didn't see her!" as your soul is escaping your body after being hit by a driver who could perhaps have caught a glimpse of you in time if you were more dorky and had more reflectors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    Keep all the reflectors you already have (including the front and rear) and add more, like reflective stickers on your helmet and/or fenders, and wear reflective clothing...

    Being a dork is GREAT compared to hearing "I didn't see her!" as your soul is escaping your body after being hit by a driver who could perhaps have caught a glimpse of you in time if you were more dorky and had more reflectors.
    +1!!! Visible nerd is good!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    I hate those big clunky plastic reflectors. I say ditch them. But replace them with reflective tape or whatever. I really like Lightweights for Wheels: http://www.lightweights.org/store/pr...1&cat=0&page=1. Easy to install, super-light, and they cover the entire wheel, not just a section.

    Check out your local auto parts store too. You can often get reflective tape there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,318

    ditch

    Another vote for ditching the reflectors..!!! Just be as visible as possible.

    I like the lightweights & need to get meself some!

    -1 for looking like a dork

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    864
    I am a vote for being as visible as possible! New reflectors or dorky reflectors!
    Slow and steady (like a train!)

    http://kacietri-ing.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    A friend of mine rides with Hokey Spokes and you can see her a mile away!

    Electra Townie 7D

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    My husband says reflectors are nerdy- on the regular roadies. We both have front, rear and spoke reflectors on our commuters. I also have some decorative reflective tape I got from my SS that I will eventually put on (I have been a bit lazy).
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    I agree that relectors are dorky and don't have them on my "good" road bike or my mountain bike.
    BUT.....
    I don't really care about the dork factor on my commuter and err on the side of "as much visibility as possible" with that bike. Reflectors are on that bike.
    If the bike is pretty much to be used as a dedicated commuter, and you intend to commute at dusk and after dark, I would say keep the reflectors ON ....
    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
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I, too, vote for keeping the reflectors. My commuter bike is totally "dorked out." Front and rear, spokes, and reflective tape wherever I could put it (on the cranks, around the hubs, on the rear seat stays, etc). It doesn't look too dorky in daylight, but at night I'm lit up like a Christmas tree. I always err on the side of being "too" seen if there's such a thing.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    119
    I'm actually of the opinion that all the reflector options look a bit dorky... including the lightweights. But will I use them? Absolutely!! And at least right now, my commuter bike and my cool road bike are one and the same. So, I'll just have to take the judgments when I zip around on my dorked out road bike.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,684
    Are you talking about those cheap rectangular plastic reflectors that span a few spokes and were on the bike in the shop? Trash them. I've seen the damage (and heard about more) when they slip and jam the rear wheel.

    Lots of reflectors are good but not the type that cause sudden and unexpected stoppage.

    Tape on your helmet can be applied tastefully and is up high where it shows.

    I have reflective sidewalls also and they're probably the best for visibility and for motorists to actually be able to identify the moving object as a bicycle.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there are probably better things these days than those old reflectors (reflective technology has come a long way recently).... why not get rid of them and put on something less dorky and more effective.

    The reflective side wall tires you put on are very good. I went out with a bunch of people last year and we tested various lights and reflectors. We did find that for the most part reflectors still rule - they are brighter and more noticeable than lights (in fact #1 best light up the night item...... dorky orange traffic triangle!).

    One light we did find quite good (and this was a surprise) was a tirefly - the kind that replaces your valve stem cap and blinks as it goes around. Hokey spokes sound more fun than plain old reflectors. How getting about getting really creative and using ultra reflective 3M "Diamond Grade" to make some reflective spoke cards. It comes in 4 or 5 colors and can be easily cut - in fact you can get precut reflective stickers right here on this web site. (though I'll bet most fixie riders would think it totally uncool ...)
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    153
    I'm in favour of anything that increases my chances of being visible to drivers when I head out for the early morning commute, dorky or not!

    In fact, I'm waiting for my order to come that is a whack of items to do just that - front light, rear light, the reflector things for the valves, a reflective triangle to put on my backpack, ankle strips, etc. etc. I suspect that by the time I get myself and my bike all decked out with those things, I'm going to bear a marked resemblance to a Christmas tree on wheels...

    But, I'd rather be a visible dork, than the alternative....

    Serendipity

    "So far, this is the oldest I've ever been....."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Eden- Do those Tireflys fit presta valves? I like those in a totally Fred Commuter way.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

 

 

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