Wheel reflectors



Caden

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Jun 30, 2006
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This is either a simple question or will ignite a firestorm like the helmet issue.. Should I remove the wheel reflectors on my bike (Trek 1500)? I figure it can only reduce rotational weight, although not by much probably. I *do* ride at night during the dark season but I've always wondered whether the wheel reflectors mattered nearly as much as the front light and rear reflector or flashy.
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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As they are easy to remove with a small coin, just keep them on for the Winter. Being seen is most important in low light conditions.
 

geoffs

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Sep 8, 2003
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Caden said:
This is either a simple question or will ignite a firestorm like the helmet issue.. Should I remove the wheel reflectors on my bike (Trek 1500)? I figure it can only reduce rotational weight, although not by much probably. I *do* ride at night during the dark season but I've always wondered whether the wheel reflectors mattered nearly as much as the front light and rear reflector or flashy.

If you are worried about being seen get some 3m stick-on reflective tape, use lights and wear clothing with reflective strips etc in low light conditions.
Ditch the wheel reflectors. I've seen these fly off at high speed. Fortunately no-one was hit but they scared the **** out of me and the cyclist that had them on.

Cheers

Geoff
 

dabac

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Sep 16, 2003
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Caden said:
. Should I remove the wheel reflectors on my bike (Trek 1500)? I *do* ride at night during the dark season but I've always wondered whether the wheel reflectors mattered nearly as much as the front light and rear reflector or flashy.

From the rear or front aspect wheel reflectors doesn't do much for your visibility. But they really make you stand out for crossing traffic while passing an intersection or similar. The rotation makes for a quite unique characteristic. I've switched to a smaller model because I could actually feel the imbalance they added at high speed descent and secured them with cable ties.
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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There are far better options for being seen as have been previously discussed. The wheel reflectors are a result of manufacturers being pressured by lawyers much like the admonishments on batteries that state "do not eat".
 

helmutRoole2

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Jul 7, 2006
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People, when they're getting hit by cars -- and I don't have any stats on this, just speculation -- they're getting drilled from behind. Wheel reflectors likely only help if you're crossing an intersection and by then I'm thinking maybe it's too late. But, check these out: http://www.tireflysonline.com/

Their stuff seems to work well and you can see them from the side and behind.
 

dgregory57

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Jul 11, 2005
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I have slowed at least twice in the past year when aproaching an intersection because I saw the very obvious sight of wheel reflectors.

The first time is when I decided to never remove them again. I have not gone and replaced them on my bikes, but I definitely won't remove them, and will be putting them on my bikes as well.

They only have to work once in your entire life to make up for any inconvenience involved with leaving them there...

However, if you use an even better alternative, then of course, go for it. In my opinion better would include being at least as visible, and never needing any attention other than would happen during normal cleaning. (i.e. no batteries to go dead etc)
 

helmutRoole2

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Jul 7, 2006
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There's also a set of lights out there that uses a magnet attached to the spoke that sets off a light attached to the wheel axle. The light part sticks out like a QR. I'd have to google them. They're very nice. I've got a set on my cruiser and they are bright and continuously flashing.
 

reelbf

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May 29, 2005
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I take them the reflectors off because they get dirty and I also think they look goofy OK thats the REAL reason. I prefer to use a high visability jacket when riding at night or twilight and I also use cateyes TL1000 rear light which has 2 v. bright LEDs facing sideways. This way I can easily remove the lights and the vest when its a bright sunny day.
 

Windbreaker

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Mar 12, 2006
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One thing to consider is what would happen if, God forbid, you do get hit. In Maryland, reflectors are required all 'round the bike (front, rear, and wheels). Being in complete accordance with the law can only help me in any trial.
 

kleng

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Jan 17, 2006
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If you want to take them off, then replace them with some 3m reflective tape on the side of the rims above the braking surface.

My shimano dura-ace wheelset has reflective decals on the rims, more manufacturers should follow this lead. See how they reflect back the camera flash

Mygiant.jpg


That way you can have the best of both worlds.
 

ABG

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Jul 7, 2006
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You really should have something reflective on your wheels. Reflectors on wheels are very visible to cars viewing you on the side. If you don't like the reflectors, get some reflective tape for the wheels, some valve-cover lights, or spoke lights... but stationary lights and reflectors are no substitute for the rotating reflectors that come with your bike.
 

teamgomez

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Aug 23, 2005
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Quick chime on the reflector tape- 3M makes a few different grades of reflective tape and they come in all the colors of the rainbow. Each has a different amount of 'reflectivity'. Obviously, the more reflective costs more but we're talking pennies worth on a bike. The difference can be stunning- the good tape can look like it has its own battery pack!

That is a fantastic point about reflective stickers on the rims...I smell business opportunity........
 

mikesbytes

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Apr 12, 2006
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The reflective tape on the rim is a great idea. At the same time, put some on the back of the pedals, or perhaps the backs of the shoes, or even on the helmet.
 

timbradley

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Aug 18, 2004
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mikesbytes said:
The reflective tape on the rim is a great idea. At the same time, put some on the back of the pedals, or perhaps the backs of the shoes, or even on the helmet.
As for the back of the shoes - got that already - the Specialized S-works boa road shoes have a patch on the heel...although given the god forsaken weather in the UK, this is often covered by my overshoes...which also have reflective material up the sides of the rear zip!

...great idea about the reflective tape on the rim - think i'll do that. Not so much of a problem at this time of year, with light for about 18 hours a day, but once the winter hits again...:D

...especially on a black bike with matte black rims!:cool:
 

kleng

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Jan 17, 2006
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Baulplair said:
Kleng,
Where's a good place to buy decals like that?

Thx
Baulplair

I've seen the dura-ace wheelset stickers advertised as accessories, so I would suggest that their available through your LBS or shimano distributor.

Regards
Klen
 

dabac

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Sep 16, 2003
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helmutRoole2 said:
People, when they're getting hit by cars -- and I don't have any stats on this, just speculation -- they're getting drilled from behind.
I don't know about that. In all likelihood you enter the car driver's field-of-view considerably faster when you're passing an intersection than when a car is catching up from behind. Not to mention that a fair number of accidents are bikes hitting vehicles, for which reflectors or not naturally wouldn't do a thing.