Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Keeping Safe: Using Reflective Strips

Most of my winter cycle commuting is done in the dark at both ends of the day. I am also taking the Golden Child out locally on the tagalong to various clubs and relatives in the evening. I have good reason therefore for being highly visible to traffic and to this end I have some very impressive lights front and rear. However, working on the principle you can never be too noticeable, I am also a strong advocate of reflective gear. 

The cycling jacket and jerseys I use for dark time cycling are covered in reflective patches - the popular and aptly labelled Altura Night Vision range of clothing - and I also have reflective piping on the tracksters I normally wear. In addition to the rear reflectors on the Travelmaster I also have pedal reflectors and last year I applied some 'stealth' reflective strips to the mudguards as well. These are great as they appear black (on top of the black guards) but catch any reflected light in the dark.

Still, since using the tagalong at night and being aware it is not an expected size and shape for pedal propelled object, I have been on the lookout for some reflective patches I could apply to it and the Travelmaster that don't cost a fortune and are quite discreet in the daytime. I found these below on eBay and at two sheets for £2.49 with free P&P and your choice of colours I thought I couldn't go wrong. Well I did go wrong in that I should have ordered four sheets straight off.

Click to visit the eBay seller
I have now applied the bulk of the stickers to said bikes and they really do catch the headlights. I used one sheet of red to rear facing surfaces and three of silver to the side and front facing surfaces. I may be laughed at by some but no one with legally permitted vision for driving will be able to claim they couldn't see me!

Reflective patches with flash photography. Click for bigger image


  1. I've used silver reflective stickers for about 20 years on my bikes, and bought them from Halfords.

    But the ones you have found are much cheaper so I might buy a couple of sheets.

    1. Pete. Tis nice to know i'm not alone in so pimping my ride. I think I know the ones in Halfords you mean. Expensive in comparison and too...square. Are you sticking with silver? The red is quite reflective but not nearly as good as the silver ones.

  2. I have two rear facing red lights;Smart super flash on the bike and a flashing light glued and taped to a reflective snappy band worn on my right wrist to emphasize hand signals. I have a side flag with an attachment to place a flashing light (fast roads with no street lights). I have a powerful white flashing head light worn on the helmet which shines where I look. 2 flashing front lights, Reflective 3M spoke rods on the front wheel .Most importantly at night is the yellow high viz tabard ( with a two tone orange/yellow Altura one for dawn and dusk)

    1. Peter. You are even more light geeky than me I think.

      Rear facing I have one Smart Lunar R2 on the seat post ('mad' strobe), a B&M Toplight Plus (continuous dynamo powered with integral reflector and standlight) on the rear rack and a Knog Frog (strobe) on the helmet. While front facing I have a Cat Eye Single Shot (fast strobe) above the handlebar, a Schmidt Edelux (very powerful continuous dynamo powered with standlight) above the fork crown and a Knog Frog (strobe) on the helmet again.

      The dynamo lights are on night and day and I also use the Cat Eye during the day if filtering thru lots of traffic as its at wing mirror height and very eye catching. I switch on the Knogs between dusk and dawn in addition to everything else.

      I know I can be seen very easily. I often have to filter up beside lots of slow/standing traffic and its reassuring to see them moving over for me.

      I have been called a 'Christmas Tree' and no doubt some insulting things as well but I just don't care. I don't do Ninja cycling!