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Increasing Visibility

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Stueh, May 10, 2009.

  1. Hello All,

    So, I've been riding more at night, and I know very well that I'm not exactly very visible at night. I rid ea black CB250, brown shoes, black pants, jacket, helmet and gloves.

    Now, I always knew I would be somewhat invisible, but never realised how much until last night. I passed another bike going the opposite way while riding down the hill, and he was all black as well. It was just like a shadow, the headlight and that was it. A mate passed me soon after, and when I mentioned it to him, he said that that's how I look at well.

    So, I'm looking at ways to increase visibility. I can' exactly afford to go out and buy new gear, so I'm looking at options such as lights, reflectors, etc.

    So, what do you guys recommend? I saw a bike a while ago with a sort of reflector thingo that went around the rim.

    What sort of cost would I be looking at as well? Does anyone has a recommendation of colour? Because I'm colour blind, the whole "what's more conspicuous" thing with colour has always gone over my head :)

    I'm hoping to find something that will, well, not change the look of my bike during the day (I like it :)) but makes me more visible at night.
  2. saftey shop: high visiblity vest. Easiest, plus u can fold it up after and tuck it in storage compartment or in fairing or somewhere.

    any sticker thats that fluro orange or yellow thats like the high visiblity vests.

    the ones that construction workers/truck drivers/police etc wear

    if you know someone you could get one free

    edit: make sure they have the white reflective stuff on it too (you'll see in a saftey shop if you dont get what i mean)
  3. I was thinking something more permament. I'm a very forgetful person. It's not uncommon for me to get called out to an emergency etc., ride to the CFS, get there, and realise I forgot my gloves, or didn't do up my helmet properly.

    I like to avoid having to remember things :p
  4. Get some reflective tape to stick on your helmet, jacket and maybe some on the bike too if you like. :)

    Just don't go thinking anyone's going to see you, cause that's not going to happen. You could be dressed up like a member of Hi5 in a flouro yellow helmet with flares hanging from the handlebars and you will still be totally invisible to most drivers.

    I would recomend choosing gear with visibility in mind, but at the end of the day you still have to take full responsibility for seeing and missing other vehicals. Other drivers will never see you because they don't give enough of a shit to even bother looking. :wink:
  5. using some tape, strap some torches on to you.
  6. OMG Why didn't I think of that!?!? BRILLIANT! :p

    I was actually contemplating getting the fluoro blue floor lights I have in my car (which is now a write off), or the blacklight, and putting it on the bottom of the bike shining on the road. It would at least get peoples attention XD

    Heh, yeah, I was new to the whole riding on the road business when I bought the bike, and went for style and strength over visibility. :p
  7. So where do the brown shoes fit in to the picture? :p
  8. For the sake of some useful advice - the reflective rim stripes are good, but ony work when light shines on them, and they will be visible in the daylight as coloured stripes. See here for some examples:


    Otherwise, a hi-vis vest is an easy option, extra lights on the bike (or you) open a massive can of roadworthy worms, reflectors are of limited effectiveness and new colourful gear is gunna be expensive. As are headlight/brakelight modulators.

    Best thing I reckon you can do is constantly concentrate on your positioning and what others around you are doing, or more importantly might do next. Expect the worst, be prepared for it, and always have an 'out' lined up.
  9. Reflective helmet/bike stickers:

    I've ordered a set of the "speed stripes" helmet kit (on main page 1) as all my gear and bike are black.

  10. I have a large strip of reflective ( silver ) tape on both sides of my swing arm. Also a 'black' reflective sticker on the back of my helmet.
    Seems to work fine, I haven't been hit yet :p
  11. For the fashion-conscious, 3M manufactures a variety of retroreflective tapes and the like which appear a certain colour in ambient light - red, white, yellow, green, black, but reflect BRIGHT BLINDING COLOUR back toward any lightsource.

    The silver/white and black tapes both reflect white light back to the lightsource. That'd be what the 'black' sticker VCM has is made out of.

    So if you have a black bike/frame/luggage you could put the black retroreflector tape on the bike and it'd be relatively normal during the day... Until someone shines their headlights at it. :)

    Can pick it up from safety-equipment stores, etc.
  12. If people can't see you, then the cops can't either :wink: Helps if you can switch your headlight off too. There are ghost bikes all over these highways. :grin:
  13. fluro/reflective stuff on your bike is as stated only works if light shines there, plus if a car cant see the side of your bike; eg in a slip lane, they are pretty useless. aside from the bike reflective n fluro stuff on yourself is best option. blinging up your bike could be a option but blue lights n stuff shining on the ground arent very effective IMO, form a far you cant really see it, onnly when you get closer, but depending how bright they are + roadworthy issues.

    You could try getting new lights, xenon replacements or HIDs, when driving in on comming traffic blinding lights are always noticed.

    you can wear the fluro vest during the day so when you take off your jacket take the vest and jacket off at the same time keeping it on the jacket, its only for until you get some fluro funky gear for night riding + makes you more visible during the day too. the money you save instead doin mods can go towards gettin gear. maybe hang the vest on your bike so every time you go to it you know to put it on

    If your rushign to go to the CFS get a little red flashing light and attach it to your bike :LOL: hey you could jump into the store room at the fire station and see if you can find some reflective tape for the truck thats FREE or peel it off the truck :rofl:
  14. Didn't you know, brown shoes are the in thing these days? :p

    Hrm, the black reflective tape sounds like an idea. I'll look into it :)

    Heh, just turn off the ignition while I'm rolling along.

    Ja, I know it only works when light is shining onto it, but hey, whatever I can do take make things safer. The more things I can do / have, the better it is! :) I'm thinking about the Fluoro vest, my brother works for a council so I might ask him to, uh, liberate one.

    I COULD get a red flashing light, but the ones we have plug into a cigarette socket and are magnetic to stick on the roof. I could put it on the fuel tank if I put in a cigarette socket!!! :eek: :grin:
  15. The cheapest option is the fluro vest. Riding to/from work in darkness, have often noticed other bikes aren't very "visible", so I assumed it's the same for me.

    Paid $5 for a vest and it seems to work, but having said that, no matter what you wear, whether it's a fluro chicken suit or having some searchlight for a headlight, combined with sirens and flashing lights, sadly some people are bound not to see you.
  16. Hell the number of retards i've seen not notice ambo's till their an inch from the bumper.......*sighs*.

    Or then theres the time that I was involved in a crash on a downhill slope, crash visible all the way down the straight 2-lane hill road, police setup 50m back from the crash with the cones out, lights flashing, merge board up and flashing, and people STILL slam on the brakes coming metres from cleaning up the cop car.

    So sad.
  17. Go the fluoro vest, it's definitely the best bang for your buck.

    I keep mine permanently folded up in my backpack, which goes with me everywhere, and my general rule is that I wear it when I have to ride home from uni in the dark (on the odd occasion I am there late), and I wear it whenever it is raining, regardless of whether it is day or night.

    Usually that means that in wintertime, as somebody has already suggested in this thread, the vest just stays permanently on the jacket. No need to remember to take it off or put it on, that way :cool:
  18. haha yea vest is best...yet i aquired one from work....its still under the seat in my car...theres another one in my garage somewhere...
  19. today i passed a guy on a bike...a push bike at night, he had all these flashy stuff on and a fluro throw over poncho thingy.

    Go into a push bike store and see what you can pick up there for night riding.

    i liked the things on his arms...it was like a bracelet n it was all flashy n fluro, looked like he was going to a rave
  20. So I haven't been able to go anywhere today. I got sent home from work yesterday because I was unwell. Turns out I have the flu (before anyone makes a joke about swine flu or asking if I've been kissing pigs, I WILL kill you).

    What with no car, and not wanting to ride a motorbike when I have a migraine and all my muscles are letting me know how much they hate me, I'm stuck at home. I'll get to a store when I can.

    In other news, a bloke rode down my road last night, and I noticed he had like a bicycle headlight (you know, the blue flashing LED thingoe?) on the front, to the left of the headlight.

    Ideas? Thoughts? I thought it made him pretty damn obvious.