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Started by handlebar, July 21, 2023, 09:29:32 PM

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These days, are there pedals without reflectors? Tuesday, about 2:45 AM, A GMC Sierra hit a bicyclist on the offramp of the Neuse River Bridge in New Bern, North Carolina. The Coast Guard and the Beaufort Dive Team found the 17-year-old's body the following afternoon. The Highway Patrol said the rider didn't have reflective equipment as required by law.

It was only last year, when I bought a Radmission, that I discovered that not all bicycle tail light lenses are reflective. I didn't like it, but I didn't ride at night anyway.

Lately I bought a Vitagen headlight, falsely advertised at 8,000 lumens. A charge was supposed to last 15 hours on low, with a display of what percent was left. It came with a very bright tail light that was supposed to last 30 hours on a charge. If the taillight would last twice as long as the headlight, I could charge it when the headlight got low.

I began riding after sundown, when it was cooler. Wednesday evening, the tail light was off when I returned from a short ride. It had been on when I set out. The same thing happened Thursday evening. This time I switched it back on and watched. In half a minute, it went out.

I tested it. Three times, a charge lasted 2.5 hours, not 30 hours as advertised. If a light under the seat goes  out, the rider won't know until he gets knocked over a rail into a river. A customer's life means no more to Vitagen than to Radpower, supplying a nonreflective lens on the Radmission.

For under $3, I ordered 2 circular reflectors, 3.25 inches in diameter.


I like reflective tape, white pinstripes on the sides of battery and center console, wider red strips on the rear fender and rack.


In March, 1972, I traded in my old BMW motorcycle for a later model. By September, I'd ridden it 20,000 miles, mostly going home on weekends. Each round trip entailed 9 hours on I-95, much of it at night. As I rode home on a Friday night, it occurred to me that my tail light could burn out at any time. The road was heavily traveled, and a lot of cars were way over the limit, weaving from lane to lane. If the bulb failed, I wanted more visibility than the 5cm circular reflector in the middle of the tail light lens.

Saturday, I bought a roll of red Scotch reflective tape, 2" wide. Sunday, before heading back, I applied a piece 3" long to my fender below the license plate. I set out two hours before sundown. At twilight, I looked back and saw that my tail light had burned out.

The photo shows that the tail light lens on the Radmission contains no reflector,  and my panniers can hide my pedal reflectors. (The panniers have intense white reflectors that may not be visible if the bags aren't full.) The reflector in the Radrunner tail light is more intense than the round reflector I bought, but the round reflector makes up for it in size.


Good move, handlebar; I've added a couple reflectors to the back of my MiniST2 even though I almost never ride after dark.  Cheap insurance and can't hurt - I also set my Rad taillight to blinking and have added an on/off motion-sensitive blinking tail light to that.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.


I thought the LED light was intense, but the reflector looks much brighter, and it always works.

I considered removing the light. Then I realized that a reflector won't warn somebody who doesn't have a headlight, and some joggers don't have them. I'd hate to have a jogger knock me over a rail and into a river! ;}