How to put a reflector on the spokes of a bicycle

What are the best knitting needles?

First, these are inverted knitting needles. It turns out that the adjusting head of the spoke is not in the rim, as we are used to, but in the hub. See the photo. Thus, the weight of the entire wheel is significantly reduced, and, accordingly, the moment of inertia is reduced.

Secondly, this is a pair-cross arrangement of the needles. In other words, the spokes from the right flange of the hub are attached tangentially to the left side of the rim, and vice versa. Thanks to this simple solution, it was possible to increase the tension on the spoke and evenly distribute the force on the rim. The overall lateral stiffness of the wheel also increases.

Thirdly, a semi-radial dialing. We wrote about it above, but let us briefly recall it again. It turns out that the left side of the wheel is ligated into one cross, and the right side has a lacing of the “sun” type, that is, without crosses at all. With the complex application of the above items, including this one, the lateral stiffness of the wheel increased by 20%.

Fourth, this is the geometry of the spokes. The spokes are no longer round, but flat, which gives an increase in aerodynamics and an increase in the shock absorption properties of the rim.

Now you already know the secrets of the best and lightest wheel from Shimano.

In the 4th paragraph, we touched on the question of the geometry of the spokes, and this is a very interesting question, the answers to which read below.

It all started from the moment when a wheel was first assembled on straight spokes, without a J-shaped bend in the spoke. Read an article about wheels. in which we analyzed the innovation of 29 “wheels, and that the miracle did not happen? So this is not quite the case here. Some were fans of such straight knitting needles, explaining their choice by technical qualities, while others were against it, asking the question: “Where can I get a spare spoke if an exclusive spoke of a new sample breaks?” Both were right! And we will express to you a purely personal opinion of the velo-travel team.

Straight spokes can indeed be pulled tighter, they are more durable, and the wheels are stiffer. And it’s not at all a problem to carry a few spare spokes with you, in case of unpredictable circumstances. But the point is, the average cyclist will not notice this on his bike. The pros are so small that in practice it is much easier and not to the detriment of putting the classic knitting needles and not bothering. The use of such knitting needles is a big sport, period.

Yes, and more, we almost forgot! We talked about inverted spokes and reduced moment of inertia, so this value is very small, which can also be neglected if you are not a world champion.

Spinergy. worth it or not?

Spinergy are cast wheels, about the same as on modern cars, but with a large diameter. Long ago, the wheels of cars and motorcycles were also spoked. Later, with the development of engineering, stamped discs, or cast “titans”, titanium alloy wheels began to be produced, which are much stronger than spoke wheels, and have the same weight. And so, following the development, the technicians decided to install similar discs on the bicycle. They had a small number of blades, from 3 to 6, made of carbon. The aerodynamics of the wheel have indeed increased, and the “torsional” stiffness and lateral stiffness have also increased. And the cons, there are only two of them, this is a lot of weight and an even greater price

But but but…. If you and I don’t see bicycles with Spinergy wheels right now, this does not mean that they have been forgotten. Bicycle engineers are smart guys, and went to study this design further and got what they wanted!

There are two options for disc wheels: either round discs are installed on top of the spokes, or a wheel without spokes at all, but with discs of their high-strength polymers and carbon fiber. The second case is better, since the weight and moment of inertia are much less than the first.

And since it turns out that the old spoke wheel set is much better than all the new products, we consider it necessary to devote the end of the article to the description of the spoke itself.

Now let’s talk about the types of wheel spacing: how, where, why?

The greater the angle of inclination of the spoke to the radius of the wheel, it can be up to 90 degrees, the more crosses are formed. Also, the number of crosses is affected by the diameter of the hub flange, rim, and of course, the number of spokes. When the spoke is close to 90 degrees to the rim, then it is affected by the least force. Also, such a wheel is more efficient during acceleration, and braking occurs without unnecessary vibrations, and the bike stops faster. And if the wheel has the smallest number of crosses, the spokes, accordingly, will become shorter, and the mass will have less, the lateral rigidity will increase.

That is why you need to choose wheels based on your riding style. Everyone has to decide which set is right for him. And in order for you to better navigate and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each set, we will consider one of the types of set in more detail.

Radial dialing, very weak but beautiful dialing. In such a set, the spokes do not intersect, but go along the radius of the wheel, it turns out something like a “sun”. The needles are short, and accordingly light and even aerodynamic. If you carefully read the previous paragraph, you have already concluded that due to the absence of crosses, the wheel has a large lateral and small torsional rigidity. But that’s not all the features of this set of knitting needles! The knitting needles work not only for tension, as with a cross set, but also for bending. Take a look at the picture and you will understand. That is why such a wheel is used only as a front wheel, and even then, very rarely, well, very rarely straight. And in order to use a similar radial set on the rear wheel, they came up with a combo set. One side is radial and the other is tangential. Thanks to this, the wheel is as rigid and durable as possible.

Yes, and more! If a disc or roller brake is installed on a wheel with a radial set, the spokes are likely to break during emergency braking. Therefore, only rim brakes are installed. Do you think these are all the features of this set ?? Eh, if only…. The spokes tend to twist on their own, and the hub flange may not withstand the load and collapse at the most inopportune moment.

Let’s say we have decided on a set of knitting needles. But this is only the beginning of our journey with you around the world of “Spokes and nipples”.

We learned that knitting needles work in tension. And now we will tell you about the correct value for the pre-tension of the spokes. After all, if the spoke is overtightened, there is a high probability of breaking it, and if the spoke is too relaxed, most likely, in the first hole, your rim will simply get an eight. So that neither one nor the other happens, continue reading the article, and, as they say, forewarned is forearmed! Forward

If the knitting needles are constantly tightened and then loosened (or this process will take place arbitrarily), they will not last long and burst in places of tension. There are two types of knitting needles. The first, traditional, is used in wheels with the number of crosses from 2 to 4 and tension from 40 to 80 kg / s. Well, the second method was invented by Shimano engineers and the tightening force is 120 kg / s! But that’s not all, the number of spokes has been reduced to 16 per wheel. What caused a big jump in strength and a significant reduction in wheel weight? Read on!

Spoke set

A spoke set is a certain number of spokes located in a wheel in a certain order. The tasks of this set are as follows: centering the rim. positioning the rim relative to the hub flanges, maintaining the shape of the wheel, ensuring the strength and rigidity of the wheel, and also distributing the load evenly over the wheel. The wheel must be rigid in the radial and lateral directions, and also have sufficient torsional rigidity. The higher the radial stiffness, the easier the wheel will endure impacts when overcoming obstacles and the less likely it is to get an egg-type deformation or even wheel breakage. A large margin of lateral stiffness eliminates the possibility of eights appearing on the wheel. But that is not all. There are cases, due to incorrect lacing, on a bend, the tire clings to the frame feathers. This is due to the low lateral stiffness, the wheel bends and can burst. Which is very, very bad. Tangential, that is, torsional stiffness provides the ability to transmit motion from pedaling and braking. The better the wheel spins, the easier it is for the cyclist to ride.!

Spoke sets are different. They differ among themselves in the number of knitting needles and, accordingly, crosses (points of intersection of the knitting needles). Basically, the number of spokes is a multiple of four, in the radial set it is a multiple of two, and in the “Crow’s Paw” spoke set. a multiple of three.

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Bicycle spokes: complete information and tips for choosing them!

In the previous article, we examined such a part of a bicycle as a wheel. Or rather, not the wheel itself, but its general features and difference in size. And, as promised in the previous article, today we’ll talk about knitting needles and nipples.

Indeed, knitting needles. what is their direct purpose? Why spokes, and not a solid disc, as, for example, a car?

In this article, you will learn:

Types of knitting needles, their structure and material of manufacture.

Video tutorial: “How to assemble a bicycle wheel”.

Remember our 19th century aristocrats who rode bicycles with carriage wheels? This is the simplest spoked wheel. The structure of the wheel was something like this: a wooden rim, a hub and several wooden spokes. The spokes in the wheel work in compression, alternately. In other words, at the moment when the spoke is at the bottom perpendicular to the ground, it takes all the weight of the bicycle, but the wheel turns, and the spokes somehow “alternate” and compress in turn. Everything was fine until 1820.

George Cayley formulated the theory of elasticity that changed the whole world. precisely, the idea of ​​knitting needles The theory is interesting, but we are not in a physics lesson, so we will show everything using a bicycle as an example. The compression spoke must have a diameter larger than the tensile spoke to ensure the same strength. And accordingly, a spoke with a smaller diameter has less weight. And then it started…. First, they looked for a suitable material, because wood is not suitable, they took steel as a basis, and then they began to figure out how to turn a spoke working in compression into a spoke that would work in tension. And so, it was invented! Modern wheel lacing is a clear example.

The first wheel with such a spoke was designed only 47 years later, in 1867 by Madison Cowper, and not for a bicycle, but for an airplane chassis. Also, a pneumatic tire was installed on such a wheel. Read the following article on the development of bicycle tires.

The next major change in the wheel spacing took place recently. Mavic offered a wheelset where some of the thick carbon spokes work in compression and tension.

Types of knitting needles, their structure and material of manufacture

The spoke has two components, this is a long rod, which has a thread on one side and a head on the other side, bent at an angle of 90 degrees to the rod, and from the nipple it is a head that is screwed onto the threaded part of the rod. Spokes and nipples are made of different materials, the cheapest are made of steel, which is very heavy and tends to rust quickly; nickel-plated bronze, or brass; and also from expensive aluminum. Still the best material for spokes is stainless steel, and for nipples. bronze or brass.

And in cross section, the knitting needles can have a constant circular cross section, as well as a variable one. This is the case when a few centimeters from the edge of the spoke the diameter of the spoke is one, say 2.2 mm, and the central zone has a diameter of 1.8 mm. The aerodynamics of these spokes are much better, the weight is less, and the stiffness characteristics are the same.

And now, if you have read this far, it means that it was not in vain that we wrote the article, and you have become an order of magnitude better, having a useful baggage of knowledge about knitting needles. Know how to use it correctly, this is the most important thing. Want more knowledge? Subscribe to the newsletter and all new articles will instantly come to your mail! And then we will talk about bicycle rims, it will be interesting and useful.

Good luck on the road! And finally, a small thematic video!

Roomy mount for your bike

Once I saw on sale plastic containers. boxes for vegetables. I bought the most suitable one and got to work.
The box is plastic, not rigid, the weakest point for attaching to a bike is the bottom.

To strengthen the structure of 4 mm plywood, we cut out the workpiece to the size of the bottom. Only fixed not inside, but outside. Box dimensions 140x300x400 mm.

From a metal strip 2×20 mm, we cut out four blanks 2x20x180 mm with a grinder. And since the standard rear rack is 140mm wide, the slats overlap its width.

Link: How to repair a bicycle wheel with your own hands

I stepped back from the edge of the bar by 15 mm and drilled a hole in them. From them they lay 20 mm to the center of the workpiece and drill holes d 6 mm. they just fall into the edges of the barrel rods.

The corresponding holes have been drilled in the plywood. He connected the blanks-strips, a regular bicycle rack, plywood, a box and screwed it down with MB nuts.
It turned out, maybe not entirely aesthetically pleasing, but convenient.

© Vasily Fedortsev, Mariupol. Photo by the author

The Strip Shuffle

reflector, spokes, bicycle

Have you ever seen someone take a piece of a deck, put it down, and then put the other half on top. over and over? This is shuffling strips or the so-called running contraction. The first step is to learn how to cut a deck to shuffle, a process a little more specialized than simply removing the top half of the cards.

  • Place the deck face down in front of you horizontally. With both hands, grasp the side closest to you with your thumbs, and the far side with your fingers. This can help keep the fingers of your left hand slightly raised off the table so that the deck is also raised.
  • With your right hand, grasp a small area of ​​cards with your thumb and forefinger and remove it from the deck. Hold the rest of the deck in place with your left hand.
  • Place a small portion of the cards back into the deck. in the middle, at the bottom, wherever you want. Align the deck. Repeat 4-5 times with another section of the deck.

Making balusters for stairs with your own hands. photos, drawings, instructions | With your own hands

Turning or grooving is one of the types of joinery work, and many DIYers are also the most popular.

Fillet grooves, rollers, cones and cylinders on the shoulder are suitable even for beginners. You won’t need a lot of tools for this either (except, of course, the machine itself) of all types of chisels. V-shaped (cut-off), spindle-shaped, abrasive, oblique.

To start working on turning (groove), you only need to straighten and straighten these chisels so as not to experience difficulties in work.

Read more about this in the article: How to sharpen tools

Selection and preparation of tools for making balusters for stairs

I do not recommend buying a set of tools. It may not have a chisel “spindle”, but the scabbard, on the contrary. there should be too many of them. It may also be too narrow oblique chisel. It is worth taking tools only from high-speed steel. They are not much more expensive than regular steel tools, but sharpened longer. And even if they overheat during painting, the steel does not stand out.

The coarse half round chisel should be 32mm wide, but you can use the cheaper 20mm wide. A coarse chisel can be sharpened with a coarse “nail” on the cutting edge, but I prefer a straight line as the shoulders are easier to sharpen. Such a chisel can be sharpened by placing the pen in a handbook (Photo 2-1) or in your own thigh.

The 12 mm wide spindle chisel is a workhorse and shouldn’t be spared any money. Choose a blade from a round bar rather than a thin rolled one. It is best if this chisel is sharpened like a long nail, although it is usually sold short sharpened. The shape of the nail can be sharpened by eye on a table sharpener, but it is quite difficult. Therefore, it is better to look for a special device (for example, “Sorbi and Tormek”) that simplifies this work.

I try to sharpen a very long “nail” that I call a high degree of sharpening, but other lathes work well with a fairly short sharpening.

You need to experiment and determine which is right for you, but in any case, the blade is sharpened to match the sharpness of the razor. This can be done on donkeys, but with a polishing wheel, the job will go much faster and less likely to spoil the profile.

2-2. 2-3. Tools that will be needed to make (turn on the machine) balusters for the stairs:

Sweep bit. Chisel “spindle”. V-shaped cutting chisel. Inclined chisel.

2-2. Dull factory sharpening of the “spindle” chisel.

By name, the V-shaped cutting chisel is most often used. It is also used with calipers when copying parts, when turning the shoulders of the rollers and turning the studs.

The chisel works great with an undercut of the working edge (photo 2-5 at the bottom of the article), and the best section is a rhombus, which has less friction than an inexpensive rectangular chisel. I recommend a chisel with a thickness of 1.5 or 3 mm.

Drawings-schemes of making balusters. Cylinder:

Fig. 3-1. The chisel heel snaps onto the workpiece. Fig. 3-2. Lower the cutting edge of the chisel gently to get started. Fig. 3-3. When roughing quickly, move the bit laterally. At the same time, keep a constant cutting angle and hold the bit at a 90 ° angle to the workpiece. Fig. 3-4. When finished, tilt the bit in the cutting direction and slowly move it along the pusher.

On an inclined bit, the cutting edge is formed by two bevels and beveled at an angle of 25 ° or 30 ° to the longitudinal axis. The inclined bit is the only tool that cannot be sharpened with undercuts. It is much better to sharpen it with a flat (or even slightly convex) bevel. Fortunately, these are the chamfers that all inclined chisels come with and can be ground on stakes.

However, if the slanting chisel falls onto the cement floor, it will have to be sharpened again. You can quickly do this by pressing the tool against the side of the grinding wheel, although the instructions are not recommended. However, I do this, but only by simply pressing the chisel down to a 25mm thick wheel. If your workshop has a “wet” slow whetstone, then you can use the side of the circle on it without worrying about safety.

According to the lathe master, an inclined chisel slides more easily if it has rounded off all sharp edges. Touch the sharpener then polish them with stone.

Baluster Making. Drawing 2: Stucco

Fig. 5-1. Machining starts from the middle of the marked ring.
Slowly lift the handle of the “spindle” and make a shallow notch in the middle of the future fillet. Fig. 5-2. Then turn the right side of the fillet and process the cavity. Fig. 5-3. Remove the handle towards the tailstock by rotating the chisel clockwise. Fig. 5-4. Finish smoothly so that the tip of the chisel is at the bottom of the groove. Fig. 5-5. Moving the handle towards the headstock, repeat the transition from the other side of the fillet.

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How to Correctly Install Bicycle Wheel Reflectors, Making sure they are Parallel to the rim

DIY bicycle bag: photo


The shape and size of reflectors for a bicycle is not regulated anywhere. Therefore, manufacturers produce plates of various configurations. from classic round, square, oval and rectangular to polygons, triangles, arrows, and other unusual geometric shapes. The shape most often varies depending on where the reflector is installed. It should be such that it is convenient to attach it to the bike.

It is recommended to choose reflectors with edges slightly curved inward. This increases the area of ​​the reflective surface.

The main classification of bicycle reflectors includes the following varieties:

The front, side and rear reflectors on the bike come in different colors. This is a mandatory requirement of road traffic regulations. Front and rear are considered head-to-head. Side reflectors on the spokes are ignored by many cyclists because they upset the balance of the wheel, causing inconvenience when riding.

Reflective lights are unpopular. They require the installation of a special dynamo and start to work when pedaling. This design increases the weight of the bike and also affects ergonomics. But the lantern illuminates the road.

Rotating reflectors look very original and stylish. This light, along with the blinking one, is the most visible. To prevent rotating parts from damaging the cyclist’s clothing or the vehicle itself, the device is enclosed in a transparent case. The reflector starts to work when started manually or when a headwind flow hits it.

For those who are guaranteed to want to stand out, full illumination of the entire bike is recommended. Such reflectors are an LED strip of about 30 bulbs, they are controlled remotely from the remote control. Several programs allow you to vary the lighting modes. Place reflectors on the spokes, front fork, seat post, handlebar and steering column.


Hindu stirring

This shuffle is a version of the striped palm shuffle. It takes some practice to get it right, but it looks impressive when you do it right.

  • Hold the deck with the edge down with the palm of your left hand. Grab lightly. Your thumb and middle finger should protrude above the top of the deck.
  • Using the index and thumb of your right hand, carefully draw out a portion of the deck. about ¾ of the deck from the bottom. into one pile. Leave the remaining ¼ of the deck in your left hand.
  • Move the pile of cards in your right hand over the pile in your left hand. Using your left thumb and middle finger, draw a few cards from the top of your right hand. The right cards should be on top of your left pile.
  • Continue to remove sections from the top of the stack in your right hand and place them in your left hand. When you run out of cards in your right hand, draw another ¾ of the bottom of the deck in your left hand and repeat steps 1-4.

Mandatory rules for the installation of reflectors

Installing reflectors on a bicycle is a mandatory rule for all bicycle owners. And also it complies with the rules of safety of movement at night. The law of mandatory installation of reflectors on a bicycle implies the presence of reflectors of all three colors on vehicles: white, orange and red.

Reflective elements need to be installed in a certain order, to which everyone is accustomed. The sequence of installation of all colors is needed in order not to confuse other road users.

Bicycle reflectors: installation and features

The situation is aggravated by the cyclists themselves, ignoring the laws of riding this vehicle. Installing at least minimal protection in the form of reflectors on a bicycle is a basic rule. In addition, bicycle manufacturers do not pay much attention to reflectors, limiting themselves only to installing small reflective parts on the pedals of some models.

The owner must take care of the installation of reflectors on the bike on its other parts. Their presence significantly reduces the likelihood of becoming a participant in an accident, and even more so. its victim. Therefore, in addition to the obligatory reflectors, it is necessary to install additional lighting on the handlebars, reflectors on the bicycle on the wheels, as well as on the spokes.

Main features of reflectors

Reflectors on a bike won’t help in foggy weather. Therefore, for the sake of your own safety, you need to take care of additional vehicle lighting. Today, for these purposes, there are an unusual type of reflectors. reflectors that no one knew about before. This is a versatile type of specially designed fixtures with built-in LED reflectors.

Reflectors work with diode reflectors due to the light source. They can be seen in any weather and at a great distance. True, to install this safety device, you need to provide them with power. For LED reflectors, the main power source is the mounted flashlight on the bike. In addition, it can be rechargeable batteries or batteries. But if a constant current source, a dynamo generator, is installed on the front wheel of the vehicle, then the LED reflectors will work flawlessly throughout the entire time of cycling.

Overall reflectors

Bicycle reflectors are a passive light source. This means that they are not visible in the dark. They can only reflect light. The main function of bicycle reflectors is to reflect light rays. According to the law of optics, the angle of incidence of light is equal to the angle of its reflection.

If cycling is only used during the day and only when absolutely necessary at night, then it is sufficient to install front and rear reflectors on the bike. To feel more confident on the road, it is better not to skimp on their installation. It is advisable to put the entire set of reflectors on the bike.

Today there are many different types of reflectors. They can be made of glass, inexpensive plastic, polystyrene, or chromed metal. A variety of forms of reflectors for a bicycle allows you to install them on any part of this type of transport.

How to install reflectors on a bicycle

There is nothing more interesting and exciting than a bike ride. And, whether it’s a walk in the city or in the forest, the bicycle remains a truly versatile mode of transport that works flawlessly under any conditions. The main thing is that his rider can cope with the control of his iron horse.

But along with the advantages, a bicycle is the very type of transport that is practically invisible at night. Traveling on it on the roads at night becomes dangerous. The most serious danger for a cyclist is collision in the dark with cars on the road. The trip becomes several times more dangerous if the owner does not take care of lighting his own path in advance and does not install reflective reflectors on the bike in a timely manner.

At night, the cyclist puts his life on the line. He can fall prey to moving vehicles. Bicycle lighting needs to be taken care of not only in order to ride on the track at night. In the dark, a cyclist runs the risk of becoming a victim of cars, even in the city.

How to correctly install reflectors

The correct installation of reflectors on a bicycle is described in the Rules of the road. According to the rules, reflectors are placed in the following order:

  • White is in front.
  • Reflectors of red color are installed in the center.
  • Orange reflectors on the bike must be placed on the sides.
  • Orange side reflectors attached to the wheel spokes.

A variety of reflectors for a bicycle

Today, the production of reflectors for a bicycle does not stand still.

In addition to the usual plastic and glass options, manufacturers make:

  • LED reflectors;
  • reflectors with spokes;
  • rotating reflectors.

The only rule is not to overdo it. If you put all existing types of reflectors on a bicycle, it will turn into a Christmas tree. An excess of reflective effect can cause accidents as well as a lack of it. In other words, everything should be in moderation, and bicycle reflectors are no exception.

Bicycle reflector lamp

Among lovers of novelties and advanced technologies, LED backlighting is appreciated, it can be wired or wirelessly controlled. The kit includes a remote control and a CD with programs. The device works with the help of a well-thought-out system, which includes from 30 LED bulbs. You can select several dozen graphic images that appear during the movement of transport. The attitude towards this option is ambiguous. On the one hand, it looks unusual and like a kind of visual show, but on the other hand, it can be a distraction on the road.

Wheel illumination on spokes and nipples is one of the types of tuning, but it is not cheap.

DIY reflector reflector

There is an even more elementary way, but it will work in addition to the main reflectors. On sale there are accumulative stickers of various colors. Purchase the colors you want and place them in the right places. If you are worried about the appearance of the bike, then they can be easily removed, and if necessary, new ones can be glued.

How to install, remove reflectors on a bicycle or bicycle wheels

A bicycle is a very convenient form of transport for driving around the city and beyond, depending on its functional features. In addition, it is a wonderful motivator. an assistant for keeping fit. But, as with any type of transport, the rules of safety and behavior on the road apply. One of the possible causes of accidents involving a cyclist is the lack of reflective elements.

What is a bike reflector for?

This device is based on the simple principle of retroreflection, in which the direction of the beam is reversed 180 degrees. With the help of it, the participant of the movement is noticeable at twilight and poorly lit times of the day, which reduces the percentage of accidents. The difficulty is that most bicycle brands install reflectors on the pedals, and the rest must be installed by the owner.

The Road Traffic Regulations specify which types of reflectors need to be installed. For auto and bike owners, a similar requirement applies: orange devices are mounted on the side, white in the front, and red in the back. The front reflector can be attached to the steering wheel using a special mount available commercially. Side reflector to the spoke, and the rear reflector to the bottom of the saddle.

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Bicycle reflectors are made from a variety of materials, ranging from plastic to glass. The body is made of chrome-plated metals, polystyrene and other substances.

What are bike reflectors?

Oversized reflectors installed in three places (orange, red and white) in good weather cope with the task. to mirror the light falling on them. But what to do when it’s raining or cloudy? Reflectors with LEDs will come to the rescue, which:

The history of bicycle reflectors

The first reflector was created by a road worker from Great Britain. One day he was returning home late at night and met a cat on the way, whose eyes were shining and they could be seen in the dark. Then Percy Shaw wondered how it is that the eyes of this animal glow when the light hits them? He worked on the idea for a long time, and as a result, he placed fifty created corner reflectors on one of the sections of the dangerous road. After that, the number of accidents on that route dropped sharply. Then the product began to be used everywhere, including attached to bicycles. From the very beginning, the reflector had a second name. “cat’s eye”.

Later, several researchers worked on the creation of a more convenient device that would make transport visible in the evening or at night. There is not even one patent for such inventions:

  • Karl Gladen in the middle of the last century patented a rotary reflector, which was set in motion by means of a stream of air. Thus, no mechanical connection to the wheel was required;
  • John Parker invented the wheel-mounted device. It had a non-standard shape with petals clinging to the needles. From the movement of the mirror surface, the light turned out to be flashing. A significant drawback of the invention is that it was easily damaged, because it was located quite low. And when parking or colliding with even a minor obstacle, the reflector broke or got lost on the road;
  • La Londe went further and designed a very robust element. It coped with the main function, was located high enough (on the axis) and was noticeable to all road users. But he also had shortcomings. For example, clothes got into the device, and for installation it was necessary to remove the wing above the wheel;
  • Mike Curran introduced a closed reflector in 1978. He took into account all the developments that came before him, wishing to release a successful device. And he succeeded. Elements are protected from moisture, grass and other things. In addition, the part is easily attached without additional devices, everything was taken into account in the kit.

It is curious that the “cat’s eye” came in handy in global research. With the help of it, scientists have established the distance from our planet to the moon. In the early 70s, the spacecraft left several corner reflectors on the lunar surface. A laser beam was sent to those points from the ground, and it returned back, after a certain time.

Different opinions and facts about reflectors

Some cyclists already use these stickers and elements on their cycling clothing. Thus, fans of night driving apply additional safety measures. After all, a pair of devices is good, and when they are used in combination, it is even better. Do not neglect your safety. wear a helmet, buy a couple of flashlights to help reflectors, a bicycle headlight, stock up on accumulative stickers. Remember that by law, a cyclist who was driving without reflectors and got into an accident becomes the culprit of the accident (if the motorist followed the rules and drove without exceeding the speed). Because without identification marks, the participant in the movement is not visible on the road. On the forums, there are opinions that all these devices spoil the appearance of a fancy bike. But it is better to think about the fact that these are safety devices, they are mandatory for use and really necessary.

Thus, by applying reflectors, in accordance with the rules, you demonstrate responsibility and care for the rest of the traffic participants.

Bicycle reflectors: what you need and how to choose?

One of the basic rules of road safety is to be visible to other road users. This is especially true in the dark. Street lights tend to do a poor job of their job, so ensuring your visibility is an important task for every cyclist. Bicycle reflectors make it easy to solve this problem, and the abundance of types of bicycle reflectors. also make your transport individual.

Traffic rules for the installation of reflectors

Traffic regulations state that the use of reflective elements is compulsory. In this case, the reflector should be white in front, red in the back, and orange on the side. This is necessary for clear positioning of the vehicle and prevention of accidents.

There is a fine for the absence or incorrect installation of reflectors.

Purpose of reflectors

First of all, reflectors are needed to determine your presence on the road in poor visibility conditions. It can be night, twilight, bad weather conditions, etc. The use of shiny and luminous reflectors will make you stand out from the background. They allow drivers of other vehicles to determine whether you are standing or driving, your direction of travel and your approximate speed, as well as your dimensions. All this is necessary for the predictability of the situation on the road and an adequate reaction of other road users to your actions.

Also, the use of unusual shapes of reflectors and their attachment points will make your bike individual. This will help you stand out from the everyday crowd, improve the mood for yourself and those around you. And it can also protect your bike from theft, since it will be easier to find a conspicuous copy later, and possible thieves understand this. Of course, the reflectors are easy to remove, but the hijacker is more likely to choose a less attractive model.

How to attach your spoke reflector

Selecting the type of reflector

You can choose passive reflectors if night trips are rare, there are few cars, and the weather is good.

Active ones emit light themselves, they are great for adverse weather conditions and with frequent driving on public roads. These reflectors require an energy source. Modern LED reflectors consume current very economically. They are completely protected from water and dust. In addition, the light of such reflectors can be flashing, which will attract the attention of drivers not only at night, but also during the day.

Flashing lights are useful when driving on congested streets or highways, when drivers pay little attention to bicycles. Typically, flashlights have built-in batteries or rechargeable batteries, and some are connected to a bicycle dynamo. This method of power supply is rarely used, since the glow occurs only when the wheel rotates and additional effort is required to rotate the generator. In addition, the dynamo increases the mass of the bike and reduces the speed.

Active reflectors should be chosen for frequent driving at dusk on public roads and in changing weather conditions, as well as in heavy traffic at any time of the day.

Installation options for bicycle reflectors

Depending on the design and the owner’s imagination, the lights can be installed on almost any part of your 2-wheel friend.

  • White front reflectors can be mounted on the steering wheel or in the head tube with a special mount. The latter option is more preferable, it allows you to reduce the number of elements on the steering wheel. You can also install a headlamp, which will not only inform about your approach, but also illuminate the road.

Only it should be bright enough, otherwise there will be little benefit from it. For this reason, small lights are poorly suited for bicycles.

  • The red rear reflectors can be attached to the trunk or seatpost. It is possible to mount it on the wing, but then it must be periodically wiped from dust. It is more likely to damage the reflector on the wing, so sometimes it is covered with a special bracket.
  • Orange side reflectors are usually mounted on wheels. Modern reflectors have already gotten rid of the large mass that leads to imbalance in the wheel. They are mounted on one or two spokes opposite the chamber nipple, compensating for its low weight. Some models are equipped with LEDs, which further increases the safety of night walks. In addition, they create beautiful effects when rotated. There are very miniature designs that are screwed onto the chamber spool. Most pedals are also equipped with orange reflectors.

With any installation method, Honor should be sure that reflectors must be visible. They must not be covered by bicycle parts or transported cargo. Also, they should be regularly wiped off dust. This is especially true for reflectors mounted on wheels or rear fenders.

Reflective elements

Some riders think reflectors ruin the bike’s appearance. Others want to lighten their vehicle as much as possible and sometimes remove these unnecessary elements. In such cases, it is recommended to choose special reflective stripes, which serve as a good alternative to the usual reflectors. Passive straps can be sewn to clothing or equipment, and can be glued to a helmet or bike frame. In addition, they are often sewn into bicycle uniforms and cycling backpacks. They have proven themselves to be great and can be used not only by cyclists.

Reflective stripes are also active. LEDs are built into them, which can be multi-colored. With their help, you can create a real illumination. Apart from aesthetic enjoyment, these stripes greatly enhance the safety of night travel. However, you must be careful when using beautifully iridescent lighting, as it distracts the attention of other road users. Some bicycle manufacturers use reflective paint to print the brand name and logo. In addition to additional advertising, this technique identifies the bike and eliminates the need for reflectors. However, it is better to put reflectors on the wheels.

A basic rule of thumb when driving on public roads is to be predictable. Reflectors are great for identifying you on the road and avoiding misunderstandings. They should always be installed if there is even a low probability of driving in the dark. This will help you avoid many unpleasant situations.

For information on how to install reflectors on a bicycle, see the next video.