How to arrange reflective stickers on a child bike seat?
October 27, 2008 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Child seat on bicycle + reflective stickers: what's the best pattern?

I have a reflective sticker sheet (which can be cut up in any way) to use on the back of my daughter's bicycle seat (one that sits on the rear rack).

Any tips for patterns or shapes to use that will provide maximum visibility and not be confusing to drivers?
posted by Huw to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would suggest for maximum alert, outline the edges of the seat and then have the Zelda Triforce in the center back. Maximum reflection without going over the top, plus awesome design.
posted by banannafish at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2008

I commute both by bike and by car, so I pay quite a bit of attention to this out of my own interest. When I drive by bicycles (especially on wet and dark nights), I've found that cyclists are most noticeable when reflective tape marks the outline of the bicycle, and when there's reflective tape or material on moving limbs and parts (especially wheels).

So, aside from putting as much reflective tape as possible everywhere on the bike frame, I've found it very effective to put a spot of tape on the inside of the wheel rim, between the spokes. The spinning bright reflection really catches the attention of drivers, from any angle.

You should keep in mind though that the crash we worry about most (being hit from behind) is actually the least common type of bike/car collision. Less than 5% according to this excellent website, which provides advice on how to minimize the risk of suffering the most common bike accidents.
posted by randomstriker at 8:21 AM on October 27, 2008

Jobst Brandt (who knows a bit about bikes) suggests placing reflective tape strips on the rim, in between the spokes over about one-half the rim—not alternating, but all bunched on one side. This creates a strobing effect when the wheel is spinning. I've done this on my own bike and it seems to work.

Mind you, of course, that reflectors are no substitute for proper lights.
posted by adamrice at 8:38 AM on October 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. This is in addition to proper lighting and reflectors.
posted by Huw at 9:06 AM on October 27, 2008

Mind you, of course, that reflectors are no substitute for proper lights.

They do different jobs. When illuminated by a car's headlights, reflectors are brighter than any practical bicycle light. Since you can't count on reflectors being illuminated, you need lights too.
posted by Chuckles at 1:21 AM on November 1, 2008

Response by poster: This is what I did.
posted by Huw at 12:46 AM on November 11, 2008

I particularly like the "Copilot" sticker....
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:49 PM on April 10, 2009

« Older Political ads - actors or the party faithful?   |   Exercise Plan? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.