Do pedal reflectors actually work?

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
1,702
395
74
Most of the time the rearward part anyway is masked by the shoe heel.
But not for all riders.
Some only use the "ball" of the foot and the toes, to "sit" on the pedals, leaving plenty of room for reflection from the reflector. I myself prefer this method.
Others ride a bit more "flat footed", toes hanging in the air in front of the pedal, and just as you say will, the heel of the shoe will obscure at least a large part of the reflector, which may be almost touching the surface of the reflector. But just how much depends partly upon the thickness of the heel, and its width.
I personally still see them as a good (and very cheap) addition to making a bike more visible at night, no matter how someone rides!
Happy New Year.
Andy
 

Peddlin' Pedro

Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2017
95
48
West Sussex, UK
Yes, they absolutely do. We (humans) recognise movement before anything else, so anything reflective that's also bobbing up and down is significantly more visible than, for example, a single fixed rear reflector. If you're riding with the ball of your foot in line with the pedal spindle then there's no reason the reflector would be obscured either.
 
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Ocsid

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2017
286
196
78
Hampshire
So far we have only heard theory as to why they should work.
In practice, driving my car I hardly ever see them.
Quite a lot of pedals don't come with them, even some conventional pedals.
Interestingly, nor do some bikes come with pedals, which I had thought was because they are so much a personal choice thing, on reflection though, that might be a walk around the legal requirement, in not being an "Assembled bicycle" if it has no pedals?
 

Phil Dryden

Pedelecer
Jun 20, 2018
217
107
67
Leicester
I don't think they are a massive game changer. There's probably more of a case for the spoke reflectors which I hate, but they are definitely more visible. One of the best little devices I came across a few years ago (Decathlon, I believe) was a valve screw in light which replaced the valve cap and was motion sensitive. Powered by button batteries they glowed violet when the bike wheels turned and they were a real eye catcher. At the time I did a lot of early morning riding on country roads and I thought they were fantastic especially in winter weather.
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
1,390
373
Driving home last night I had a cyclist in front of me without lights and no rear reflector. Only saw him because of his pedal reflectors.
That's terrifying. So many bikers in ninja gear! Perhaps they imagine that they can't be attacked by cars, if detection is avoided by use of such night camouflage? At the very least, he/she/other should dress more sensibly:

40126


p.s. Does anybody know what brightness level of body-worn LEDs is legal? This sort of thing but with much brighter red LEDs might be worth a go:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlecko-Running-Degrees-Visibility-Reflective/dp/B01AKI1Q6S/

...or this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RDJ1WGL/

Perhaps I should festoon my outfit with Christmas lights wired into the battery, or hang these LED glowing balls off the pedals:


40130



I can't find the ones illuninated at the front and back, these illuminated from the sides?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MTB-Bike-Pedals-Flat-Platform-Aluminum-Alloy-Bearing-Pedals-W-LED-Warning-Light/293825188913

Lights shining out of the ends of the handlebars might be a good idea - not many lights are very visible on most bikes, when viewed from the sides:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INDICATOR-LED-KIT-BICYCLE-BIKE-PEDAL-HANDLEBAR-CYCLING-SAFETY-WHITE-SILVER/143873300343

With ebike batteries, there is certainly a lot of scope for very bright and extensive lighting - I wonder what the legal limits are? How much lighting is legally too much? If bike attached lighting is highly limited, what about lighting carried on the riders? What are the limits on daytime bicycle extremely bright lights? Some motorbike headlamps seem to be quite noticeable during the day. DJI drones have a "Follow me" function - how legal is it to have one follow me around all night, illuminating me from the air with a giant spotlight?

Or cover bikes with lights made from dead cellphones, connected to the ebike battery:


Lights on the wheels?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Activ-Life-Batteries-Included-Color-Changing/dp/B07PBXKHRX

I finally gave up cycling in the 80s after a car totalled my bike by pulling out of a driveway - my front wheel hit his front wheel, and I ended up on the other side of his car - this was during the day! Lights would have been of no use whatsoever (unless extremely bright). Knee is still dodgy, no damage detected on the scans but I have to put the cartilage back in place using knee rotations, every so often. Maybe with the increased number of cyclists on the roads as a result of the pandemic, the UK may finally build more cycle lanes. To this day I'm suspicious of black BMWs, and anyone who drives them...
 
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GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
128
85
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
 
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Reactions: sjpt

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,364
1,854
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
Difficult to keep cool in summer. (yet more energy wasted on A/C) ... Not too much of an issue in January.
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
760
387
That's terrifying. So many bikers in ninja gear! Perhaps they imagine that they can't be attacked by cars, if detection is avoided by use of such night camouflage? At the very least, he/she/other should dress more sensibly:

View attachment 40126


p.s. Does anybody know what brightness level of body-worn LEDs is legal? This sort of thing but with much brighter red LEDs might be worth a go:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlecko-Running-Degrees-Visibility-Reflective/dp/B01AKI1Q6S/

...or this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RDJ1WGL/

Perhaps I should festoon my outfit with Christmas lights wired into the battery, or hang these LED glowing balls off the pedals:


View attachment 40130



I can't find the ones illuninated at the front and back, these illuminated from the sides?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MTB-Bike-Pedals-Flat-Platform-Aluminum-Alloy-Bearing-Pedals-W-LED-Warning-Light/293825188913

Lights shining out of the ends of the handlebars might be a good idea - not many lights are very visible on most bikes, when viewed from the sides:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INDICATOR-LED-KIT-BICYCLE-BIKE-PEDAL-HANDLEBAR-CYCLING-SAFETY-WHITE-SILVER/143873300343

With ebike batteries, there is certainly a lot of scope for very bright and extensive lighting - I wonder what the legal limits are? How much lighting is legally too much? If bike attached lighting is highly limited, what about lighting carried on the riders? What are the limits on daytime bicycle extremely bright lights? Some motorbike headlamps seem to be quite noticeable during the day. DJI drones have a "Follow me" function - how legal is it to have one follow me around all night, illuminating me from the air with a giant spotlight?

Or cover bikes with lights made from dead cellphones, connected to the ebike battery:


Lights on the wheels?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Activ-Life-Batteries-Included-Color-Changing/dp/B07PBXKHRX

I finally gave up cycling in the 80s after a car totalled my bike by pulling out of a driveway - my front wheel hit his front wheel, and I ended up on the other side of his car - this was during the day! Lights would have been of no use whatsoever (unless extremely bright). Knee is still dodgy, no damage detected on the scans but I have to put the cartilage back in place using knee rotations, every so often. Maybe with the increased number of cyclists on the roads as a result of the pandemic, the UK may finally build more cycle lanes. To this day I'm suspicious of black BMWs, and anyone who drives them...

No, didn't bother me much, I was going at a speed appropriate for the conditions, so it wasn't a problem to stop in time. The moron should have had some kind of lights on though, which is what annoyed me as it gives the rest of us a bad name.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
47,788
25,303
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
I've mostly avoided black during my ownership of 32 cars and two commercials, but do have a very black one now since even the windows are black tinted. Unfortunately this electric one was in very short supply due to the high demand, the model I wanted only came in black or a horrible and indistinct pale green and Nissan's colour range had always been awful anyway.

Cyclists need have no fear though since as a cyclist myself I'm very bike aware.
.
 

jimriley

Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2020
226
140
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
Oh how I wish I had the wherewithal to specify the colour of my new car. My current xsara was cheap ish, s/h, 1 owner, FSH at a garage I used and knew well, swmbo liked the interior space. Bugger that it's black! Bikes will try and hit me when I'm pulling out, should they go to specsavers? Or should I put a large fluorescent sheet over it?
 
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oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
7,673
11,374
West West Wales
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
Especially matt black.

We have two cars - white and bright red. Chosen at least partly for visibility. Most other colour options at the time were in the dark grey areas which are also pretty bad.
 

pentiumofborg

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 13, 2020
1,390
373
Black cars in general.. Hard to see, hard to keep clean, and (imo) thus indicative of a certain lack of forethought by the owner. Ymmv, especially if you own one.
Statistically, white and silver cars are in fewer accidents

I've mostly avoided black during my ownership of 32 cars and two commercials, but do have a very black one now since even the windows are black tinted. Unfortunately this electric one was in very short supply due to the high demand, the model I wanted only came in black or a horrible and indistinct pale green and Nissan's colour range had always been awful anyway.

Cyclists need have no fear though since as a cyclist myself I'm very bike aware.
.
Oh how I wish I had the wherewithal to specify the colour of my new car. My current xsara was cheap ish, s/h, 1 owner, FSH at a garage I used and knew well, swmbo liked the interior space. Bugger that it's black! Bikes will try and hit me when I'm pulling out, should they go to specsavers? Or should I put a large fluorescent sheet over it?
Why are popular high visibility colours in such short supply anyway? Vinyl wrap is much cheaper than a respray...

From my point of view immediately preceding the knee and bike damage: a black BMW slowly emerged from a wall from the left, directly into the road - there was no pavement on that side of the road, I was travelling on the flat at about 18mph and I couldn't swerve - cars were speeding past on the opposite side and I had almost no time to brake. Still, could have been worse - my head could have ended up in driver side window or something. There may or may not have been a convex mirror for the BMW driver to check for approaching traffic (I was too stunned to notice at the time) - if there was, I was invisible in it - despite wearing a hi viz waistcoat. I came to the conclusion that there are some bike accidents which can't be avoided, without quitting bicycles. The only way I could have avoided that collision, is if my bike had a jetpack. 30+ years later, Covid has forced me onto an ebike and drivers seem to hate cyclists far more than they usd to - I saw a car passenger attack a cyclist with a jet of bottled orange fizzy drink a few weeks ago. The cyclist did well to not end up on the road, being run over by other cars...

Maybe I should get an airbag vest...

 
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