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Does anybody have any tips, suggestions or recommendations on the use of reflective tape-- either adhesive or fabric?

How useful is it?
Where do you put it on your bike?
What color is best?
Which are the good products?
Products to avoid?
Etc. and any other reflections.
 

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I like it for my commuter. I have some on my fork, seat stays, spokes, and crankset. I bought is at Pep Boys, I think.

White on front and spokes, red on back, white and red on crankset.

Good stuff, especially now that it's darker in the morning.
 

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I feel the same as Becky about it. If you're doing any riding a night or before sunrise use it. when I was commuting I had it on my seat stays, top , down 7 seat tubes, and the heels of my shoes. People from work that saw me riding when it was dark said aside from the lights I was running the strips on the heels were the most noticeable.
 

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Not all reflective tapes are equal. My favorite is the 3M white SOLAS (Safety of life at sea) Coast Guard- approved tape. It is very visible. I think there are a couple of tapes out there that are a hair brighter, but I find the 3M tape will stick and stay on any bike surface; clothing, seat bags, metal. It is also very durable. I've used it as a cable/chain chafing guard on my Mt Bikes for years.
As Mr V mentioned, the pedal and crank area is an excellent area to put reflective tape. The motion of the crank makes it very obvious that it is a bike and not something stationary.
 

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SOLAS is good, especially for flexible surfaces, which is what it's designed for. But for rigid surfaces, I like Reflexite, which according to the specs for both products is about twice as reflective as SOLAS. It's also very durable. I'm pretty sure it's the brightest stuff on the market,
http://www.identi-tape.com/hi-intensity.htm

As for color, white or silver is the only way to go, IMHO. All other colors are substantially dimmer,

For my winter commuter, which I ride home in the dark each day, I have tape on the wheels as creak described, and on the crankarms. I put SOLAS tape on the back of my panniers, and on the back of the shoes I wear in the winter. I also have some on my winter gloves (for turn signals) and I've added a lot of sew-on tape to my winter commuting shell jacket, both on the back and on the sleeves.

And as noted, reflection is only part of the story. I have a Christmas-tree's worth of red LED's on the back of bike and body, from low on the fender up to my helmet. 6 different units, with something like 35 LED's. You can't be too visible,
 

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I have red reflective tape (I think 3M brand) on the back of all my helmets. This gets the tape up high where (maybe) it's easier for drivers to see. Also, as others have said, I have several strips of white reflective tape on each side of each rim in alternating patterns so that the movement of the wheels is visible. I've got a few other patches here and there on the bike (seat stays, front fork, etc) where the view is not likely to be blocked by my legs.

I'd also highly recommend getting one of the new super-bright rear blinky lights. They are very visible, even in daylight. You can pick up a set that includes a rear blinky as well as a reasonably bright "to be seen" front white light for $40 to $50 depending on the brand and store you are at.

Pic below of my bike on a dark street, only a camera flash to light it up.
 

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YES! Tape is good. 3M makes the best. White is the most visible. Placing it on moving parts catches the driver's eye. You want to put the tape in places where it will help form the shape of what the driver is approaching i.e., you want tape on your helmet to delineate the top boundary of you, the object, as well as low and wide points on the bike. Can you really tell that you're approaching a motorcycle when all you see is that single taillight?

Here's a photo of my helmet. If you want to reduce "dork factor" then use tape the same color as your helmet.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2309001070/" title="Helmet, Front View by Peter Polack, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2037/2309001070_204bb2be7c.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Helmet, Front View" /></a>
I taped the rear as well.

Here's what my bike looks like:
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3028727548/" title="Commuter, Sport Touring Bike by Peter Polack, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3253/3028727548_7581198f31.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Commuter, Sport Touring Bike" /></a>

Note the tape on the rims are in consecutive spaces. The pieces have to be mounted this way to return enough light to the driver. I taped the pump, and the front/back of the crankarms as well.

I made these reflective ankle bands myself. The great thing about these are they're visible from ALL sides.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3554835937/" title="Reflective Ankle Bands by Peter Polack, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3622/3554835937_6436ec6e35.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Reflective Ankle Bands" /></a>

If you're looking for a reflective vest that's better than the stuff found at bike shops, check out A.W. Direct. I added reflective stripes to an orange, Illuminite vest. I have yellow stripes on the back:
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2979931192/" title="reflective accessories by Peter Polack, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3278/2979931192_38f2a21258.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="reflective accessories" /></a>

The good thing about the reflective bands and vest is if you don't want to sully the look of your bike, the bands and vest are just as effective. You just have to remember to bring them with you in case you get caught out after dark. The tape on the bike is ALWAYS ready to go.
 

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I run 3M tape on the fork, seat stays, top and down tube, back and front of cranks, and rear fender of my commuter, along with tires with reflective bands. Reflective ankle bands as well- can't have too much visibility.

Lights are a given- in fact, I was amazed this weekend at how visible this guy ahead of me was with his taillight on (earlier than I'd typically have mine on).
 

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The only reflective tape I use is on my helmet, I can't stand crappy looking tape (or zip ties) whether their for reflective purposes or black electrical tape for whatever reason on my bikes. Sure I have lights, I need to be seen at night; and I use reflective leg bands, and my jacket has reflective stripping as does the seat bag. For lights I run a Cygolite 15 watt dual beam in the front along with a amber flasher and a BLT on the helmet, then I have the Blackburn Mars 4 on the rear and barend lights, along with a Cateye on the rear of the helmet. So if they can't see me their blind as a bat and no amount of lights and reflective tape will help.
 

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I cut the 3M tape into narrow 'pinstriping' and put it on the fork, chainstays, and seatstays, so it's visible from all sides of the bike. I think the pinstriping actually makes the bike look better, and it helps with visibility at night.
 
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