Nathan 3M Reflective Tape

01 Mar
Nathan 3M Reflective Tape

Nathan 3M Reflective Tape

I love riding my bikes at night and have purchased several headlights and taillights so I can ride safely. Powerful battery operated headlights allow you to see where you are going, and flashing taillights make your presence known to cars up to a mile away. However, since batteries die, lamps burn out and mounting brackets break, I always have a bit of reflective gear with me as well. Most jerseys have a bit of reflective piping—I guess that is better than nothing, but if you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to be seen at night without the need of batteries I would suggest you check out Nathan 3M Reflective Tape.

Nathan 3M Reflective Tape is one inch wide and comes in a 27-inch strip—it can be applied to your bike, helmet, saddlebags or any other hard surface. This tape has a very strong self-adhesive backing, so it should be considered permanent—and it is very easy to cut to any length you need. This reflective tape comes in three colors: Yellow, Pink, and Orange. I prefer the yellow tape since I think it stands out more than the other color choices. Nathan Sports claims that this tape is “100–200 times more visible than non-reflective clothing in low-light conditions.”

When I travel out of town with one of my bikes I usually carry it on a Yakima bike rack that mounts in the 2″ hitch receiver on my Jeep. Unfortunately, this bike rack sticks out a couple of feet past the rear bumper on the Jeep and I’m always afraid someone is going to run into it—so I applied Nathan 3M Reflective Tape on three sides of it and now it is visible from a long way off!

Nathan 3M Reflective Tape retails for $10 and is available at many sporting good stores, like R.E.I., The Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was also able to find it on for $7. While there are hundreds of safety products available for your bike, this one has to be one of the most cost-effective products you can find for cycling at night. By the way, this product is made in USA.


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18 responses to “Nathan 3M Reflective Tape

  1. forsair

    March 2, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Thanks for the idea of the reflective tape on the bike rack. I’ve had a, fortunately inexpensive but still beloved, mountain bike crushed in a rear-end accident. Damage and labor would cost more than replacing the bike. But something like this to try to prevent that happening again would be great in the future. Thanks!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      I am always afraid my black bike on a black rack isn’t going to be seen by motorists as they pull up behind my vehicle — and I sure would hate to see it crushed!

  2. singletrackjedi

    March 2, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I bought something similar a few months ago but it came in various precut sizes from squares to long rectangle strips. I got an orange pack and used them on various places on my helmet because my helmet is orange as well. You can’t be too visible. I like the idea of of putting some on my bike rack because like you I always have this fear of someone crushing my bikes when coming to a stop at night. Great advice and great product.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      I like the idea of matching the reflector color to your helmet — no one would even notice it during the daylight hours.

  3. John @ Reflective Tape

    March 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Orange or yellow are definitely the colours to pick for safety alone, but I like pink best myself. Sometimes we get blue and green reflective tape but that’s just too easy to blend in with the surroundings.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 2, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      It’s funny you mentioned blending in with your surroundings — I was talking with the guys at the bike shop about that yesterday! In the winter I usually wear a bright red cycling jacket on the road because it provides great contrast, but in the summer I wear hi-vis yellow for the same reason. On the other hand, hi-vis yellow in the winter doesn’t stand out very well against the snow.

  4. Rob C

    March 3, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Thanks for visiting my new cycling blog recently, you have some really useful reviews on your site – Some of the cold weather gear would be most welcome over here in the UK at times!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      I live north of Chicago, Illinois and we need a bit of cold weather gear about nine months out of the year!

  5. jambo

    March 3, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    Gives you a chance to be creative too with a pair of scissors :)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      I am not very creative, but give me some duct tape and a pair of scissors and I can stay busy all day.

  6. sevencyclist

    March 3, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Great tip. I typically wear reflective ankle bands, but this is a good idea too. I just wish more walkers, joggers, and runners would do this on the multi-use trails. I would commute at night on dark trails, and the trail is not lit. These walkers, joggers, and runners are not wearing anything reflective, nor carry any lights, and I only see them when I’m about 50 feet away. Very dangerous.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      I use the reflective ankle bands as well — they really stand out because of the constant movement. I have a special name for the walkers, joggers, and runners who don’t wear reflective gear at night — I call them “future organ donors.”

  7. Marguerite Nico

    March 3, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Since I am pretty much just starting out, I try to avoid riding at night because I AM afraid of being hit by people who either don’t or won’t see me. I think I’ll go find this and use it today because it will make a huge difference for me when I’m out in the pre-summer evenings, riding after work!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      I love riding at night — the off-road trails are usually empty and it is cooler in the summer — and since I live in the Chicago area (the Windy City) the wind usually calms down a bit at night.

  8. Joy

    March 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    We do lots of family rides and sometimes get home after the sun has set. This stuff is great (we have yellow), crazy reflective! My husband is all about safety, we are all lit up with tape and lights. :)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      Since I am happy with life in general I try to stay safe when cycling — riding at night without reflective gear is flirting with suicide.

  9. the drunken cyclist

    March 3, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I love night riding as well–I feel so much more in tune with everything I guess since the sense of sight is severely limited. The wife is not crazy about me riding after dark, though!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      March 3, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Riding at night also allows you to see some nocturnal wildlife that you would miss during the daylight hours (racoons and skunks). My wife is not too fond about me riding at night either — but she has learned that there is not much she can do about it anyway.


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