Lightweights Hi-Visibility Scotchlite Reflectors For Bicycle Wheels

20 Feb

I have a horrible confession to make: Every time I buy a new bike the first thing I do when I get home is remove the wheel reflectors (and in the process probably violate numerous State, Federal and Intergalactic laws). I have a few bikes that are never used on the roads and my Trek Madone is not allowed outside after dusk. However, on my bikes that I do ride at night I have installed something far better than standard wheel reflectors—Lightweights For Wheels.

Lightweights Hi-Visibility Scotchlite Reflectors For Cyclists

Lightweights Are Barely Visible In Daylight

Lightweights For Wheels are small reflective strips that are applied to your spokes one at a time and the installation process takes about 15 minutes per wheel. The self-adhesive strips will go on much easier in warm weather and make sure you clean the spokes with alcohol before attempting to apply them to remove any road grime. These strips are made of 3M Scotchlite™ and in my experience 3M makes that best reflective material you can buy.

Once Lightweights For Wheels are installed on your spokes you probably won’t even notice them in the daylight—the reflective material matches most silver spokes perfectly. However, once the sun goes down your wheels will be visible from all directions, and when the bike is moving these tiny reflectors really stand out! I need to point out that light needs to be directly aimed at these reflectors for greatest benefit (like the headlights from a car). If you want to test these strips out just take your bike into a dark garage and hold a flashlight at eye level and aim it at your bike (get ready to be impressed).

Lightweights reflective tape for bicycles and cyclists

Lightweights Really Pop When Light Shines On Them

One of the great things about Lightweights For Wheels is that they only add 2 grams of weight per tire, as opposed to the 16 to 32 grams that you would have with standard bike reflectors. In addition, these reflectors will never fall off and they are brighter than the reflectors that come with most bikes. You will also appreciate the fact that these reflectors are perfectly balanced (unlike the lopsided weight from a standard wheel reflector).

A package of Lightweights For Wheels retails for $15 and should be available at your local bike shop. Each package has 75 reflective rectangles for spokes, along with nine circles and two ovals that you can use on other places on your bike, helmet or seat bag.

Note: The white ring on the tire in the photo above is from the reflective strip that is built into my Continental Touring Plus Road Bike Tire.


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12 responses to “Lightweights Hi-Visibility Scotchlite Reflectors For Bicycle Wheels

  1. dave

    February 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Hahahaha. No “Real” rider leaves the stock reflectors on his/her bike, right? So this is the better option, thanks to people like my Father who worked for 3M’s reflective products division for over 25 years, God rest his soul.

    So now cars can clearly differentiate between having just run over a “deer” in the road… or was that another stupid bike rider!? Oh yes! Look at all that reflective material! “A bicycle, Martha! Well that’s what he gets for riding after dark”.

    And he probably tears the tags off a new mattress too!

  2. All Seasons Cyclist

    February 20, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    You have to love 3M — I think that 3M reflective material is one of the greatest inventions of all time (I am certain it has saved my life a few times).

    • dave

      February 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Yes Thank God for 3M, my wife is an engineer at the 3M Center even as we speak. I grew up slathered with virtually every 3M reflective product made so I agree with your basic sentiment.

      Yet I remain cynical about commuting and cycling on the road as I do not trust drivers anymore. I’ve just seen too many close calls, heard too many stories (working at a local bike shop a few years ago).

      I much prefer staying off road. Its so much safer running into trees and the like.

  3. kurtbredeson

    February 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I have some orange reflective tape and silver reflective tape that I’ve been wanting to add to my forks and chain-stays. Now I think the spoke idea is an awesome idea! Plus my one reflector broke this season already.

    My MTB came with zero reflectors, btw. I had to grab some from my old CCM bike…

  4. Velototes

    February 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Those look great! I too remove the standard reflector asap. Next time I am at one of my favorite shops I will have to inquire about these as well as share a link on my blog to your post. Thanks for all your work into reviewing cool stuff!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      If you bike shop doesn’t have them in stock they can easily order them for you (or you can go directly to, but you have to pay shipping for an item that weighs less than an ounce).

      • Velototes

        February 27, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        thanks for even more helpful information!!!

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          February 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

          It really is a great product — could even save your life!

  5. meganjanicke

    March 6, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Wow, I didn’t know this was out there. Thanks for sharing!

  6. meganjanicke

    March 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Reblogged this on Life in Transition and commented:
    I didn’t know this product was out there. Something to consider for increasing visibility for night riding (which I do a lot of). Plus, I am also guilty of taking off my reflectors.

  7. Bricks N More

    March 17, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    This is cool. I actually commute and work nights so I leave the reflectors on my bike more out of necessity than anything else. But I would Looove to take those damn reflectors off and use something like this. My local Bike shop doesn’t have them though. I did find them on Amazon for $12.99 and free shipping if you spend $25!


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