I’ve been meaning to remove my spoke reflectors but haven’t gotten around to it. The topic of spoke/wheel reflectors came up today while on a 30 mile group ride and I learned that a friend just removed hers. I can’t look like the only rookie of the group! 😉 Time to remove these ugly “useless” things.
Of course safety is of extreme importance to me, so I wasn’t going to remove them without installing a new safety feature. Enter Lightweights. Step 1: Remove the heavy, old wheel reflectors with a screwdriver.
I used a coin for my front wheel and it came off easily. The back wheel was a little tight and needed a screwdriver.
They are a simple two-piece construction and were easy to remove.
Now that I had my dorky spoke reflectors off, it was time to install my super lightweight, super cool reflector tape. For each reflector that I removed, I dropped 16 grams. Adding the wheel reflector tape only added 2 grams. That is a total savings of 28 grams! I’m not too concerned with the weight of my bike. Let’s be serious, losing the reflectors is not going to make me ride any faster, but it is nice to have a sleek bike.
Let me be clear, it is not just about appearance, these pre-cut Lightweights for Wheels Power Reflectors are 400% more reflective than plain wheel reflectors! It really seems like a no-brainer – your bike looks better and is safer.
I first cleaned the spoked with Simple Green. Then I used the application guide ruler in the instruction booklet to perfectly position each pre-cut reflective rectangle. With a little rubbing and burnishing with your fingernail, you can wrap each spoke super tight. There is a white paper backing that is removed and while a straight-forward process, it is a bit time-consuming. Sitting outside enjoying the summer weather and listening to Pandora makes the process more enjoyable.
My wheels have 36 spokes. My wheel is tilted in this picture, but they are indeed all lined up perfectly.
I didn’t want to wait until night to take a photo so this was taking during the day with a flashlight shining on it. My basic point and shoot lacks a slow shutter speed so I couldn’t capture the perfect spinning effect the way I wanted, but in person it appears as a continuous circle of light and is very noticeable even during the day. This reflective spoke tape, along with a good front and rear light, is far more effective than the stock plastic spoke reflectors. Don’t forget to add some reflective tape to your helmet or clothing!
My bike is lighter, brighter, safer and looks better. Why did I wait so long to remove them?
Here are some common reasons why people remove the stock wheel reflectors that come on their bikes.
- They are “heavy”.
- They make your bike look slower.
- They can loosen up and slide around making noise.
- They can make your wheels wobble.
- They can fall off and litter the road.
- Most people ride during the day, and if you are riding at night you should have lights anyway!
Do you have anything to add to this list?
Can’t wait to go on a night ride and try out my new 400% more reflective spokes. 🙂