1. Tim August 13, 2007 8:24 am 

    I have read elsewhere that drivers respect the arm and tend to give more space when passing.

    There is a narrow street on my commute I would like to have it for, but I don’t think I would like to have it out the entire commute.

    It folds up, doesn’t it?

  2. Mike Myers August 13, 2007 8:58 am 

    I use a Flash Flag, which is very similar. It’s spring mounted and attaches to the left seatstay. The one in your picture is better, as it’s more reflective. Any information on this product?

  3. HenryH August 13, 2007 9:28 am 

    Yeah, car drivers “respect” it because they don’t want their car scratched. I am just wondering if it would attract police’s attention, and thus cause them to stop the rider… I don’t think they would have a case, but it would still be a hassled to be stopped.

  4. Moe August 13, 2007 9:34 am 

    I think that it would be awesome for night riding. But I can bet that if the flag would scratch a car, it won’t be pretty. I doubt that Police would stop you, after all, we have the same rights as a car.

  5. mjb August 13, 2007 9:39 am 

    This is logical. I would probably use it, though I would want to be able to easily flip it up or down without going over the handle bars.

  6. Logan August 13, 2007 10:11 am 

    I’d use it at night when I wasn’t going through the ghetto. Low-key is THE key in those areas.

  7. Ghost Rider August 13, 2007 10:18 am 

    I’d rather use an old sword blade — if a car is gonna “buzz” me, it is going to HAVE to pay the price!

  8. RL August 13, 2007 11:32 am 


    I’m guessing you recently watched Ben-Hur and got motivated eh?

  9. Rachel August 13, 2007 11:45 am 

    I don’t think I’d use it simply b/c the folks here don’t respect cyclists anyway. They recently passed a 3 foot passing law in Tennessee, and no one in Memphis is enforcing it! It’s a nice idea and if I had a young kid I might put it on a tandem or their bike, but I think I’d rather do battle with the traffic by establishing my right to take it.

  10. Debbie August 13, 2007 1:25 pm 

    I might, tell us more.

  11. RL August 13, 2007 1:51 pm 

    Ok folks, I spoke to the designer of this product. We’ll be getting a set to test in California and in Florida.

    I invited him to comment on your questions and concerns about the product.



  12. Mike Myers August 13, 2007 2:21 pm 

    The Flash Flag I use


    mounts to the seatstay with a clamp. The flag is spring mounted so it bobs up and down, which gets attention both day and night. I would assume the “designer” of the flag you show followed the Flash Flag example and made it able to fold up when not in use. Mine has a nylon hook which clips the flagpole(?) to the seatstay to get it out of the way. The one you show has much better reflectivity on the pole, but the Flash Flag is 10 bucks. Reflective tape is cheap. :-)

  13. Mike Myers August 13, 2007 2:23 pm 

    We also have a three foot passing rule here. If anyone got close enough for the flag to scratch the car, would they REALLY want to call the police? That’s an admission of guilt. :-)

  14. Glenn August 13, 2007 2:24 pm 

    The comments on the flag are all very interesting…

    When I was designing it I thought about putting a carbide tip in it to deliberately scratch cars. But good sense took over. It is actually made so it will not put out a kids eye if they walk into it.

    Also, it does fold back to different positions allowing different looks and bike path riding. I like the look at about a 45 degree angle and it still does the job. I am sure it is psychological to the driver like an orange cone. So, perhaps while the driver is text messaging they will subconsciously move away… we can hope?

    Bottom line the cars really do give it a wider berth than they do me without the flag.

    While wearing Spandex pants you may not think it is cool… but then neither is Spandex really.


  15. Ghost Rider August 13, 2007 3:03 pm 

    I actually got the sword blade idea from C.I.C.L.E.’s very own Shay Sanchez, who is normally the model of peaceful, “share the streets” cycling.

    Regarding various 3 foot passing rules…they’re only as good as their enforcement. In Florida, I have seen NO improvement in motorists’ behavior. I get buzzed all the time. Oh, the cops will periodically roll out an enforcement “show” during group rides, charity events, etc., but never for everyday-type riding.

  16. Fritz August 13, 2007 3:57 pm 

    I see every kind of commuting gear imaginable in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flash flag in the wild. I’ve only heard of people using them from the Internet.

  17. Russ Roca August 13, 2007 4:14 pm 

    I want to be a tester! (after my 2 week bike tour that is…) i’ll tell you how it works in the mean streets of the LBC….

  18. Nick August 13, 2007 5:43 pm 

    I’d like to know, Glenn: are they springy enough that, if I were to clip an object with the flag on my bike, it would spring back into place?

    I don’t see myself using these, but I do think they would be good for those apprehensive about commuting out of fear of having to ride home in the dark.

  19. mrbrown August 13, 2007 7:34 pm 

    Yes, I use something like this when I ride at night. Very effective. Bought it in Paris, and it seems to be a very common device in Europe. Car do give you a wider berth when it is out. And in a country like Singapore, where I ride daily, you need all the help you can get from the crazy cars and buses. Heheh.

  20. Logan August 14, 2007 3:10 pm 

    “While wearing Spandex pants you may not think it is cool… but then neither is Spandex really.”

    True that.

    Where is the purchase info? If you’re in the beta phase I’ll definitely give it a whirl for you. I ride a minimum of 100 miles a week, half of it at night (commute home from work).

  21. danc August 14, 2007 4:45 pm 

    Flag is really not necessary, night riders need bright reflective clotheing, headlights and rear blinkies. Reflectors are not insufficent and photo-reflective flag, which may or may not be seen [flapping in the wind?] is not going to make you safer.

  22. Ghost Rider August 14, 2007 5:55 pm 

    Danc…I think this flag is meant to supplement the other reflectives and blinkies, as you so excellently recommend (and I wholeheartedly agree). You can never make yourself too visible!! I think also this flag might be best as a visual “distance guide” for daytime applications.

    In any case, I am looking forward to taking it for a spin and see if I notice a difference in how far people get away from me to pass.

  23. Biking Sasquatch August 15, 2007 12:11 pm 

    every time I get buzzed I think about a 3′ long scraper sticking off the side of the bike would teach a lesson or 2! maybe a mirror that extends out 3′ made from tool steel, OK you can stick a little reflector on it.

    PS- I wouldn’t use the reflector flag because it looks too silly, maybe a cool graphic or a “give ’em 3 feet” printed on there…

  24. Marco August 15, 2007 5:30 pm 

    I dont know if I would use it – I am happy running with lights but am happy to see improvement towards these areas
    so I might buy it!
    I love this site!
    long time reader first time poster

  25. danc August 15, 2007 6:58 pm 

    OK Ghost, it’s just that the picture above doesn’t show folks using headlamps, blinkie or bright reflective clothing. I’m thankful they are all wearing helments!

    On the subject of cyclists being conspicuous (noticeable, attracting notice or attention) proper lane placement is critical, otherwise the driver may not see you or miss you, flag or no flag. Check out Fred Oswarld’s “Ten Tips for Safe & Enjoyable Bicycle Commuting” at: http://www.labreform.org/education/tentips.htm

    Let us know how the flag works out, looks like yet another doodad. I have enough stuff to mess with on a commuter bike, like simply turning the lights (three) on. There’s an idea how about a bluetooth switch to control a vehicle light?

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