BrightBike Project

Well, we’re a day late and a dollar short in presenting this — we got an announcement a couple weeks ago about BrightBike, a novel project which consists of wrapping bicycles in highly-reflective tape. The project and concept has been covered on a number of bicycling sites, and our friends over at Commute By Bike “scooped us” on this one…hey, it happens!

Kevin Hartnett sent us the following information:

We’ve been working with a not-for-profit organization called Eyebeam on a project called BrightBike. The purpose of the project was to promote bicycle safety by encouraging riders to wrap their bicycles in a highly reflective vinyl tape, thereby making them much more visible to motorists especially at night.

Eyebeam ran a workshop in late December where people came and wrapped their bikes… I think it was pretty successful.

We’ve worked closely with Mike Mandiberg to develop a Do-It-Yourself Kit at a much more reasonable price than what you would have to pay to purchase the vinyl in bulk. Most of the people who’ve contacted us about the kits have been commuters, so I thought this might be a news-worthy item for your website.

There’s more information about this project at Beacon Graphics or at The Red Project and there’s a time-lapse video of the wrapping process here:

Bright Bike from Michael Mandiberg on Vimeo.


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  2. Josh

    I did something like this recently, using a different brand of reflective material. I’ve got some photos and videos at that link, including photos comparing the brightness of a few different reflective vinyl swatches.

  3. Mike Myers

    I like it. However, I think some smart bike manufacturer could do something similar by making reflective logos standard on their commuting bikes. With all the logos and stickers they put on anyway, why not make those out of reflective material?

  4. Ghost Rider

    I like the reflective logo idea…

    I also wonder about the adhesive on the vinyl in these kits — reflective tape has some pretty tenacious adhesive, but it doesn’t like sharp bends. I’ve had tape peel up on the edges when wrapping around skinny tubes, and that just becomes a “grime collector”. And removing the tape when it’s time for a repaint is a NIGHTMARE!

  5. Mark

    Hum… just more uglification! Why? It’s called useless consumerizm and it’s leaking into the bicycle culture. why is this bad you ask? Because the bicycle is the last stronghold of true completely green transportation and society won’t rest until it consumerizes us as well!
    Just say no folks… remember the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and RECYCLE.

  6. Ghost Rider

    Say what? Folks put reflective tape on their bikes all the time…how is this really any different?

    I’ll take a little extra nighttime safety over consumer concerns anytime. I do exactly half of my commuting in pitch-black, late-night conditions through some sketchy areas, and have invested many dollars in DOT “conspicuity tape” for just about every bike I own. This BrightBike kit is probably worth it for those people who ride in similar conditions.

  7. peteathome

    Just as long as they don’t make people think this is a substitute for a headlight . A headlight is absolutely required to ensure visibility to cars ahead and to the side of you.

  8. Raiyn

    That’s a LOT of tape. Personally I still prefer my “Stealth” Reflector method, but that’s me.

  9. Chris

    These look good, but in the videos the riders are all wearing dark clothing.

    The most effective step towards being visible is a high-vis top – there is more area; it is person-shaped; it is higher up and so more visible; it is much easier and quicker to put on.

    Having a visible bike is great, but it’d be good to see the riders as well.

  10. Leo Horishny

    Interesting. I’ve been thinking and writing to someone bicycle savvy recently wondering why it was that there wasn’t a manufacturer who has come up with a bike already painted in reflective paint. As a passive measure, it would help the idjits who insist on riding at night w/o lights and in dark clothing and such, but even if it was just offered on models geared[sic] towards the serious commuter types, I think it
    could be an attractive option.
    As for visible garb, I ride with my visibility jacket I use on my motorcycle, even if it doesn’t fit me well in cycle garb,, and I am considering getting a pair of glo-gloves,
    once I saw their website,

    Every little bit helps.

    Leo H.
    Sun Valley, NV

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  12. Brad

    Reflective materials require you to already be in the headlights of an oncoming car, before they light up. I have always prefered active lighting over passive. If my lights are battery powered and can be seen from great distances, I think this is a better bet than just using reflective materials. When I’m out there on the roads, I want to allow the drivers as much time to react as possible. I do beleive the use of reflective materials in addition to an active light is even better yet. We have strips of reflective tape on our bikes, plus we use FlashBaks and other lights as well. Ride safe and be seen!

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