Urban Velo

Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes for Bicycles

According to Nick: Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes are a simple, economical, and elegant solution to dramatically increase night visibility for bicycles. Designed for modern double-walled rims, these reflective rim stripes apply in six sections for easy applications. They are precisely cut on a digital computer-controlled cutter.

Nick is a good guy and a friend of Urban Velo. He only needs $1000 to get this project off the ground, so even a small contribution will be a big help. Check out the Fiks Kickstarter page for more info.

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  1. asc.pghNovember 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Adheres where?

    Brake web? How’s that going to last, or just for coaster/disc/Barney Rubble braking?

    The portion of the rim profile between the brake web and the line of spoke holes?

  2. GaryPNovember 22, 2011 at 8:45 am

    There is a video that shows placement at the kickstarter project page. Good idea- even though you can find tires that have reflective stripes on them you can’t find them on every tire so these would come in handy. I made a pledge!

  3. NickNovember 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

    asc.pgh, I’m sorry for not explaining that better. The rim stripes attach to the area of the rim between the brake surface and the spoke holes. That means they will only work on modern double walled aero section rims.

    Thanks, Gary! You are completely right about reflective tires–I actually have a set one one of my bikes. The biggest downside to reflective tires is the small selection in sizes and styles of tires. Besides my one bike with 26″ commuter tires, the rest of them have 700×21 to 700×25 tire, which there are very few options for. The other thing is, most reflective tires are in the mid to high price range. With Fiks:Reflective, you are buy a set of rim stripes once and then buy as many $10 tires as you want.

  4. dynaryderNovember 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Not to hammer on you,but this is just pre-cut reflective tape. Couple of good sites on the web have every color of 3M Industrial Grade you’d want,for about half the price. You’re just doing the cutting for them. Also,I’ve read about folks doing this mod to their wheels for years on Bike Forums,so it’s nothing new.

  5. Fiks, Reflective Rim-Strips for Bikes | t3knoDorKsNovember 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    [...] Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes for Bicycles [Kickstarter around Urban Velo] [...]

  6. RaiynNovember 23, 2011 at 12:58 am

    @ dynaryder

    As one of those folks from Bikeforums who’s done this mod in the past I have to admit it’s nice to see someone offering precut kits for those who don’t want to do the leg work for themselves. I’m fairly impressed with how cleanly the finished product appears to install and am actually considering purchasing a kit for myself.

    That said, I do believe that going with a solid reflective ring wouldn’t be the best choice, I feel that having an “off” space between reflective sections would give a visual clue as to movement and direction of the wheel / rider.

  7. RaiynNovember 23, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Scratch “considering” I just backed the project.

  8. veganboyjoshNovember 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    great idea. who cares if it’s been done before. good for Fiks for giving it a go.

    the only potential downside i see to this is that they’re primarily visible from the sides. while any and all visibility is a good thing, i’d feel better about being more visible from behind and in front.

    a few years ago, i got in touch with the sign shop for our county. they’re the county “office” that makes all the localized road signs “this road closed for these dates”, etc. that reflective stuff that’s on road signs? it’s adhesive, and it comes on HUGE rolls. turns out when they’re making signs, they have a bunch cut off that’s too small to use for a road sign, but is perfect for small strips like this on a bike.
    i taught the kids class at our local community bike shop, and the sign shop loved the idea of letting the kids cut up the reflective stuff into stickers, and putting them all over their bikes.

    the best placement i found was something that moves. i made a spoke card about 3×5″ for my front wheel, but it’s reflective enough that i can see headlights BEHIND me reflecting in it before i start to see my own shadow in the road.i have been meaning to make some tiny strips that go on the rim similar to where a manufacturer puts their sticker/label. on the exterior inner wall, where the nipples come through. 3 or 4 of these with some space should be plenty of visual movement and be very visible to drivers approaching from either the front or the back, albeit not as clearly directional as the suggestion from Raiyn

  9. NickNovember 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    dynaryder, you are right. I am selling a product that is just processed material. Isn’t that what most product out there are? Why by a shirt when you could just by the fabric an make it yourself?

    I’m not pitching putting reflective tape on your wheels, because you are right, that’s nothing new. I am pitching a clean, finished, easy-to-use consumer product that involves almost no work. Cutting contoured sections without a digital cutter would be very hard, and getting straight tape to lay right is equally as hard. I know there are some DIYer out there that would rather save a few bucks and spend the time to do it, but they are in the minority (and I am one of them). So, this isn’t for everyone, but what is?

    Riayn, thanks for your support. You make a good point about the motion. That’s why it’s nice that it comes in sections. You could use one set to cover two bikes by just applying alternating 1/6 section on the wheels.

  10. RaiynNovember 24, 2011 at 2:27 am

    @ Nick

    Based on my bit of experience with reflective tape on rims I’ve found that larger “on” sections (alternating quarters) work better than smaller sections.

    I’d probably go with 2 sections opposite each other with a one section blank space to balance visibility and the motion reference. Then again, I’m mercurial, I might do this one in a solid color for style.

  11. dynaryderNovember 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Raiyn,direction could be done with two different colors;red for the rear wheel,white or yellow for the front.

  12. RaiynNovember 26, 2011 at 3:53 am

    @ Dynaryder

    No. In your example all they would see is two differently colored circles with no context. The “off” space is what implies a moving object. Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU_O-OKuaeI&feature=related

    It’s a quick example of what I’m talking about. The shiny rims are solid (and yes I know not really reflective but that’s not the point here) while the chopspokes give an example of what “on” and “off” spacing does as far as shoing that the wheel is moving.

  13. David LoganDecember 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    There is a company called the rimSkin that makes this already. http://www.therimskin.com. I got the reflective orange last month for my super deep v’s

  14. Shannon G.July 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I have the rim stripes and I ABSOLUTELY love them. They really do a nice job and they’re easy to apply. Also recently bought a couple of shirts from Fiks Reflective and they are SO cool. They do a great job of reflecting small amounts of light and the material is high quality.

  15. Fiks, Reflective Rim-Strips for Bikes | Gadget Lab | WiredMarch 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    [...] Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes for Bicycles [Kickstarter via Urban Velo] [...]

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