About six weeks ago I read a a review by David Padfield from All Seasons Cyclist. His is one of two blogs that I read that I find very informative (the other being David Clancy blog College Tri). He posted a review of a safety product for your bicycle called Bike Wrappers. I encourage you to read his article.
When I read it I initially thought that was exactly what I needed because the days were getting shorter and I would soon be riding in the dark. I then realized that they were made for conventional bikes and not my Sun EZ-1 Recumbent. I ended up putting them out of my mind for a few weeks but when I found myself leaving for work before sunrise, I reconsidered.
I asked David if they could be cut and he said they could but they would have to be sewn. I was hoping to avoid doing that so I contacted Brent Thomas from Bike Wrappers who pointed out that the one designed for the down tube was cut out for the water bottle and It might fit my bike. I decided to give it a shot. I knew I would figure something out.
The bike wrappers are reversible. One side is a highly reflective silver for night riding and the other side comes in various colors and designs for daytime. I bought the blue one because my bike is blue but I really don’t anticipate using the blue side.
First, I am not concerned about how pretty my bike is and second, I don’t think they will make me any safer during the day. Sure, I could get the neon orange, but I truly believe if I get hit during the day it is because someone (and I don’t exclude myself) is not paying attention to their driving and I could be riding down the road naked, wearing only a neon orange sombrero, and it wouldn’t make a difference.
When they arrived I was able to put the down tube wrapper on the cross bar (they stick together easily with Velcro). The cross bar wrapper, I wrapped around the brake and gear cables in the front which allowed them to be seen from both the side and front. I then put the smaller seat post wrapper around the crossbar on the handle bars. Later I realized it actually fit under the seat where it belongs so I moved it there. Since I have a headlight and taillight, it’s main purpose is to prevent side impacts, so I wanted all three to be visible from the side.
As far as night riding goes, these Bike Wrappers seem like they will be very noticeable when hit with a cars headlights. I photographed them early Monday morning and used the flash to simulate a car’s headlight. I was actually surprised by how well they lit up compared to the rest of the bike.
I would recommend this product to anyone who rides their bike at night, even recumbent bike owners. I would also like to suggest to the folks at Bike Wrappers to make a couple of smaller, standard size wrappers that could be sold separately. These could be only one sided to cut production costs. I could be wrong but it might be worth testing.