Reflecting surfaces

In many locales, the bikes of night cyclists are required by law to have:

Front reflector

a white light or reflector facing forward

Rear reflector

a red reflector facing back


Wheel reflector

reflectors facing left and right

Pedal reflector

pedal reflectors facing front and rear


If your local law doesn't require reflectors, you could still add them for your own safety.

The reflectors marketed for bicycles tend to be fairly small. Auto parts suppliers sell larger reflectors; you can find a way to mount them to your bike using a little imagination.

You might decide that it's worthwhile to add reflective stickers/tape to other parts of your bike. Here are some good places you could put stickers:

Reflectors and reflective stickers/tape can sometimes be found at a bike shop or sporting goods store, and certainly they are available on the Internet.

I'm guessing that white reflective material is the brightest, because it takes the white light from cars and reflects most/all wavelengths of that light. Colored material absorbs some of the light in order to be colored in appearance. However, safety orange/yellow/green colors might be more attention getting; after all, nighttime roads are sometimes full of white and red light from cars. Note that a red reflector is darker than an orange/amber one.

But be aware that reflective materials are effective only when motorists are alert and their headlights hit the material at the correct angle. You should not rely only on reflectors; also use front and rear lights.