We love reflectivity. Truly. We love it on our helmets (it’s in the woven helmet straps, it’s on the ‘Nutcase’ front helmet badge, and on the side and back logos), and we love it in our clothing.
We love reflectivity so much we just made a reflective sticker. It’s rad.
Reflectivity is a feature in nature – think, fish scales. The engineering company 3M trademarked reflective tape back in the 1930’s by using small glass beads, and a company named Reflexite further refined it with ‘micro-prismatic’ reflectivity in the 1960’s.
The glass beads reflect light shined on them right back – the beads must be perfectly spherical to do so. The micro-prisms in Reflexite products are similar – they just do the reflecting a bit more efficiently.
Reflective tapes or cloth can make a big difference for cyclists, and runners, and others who do activities in the dark. Reflective badges and stripes are especially great to have on clothing and equipment in the wintertime when visibility can be low and getting caught out after dark is easy.
Yet in reflecting on reflectivity, we at Nutcase don’t believe it’s a good idea to mandate its use.
There’s a small spate of reflectivity laws going around. In California, Senator Carol Liu proposed Senate Bill 192 that would require all adult bicyclists to wear helmets and additionally require them to wear reflective clothing at night.
In Oregon, Rep. John Davis has introduced a bill that would fine cyclists $250 for not wearing high-visibility clothing when riding between sunset and sunrise.
The bill describes the reflective requirement as “including but not limited to reflective coat or reflective vest.”
And in Wyoming, Bill 206 before the House would require cyclists to have a whopping “200 inches” of reflective coverage.
These bills are partly in response to the uptick in commuter biking across the country.
At Nutcase we have always operated with the idea that if we can make a great helmet with great graphics and great design, people will want to wear it. If we add reflectivity to make our helmets visible at night, so much the better. And now we have a great reflective sticker, also.
We just don’t think mandatory reflectivity or mandatory helmets are helpful in getting more people out of cars and onto bikes.
To get one of our reflective stickers, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and we’ll send you one!