glow in the dark bike

After getting hit by a car while riding at night (even though I had lights) I am considering powder-coating the frame of my bike with a glow in the dark additive. I was wondering if anyone had attempted this before, and if you had thoughts on it. Also, can you powder-coat spokes? I know powder-coating the rims is bad because it interferes with the brake pads functioning, but I'd really like my bike to be as visible as possible. 

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luckbug (author) 5 years ago
It turns out they already make reflective tires and fenders! More expensive and less fun than DIY but probably safer and more effective. Also, there's reflective spray paint, which I am considering getting and spraying my bike and helmet with. Has anyone used that before? The reviews for the Rust-Oleum brand look bad, and there's not a lot of info on some of the others.
Kiteman5 years ago
"Glow in the dark" wouldn't be bright enough to attract a driver's attention.

Use reflective tape, the same stuff that makes the silver highlighting on high-visibility jackets.
luckbug (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
hmm... that does sound brighter and less messy, but I wonder if it lasts as long as a powder coat?
Kiteman luckbug5 years ago
Durability isn't the issue, it's brightness - glow-in-the-dark simply does not stand out enough compared to the other lights in a typical urban street.

Speaking as a driver, I have had a couple of close calls where a cyclist has ridden out in front of me in the dark, and they would have been a lot less close if their bikes had been reflective from the sides.
luckbug (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Yeah it's definitely the side that's the issue, which is why I was hoping to make the entire frame more visible. And after doing some more research, it turns out there's plenty of tape that's intended for automotive use, so I guess it should hold up fine. I guess I was thinking glow instead of reflection because reflection only shows up if their lights flash on you, and I want cars to know I'm there before that if possible. But reflective tape is a solidly better option than nothing at all, and it's quick too.
Kiteman luckbug5 years ago
If you want to stand out before the lights hit you, you need an active lighting system - think of wrapping your frame in fairy lights or EL wire.

However, for the vast majority of side-on situations, reflections will be seen as quickly as lighting.

try this
he other idea was to paint and coat with reflective microspheres, use the harbor freight 80 grit micro glass bead sandblasting media, just like the stuff they throw on reflective paint stripes on the road. Good luck.
luckbug (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
Yeah I saw this! I was looking for something a bit more durable though, since I'm in Denver and biking in hot summers and cold winters. Micro grit sounds pretty sweet though! I'd probably have to seal it with something if I did that, so it wouldn't be abrasive... time for more research! :)
Actually, I don't think you are supposed to seal it, the reflective properties are by bouncing light of off the smooth rounded surfaces. I bought a gallon jug of that stuff from harbor freight $25 - find coupons and it actually feels like talcum powder. It should only texturize your bike and not be sharp-scratchy-abrasive feeling. Maybe paint your bike with a can of that liquid-electrical-tape or plasti-dip-it. It will also give a rubber armor coating to your bike for the extreme weather. The thick coating would be perfect for dusting with the microbeads. Do it outdoors as the fumes are pretty bad.