High-conspicuity Reflective Gloves for Night Bicycling




Introduction: High-conspicuity Reflective Gloves for Night Bicycling

I try to be very visible to motor vehicle drivers when I ride my bicycle at night.

I attached high-reflectivity vinyl strips to a pair of work gloves.

The reflector strips extend all the way around the cuffs, so it's visible front & back when I hold up my arm as a turn signal.

And the vinyl reflective material stays very visible in the rain.

Commercial alternatives:   I didn't find any I liked which were reasonably priced.  Reflective piping is not sufficient; you can't see it very far.  Cloth reflective materials lose reflectivity when wet; they are less visible in the rain when you need them the most.  These gloves are close:  They have good vinyl reflectors on the backs, but not the front, and are pricey:  http://goo.gl/eKCJBL

So I made my own...

Step 1: Parts and Supplies

Get some sew-on vinyl reflective tape. Get the widest that will fit your gloves.  I  got tape that was 1"/25mm wide.  Either buy it new from a business like Identi-Tape, Inc (http://www.identi-tape.com/sew-on-vinyl.html) or cut it off an old mesh safety vest like I did from Harbor Freight  (http://www.harborfreight.com/reflective-mesh-vest-3604.html

Get a pair of work gloves with wide cuffs from your favorite store.  I like any of these:  http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=red+work+gloves

An office stapler

Step 2: Assembly

Cut the vinyl strips to length to fit around your glove cuffs.

Staple the vinyl strips all the way around the cuffs of each glove, front and back.

For best results, I recommend you staple from the inside-out, so the pointed ends of the staples are outside.  

The first time I made these, I stapled from the outside-in.  Unfortunately, the points often scratched my wrists or caught my shirts.  Not fun.

Step 3: Done


Test them.  Get in your car at night, shine the headlamps, and have a friend bike past wearing the gloves.  You'll like what you see.

Step 4: Re-do

Then, when your gloves get holes and the lining shreds, remove the staples and transfer the vinyl strips to a new pair of gloves.   That's actually what I did while creating this instructable.

The gloves typically last me 9 months to a year.

Future enhancement:   Even wider reflectors.  When these vinyl strips wear out, I am going to replace them with 2" / 50mm wide tape.  

Ride safe.

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    this is very cool, however, check out the glove section at Home Depot, I got a pair of highly reflective gloves there


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi l8nite, Yes, I checked at both Home Depot and Lowe's.
    The best gloves I found at Home Depot were these two:
    - http://goo.gl/xVoUSn but the reflective piping isn't very visible, and
    - http://goo.gl/aCHOqx but the cloth-like reflector loses visibility in the rain.
    I find wide vinyl reflects the best in rain.
    Got a link to your gloves?
    Thanks for the suggestion.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't consider being in the rain because I don't curb mine in the rain. I have the 1st pr you linked to, http://goo.gl/xVoUSn, I know how reflectyive they are because I took them off and laid them on the truck bumper to tie down some stuff and drove off, when I realized what I'd done and retraced my route I was able to see them from more than a block away. Have you thought about attaching some of the reflective material around your ankle? maybe with velcro, the motion will get motorists attention, also reflective vests are light weight and fairly inexpensive