Induction loops in my experience usually manage to detect bicycles with steel and aluminium frames. Do carbon frames also get detected? I'm wondering if a possible inability to trigger induction loops would be a reason against carbon frames.

EDIT: Thanks for the comments and answeres that came in already. Can in addition someone speak from experience?

  • Spokes and spoke nipples get pretty close tot he road surface, especially as most carbon wheels are fitted with skinny tyres. Maybe that's enough.
    – Chris H
    Aug 25, 2017 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


The loops actually detect the metal in your wheel rims more than the bike frame:

loop mechanism

So it's less about a carbon frame and about having carbon or plastic wheels.

One trick if the loop doesn't detect your bike is to tilt your bike so that the crank and pedals (which are mostly made of metal) are nearer to the loop and the ground.

Some areas will paint the road with the location of where the loop is most sensitive to bicycles.

enter image description here

They also sell magnets to help motorbikes trip automotive loop sensors but I'm not sure of how well they work -- on motorbikes or bicycles.

Addendum: I have a big honking ebike so I don't have problems tripping the bike specific sensors here in California. In Connecticut where I rode a road bike and the sensors weren't configured for bikes, only cars, I did have more trouble both with my motorbike and my bicycle and I seriously considered getting a magnet.

  • My instinct is that cleats, being on the surface of the road, would be more effective than anything short of laying the bike down -- the (not much) larger pedals/cranks are so much further away
    – Chris H
    Aug 25, 2017 at 11:03
  • Either leaning or cleats only seem practical to me when the loop is at the stop line. (Which is usually the case, but I have seen places where they are a good bit before to increase the chance that you don't have to come to a full stop.)
    – pseyfert
    Aug 25, 2017 at 13:41
  • @pseyfert that's true, though the sensor may be set up differently there (detecting a moving piece of metal is different to detecting a stopped one because the former has edges in the signal). In general there's also usually one within a bike's length of the line if there are any on the approach, at least round here, so it's only the last you'd need to worry about.
    – Chris H
    Aug 25, 2017 at 14:11

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