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At least in Germany, amber reflectors on bicycle pedals are a legally required. All my recumbents have them, but neither of these reflectors is any useful, because they usually point upwards or downwards while pedaling.

So I wonder if there are recumbent-specific pedals with reflectors on the top and bottom of the pedal instead of front and back so that at least from the front the reflectors on the pedals are actually working.

I've searched through the web, but most articles on recumbent-specific pedals are about not letting the feet fall off the pedals. Nobody seems to care about proper reflectors on them.

Or did anyone already modify the pedals to sport additional reflectors which actually point into the right direction?

The only solution I so far came up with is using reflective trouser straps around my shoes. Worked well with clip pedals (SPD on my Radius Hornet I) because I can put the straps where the clip isn't. Doesn't work that well with large MTB pedals as on my recumbent trike, though.

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    On the road bike I can’t have pedal reflectors because of the click-in pedals. I’ve put reflective tape on the crankarms which works quite nicely and holds up well (because the crankarms are square-ish and provide a good flat surface).
    – Michael
    Aug 7, 2022 at 9:02
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    Click-in pedals and pedal reflectors are not mutually exclusive. Good click-in pedals such as Shimano PD-T8000 do have pedal reflectors.
    – juhist
    Aug 7, 2022 at 12:30
  • @Michael good idea - but colours might be an issue. The crankarm rotates so faces forward half the time, meaning you can't have red or white there, only yellow/amber at least under laws in my country. Many road shoes have reflective cloth in the heel, as do a lot of overshoes. Can't have too much.
    – Criggie
    Aug 7, 2022 at 21:57
  • @juhist: They are heavy and as far as I’m aware nothing like them exists for road bike (SPD-SL) systems.
    – Michael
    Aug 8, 2022 at 6:55
  • @Criggie: Yes and yes. My shoes have a tiny bit of silver reflective cloth on the heel. It’s an ineffective thing with like 1cm² surface area and attracts dirt like a magnet. I’ve put reflective tape all over the shoes (even on the carbon outsole) as well, they are rigid enough for it to work.
    – Michael
    Aug 8, 2022 at 6:57

2 Answers 2

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It's probably one of those things where the law and reality don't quite line up. I've never seen specific "recumbent pedals" for sale other than the ones with heel retention.

On my `bent I use MKS Lambda pedals, and I wrapped some yellow DOT reflector tape around the center pedal axle. This is only seen from the front - noone behind can see this reflector so it could be white as well.
Additionally I stick more DOT tape to whatever surfaces face backward - the upper/rear of the seat is ideal as long as the fabric cover or straps are not completely in the way.

MKS Lambda pedal, stock photo

I also have a lot of the white clip-on spoke reflectors - they work stunningly well and I put them on every bike I own or manage.

I've tried reflectors and lights on the flag pole, but that doesn't really work too well. The flagpole itself is too thin, and putting much on the flag makes it heavy and not stream out like it should.


Lastly - you could potentially design a small triangular block that has the interface to your pedals, and receiver for a pedal reflector. It would face forward no matter which side of the pedal your foot is on, and the other one would simply be obscured.

    R____
=   R|  / \
=   R| /   \
    R|/     \
      \      \      Foot here
       \      \
        \  O   \ 
         \      \
          \      \
           \      \
            \     /|R
             \   / |R   Reflector on this side
              \ /  |R
               -----R

Actually I should really do this myself. More info to come....

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    Thanks for confirming my observation that there seem no such pedals. And I mostly liked the ASCII art sketch and the paragraph "Actually I should really do this myself. More info to come....". And I do like the idea of those triangles! :-) And yes, my Radius Hornet has a white stripe of reflector tape across the full width of the back rest, too. My experience with those white clip-on spoke reflectors on my daily driver (a Brompton) aren't that good. They get dirty and ineffective quite quickly, at least in the city. But maybe there are different quality levels and brands out there. Aug 8, 2022 at 7:47
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    Do you find the clip on spoke reflectors stay on there? I've had the original ones on a couple of bikes and I've got very few left; the cheap ones on the trailer stay on better but the reflective surface delaminates. They also don't help much for pure front/rear visibility, which is when pedal reflectors come into their own
    – Chris H
    Aug 9, 2022 at 5:54
  • @ChrisH yes - the only time I break them is when removing to true that spoke. They work really well at all angles except dead-astern or ahead, and you only need to get a few degrees off centerline for the reflectors to start showing up. So a car in a lane about to pass me can certainly see them. I've used these ones: aliexpress.com/item/1005003007681927.html and tend to put on 8-16 on a wheel. The motion really says "I'M A BIKE" quite clearly - can't be mistaken for anything else.
    – Criggie
    Aug 9, 2022 at 11:32
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    The photo of those looks like the ones sold in UK bike shops, rather than the cheap ones I got online. My hybrid started with 16 on each wheel and is now down to about 4 after a couple of years. I wonder if it's something to do with spoke gauge - I've no idea what the original wheels or current back had but I built the current front with Sapim Race (2.0 / 1.8 / 2.0 mm). Maybe straight spokes stressed the plastic, because I've found some partially split still hanging on
    – Chris H
    Aug 9, 2022 at 12:35
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A DIY solution: I bought the reflector separately for my trekking's bike pedals (PD-M324 - dual pedals, one side SPD, one side flat, but there are other pedals that may work provided they have a flat metal cage + proper spacing for the holes). The reflectors have a "screw" that gets into holes of the pedal cage (see picture below), and then it is fastened with a nut and washers (see picture below).

reflector

Using the item pictured below, that you can find in DIY shops (sorry, I don't know the name in English), you could easily mount the reflector so that it points in the direction you need.

enter image description here

This approach has one (small) caveat: you can't put the reflectors on both side of the pedals (because you might crush them with your feet). But if the pedals are actually meant to be vertical, it should be OK to put the reflector only one side (down): it will weight the pedal, that will then always present the "good" side.

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    Good idea - I'd call them a small "right-angle bracket" or similar.
    – Criggie
    Aug 9, 2022 at 11:33

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