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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:57 AM
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Apennine Apennine is offline
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Default Instructables-Brake light for bike

http://www.instructables.com/id/Add-...e-lever/#step1

I sure wish there was a photo of the finished product.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:44 PM
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If you look through the scooter parts websites, you will find brake levers with built-in switches. They are used to interupt power to the motor. I have a couple in the shed.

Sample: http://scootersparts.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=1632

Google is your friend

Last edited by Simple Nature; 12-07-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:58 AM
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Thumbs down Instructables - Brake light switch for bike

neat, but I hope it's never mandated... I'd rather that people pay attention to what's going on rather than get trained to just look for brake lights like some brainless zombie driver...

plus I hate the whole accordion effect that brake lights cause... that's why I won't own a car with an automatic transmission...
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
neat, but I hope it's never mandated... I'd rather that people pay attention to what's going on rather than get trained to just look for brake lights like some brainless zombie driver...

plus I hate the whole accordion effect that brake lights cause... that's why I won't own a car with an automatic transmission...
I don't think that will happen but it is highly recommended that we use a hand signal for stopping. I don't think it is the law like signaling turns but this could be optional to hand signals.

I am a minimalist when it comes to bikes, however, and having brake lights and turn signals just doesn't excite me in the least. But we all have our own idea of "safe cycling".
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:16 PM
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If there were a really lightweight, easy to wear or mount on the bike, bike tail/brake light that was big in terms of square inches, say "4 by 6", that might be interesting, though I kind of react against putting something like that on the road bike.

Re; discussions on the main page related to last weeks' two, car/bike towing children in trailer collisions: I've commented to those threads, suggesting that a lot of reflectivity and multiple bike lights could help increase trailer visibility. Since bike trailers have a lot of surface area facing directly towards rear approaching (and side approaching...) traffic, I would think large area tail lights, rather than single small area tail lights, could boost visibility. A big bright brake light could help people distinguish whether a bike and trailer was moving or slowing and stopped.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
I don't think that will happen but it is highly recommended that we use a hand signal for stopping. I don't think it is the law like signaling turns but this could be optional to hand signals.
Hand signals are also required for stopping, just like signaling turns:

http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/814.html

814.440 Failure to signal turn; exceptions; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to signal for a bicycle turn if the person does any of the following:

(a) Stops a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal continuously for at least 100 feet before executing the stop.

(b) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating without giving the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn for at least 100 feet before executing the turn.

(c) Executes a turn on a bicycle the person is operating after having been stopped without giving, while stopped, the appropriate hand and arm signal for the turn.

(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is operating a bicycle and does not give the appropriate signal continuously for a stop or turn because circumstances require that both hands be used to safely control or operate the bicycle.

(3) The appropriate hand and arm signals for indicating turns and stops under this section are those provided for other vehicles under ORS 811.395 and 811.400.

(4) The offense described under this section, failure to signal for a bicycle turn, is a Class D traffic violation.


I agree, it's pretty unlikely that brake lights or turn signals will be required on bikes, and it's not something I'm interested in having. I do like my Glo-Gloves for dark riding, though.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:38 PM
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Thanks Alan.

Considering the handbook suggests keeping both hands on the handlebar, I think no. 2 kind of overwrites the rest of the law.

100 feet on a bike is along time of compromised control of the bike. I signal a turn judiciously, but when stopping, I am much more interested in having 2 brake handles in hand. Its kind of important on a recumbent trike with both brakes up front.

Having said that, when I know there are bicycles behind me in the bike lane, I will signal slowing then.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
Considering the handbook suggests keeping both hands on the handlebar, I think no. 2 kind of overwrites the rest of the law.
Yeah, and no. 2 covers turn signalling, too.

100 feet is quite a ways. For me, the important message is to signal far enough in advance that other traffic isn't taken by surprise and expects what I'm going to do. So, maybe 100 feet before an intersection I'll flash a hand signal for a few seconds, glance around to see who is noticing, and start to squeeze the right brake. Then I'll drop my left hand to the bars and use that front brake as I approach the stop/turn zone. As I reach a stop, if there are others at the stop, I might use a hand signal again to indicate my intent.

Quote:
I signal a turn judiciously, but when stopping, I am much more interested in having 2 brake handles in hand. Its kind of important on a recumbent trike with both brakes up front.
I was wondering about that the other day! No rear brakes on (most?) tadpoles? So, does the steering pull when only one brake is applied? Can you steer by braking?
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
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...
I was wondering about that the other day! No rear brakes on (most?) tadpoles? So, does the steering pull when only one brake is applied? Can you steer by braking?
Commonly known as brake steer; some recumbent trikes have this worse than others. It puts lateral force on the rear wheel, the "rudder" and if it gets light or slips on leaves or something, it can angle the trike a bit. It is not serious when slowing but you want control of both front brakes when hitting them harder. My trikes exhibit very little brake steer. There is also a safety factor in having 2 brakes levers for 2 brakes... in case one cable fails, you still have brake control on the other wheel.

Brakes on the back of a recumbent trike have only 2 purposes, 1) a drag brake for long downhills when you don't want to cook your front brakes (uses a thumb shifter for actuation), common on touring setups, or 2) Stunts. The rear wheel is light enough under braking conditions to slide and come around if you lock it up. Something like turning brakes in a sandrail.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
....

100 feet on a bike is along time of compromised control of the bike. I signal a turn judiciously, but when stopping, I am much more interested in having 2 brake handles in hand. Its kind of important on a recumbent trike with both brakes up front.

Having said that, when I know there are bicycles behind me in the bike lane, I will signal slowing then.

This particular law's text could probably benefit from a little re-write. The words 'at least' are probably excessive in most road situations.

For arriving at a sense of how long to signal in advance of a turn, I'd say also that 'seconds' of display time may be more useful than expecting people to reliably estimate 100' distances. At least 2 seconds of display time seems essential...up to 10 seconds if situations allow for it.

What sometimes works good for me as well, is rather than displaying the signal continuously, displaying it for shorter periods during the time when first displaying it and finally getting to the stop, turn or whatever. This allows returning the hand to the bars, brakes so on. Still can allow getting the message across to other people on the road.
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