Courtesy of Volvo
Bicycle Safety Advocates Remain Skeptical
Bicycle safety remains a top priority for cyclists, and despite infrastructure improvements, crashes are far too common. A new product released by Volvo increases the visibility of bikers that ride during evening hours. The product, a spray called LifePaint, makes the biker and bike highly reflective, and creates a glow that is easily visible.
LifePaint, which is sold in an aerosol can for around $16, is currently available in the UK through VolvoCars. It was promoted throughout 2016 and finally released towards the end of the year. It sprays on easily and is invisible in daylight. But once the sunlight fades, LifePaint provides intense light reflection, creating a glow to fabrics, helmets, and bikes. But does it live up to the hype?
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Bicycle safety enthusiasts recently tried out LifePaint on clothing, bicycles, and gear. One major problem is that, although it adheres well to fabric, it quickly wears off the helmet and bike. It requires several coats of spray to build up a good amount of reflection, and some complain that the level of reflection is mild compared to typical reflective fabrics. Others note that the level of reflection is angle-sensitive, appearing bright when the light shines head-on but dim under other conditions.
The application process is easy. The spray can be applied to any clothing or gear. It does not leave a residue and is clear under daylight conditions. Once adhered to fabric, the reflective level remains, even in rain. Volvo notes that the spray, once applied, will last for about a week with normal wear.
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Despite the drawbacks, however, bikers are going wild for LifePaint. Cans of the reflective paint have been sold on eBay and other auction sites for several times the retail price. Bicycle safety proponents are hailing the product as modern, convenient, and easy to use. It remains to be seen if it will be widely accepted after the hype dies down, and it seems clear that some modifications are necessary to make the product more functional.
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LifePaint appears to be a step in the right direction for bicycle safety. It’s simple, convenient, and allows any clothing to be reflective. I am going to purchase a couple cans to keep at the office to use when I stay into the evenings. What bicycle safety products do you use?