First up on the BikeHacksTivus review front are Hyper Spectrum Bicycle Rim Stickers. Another BikeHacksTivus miracle has already occurred because the fine Hyper Spectrum folks have agreed to give a package away to TWO, count'em, TWO BikeHacks.com readers. I will sit next to the bike pump displayed in my home to celebrate the season, open up a beer and think about how to select the recipients. Stay tuned for details and now without further ado, on to the review . . .
On the package the following claim is made -
THE BRIGHTEST REFLECTIVE RIM TAPES IN THE WORLD!!!
I performed a quick Google search on "reflective rim tape" and there are appear to be many companies that sell such products, for both motorcycles and bikes, but there is no world ranking I could find. However, the following text is used by the company to describe the product -
7 times brighter than standard engineer grade tape and twice as bright as high intensity reflective. - Light is reflected via micro prisms making the tape much brighter than glass bead type tapes.
Seems pretty legit to me. One package will cover both sides of one rim and while the package did include some small square stickers made of the same material, the packages do not include stickers to cover your frame as shown on the package. It would appear you would need to order their pinstripping stickers if you want to cover your frame.
Yet another BikeHacksTivus miracle took place (they just keep coming) because of this review - I actually cleaned my bike. I cannot remember the last time I got a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and thoroughly cleaned my bike. I have taken a damp cloth and wiped major mud or gunk off my bike occasionally, but I live in a condo and have no garage and thus washing my bike is not something I often do. The instructions on the package were to clean the rims thoroughly and there was admonishment to use rubbing alcohol to clean the rims before installation, which I did. I then cut the stickers into individual strips before applying.
I should probably note at this point in time that my bike has disc breaks. It would not be possible to use these strips if you have brakes which use the rims as the source of friction to stop the bike. My front rim has a nice smooth surface -
I applied the stickers by removing the backing paper as I went.
Unlike my front rim, my rear rim has machined side walls. The original rear rim that came on my bike was not to my liking as spokes broke on multiple occasions so I upgraded to a beefier wheel.
I won't know if there is a difference in adherence between the two styles of rims until I ride with the stickers for a while. As far as performance, I have not had someone else ride my bike while I watch them to see how they work, but here is a picture with low light and no flash on my camera -
And here is a picture with the flash. I left one sticker off just as a point of comparison with the normal rim.
I was also curious how the stickers would look on my back wheel, because my back tire has a reflective strip built into it. No flash -
I will let readers judge the benefit of the built in tire strip vs. the Hyper Spectrum stickers. The yellow stickers on my frame, by the way, were sent to me by a reader and are leftovers from road signs.
One thing is undeniable to me, I actually like the way the stickers change the look of my bike in broad daylight.
They add to the cornucopia of color present on my bike. No bystander has mentioned the stickers yet, we'll see if they catch anyone's attention. Installing the stickers now is pretty good timing in the sense that winter is approaching and it will be interesting to see how the stickers stand up to the elements. Thus far I will say that . . .
- The stickers are easy to install.
- They are not overly expensive - $16 is listed as the price on the Hyper Spectrum web site.
- I like the additional color element they add, and they have different colors to choose from.
Interestingly, how many colors you have to choose from varies on their site and on their packaging. On the package above you will note seven color options, and on their web site they list six.
Looking back on it, I should have asked for scrap pieces of varied colors because the single orange color looks almost too nice. How ugly and awesome would it be to have all six colors on the same rim?! Maybe I will follow up with them and see if they are up for this. As far as I'm concerned, the more of an eyesore my bike is to others, the better.