New Indicator System

Discussion in 'Research and Questionnaires' started by Griffalo2003, 4 Mar 2018.

  1. Griffalo2003

    Griffalo2003 New Member

    Dear All,

    I am currently in the process of designing a new bike signalling system. I was wondering if anyone has any comments/ideas on this, with any possible requirements, downsides etc etc. Thank you for being part of my research.

  2. Yes. Don’t bother. It’s a silly idea, sorry.

    Car drivers often don’t bother to look. An indicator they’re not expecting to see will be even less likely to be noticed.

    And please please stop trying to make bikes more like cars.
  3. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    The arm mark 1 works perfectly fine.
  4. Even then I indicate far less than I used to. When I used to indicate left it was like a red rag to the car behind to overtake me on the turn. Dangerous. Best not to indicate as leaving them guessing means less likely fir anyone to attempt something stupid.
  5. Brandane

    Brandane Fair weather cyclist.

    I already have a signalling system fitted to my bike; it's the same as that fitted to BMW's..
    Seriously; forget it and file your plans in the nearest bin. No cyclist over the age of 10 wants car type accessories fitted to their bike, particularly when they're not going to serve any useful purpose. If a signal is required, we have arms.
    Bianchi boy and winjim like this.
  6. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    I can see there might possibly be some benefit to cyclists with disabilities, restricted movement etc, or they're a fun toy for kids, but otherwise, if they were a decent idea then one of the many iterations that have been tried so far would have taken off.
    mjr and dave r like this.
  7. hopless500

    hopless500 Trundling along

    Plus indicators seem to have been removed from most cars so putting them on a bike isn't going to achieve much.
  8. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Last edited: 4 Mar 2018
  9. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    Any bike indicator is pretty much doomed to be far less noticeable than an outstretched arm waving about. A wildly wobbling rider helps you get noticed too.
    mjr, hopless500 and classic33 like this.
  10. Foghat

    Foghat Veteran

    It's also frequently a red rag to cars coming the other way that are waiting/intending to turn right into the road that the cyclist is turning left into (or crossing from the right if it's a crossroads) - they will often pull a stupid and dangerous move in an attempt to beat the cyclist rather than give way and wait as they are required to do. So yes, not indicating left is often the safest option for cyclists.
    hopless500 likes this.
  11. Tangoup51

    Tangoup51 Well-Known Member

    Charlie, if you HAVE to design a new bike signalling system you need to know the obvious drawbacks of implementing a conventional indicator system from a vehicle to a bicycle (note: not saying bicycles aren't vehicles.)

    The most obvious drawback which others have said is that "No one bothers to look for them" I,e, no one bothers to look at indicators on bicycles. However, That is true and false at the same time; No one has created a significant enough signalling system that can safely grab the attention of drivers, who are Not looking for indicators on bicycles.

    The reason being, when you create a signalling system for cyclists, it must not be hefty or impede any cycling ability. That fundamental requirement restricts 'Size', 'Weight & Power' of the signalling system.

    The 'Size' issue is best reflected on current models of indicators that attach to the bike VIA The seat post, facing backward, they are smaller width than the saddle as to not impede pedalling, that lack of width and being so central to the rider means it's incredibly hard for an unaware driver to distinguish a directional change between Left & Right, -- since you're not indicating by lighting up the left/right-side of your bicycle, you're indicating by lighting the left/right-side of the centre line of your bicycle. to compensate for this, these indicators typically use Arrows Like in the picture below,


    Which is an issue because Drivers Are Not Looking For Arrows & Even so, it's not indicative enough of the direction of intended travel.

    The 'Weight & Power' Issue, ties in with all variety of indicator systems that do not attach to bicycles, but rather your clothing or even your helmet.

    This is too various and general to get into as a discussion here, but alot of it is common sense.
    You wouldn't integrate a heavy, powerful signalling system into a bicycle helmet .. as it'd impede both helmet structural safety and stress on your neck, etc.

    So take common sense and it'll get you far.

    That said, here's some other tips I want to share with you, if you choose to pursue indicators on bicycles.

    The best indicating system is one that can actually mimic car indicators best, as that's what drivers will recognise for, even when they're not looking for them.


    ... Which'd be furthest left / right of the bicycle as possible. (these are MTB/Hybrid handlebar-end indicators as you see in the picture)
    But, for Road Bikes & their drop bars, this type of indicator becomes trickier. (which is where people turned to putting indicators on left/right parts of your clothing.)

    But with this type of indicator, you wouldn't need to create 'Arrows' like on the first picture, so you can utilise the Whole LED unit to create a huge blinking light.

    Sticking with copying cars, you can't put indicators like that on say, the sides of the rear wheel dropout, or sides of the front fork, as it wouldn't be visible from the front / rear.. It must cover all angles.

    Which'd leave only two places left to put an indicator that'd cover MTBs, Hybrids & Road Bikes, Your pedals, which, is hard because of the 'abuse' pedals go through, but it is very possible to store significant battery / led power around the pedal axle and have LEDs facing both behind, forward & the sides.

    The only issue with that, other than creating a robust design, is they will be subject to alot of dirt & debris that might block view of the LEDs.

    The last place being your clothes, anywhere else on the bicycle would require alot more work than would be profitable.

    In all cases, I hope you find whatever you're looking for, Have Fun & Enjoy your projects.
  12. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    ... . And they keep trying to get cyclists to buy crap that's not needed.
    HLaB, Glow worm, mjr and 3 others like this.
  13. Reiver

    Reiver Legendary Member

    I agree with much of what has been said above and will also add - Indicators are recognised by being a flashing light, many many cyclists now have flashing lights just to say I'm here and I'm a cyclist, a flashing indicator will probably just be seen as a cyclists tail light.

    Good road positioning (esp for turning right) is what is needed, I have seen cyclists riding in the gutter who suddenly stick there right arm out and swerve over both lanes.
  14. Drago

    Drago Guru

    No cyclist ever thought, "gosh, I wish I had indicators."

    Then there is the negative safety issue, where their use becomes a substitute for looking properly, as it tends to have done among car drivers.

    Design something useful, like puncture proof tyres that ride well, or a hub gear system as light as a derailleur set up.
    glasgowcyclist likes this.
  15. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    OH DEAR!

    I feel sorry for the OP.

    However, like the chainless bike, the arm and leg powered bike and the solid tyre, it was about due to come around again.

    I totally agree that it's an idea looking for a problem to solve.
    classic33, Drago and theclaud like this.
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