The Chainlink

Volvo Life Paint Reflects Well on Cyclists

By Brett Ratner

Back in January, car maker Volvo (partnering with Ericcson and POC) unveiled The Connected Bicycle at The Consumer Electronics Show. The technology, which utilizes a centralized computer system and GPS tracking, represents a highly ambitious effort to make cycling safer.

Volvo, long a standard bearer for automotive safety, is again putting it's R&D muscle into bike safety. This time around, the product is no less impressive from a technological standpoint, but it's arguably a more feasible and economical approach.

The product is called Life Paint. It's comes in a can that could easily be mistaken for Old Spice Body Spray. But instead of making you smell like an episode of Jersey Shore, it temporarily makes fabric and metal surfaces highly reflective at night.

The idea is simple: Spray it on your bike, your helmet, your jacket, your backpack, your shoes, etc. Then, when you're pedaling (or jogging, or walking your dog) and a car is pointed at you, you'll light up like a character in Tron.

Not the way to be inconspicuous during a Midnight Marauders ride, but otherwise a good idea at night.

According to Volvo, it's invisible during the day, the reflective properties last about a week, and it doesn't damage the surfaces you spray it on.

My initial impression is that, assuming it works as promised, you can wear whatever you want and be visible at night. In other words, you're not forced to wear cycling-specific clothing to enjoy reflective properties.

So, paired with a powerful set of blinky lights, this could be something worth checking out when it becomes commercially available.

Visit http://www.volvolifepaint.com/ to learn more.

About the Author

Brett Ratner (brett@thechainlink.org) began commuting by bike in 2005. Shortly thereafter, his interest in cycling expanded to century rides, bike camping and trail riding. The competition bug bit in 2012 and nowadays he races cyclocross, track, mountain bikes, criteriums and gravel for The Bonebell. His goals for 2015 are to complete the Lumberjack 100 mountain bike race as well as a 600 kilometer brevet.

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