Volvo Life Paint

I will admit upfront that I am more of a fairweather cyclist. If it’s raining, I hate riding my bike. Especially since I wear glasses most of the time, my vision is inevitably obscured by raindrops on my lenses if I ride in the rain. The other time I tend not to ride is in the dark. That’s why I seldom ride my bike in the winter in Vancouver. My cycling commute is usually from April to September. Why? It’s too dark when I leave work at 6pm to feel like I can safely navigate the alleys and streets of Vancouver by bike.

Enter Volvo Life Paint.

I’m still wary of riding at night even if I had all my bike decked out in LED lights and reflectors. I never would have thought of having a spray applied to my clothing and bike to make me even more visible.

Life Paint is a brilliant idea and product developed by Volvo. One sprays Life Paint onto one’s bicycle or clothing. The spray is invisible in daylight, but once a light is shone onto the surface, the paint shines back. The spray apparently lasts only a week and then one needs to reapply. Or if it gets washed off, the paint needs to be reapplied.

Currently, Volvo has only released the product at 6 bicycle shops in London, UK. However, if the spray is successful in London, then we may see this product be released internationally.

Life Paint would be useful in dark and grey Vancouver on dry winter nights. It may not be so useful in our typically wet rain forest weather. The spray may be all washed off by the time one gets home in the rain.

All the same, Life Paint looks to be an exciting new product for cyclists who want to ride in the dark and maintain higher visibility. I don’t ride much at night. So personally I may not buy this, but I still think it’s a bright idea.

[All puns were intentional]

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3 comments

  1. It’s neat and gimmicky and all but I see two things wrong with it.
    It’s only temporary so won’t last long. You can get more side visibility with reflective sidewall tires. Back and front visibility with regular reflectors and lights. They’ll always be there.

    I suspect some Photoshopping of the picture has been done. Look at the bit of wheel on the guy on the right’s bike. The wheel is dark except for the bit behind the middle guy’s bike’s wheel. It’s like his tire or rim is already reflective but they made it darker to show that their product is better.

    The big thing about all this is that an auto maker is promoting it. Right there I’m suspicious. It’s placing the onus on the “victim” rather then the motor vehicle driver who is the reason all this is needed in the first place. Yet another thing that people have to do to survive this autocentric world. It’s better to change that than this desperation.

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