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review

Brooks Reflective Patch

6
£5.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Looks smart and works well, if not as versatile as alternatives
Bright under headlights
Velcro can detach easily
Weight: 
9g

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Brooks' Reflective Patch is a neat tag that helps increase visibility in low light or at night.

The patch is designed to work with Brooks' new Scape collection, being perfectly compatible with the daisy chain webbing that is on all of the bags in the range. I used it alongside the Scape panniers I was testing: it slots perfectly through the webbing to add extra reflective detail exactly where a car's headlights would fall on a rear pannier. 

> Buy this online here

The stiffness of the Velcro tab means you can really only attach it to something very similar in profile to the webbing, as you can see in the photo, though the three evenly spaced holes do lend themselves to a cable tie, so you can get imaginative if you want to.

2021 Brooks Reflective Patch profile .jpg

Once mounted, it sits flush to the bag, but if you brush over it and catch the edge, the Velcro can detach, raising the possibility of losing it. If you're riding on a rough, off-road trail with overhanging brambles and branches you'll want to keep an eye on it – or maybe even remove it for that section.

2021 Brooks Reflective Patch on Webbing .jpg

A few manufacturers produce alternative reflective accessories, such as Bookman and Oxford, and I'd argue that something that dangles from a saddle could be more eye-catching than a static patch, and bands that go on arms, ankles or frames are possibly more versatile – though of course you could use those in addition.

> Buyer’s Guide: 15 of the best reflective garments and accessories

Overall, it's a useful accessory – particularly for urban riding – if not as versatile or secure as some. I wouldn't be confident of it remaining in place if I was venturing off-road with other luggage from the Scape range that is orientated towards bikepacking and adventure riding, though a reflective patch is perhaps less of a concern in such situations.

Verdict

Looks smart and works well, if not as versatile as alternatives

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Brooks Reflective Patch

Size tested: One size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Brooks' UK distributor:

Reflective patch that can be attached to any Brooks Scape bag so that you can be seen more easily by others when light reflects off it.

Made of reflective hypalon material.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Works well, though possibly not as eye-catching as something that can be suspended from a saddle, or placed on the body.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

If it stays on, it should last.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It attached to the Scape bags neatly and it's reflective.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy to mount, bright reflectives.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Not exactly the same, but Oxford Bright Bands are £9.99 for two, and its 'slap wrap' is £3.99; Bookman's hanging reflector is £5.

Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.

Would you consider buying the product? I'd be worried about losing it.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had Brooks panniers, perhaps.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's well made and reflective, but the stiffness and length of the Velcro limit its versatility.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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