Staying visible!

by Cycle_Jim   April 5, 2013  

Okay, so my girlfriend is worried about me being hit by a car and wants me to get some sort of high vis top whilst cycling. She suggested a high vis sash Nerd , I refused Cool. I use a front/rear light combo everytime I'm out. I was thinking of getting a fluro top (do these only really work in dull light or will they be good in summer too?) but wondering if I'd be better off with a bright coloured top (red or something) Suggestions/advice welcome and any ideas for tops to get.

Cheers

35 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

I think getting something reflective is far more effective in the dark than flouro - as previously suggested and in the words of robin Williams in good morning Vietnam "clash"

posted by chiefoldmist [61 posts]
9th April 2013 - 8:12

14 Likes

A sash?! You'd look like you'd just come from working in the clothes section at Next! Sick Big Grin

How about a little flasher on the back of your helmet, a couple of fibre flares on the seatstays and a jacket with some 3m reflective bits?

You could opt for a Campag or Castelli jacket, some of those are reasonably colourful.

Look on the bright side, at least you've got budget approval for new kit!

There are a few silver/grey jackets about, and I think they more or less disappear in rain/spray, so probably best avoided.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3329 posts]
9th April 2013 - 13:14

19 Likes

Doesn't matter what you wear. If a driver is looking at his mobile phone or fannying with his radio he ain't gonna see you!

At night (not that I go far in the dark) a couple of decent LEDs with different flashing patterns will catch the attention.

As for during the day, frankly you shouldn't need anything. I wear colourful tops, but avoid hi-viz like the plague as I hate it and it seems to be an idiot magnet!

posted by gazza_d [235 posts]
10th April 2013 - 21:32

18 Likes

Well I think I'll go for some bright colours, but at the same time not really wanting to look like I've just come from a rave. I do think that people wearing hi-viz sometimes believe that good cycling isn't needed 'cus they can be 'seen'.
I know that if someone's not paying attention then there isn't anything I could do no end of lights/fluro will help.

Good excuse to spend money on new summer (fingers crossed) and spring gear Smile

Thanks for the help so far guys!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
10th April 2013 - 22:12

16 Likes

I am a fan of lights and reflective bits in the dark. Hi-vis doesn't do as much good as these two, IMO.

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

Tour Le Tour's picture

posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
18th April 2013 - 1:17

12 Likes

I am doing the London - Paris this year and one compulsory piece of kit is as follows...

Hi-viz vest compulsory!
With BS EN471 class 2 standard label to wear in bad weather conditions

Now I have two questions...where the heck do I buy one and why would the French be interested in a BS item?!!

posted by cojones [13 posts]
24th April 2013 - 20:40

14 Likes

Got to be said, I have no idea! Could try halfords maybe or failing that B&Q? builders style. Just out of interest what are the other required kit

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
24th April 2013 - 21:08

16 Likes

I commute to work with a little rucksack, with one of those hi-viz HUMP covers on it. I recently also got a hi viz altura night vision jacket. Don't think it really makes much difference in bright daylight (women driver still try to kill me on roundabouts, going on recent experience) but when it's dark enough to need lights, the extra hi viz gear makes cars give you a bit more room.

deadhead1971's picture

posted by deadhead1971 [26 posts]
24th April 2013 - 21:14

17 Likes

Compulsory clothing for a sportive? And I thought compulsory helmets were bad, what next, compulsory glasses, gloves, bananas in your back pocket?

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [351 posts]
24th April 2013 - 21:28

14 Likes

Cycle_Jim wrote:
Got to be said, I have no idea! Could try halfords maybe or failing that B&Q? builders style. Just out of interest what are the other required kit

This is just the 'cycle' part of the kit list...overshoes? In July?

Cycle helmet - Compulsory
Cycling shoes / trainers - Make sure you train in them and they are comfortable. Stiff sole recommended for increased power transfer between foot and pedal
Cycling socks (2 or 3 pairs) - No need for a clean pair per day but enough to have dry socks each morning
Cycling gloves (fingerless) - Essential for comfort and grip – gel padding reduces road vibration; thin full- fingered gloves may be useful on cold mornings
Padded cycling shorts x 2 - Lycra with chamois insert better than ‘baggies’ for full days on the bike
Cycling leggings - For cooler days or to put on over shorts at lunch-stops
Cycling tops / T-shirts x 2 - Traditional cycling jerseys have useful pockets at the back and usually wick moisture well; tops made from cotton absorb sweat - not recommended
Wicking base layer - Recommended if cycling tops do not wick moisture well enough
Thermal jacket / warm top - For cooler days / lunch-stops
Waterproof windproof jacket - Good quality (eg gore-tex) essential; material should be highly breathable and have good wind resistance to prevent cold air reaching your chest
Hat / cap - For sun protection off bike
Sunglasses - Must fit well so stay in position when looking down; wraparound style useful
Overshoes - Optional – keep feet warm and dry in wet conditions
Hi-viz vest compulsory! - With BS EN471 class 2 standard label to wear in bad weather conditions

posted by cojones [13 posts]
24th April 2013 - 21:29

9 Likes

deadhead1971 wrote:
I commute to work with a little rucksack, with one of those hi-viz HUMP covers on it. I recently also got a hi viz altura night vision jacket. Don't think it really makes much difference in bright daylight (women driver still try to kill me on roundabouts, going on recent experience) but when it's dark enough to need lights, the extra hi viz gear makes cars give you a bit more room.

*dons nerd hat*

hi-viz clothes don't work after dark. fluorescent fabrics work by reacting to ultraviolet rays, not visible light. There's no UV in car headlights.

After dark you need reflectives, not hi-viz. plenty of that on humps and altura night vision though.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7437 posts]
24th April 2013 - 23:04

14 Likes

I have fitted a white led to the left side of my lid...certainly helps with cars about to turn right from junctions in front
and a red led fitted into a vent hole at the back of my lid....
I set both to fast strobe and seems to work, certainly notice the reaction of drivers approaching from behind.
As for Hi-Viz...for my pennies worth orange type seems more effective in daylight...maybe why rail track and road workers are moving away from the yellow type.

colhum1's picture

posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
24th April 2013 - 23:05

8 Likes

I'm wondering if the compulsory Hi-Vis vest is anything to do with the french law that you have to carry one in a car? No idea if that applies to bikes though.

posted by pirnie [192 posts]
24th April 2013 - 23:06

12 Likes

Regarding bs en 471... I brought an ex police high viz tunic from a local army surplus store last year for commuting in the dark. It is labelled up with bs en 471. It's not a waterproof one, but is a bright yellow and has two wide reflective bands all the way around the body, two around each long sleave, and one up and over each shoulder. My thinking was that it would be dark and the fashion police wouldn't know it was me... oh, and it was only £4 ! I suspect its the reflictive bits that satisfy the bs en standard. I got a smaller size than I would normally so it didn't flap around too much. I did see a gillet in decathlon the other day that had a different number (bs en 1150). It was cycling specific and looked pretty good for what it is imo. I'm not sure if any of this helps though! Good luck with the ride.

posted by Steveal [27 posts]
25th April 2013 - 9:17

13 Likes

cojones wrote:
I am doing the London - Paris this year and one compulsory piece of kit is as follows...

Hi-viz vest compulsory!
With BS EN471 class 2 standard label to wear in bad weather conditions

Now I have two questions...where the heck do I buy one and why would the French be interested in a BS item?!!

You should be able to pick one up at a local builders merchants/protective clothing store. It's probably not so much the French interest in a bs# but the fact that Discovery operate out of the UK and this is our equivilant to the Euro version and therefore easier to get the hold of. Incidentally, I'm doing the same route but the other way.
Edit - just found out that the EN is the international reference, the BS refers to the UK

Also rail workers have always worn orange (since 1964) and are not migrating from yellow Nerd Nerd Nerd

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
25th April 2013 - 18:06

12 Likes

I've just bought a fab little head torch from ebay for night fishing for £5.90.

It fits onto my lid and its powerful enough to burn the retinas of over enthusiastic drivers, cant recommend it enough.

300LM 3 MODE CREE Q5 LED Zoom. Big Grin

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
25th April 2013 - 18:10

9 Likes

Stumps, I sometimes worry about you mate Wink

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
25th April 2013 - 18:31

11 Likes

Its the pressure of dealing with the great unwashed on a daily basis mate. Sends you a bit daft. D Oh

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
25th April 2013 - 19:03

14 Likes

Good call on the light Stumpy, great value bit of kit there!
@Dave, thanks for the science! I now know my new fluro top (which doesn't actually look all too geeky) should only be used in daytime!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
25th April 2013 - 19:56

15 Likes

Cycle_Jim wrote:
Good call on the light Stumpy, great value bit of kit there!
@Dave, thanks for the science! I now know my new fluro top (which doesn't actually look all too geeky) should only be used in daytime!

Thanks, they get delivered from China so it takes a while but the light they give off is fab. In all honesty you do have to be careful with the full beam on cos it is ridiculously bright.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
25th April 2013 - 20:51

9 Likes

helmet lights: I've got some of these on the back of my lid, and i'd recommend them:

http://road.cc/content/review/71083-busch-and-muller-topfire-helmet-lights

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7437 posts]
25th April 2013 - 21:33

11 Likes

My name is Brett, I'm a US-based cyclist and designer. I just launched a reflective clothing company for the modern cyclists on Kickstarter (http://kck.st/10nDxk0) after three friends were hit by cars while riding their bikes at night. Anything to make riders more visibility is key. Let me know any feedback you guys have for me on my designs.

Lunis.png

Brett Clouser | Reflective clothing designer for cyclists at http://lunis.cc

brettclouser's picture

posted by brettclouser [3 posts]
26th April 2013 - 7:08

19 Likes

@Brett

It looks pretty nice, I'm gonna say now that the shape of the reflective sections look a touch like things that you'd put a golf ball on (maybe that was intended)
I'd like to see if it would work for jerseys too?

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
26th April 2013 - 10:57

9 Likes

@Dave

They look nice Tongue On the wish list I think!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
26th April 2013 - 10:58

14 Likes

some peeps on the review saying they've had trouble with the batteries &c. no issues with mine in that regard, though the double sided tape did give up after about 4 months. glued 'em on then.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7437 posts]
26th April 2013 - 12:01

11 Likes

Brett, are you just designing stuff from the waist up?

I'd be very interested in some Brett Clouser Over Trousers.

posted by farrell [1520 posts]
26th April 2013 - 13:12

15 Likes

cojones wrote:
I am doing the London - Paris this year and one compulsory piece of kit is as follows...

Hi-viz vest compulsory!
With BS EN471 class 2 standard label to wear in bad weather conditions

Now I have two questions...where the heck do I buy one and why would the French be interested in a BS item?!!

It's a BS item alright, but maybe not quite in the way you were thinking! I'd have a major issue with mandatory hi-vis. Perhaps they have arranged for you only to share the road with yellow cars.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3329 posts]
26th April 2013 - 13:30

15 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
cojones wrote:
I am doing the London - Paris this year and one compulsory piece of kit is as follows...

Hi-viz vest compulsory!
With BS EN471 class 2 standard label to wear in bad weather conditions

Now I have two questions...where the heck do I buy one and why would the French be interested in a BS item?!!

It's a BS item alright, but maybe not quite in the way you were thinking! I'd have a major issue with mandatory hi-vis. Perhaps they have arranged for you only to share the road with yellow cars.


Whether we like it or not it is part of the Highway Code in France. Here is an excerpt including the HiViz thing. I'm having to get the hold of a vest myself. Don't really wish to get in an argument with a gendarme.

Highway code for cyclists in France.

NB. The lines below are given solely for information, and are valid at the time of writing. They do not constitute an exhaustive list of all laws and rules governing riding a bicycle in France, and may in time be changed..
To be roadworthy, bicycles must be equipped with a bell, fully functioning brakes, and after dark with reflectors and front and rear lights.
The wearing of cyclists' crash helmets is not compulsory in France, but is strongly advised. Cyclists must also wear a high-visibility waistcoat if cycling after dark outside urban areas.
In urban streets, cyclists must use the marked cycle lanes where these exist.
Cyclists must obey traffic signs and signals in the same way as other road users; this includes respecting "no entry", "one way" and "stop" signs.
Like cars, cyclists riding behind each other on a roadway are obliged to keep a safe distance between them. Cyclists may ride two-abreast, but only during hours of daylight. At night, single file cycling is obligatory.
Drinking and cycling: cyclists are subject to the same alcohol limits as other road users. Cycling while under the influence of alcohol can lead to a hefty fine, the impounding of the cycle, and/or the withdrawal of the cyclist's vehicle licence if he/she has one.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
26th April 2013 - 15:03

9 Likes

@Cycle_Jim,

The pattern has evolved and the final resting place for that design ended up looking similar to golf tees. This absolutely works for jerseys as well and is something that I will look into doing once I get things up and running. Thanks for your feedback Jim!

Brett

Brett Clouser | Reflective clothing designer for cyclists at http://lunis.cc

brettclouser's picture

posted by brettclouser [3 posts]
30th April 2013 - 3:19

14 Likes

@farrell,

The jacket that you see there is the very first piece I've done. My ultimate goal would be to create clothing for a cyclist for both sport and commuting uses. Could you please expand upon what you're visualizing? Are you saying you'd like to see a similar reflective application on pants or some type of pant shell that you could throw on over your existing shorts/trousers that has a similar effect?

Brett

Brett Clouser | Reflective clothing designer for cyclists at http://lunis.cc

brettclouser's picture

posted by brettclouser [3 posts]
30th April 2013 - 3:21

11 Likes