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How did cycling's least successful product category get the dragons' attention?

Whenever Dragons’ Den gets a pitch for a cycling product I wince. Partly, that’s just my general reaction to hearing that any bit of the non-specialist media is looking at cycling, but the dragons have a terrible record when it comes to cycling. That they gave a warm reception to a handlebar-mounted indicators a couple of nights ago is just their latest inexplicable reaction to a cycling idea.

Nick Jenkins offered £45,000 for 15% of CYCL, the company behind Winglights indicators, and was negotiated down to 12.5%. A good day for the two young entrepreneurs behind the product, then.

The dragons debated whether indicators on the ends of the handlebars could be seen easily enough to be useful, but acknowledged that Luca Amaduzzi and Agostino Stilli had done a great job of the design and polish.

The problem is, a product can be as beautifully designed and made as the Venus de Milo, but it won’t succeed unless there’s a demand for it.

The history of indicators for bikes suggests there really is no demand.

Luca Amaduzzi and Agostino Stilli pitch at the dragons (Screenshot from BBC Dragons' Den)

Luca Amaduzzi and Agostino Stilli pitch at the dragons (Screenshot from BBC Dragons' Den)

Back in 2009 we reviewed Bicygnals, which put indicators on both the front and rear of your bike. We weren’t impressed and since then the product has vanished without trace. We also looked at Winkku that year, which combined an indicator with a mirror. It’s also long gone.

Then there was Spooklight, which provided indicators and a brake like triggered by an accelerometer. Shaun Audane called it “little more than a gimmick for the ipod age”.

But indicators for cycling just keep popping up. In 2013 we reviewed Scute Design Lumin8a gloves. We were even quite kind about them. Scute Design folded in 2015.

Lumin8a Indicating Gloves - lit

Lumin8a Indicating Gloves - where are they now?

At least there’s now a sure-fire way of finding out if anyone’s interested in your product before you commit to production. Last year a Canadian team took to Kickstarter to try and raise CA$8,000 for a SIX, a gesture-controlled indicator that also incorporated a brake light. They barely reached a third of their target.

The most recent attempt to get an indicator system off the ground prompted lively debate from our readers. London cabbie Gary Thatcher came up with the Signum wrist-mounted indicator. His Kickstarter campaign raised just £1,306 of the £20,000 goal.

The only indicators to get any traction are built into ‘innovative’ helmet designs. Even then, they often don't make it past the sketch stage. For some reason the judges of design competitions like to give them awards anyway. One indicator helmet, Lumos, managed a successful Kickstarter and appears to be shipping. Call us cynical, but we give it a year.

And while you’re putting batteries and lights and electronics into a helmet, why not go hog wild and have it play music, read out your text messages and send out an emergency alert if you crash. If you can’t live without all that, you can get a Livall BH60 from Amazon for £104.


Livall Bling BH60 complete with Flaschenblinkenlights

As Al Storer pointed out in the comments of our story on Signum, there have been loads of indicator systems — we’ve barely scratched the surface with the ones we’ve mentioned here — but they all have one thing in common: you never see them in the wild.

Either people don’t buy indicators, or if they do they don’t use them for long. They’re the sort of thing a well-meaning relative buys you for Christmas, not realising that keeping them to hand and charged is a faff that’s hard to justify for the function.

The inventors of indicator systems almost always say they’re trying to make cyclists safer, but they’re solving the wrong problem. The assumption is that drivers hit cyclists because we can’t be seen. But the majority of crashes involving cyclists happen because the driver simply didn’t look, and adding small flashing orange lights is going to make, at best, a tiny, tiny difference.

As Deborah Meaden pointed out on the show, an indicator is just another flashing light, and it’s one drivers aren’t expecting to see on a bike. However, it’s not clear that the Highway Code makes hand signals mandatory even if you have indicators, as many people think. The code describes how indicators and hand signals must be used, but doesn’t say who should use them.

Meaden might have been sensible to pooh-pooh the Winglights, given the repeated failure of indicators over the years, but the dragons don’t have a great track record when it comes to rejecting cycling ideas.

Hornit DB140 bike horn
The dragons turned down  Tom de Pelet’s Hornit

At least three ideas pitched at the dragons have gone on to success despite being rejected.

Probably the biggest missed opportunity was Tom de Pelet’s Hornit, a 140 decibel bike horn. In an episode screened in 2015, but filmed ten months earlier, the dragons declined to back the Hornit. Between the pitch and the show going to air, Tom had sold half a million quid’s worth of Hornits, and reckoned he was on course for £1.2 million in sales that year.

Later in 2015 sisters Sky and Kia Ballantyne, aged 12 and 14 respectively, pitched Crikey Bikey, a harness that makes it easier to support a toddler who’s learning to ride a bike.

The dragons turned them down even though they’d had orders from Evans Cycles and Mountain Warehouse. Their appearance on Dragon’s Den prompted a flood of new orders and the gadget is now stocked by Halfords.

Sometimes the dragons just don’t get the joke. They turned down Fat Lad At The Back (FLAB) clothing in 2014 because they didn’t like the name. But if you’re a non-svelte cyclist you get used to not taking yourself too seriously, and FLAB’s clothing struck a chord with riders don’t fit in Italian Lycra.

Later in 2014 Evans Cycles took on FLAB clothing, along with then-new sister brand Fat Lass At the Back.

All of that said, Nick Jenkins may be backing a long shot with the CYCL WingLights, but Amaduzzi and Stilli are clearly promising talents.

Jenkins and all the dragons were impressed that the duo had already got the product out into the market and broken even. The standard of finish impressed even notorious cyclophobe Peter Jones who said: “The quality and the way you’ve put this together, I think is as good as I have ever seen in a product.”

I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

91 comments

Avatar
ClubSmed [784 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I don't think that s/he is being obtruse. The research shows dark clothes* at night are a CONTRIBUTING factor in 10% of all fatal crashes. That does not mean that if you take away that contributing factor that it will reduce those number of fatal crashes, only that it will no longer be listed as a factor. To quote a statistical analogy, just because sales of icecream increase in the summer and so do shark attacks does not mean that sharks are attracted by icecream.
I do think that anyone who cycles at night without any reflective element is an idiot, but I also think that anyone who overdoes the reflective gear and lights also makes it harder to spot everyone else. So in my opinion there is a balance that needs to be made on how visible we make ourselves as well.
The culture and environment need to change significantly to make it safer for the cyclist but that is going to take a long time. In the interim we do need to take counter measure but I also think that we need to be careful of not over doing it either.

* I would also argue that how dark the colour of clothing is irrelevent at night. A black top with reflective elements is far more visible than an orange top without  reflective elements when out on an unlit night in my opinion

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psling [296 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

I don't think that s/he is being obtruse. The research shows dark clothes* at night are a CONTRIBUTING factor in 10% of all fatal crashes. That does not mean that if you take away that contributing factor that it will reduce those number of fatal crashes...

 

I would also like to see how many of the 10% where dark clothes at night are listed as a contributing factor also did not have working lights. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a significant proportion which would somewhat negate the extent that the contribution of dark clothes makes.

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davel [2723 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
davel wrote:

I'm not entirely disagreeing, but I'm extremely suspicious of reasoning and 'common sense' (ie. personal bias) being applied in lieu of actually diagnosing this problem properly. These arguments are extremely subjective and personal experience is largely irrelevant. It's much like the 'I had an off and broke my helmet, so imagine what would have happened to my skull' argument that makes a leap that is unfounded and merely reinforces the teller's bias. This bias omits the negatives or alternatives. The fact is that we don't know how effective reflectives and even lights on bikes are at preventing drivers hitting cyclists. We do know that lights and reflectives make a cyclist more visible in the dark. Going beyond that to 'lights and reflectives stop drivers hitting cyclists' is an unsupported leap. It isn't the only unsupported leap to make from that position - it just happens to be the one you prefer to make. We know that more drivers hit cyclists during the day; couldn't one postulate that drivers have started expecting cyclists to be Blackpool Illuminations on wheels so have stopped noticing them during the day when lights aren't on or are less effective? Do we *know* that drivers aren't becoming complacent and less safe because they expect cyclists and other 'obstacles' to be well-lit? Would it be safer if drivers expected streets full of ninja cyclists apparently emerging from nowhere? I'm just cautioning on any line of 'common sense' leaps that don't put the onus on drivers to actually make a bit more effort to stop squashing squashy stuff. Don't dismiss the victim-blaming line: I don't think it's that simplistic an argument.

I do think you're being deliberately obtuse here. The research shows dark clothes at night are a contributing factor in 10% of all fatal crashes. If you can't avoid riding at night then the only part of that contributing factor you can change is the dark clothing. I don't think it's biased at all to assume that lighter clothing would be beneficial, if there were no difference between light and dark clothing then dark clothing wouldn't be listed as a contributing factor. Reflective clothing is as light as it gets at night. In an ideal world car drivers would look carefully before any manoeuvre and if , as you suggested, all cyclists dressed head to toe in black and rode around unlit then maybe they would. I think a lot of cyclists would have to die before your experiment starting showing results and as human sacrifice has never really interested me I'm afraid I'll have to decline to take part.

Pointing out biases and showing that there could be alternatives isn't the same as being obtuse.

You not understanding what 'contributing factor' is - are you being obtuse? How about you not realising that 10% is actually a pretty insignificant proportion?

Taking alternative examples as literals (eg the ninja experiment) - that is obtuse.

There are 2 issues here: 1 is that there's loads of woo-woo around cycling safety, and not much evidence of anything. It's a massive, complex subject.

The 2nd one is the emphasis on responsibility. Every time a cyclist joins a debate with another cyclist with something like "those of us who aren't willing to die just to prove a point..." they're actually missing that point, and conflating micro and macro.

So back to your stats. Fix the 10%. Get them all to wear lights and reflectives. How much safer will that make you, someone who already wears lights and reflectives? And when 2 cyclists a week are still dying after that, what magic item will you leap to then?

I'm not saying you don't have a point: you do. You might have already not been hit at night because of lights and/or reflectives - you'll never know, and that's why you do it. I do the same. But what I am saying is that your point, by your own stats, is less than 10% of the big picture. Getting drivers to drive properly is at least 5 times more weighty.

I'm not a fan of this culture almost of appeasement where cyclists wrap themselves in cotton wool and rabbits' feet and don't understand 1. how insignificant they are in keeping them safe and 2. the damage they could be doing by discouraging other potential cyclists and encouraging drivers' perception that cyclists need to take responsibility for the risks that the drivers themselves take. And this is where we disagree on changing driver behaviour - while cars get ever safer for thoae inside, this appeasement isn't helping us, is it? Even your stats say a resounding 'no'.

Avatar
ktache [1987 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I was riding down the oxford road, Reading, last night and as I passed an unlit cyclist I was concerned for her as motorists may be less able to see her because of me.  She was perfectly visable and it was only just getting dark.  But I'm lit up like the proverbial blackpool/xmas...

A couple of years back I actually fitted a front and rear reflector to the getting to work bike.  I have always liked pedal reflectors, the bolt in ones not the rattly push in ones (Ebay made this much easier), and spoke reflectors, had some spiral ones and now the straws.  The bloke in Evans (click and collect, I wanted the nice small round ones, still got to try and look good..) said that I didn't need them if I had lights.  Hmmmm...   But I wanted to be fully compliant.  No police or insurance company problems if hit.  No one would ever be able to see them over the Hope R4 and District+ of course, and I think my respro ankle jobs probably outshine the pedal reflectors.  It's not like we park in the middle of the road is it.

I relented and watched this part of the dragons.  I hate dragons den.  I must say that they are probably the best bicycle indicators I have ever seen.   Lovely blokes too.  Really well thought out and made for what they are.  Couldn't use them myself, but wouldn't mind seeing what they come up with next.

I do worry that because of the ridiculous lights that my arm signals might not be seen.  Even with Ronhill slap bands and glove/jacket reflectors.  CycleGaz has suggested using the helmet light to illuminate the arm to help, but then it's more difficult to see where you're going.

 

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Mungecrundle [1542 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This idea that unlit / non reflectively coated cyclists are eclipsed by the presence of much shinier specimens. Does this extend to other traffic that has lights, indicators and reflectors etc? Maybe they only become really visible when there is no-one around to see them?

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ktache [1987 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Yeah mungcrudle, a bit like all of those invisible cyclists that somehow manage to be seen.

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fenix [1199 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
Mungecrundle wrote:

This idea that unlit / non reflectively coated cyclists are eclipsed by the presence of much shinier specimens. Does this extend to other traffic that has lights, indicators and reflectors etc? Maybe they only become really visible when there is no-one around to see them?

 

I can believe this. If all is dark then a dark cyclist will stand out. 

If there are cyclists with lights and reflectives then they will stand out far more than their ninja pals. I think most of us will be drawn to what we can see over what we can't ? 

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Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
davel wrote:

Pointing out biases and showing that there could be alternatives isn't the same as being obtuse.

You not understanding what 'contributing factor' is - are you being obtuse? How about you not realising that 10% is actually a pretty insignificant proportion?

Taking alternative examples as literals (eg the ninja experiment) - that is obtuse.

There are 2 issues here: 1 is that there's loads of woo-woo around cycling safety, and not much evidence of anything. It's a massive, complex subject.

The 2nd one is the emphasis on responsibility. Every time a cyclist joins a debate with another cyclist with something like "those of us who aren't willing to die just to prove a point..." they're actually missing that point, and conflating micro and macro.

So back to your stats. Fix the 10%. Get them all to wear lights and reflectives. How much safer will that make you, someone who already wears lights and reflectives? And when 2 cyclists a week are still dying after that, what magic item will you leap to then?

I'm not saying you don't have a point: you do. You might have already not been hit at night because of lights and/or reflectives - you'll never know, and that's why you do it. I do the same. But what I am saying is that your point, by your own stats, is less than 10% of the big picture. Getting drivers to drive properly is at least 5 times more weighty.

I'm not a fan of this culture almost of appeasement where cyclists wrap themselves in cotton wool and rabbits' feet and don't understand 1. how insignificant they are in keeping them safe and 2. the damage they could be doing by discouraging other potential cyclists and encouraging drivers' perception that cyclists need to take responsibility for the risks that the drivers themselves take. And this is where we disagree on changing driver behaviour - while cars get ever safer for thoae inside, this appeasement isn't helping us, is it? Even your stats say a resounding 'no'.

It's not 10% of cyclists It's 10% of fatal collisions, dark clothes are a factor in the death of 12 cyclists a year, 1 a month.

I think that's pretty significant.

I do a fair bit of work in risk modelling/reduction, one of the models used is the 'swiss cheese model'.

You imagine multiple slices of Swiss cheese each representing a safeguard. All safeguards have flaws and the holes in the Swiss cheese represent these flaws.

A negative event can only occur when the holes in all the sheets line up, in other words when every safeguard fails.

Each additional safeguard you add is an extra layer and make a negative event less likely.

Reflective clothing represents an additional safeguard, it might have flaws but it is a quick and easy step to take.

That's why it's worth doing even if the gains are only small.

Comprehensive driver education would probably have a far greater impact but it would need to be agreed politically and would take years to begin having an effect.

I've never sought to blame cyclists for anything, I'm simply pointing out ways we can mitigate the effects of poor driving.

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psling [296 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

This idea that unlit / non reflectively coated cyclists are eclipsed by the presence of much shinier specimens. Does this extend to other traffic that has lights, indicators and reflectors etc?

 

Well, yes. An unlit, grey or darker coloured vehicle amongst others with lights on could easily dissappear into the background.

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 2 years ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

 It's not 10% of cyclists It's 10% of fatal collisions, dark clothes are a factor in the death of 12 cyclists a year, 1 a month.

I think that's pretty significant.

what's happened here is that 10% of fatalities were wearing dark clothes and it was then assumed to be a contributory factor - there is no possible proof of causality here.

in order for it to be significant, you would have to know exactly what percentage were wearing dark clothes and were not involved in fatal collisions

if 100% of them were wearing clothes - would it then be safer to cycle naked?

Avatar
ClubSmed [784 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

It's 10% of fatal collisions, dark clothes are a factor in the death of 12 cyclists a year, 1 a month. I think that's pretty significant.

www.news.qut.edu.au/cgi-bin/WebObjects/News.woa/wa/goNewsPage?newsEventI...

This research from an Australian university  basically says that reflective, not high-visibility, clothing is the answer to being seen in the hours of darkness. Fluorescent clothing needs UV rays to be reflective and so don't work at night so I question how much of factor "dark clothes" are. I can accept that non reflective clothes are a factor, but not how dark they are.

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LastBoyScout [624 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

My cycle gloves have small reflective logos. At night and if a car is behind they are extremely visible in headlights. During the day an arm signal is clear enough.

So do mine, but they only really work if you hand is at the right angle.

Mungecrundle wrote:

As a motorcyclist arm signals are second nature. In any situation an arm signal is by far a clearer and unambiguous statement of intent. For a cyclist they also make you effectively an arm length wider.

As a motorcyclist, I have no intention of taking my hands off the bars and reducing the control of my bike. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a motorcyclist using arm signals?

Avatar
davel [2723 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

That's why it's worth doing even if the gains are only small.

Comprehensive driver education would probably have a far greater impact but it would need to be agreed politically and would take years to begin having an effect.

100% agree with this sentiment.

Rich_cb wrote:

Reflective clothing represents an additional safeguard, it might have flaws but it is a quick and easy step to take.

But I'm not sure on this specific point.

1. Is it actually a proven safeguard?

2. Are there any negative consequences to this quick and easy step?

There's got to be a balance... eg. it makes you 0.1% safer then it probably feels like a no-brainer. But if that action, when replicated through a lot of people following the same logic, reinforces behaviour in drivers that actually results in you being 0.2% less safe, then everybody needs to stop doing it. I suppose my point actually boils down to 'we don't know', which I accept is a bit shit.

Avatar
Mungecrundle [1542 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:

My cycle gloves have small reflective logos. At night and if a car is behind they are extremely visible in headlights. During the day an arm signal is clear enough.

So do mine, but they only really work if you hand is at the right angle.

Mungecrundle wrote:

As a motorcyclist arm signals are second nature. In any situation an arm signal is by far a clearer and unambiguous statement of intent. For a cyclist they also make you effectively an arm length wider.

As a motorcyclist, I have no intention of taking my hands off the bars and reducing the control of my bike. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a motorcyclist using arm signals?

 

I'll admit it is a bit old school as are some of the other habits that were beaten into me by my instructors. E.g when was the last time you saw any motorcyclist kick up the sidestand before getting on? This goes back to the days before moron interlocks stopped one riding off with the side stand down and crashing on the first left hander soon thereafter.

If you have choreographed being in the right place at the right speed in the right gear, then there is usually time for a cheeky arm signal to back up what your indicators are telling other road users. Especially useful for exiting multilane roundabouts or when turning right into a minor road from a major road in my experience.

Not to turn this into a motorcycling thread but there are a lot of transferable skills, especially to do with road positioning and a copy the Police Motorcyclists Roadcraft manual is actually not the most tedious bedtime reading. Round town at cycling speeds I still think of myself as a small (and horribly underpowered) motorcycle rather than a pedal cycle.

 

 

A summary of the riding system from Wikipedia.

Information received from the outside world by observation, and given by use of signals such as direction indicators, headlamp flashes, and horn; is a general theme running continuously throughout the application of the system by taking, using and giving information;

Position on the road optimised for safety, visibility and correct routing, followed by best progress;

Speed appropriate to the hazard being approached, attained via explicit braking or throttle control (engine braking), always being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road;

Gear appropriate for maximum vehicle control through the hazard, selected in one shift; and

Acceleration for clearing the hazard safely.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Roadcraft-Police-Handbook-Motorcycli...

 

 

Avatar
Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
davel wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

That's why it's worth doing even if the gains are only small.

Comprehensive driver education would probably have a far greater impact but it would need to be agreed politically and would take years to begin having an effect.

100% agree with this sentiment.

Rich_cb wrote:

Reflective clothing represents an additional safeguard, it might have flaws but it is a quick and easy step to take.

But I'm not sure on this specific point.

1. Is it actually a proven safeguard?

2. Are there any negative consequences to this quick and easy step?

There's got to be a balance... eg. it makes you 0.1% safer then it probably feels like a no-brainer. But if that action, when replicated through a lot of people following the same logic, reinforces behaviour in drivers that actually results in you being 0.2% less safe, then everybody needs to stop doing it. I suppose my point actually boils down to 'we don't know', which I accept is a bit shit.

If dark clothing is a contributing factor in fatal collisions then by replacing the dark clothing with light or reflective clothing you are removing a possible contributing factor.

For that reason I would say it was a safeguard.

As for whether cyclists wearing reflectives makes non-reflective wearing cyclists more vulnerable?

I don't think you could ever prove that and even if you could it would involve asking people to put themselves at greater risk in the short term for a possible increase in safety in the long term.

I'm not sure many people would be willing to risk it to be honest.

Avatar
Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

www.news.qut.edu.au/cgi-bin/WebObjects/News.woa/wa/goNewsPage?newsEventI...

This research from an Australian university  basically says that reflective, not high-visibility, clothing is the answer to being seen in the hours of darkness. Fluorescent clothing needs UV rays to be reflective and so don't work at night so I question how much of factor "dark clothes" are. I can accept that non reflective clothes are a factor, but not how dark they are.

I don't know exactly what they meant by 'dark clothing' but I'd imagine they meant dark colours and non reflective.

Avatar
Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

 It's not 10% of cyclists It's 10% of fatal collisions, dark clothes are a factor in the death of 12 cyclists a year, 1 a month.

I think that's pretty significant.

what's happened here is that 10% of fatalities were wearing dark clothes and it was then assumed to be a contributory factor - there is no possible proof of causality here.

in order for it to be significant, you would have to know exactly what percentage were wearing dark clothes and were not involved in fatal collisions

if 100% of them were wearing clothes - would it then be safer to cycle naked?

Well no, not really, analysis of the fatal collisions involving cyclists identified dark clothing as a contributing factor in 10% them.

That doesn't mean that 10% of riders killed were wearing dark clothing.

It means the clothing was found to be a contributing factor in 10% of fatal collisions.

Avatar
Saintlymark [25 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes

Two things, first off I still think that the best indicating a cyclist can do on a road is positioning. That's not to say hand signalling doesn't have a place, but for instance, if as a cyclist you are going to be turning right on a sharp descent, a hand signal may well be very unsafe, as it would involve taking your hands off the breaks. If drivers were conditioned to pay attention to the positioning of a cyclist, over and above hand signals, roads would be safer. 

Secondly indicators on a bike always seem like the kind of invention a car driver thinks would help cyclists, with little regard to what cyclists want. I've never met a cyclist wanting to use indicators. 

Avatar
philtregear [135 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

failure. crap

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

 It's not 10% of cyclists It's 10% of fatal collisions, dark clothes are a factor in the death of 12 cyclists a year, 1 a month.

I think that's pretty significant.

what's happened here is that 10% of fatalities were wearing dark clothes and it was then assumed to be a contributory factor - there is no possible proof of causality here.

in order for it to be significant, you would have to know exactly what percentage were wearing dark clothes and were not involved in fatal collisions

if 100% of them were wearing clothes - would it then be safer to cycle naked?

Well no, not really, analysis of the fatal collisions involving cyclists identified dark clothing as a contributing factor in 10% them.

That doesn't mean that 10% of riders killed were wearing dark clothing.

It means the clothing was found to be a contributing factor in 10% of fatal collisions.

you still haven't explained how they could make such an assessment...

for example - if a cyclist has good lights, but dark clothing, and is then a fatality, it could be said to be a factor, but it isn't really

on the other hand - if someone is riding in the dark, all in black, and with no lights, one could also say it is a factor, but it isn't really

I literally have no idea what basis they are using for such a claim. If a driver fails to see a cyclist then they will try to rationalise that in some way, and even if it is caught on video from 15 different angles - it still sounds speculative at best.

Avatar
urbane [100 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

The AirZound is the best bicycle horn, especially the newer version with the Aluminium air can, so no more bottle leaks; it's light, simple and cheap, so little to go wrong; I've seen much more expensive pinger bells, which is a massive piss-take!

I decided against the Hornit because the sound is nasty wrong, and apparently water can easily get inside and make it blast continuously or fail!

Avatar
urbane [100 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
ktache wrote:

I was riding down the oxford road, Reading, last night and as I passed an unlit cyclist I was concerned for her as motorists may be less able to see her because of me.  She was perfectly visable and it was only just getting dark.  But I'm lit up like the proverbial blackpool/xmas...

A couple of years back I actually fitted a front and rear reflector to the getting to work bike.  I have always liked pedal reflectors, the bolt in ones not the rattly push in ones (Ebay made this much easier), and spoke reflectors, had some spiral ones and now the straws.  The bloke in Evans (click and collect, I wanted the nice small round ones, still got to try and look good..) said that I didn't need them if I had lights.  Hmmmm...   But I wanted to be fully compliant.  No police or insurance company problems if hit.  No one would ever be able to see them over the Hope R4 and District+ of course, and I think my respro ankle jobs probably outshine the pedal reflectors.  It's not like we park in the middle of the road is it.

I relented and watched this part of the dragons.  I hate dragons den.  I must say that they are probably the best bicycle indicators I have ever seen.   Lovely blokes too.  Really well thought out and made for what they are.  Couldn't use them myself, but wouldn't mind seeing what they come up with next.

I do worry that because of the ridiculous lights that my arm signals might not be seen.  Even with Ronhill slap bands and glove/jacket reflectors.  CycleGaz has suggested using the helmet light to illuminate the arm to help, but then it's more difficult to see where you're going.

 

Sorry, but those indicators look far too small and may not be seen from behind past the arms and clothing, I also wonder how long before they fracture off...

Most bar end accessories contain brittle plastic, which will distort, fracture or crack from a glancing blows, leaning pressure or a bicycle fall, I've broken enough of several brands of bar end mirrors!

My bar ends are currently occupied by tough (survived a bicycle skid crash) USA Mirrycle MTB bar end mirrors (via Amazon), so that I have some warning of what is behind me. Maybe Mirrcycle could be convinced to add an indicator LEDs to their mirrors, or an indicator could be hacked in via the mirror holder screw.

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Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
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beezus fufoon wrote:

you still haven't explained how they could make such an assessment...

for example - if a cyclist has good lights, but dark clothing, and is then a fatality, it could be said to be a factor, but it isn't really

on the other hand - if someone is riding in the dark, all in black, and with no lights, one could also say it is a factor, but it isn't really

I literally have no idea what basis they are using for such a claim. If a driver fails to see a cyclist then they will try to rationalise that in some way, and even if it is caught on video from 15 different angles - it still sounds speculative at best.

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data.

It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

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urbane [100 posts] 2 years ago
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Rich_cb wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

www.news.qut.edu.au/cgi-bin/WebObjects/News.woa/wa/goNewsPage?newsEventI...

This research from an Australian university  basically says that reflective, not high-visibility, clothing is the answer to being seen in the hours of darkness. Fluorescent clothing needs UV rays to be reflective and so don't work at night so I question how much of factor "dark clothes" are. I can accept that non reflective clothes are a factor, but not how dark they are.

I don't know exactly what they meant by 'dark clothing' but I'd imagine they meant dark colours and non reflective.

Hi-Viz looks frankly retarded fugly, part reflective doesn't; my coat is Black with Reflective patches on it, so not a eyesore off my bicycle, my back packs have reflective patches and back/strap piping, and my tires have reflective side-wall strips too. The latter must be very obvious to a car illuminating my bicycle from the side, far more than my front or back light side emissions, so people without these would be wise to get wrap-on spoke reflectors.

Avatar
shay cycles [418 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data. It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

Well in reality research based mainly on STATS19 needs to be handled with care. The government's own guidance says;

"The factors are largely subjective, reflecting the opinion of the reporting police officer, and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Some factors are less likely to be recorded since evidence may not be available after the event.

While this information is valuable in helping to identify ways of improving safety, care should be taken in its interpretation."

So the data quoted is far from reliable.

So you cannot reasonably claim that dark clothing was a contributary factor in 10% of fatalities - whether a University study says so or not.

 

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
shay cycles wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data. It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

Well in reality research based mainly on STATS19 needs to be handles with care. The government's own guidance says;

"The factors are largely subjective, reflecting the opinion of the reporting police officer, and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Some factors are less likely to be recorded since evidence may not be available after the event.

While this information is valuable in helping to identify ways of improving safety, care should be taken in its interpretation."

So the data quoted is far from reliable.

So you cannot reasonably claim that dark clothing was a contributary factor in 10% of fatalities - whether a University study says so or not.

 

equally, if it is just raw data, then it is clearly 10% of fatalities who are wearing dark clothing - if it's a different percentage and discouted in some instances, then it's a question of interpreting that data - in which case they will have certain criteria which can be validated and replicated...

I suspect they have just used a certain phrasing - "it is a contributory factor" - to make their common sense assumptions appear scientific...

I wonder whether dark coloured cars are involved in proportionately more collisions - or if they discovered that neon green cars were, would they then count colour as a contributory factor?

I also suspect that we might find that the amount of people who wear dark clothes is upwards of 30% and that they are under represented by the 10% figure - it is of course possible that those who wear hi-viz tabards are more safety conscious and more cautious riders, so the clothing is not actually causal, simply a reflection of other factors - there are so many possibilities and other factors to consider here.

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ktache [1987 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

And let's not forget, the dead cyclist can never give their side of the story.

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Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
shay cycles wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data. It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

Well in reality research based mainly on STATS19 needs to be handled with care. The government's own guidance says;

"The factors are largely subjective, reflecting the opinion of the reporting police officer, and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Some factors are less likely to be recorded since evidence may not be available after the event.

While this information is valuable in helping to identify ways of improving safety, care should be taken in its interpretation."

So the data quoted is far from reliable.

So you cannot reasonably claim that dark clothing was a contributary factor in 10% of fatalities - whether a University study says so or not.

 

Have you got any better data?

Links to any better research?

Avatar
Rich_cb [989 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
beezus fufoon wrote:
shay cycles wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data. It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

Well in reality research based mainly on STATS19 needs to be handles with care. The government's own guidance says;

"The factors are largely subjective, reflecting the opinion of the reporting police officer, and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Some factors are less likely to be recorded since evidence may not be available after the event.

While this information is valuable in helping to identify ways of improving safety, care should be taken in its interpretation."

So the data quoted is far from reliable.

So you cannot reasonably claim that dark clothing was a contributary factor in 10% of fatalities - whether a University study says so or not.

 

equally, if it is just raw data, then it is clearly 10% of fatalities who are wearing dark clothing - if it's a different percentage and discouted in some instances, then it's a question of interpreting that data - in which case they will have certain criteria which can be validated and replicated...

I suspect they have just used a certain phrasing - "it is a contributory factor" - to make their common sense assumptions appear scientific...

I wonder whether dark coloured cars are involved in proportionately more collisions - or if they discovered that neon green cars were, would they then count colour as a contributory factor?

I also suspect that we might find that the amount of people who wear dark clothes is upwards of 30% and that they are under represented by the 10% figure - it is of course possible that those who wear hi-viz tabards are more safety conscious and more cautious riders, so the clothing is not actually causal, simply a reflection of other factors - there are so many possibilities and other factors to consider here.

Just read the research.

Stop pontificating about how you think they did it and just read it.

Avatar
davel [2723 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
shay cycles wrote:
Rich_cb wrote:

You could always read the research. They explain quite clearly where they are getting their data. It's mainly based on the STATS19 data collected by the police, also hospital data, coroners reports and 'on the site' reports.

Well in reality research based mainly on STATS19 needs to be handled with care. The government's own guidance says;

"The factors are largely subjective, reflecting the opinion of the reporting police officer, and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Some factors are less likely to be recorded since evidence may not be available after the event.

While this information is valuable in helping to identify ways of improving safety, care should be taken in its interpretation."

So the data quoted is far from reliable.

So you cannot reasonably claim that dark clothing was a contributary factor in 10% of fatalities - whether a University study says so or not.

 

Have you got any better data?

Links to any better research?

Weak, subjective and incomplete research is worse than none at all if it's used to justify weird and wonderful leaps in the dark.

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