With the long shadows of autumn and evenings drawing in, it’s time to get prepared for riding in the dark, and for many cyclists that typically means wearing some reflective clothing. Here is a roundup of some of the latest reflective cycle clothing from howies, Giro, Rapha and Proviz, so you can be ready for the winter.
Cycle clothing manufacturers have been meeting a growing demand for reflective cycle clothing in recent years, as more cyclists look to increase their visibility to other road users, so there's lots more choice now. Advances in fabric technology now mean it's possible to combine reflectivity into stylish and fashion conscious clothing, as these latest products demonstrate.
Giro has launched reflective versions of its Empire ACC and Republic LX road shoes. A reflective coating has been added to the microfibre upper, providing 360-degree reflectivity.
During the daytime, they look like any other pair of regular road cycling shoes, in a subdued grey colour. So during the day, no one has any clue you're wearing reflective clothing. We don’t have a UK price, but the regular Empire ACC shoes cost £250, so expect these to be about the same.
A study a few years ago suggested that the most effective way to ensure visibility to other road users is to "add reflective strips to their knees and ankles because the pedalling movement makes light from the headlights bounce back to the driver making it easier to register they are there." You can read the full article here.
Welsh clothing brand has lined up the Beamer Shirt for those evenings when you want to ride home from the office/pub in normal civilian clothing but want to ensure you stand out on the dark streets.
The company has added horizontal 3M Scotchlite reflective weave to the short. The shirt costs £79 and only 100 will be made.
road.cc tested the Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket last winter and we were hugely impressed, and just in time for the winter the company has expanded its range with the new Reflect360+, Switch, PixElite jackets.
The new Reflect360+ (£110) offers a better fit and is now made from a material providing improved breathability and is more waterproof.
The Switch (£100) is a reversible jacket, with a reflective material on one side and a choice of neon yellow or black on the other.
While the Reflect360+ and Switch jackets are aimed at urban commuters, the new PixElite range uses a pixel reflective yarn integrated into the Italian manufactured garments and is aimed at performance cyclists who want a really good fit and high functionality.
The range includes a softshell jacket (£120), gilet (£70), long sleeve jersey (£65) and bib tights (£75).
High-end clothing brand Rapha has been taking reflectivity more seriously in recent years, since the launch of its Brevet range. For the winter it has taken the reflective chest and back bands from the Brevet and applied it to the updated Rain Jacket (£180).
“It’s a subtle, stylish change yet one which resulted in a much more visible jacket,” reckons Rapha.
The Rain jacket is made from a 2.5-ply waterproof fabric with 3-ply waterproof arms and it’s all constructed using taped seams. The rear Rapha logo is also reflective, and there are two reflective stripes on the sleeves.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.