We’ve seen the future, and it’s fluorescent yellow. Here at Road.cc we’ve received so much fluoro yellow kit lately that it’s getting like the 1980s in here.
We’re not talking about Tour de France yellow although, in the wake of Wiggo’s win, that’s everywhere at the moment.
Pinarello have various yellow paint schemes on their 2013 bikes, not surprisingly, including this yellowed up Graal. And Prendas, for example, have produced commemorative socks and caps.
We’re not even talking about the yellow that Mavic use – although that is certainly very bright. You can damage your eyesight if you stare at their podium shoes for long without protective eyewear*.
No, we’re talking about super-vivid, highlighter pen yellow. Of course, bright yellow has been used for cycling safety products forever. Look at the ranges from brands like Respro, Altura and Proviz and there’s yellow as far as the eye can see. But lately it has started to appear on non-safety products too, as a fashion choice.
Take a look at these Bont Vaypor shoes, for example. We’ve reviewed the leather version on Road.cc before and we absolutely loved their performance. These neon yellow ones, available for the first time now, come with microfibre uppers and are priced £225.
Giro are going big on bright yellow shoes too. The Factors are available in highlight yellow/black while a version of the top-level ProLight SLX (above, £249.99) will come with a highlight yellow instep.
Giro will be doing shoe covers next year too. The yellow ones above are the Stopwatch Aeros which are made from water-resistant polyurethane-coated Lycra. They'll cost £29.99 when they become available in the spring.
Although not new for 2013, Giro do a bunch of their helmets in the same colour – the Reverb urban helmet (£49.99), for instance.
Abus are getting in on the act with their new uGrip range of locks. You'll not lose this uGrip Plus 501 thanks to a bright silicone cover that'll prevent damage to your bike's paintwork. It has a Sold Secure Gold rating and will cost somewhere between £79 and £89 when it becomes available in February or March.
We’ve had a lot of bright yellow clothing arrive at Road.cc HQ lately too. Castelli always send us clothing in black, white and red. Occasionally we’ll get something with some blue on. This year, though, we have some Sorpasso bibtights (£150) with a bright yellow stripe down the outside and there are loads more yellow options in the range.
Check out this new version of the Castelli Mortirolo Due Jacket (£175) too. It's unlike anything we've seen from Castelli before. If the Space Invaders-esque design doesn’t do it for you, it’s available in red, black/white and black/grey. We reviewed a red version last year although the Windstopper front fabric has been upgraded since then.
Rapha have got more into the bright yellow thing lately too. We reported last week, for example, on their new autumn/winter range which contains plenty of chartreuse clothing, such as this Hardshell Jacket (£240). Rapha go with chartreuse because, they tell us, it’s the colour your eye can see best at the lowest light levels – so it’s as much a safety decision as a fashion one.
If the weather’s not that cold, Defeet’s Armskins (£19.99) are available in neon – and these really are super-bright. You can get their Dura gloves (£14.99) in the same colour.
You couldn’t say that neon yellow is taking over as far as bike finishes are concerned, but we saw a few out at Eurobike - certainly more than last year. Style-conscious De Rosa, for example, are offering several of their bikes in fluoro finishes. One of the options for this R838 is a blinding ‘giallo sole’ – that’s sun-yellow.
Fellow Italians Wilier are doing their Cento Uno (frameset £3,600) in a fluoro yellow option too.
And yet another Italian brand, Cinelli, have a yellow and grey Zydeco cyclo-cross bike. It’s made from Columbus Zonal alloy tubing with a carbon monocoque fork up front (£719.99 www.chickencycles.co.uk).
So, there’s the evidence. The future's bright, the future's... yellow. If you want to get on trend, you need to get some fluoro in your life for 2013.
* Possibly not true.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.