Italian clothing company Northwave are putting safety at the forefront of their latest clothing range with 17 new garments designed with generous helpings of fluoro, broad reflective surfaces and integrated LEDs.
They’ve also taken this opportunity to launch an awareness campaign ‘Be Visible. Be Safe’ which, they say, is to safeguard cyclists riding in conditions of poor or limited visibility on the road. They’re encouraging cyclists to, ‘Understand the risks linked to their passion and to proactively take a stand to protect themselves’. That’s some passionate stuff...
Of course many cyclists also passionately believe that putting the emphasis on cyclists when it comes to being seen takes the emphasis away from encouraging car drivers to look. Many also point out that the evidence that fluoro yellow clothing gets you more noticed by drivers is by no means conclusive. A largescale Australian study in to the subject concluded that retro-reflective strips on knees and ankles were the most effecive visibility aids for cylists and that wearing yellow was not appreciably safer than wearing black.
The new high-visibility clothing in their autumn/winter 2012/2013 range is signalled by a special Be Visible. Be Safe logo to spread the message. Across the range, which includes jackets, bib tights, gloves, headwear and overshoes, there’s a strong emphasis on bright fluoro yellow coloured fabrics. Wide reflective inserts are printed directly onto the fabric.
Really helping the clothing to stand out a dark night is the introduction of a luminous LED device that is inserted into a special pocket of two jackets, the NRG and Evolution. This LED strip has two modes, fixed or flash, and a single 3V Lithium Ion battery provides up to 140 hours of lighting.
The range includes six windproof and waterproof jackets. The top-of-the-range Traveller uses a Rainsheld Max fabric and is 100% waterproof and windproof, and offers a full 360 degrees of visibility. Northwave have worked hard to ensure that all jackets in the range provide good visibility when viewed from any angle, with carefully placed reflective panels.
The Apparel collection features tops like the Blade that are made from their own NE4PRO fabric. It’s claimed to provide good thermoregulation and protection from the elements and the fit and comfort are said to be enhanced by the soft and elastic construction.
Northwave will also offer gloves and overshoes to complete the range of hi-vis products. The Power and Force gloves both use the NW4PRO weather resistant fabric. The H2O Extreme Shoecover is completely waterproof and has reinforced toe and heel inserts. The Blade 2 Shoecover is made from neoprene and features the same yellow fluoro finish.
Finally, there’s the Blade headband and headcover. Both protect the wearer from the cold and use the NW4PRO membrane and Vuelta fabric to keep you warm and dry.
Check out their website for more info on the new range www.northwave.com
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.