Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Cycling clothes for visibility... or not?

ChippedMugChippedMug Posts: 12
edited November 2018 in Road general
Hi all!

Been very torn as I acquire cycling kit as I'm a relatively new rider. I have a matte black bike (yeah yeah yeah, but I love it) and the settings of my rides have plenty of foliage; greens, browns, grays... and those colors happen to be what I wear day-to-day as well. Naturally, I was drawn towards green jerseys or darker colors, but wouldn't this nearly wipe me out of eyesight for drivers? So I've been sticking with buying red. Red jacket, red jerseys, but the siren call of earthy colors is still there. Does anyone else give a toss what colors they wear when they ride? Is it wise for me to stick with red since it contrasts with the landscape or does it boil down to if someone isn't paying attention well then who gives a **** what color I have on, I'll be hit anyways? All the discussions I can find online are more specific to the argument of wearing/not wearing high-vis clothing. And I'm a lone wolf rider, so I won't have team jerseys or race kit I'll be wearing.

And before you ask 'who cares what you wear', I do. That's why I'm asking. :-)

(Edited to note that my shoes and helmet are white, so there's a bit of contrast with those.)
«134

Posts

  • This has been covered before, a lot.

    My view is that decent lights and road positioning are more likely to get you seen by drivers than looking like you work for network rail. Many others fervently disagree.
  • For myself I trust my lights and own road awareness. For my young girls however I have bought Provis jackets to go with their lights. The most effective jackets I’ve come across and until they do become more road aware I think a bit of extra vis doesn’t harm.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've been riding for decades and now I run strong flashing lights in daylight too.

    I like colour and you can see for yourself that you notice cyclists in colour much further off than you see cyclists in black or grey.
  • Sorry, should have mentioned I do have a light which is set to 'flash'. Our roads are iffy, almost always I need to be dead center unless there's a bike path, which is used for drivers to swerve into while on their phones.

    As to being mentioned, sorry again, maybe I didn't use the 'search' properly but all I found were high-vis arguments and being totally blacked-out. But not anything on muted colors like blues, greens, gray, versus a very pronounced color, or if people even keep it in mind when shopping.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,077
    Why make it more difficult for someone, in a 2 tonne plus lump of metal with the potential to kill you, to see you?

    I drive and cycle. I know what I would do.
  • photonic69 wrote:
    Why make it more difficult for someone, in a 2 tonne plus lump of metal with the potential to kill you, to see you?

    I drive and cycle. I know what I would do.


    So you're saying you take kit color in mind, then? What colors do you wear?

    All I see when I shop is green, navy, blue, black, or variants of those. I actually have to search hard for red. And when I'm out cycling, other cyclists are in darker/muted colors. So I got to thinking, maybe it doesn't matter what color I'm wearing as much as the flashing light and accessories. I'd be very happy to buy the muted colors if the red isn't doing me any more good.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've mentioned this before but I've actually passed my training partner on the opposite side of a dual carriageway as we were riding out to meet each other. Dull winters morning. He was under trees and clad head to toe in black. Obviously I'm looking for him to begin the ride but I didn't see him at all.

    The next week he arrived with a fluorescent gilet on.

    So imagine a crappy driver. Might be hung over. Might have a dirty windscreen or it's not fully demisted. You're clad in camouflage colours. Is he going to see you or your pal in bright colours first ?

    It's not foolproof by any means but you can only do so much.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,211
    As a driver as well as a cyclist all I can say is that yes, it does matter. Lights more so even in daylight. What brands and logos etc you choose I don't give a fig, but be seen.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • JeemyWJeemyW Posts: 61
    Visijax seem super cool also lumo stuff bought a few of these plus some eider gear which has hidden reflective cuffs if you turn them back for riding. My bike lights are lost in the post so I am comfort buying until I can cycle in the dark
  • sam_anonsam_anon Posts: 165
    Most of my gear is black, but I generally ride on the road in daylight.

    If I was commuting/doing lots of miles near twilight or in the dark I'd totally wear reflective and brighter kit.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    You need bright kit in the day Sam. Only reflective kit at night works.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,211
    sam anon wrote:
    Most of my gear is black, but I generally ride on the road in daylight.

    If I was commuting/doing lots of miles near twilight or in the dark I'd totally wear reflective and brighter kit.
    The decider for me was driving up behind a pair of cyclists during the summer around mid day, blue skies and blazing sunshine. They were riding under some trees and I hadn't seen them. And that is from a cyclist aware driver.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Contrasting colours - that's what you need - anything around the countryside, you need brighter colours on. Personally I tend to go for red - although I do have blue & black jerseys too. More important (I think) is a good rear light - day or night.
  • Over the years, I’ve learned from ( sometimes bitter ) experience / trial and error, that contrast and where exactly the contrast occurs is most important. Forex, Black gear, with larey coloured socks and gloves, or black gear with reflective bits on moving parts ( legs / arms / shoes ) tends to be more effective at getting you noticed, than all over larey / reflective stuff, or larey reflective stuff that doesn’t move around much. It seems to be the combination of contrast, and the movement, and the position of the moving part that is most effective / important.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,085
    Over the years, I’ve learned from ( sometimes bitter ) experience / trial and error, that contrast and where exactly the contrast occurs is most important. Forex, Black gear, with larey coloured socks and gloves, or black gear with reflective bits on moving parts ( legs / arms / shoes ) tends to be more effective at getting you noticed, than all over larey / reflective stuff, or larey reflective stuff that doesn’t move around much. It seems to be the combination of contrast, and the movement, and the position of the moving part that is most effective / important.

    Hi Nick! Back so soon?
  • I run 2 front lights, 2 rear lights with one steady, one flashing. Front flashing lights alone make it hard for motorists to judge your speed and distance in my opinion. Having two of each also provides redundancy. I also have a fully reflective rucksack, reflective Giro SPD shoes and a fabulous pink gilet.

    I've been commuting through Central London for 7 years and not died yet so something is working! :lol:

    I don't understand why brands feel they have to use reflectives so sparingly. I hope this is roughly what I look like to cars now...

    MP7Rj4Il.png
    D0j1Xqpl.png
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Niiice. Having reflectives on the lower legs makes a world of difference. As you say not sure why there's not more of them around. Running kit has more and 99% of runners are on the pavement.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,018
    Generally found having something with a non roadside colour for want of a better term works best (as in dull greys blacks greens etc) I have two rear lights one on the back of the bike others build into the helmet. Clothing wise a couple of times I've gone out an thought "censored i've gone full ninja" but most part I've not encountered to many problems.

    I'd say bright clothing over HI-viz and decent lights/reflectives. I used my Sealskin Halo overshoes with the daft lights in them the other week when it was very wet, worked perfectly not a single issue though you get some funny looks in the Cafe after if you forget to turn them off.
  • Not once in the OP's posts has he/she mentioned cycling at night.
  • I wear a lot of fluro/bright cycling kit, partly because I simply like the look of it, but partly because my reasoning is that it can't do any harm in being seen and if I'm gonna look a bit of a knobhead in tight lycra then I may as well go all in on it :mrgreen:
  • photonic69 wrote:
    Why make it more difficult for someone, in a 2 tonne plus lump of metal with the potential to kill you, to see you?

    I drive and cycle. I know what I would do.

    if they fail to see a cyclist on the road, high viz or not, they are not fit for driving on the road. The human eye can detect movement very well so there is no excuse for not seeing a cyclist.

    Most accidents happen because the drivers are distracted (phone, drink, satnav..whatever) and many of the accidents the cyclists were wearing high viz clothing or reflective gear and had lights. Other reasons are speeding and not giving way when the drivers should.

    Personally, I use a rear flashing light in the day/night and a front in the night only. Most of my clothing are darker colours...with a dash of pink occasionally #raphanob..
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 777
    Years ago I read some study about motorcyclists clothing and what to wear to be seen. They strongly advocated white or silver helmets, even though the vast majority are black.

    I am lucky enough to have a red bike, so I too look for red clothes, at least jersies. I personally think black is boring and an easy choice, but that's me.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    quango2k wrote:
    photonic69 wrote:
    Why make it more difficult for someone, in a 2 tonne plus lump of metal with the potential to kill you, to see you?

    I drive and cycle. I know what I would do.

    if they fail to see a cyclist on the road, high viz or not, they are not fit for driving on the road. The human eye can detect movement very well so there is no excuse for not seeing a cyclist.

    Well DUHHHHHH.

    We KNOW there's lots of people not fit for driving on the road - but our system still lets them keep licences even after getting 12 points. 10,000 or more of them.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/0 ... g-legally/

    It's easier to see a brighter colour than a dark colour. There is no cost to me to wear one colour over another - so I'm going with bright.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,689
    I use whatever help I can get when out in the dark.
    1 or 2 front lights, 1 or 2 rear lights, reflective gear, road positioning, awareness - why not use every tool and get every advantage you can get?
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,211
    It is no consolation to be in the right, but 6 feet under.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    pblakeney wrote:
    It is no consolation to be in the right, but 6 feet under.

    tell that to Buddhists!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • mw22mw22 Posts: 78
    I started off by commuting in black, then transitioned to red tops.... and just became more and more conscious of what I could see and when.
    Fluro tops are great in dusk... but also worse than black when the sun is low but bright.
    So the conditions to play a massive part in my mind..
    My go to - Red top, luminous socks, arm warmers and gloves. Reflective back pack cover, Reflective tape all over the bike, coloured spoke reflectors, front and rear lights year round regardless of time.
    Even have a couple of bar plug lights to give some visibility at 90 degrees, cause thats where I feel most vulnerable.

    Worked so far :D
    Road: Kuota Kebel
    TT: Canyon Speedmax
    Work: Norco search
  • ChippedMugChippedMug Posts: 12
    edited November 2018
    Thanks so much for all the replies!

    To clarify, I was asking about kit to wear during the daytime. I know my light and reflectors are the only things saving me at night. And at the moment I ride solely for exercise/fun, so no chance to up my reflective game with commuter backpacks and what not.

    Cycling is not big here so drivers aren't even considering the fact that cyclists might actually be using the bike lane (when there is one). I look for cyclists because I am one, same reason to not check the phone or fiddle around when driving. Not worth risking taking someone's life. Unfortunately, I'm in the minority.
  • JeemyWJeemyW Posts: 61
    if they fail to see a cyclist on the road, high viz or not, they are not fit for driving on the road. The human eye can detect movement very well so there is no excuse for not seeing a cyclist.

    It’s only partially true and certainly not helpful. New cyclist and very old driver here. I race, I build sports cars, I drive fast but legal.

    I’ve been guilty of not seeing a cyclist. I was parked and he did something I did not expect and which is debatably not legal - it was certainly stupid as he almost got pummelled....

    Now I’m getting into biking I am terrified.

    There are not only reckless, texting, half-cut, old, infirm and simply poor drivers out there; but there are also good drivers with no knowledge of cycling etiquette.

    For example I’ve always thought the rule was “treat a car like a bike” - so I found it very annoying to see flocks of bikers 2-3 abreast.

    I now found out the reasons and legality behind this. Not taught when I passed my test 25 years ago. Perhaps still not taught now?!

    I’m terrified of drivers like me; and I consider myself an excellent driver. But how unaware I was of the needs of cyclists - I had no idea.

    I’ve bought mirrors, hi-vis jackets, bunches of lights and what not.

    It’s going to be a long time before I am confident in country roads in the dark.

    Both cyclists and drivers are fallible. Minimising unavoidable human error is key.

    Dressing in all black with city lights on a dark unlit country road may be legal. You may have the right to be seen. None of that helps if you get bumped into a ditch by an idiot, or a well-meaning, conscientious, safe driver who simply came around a corner at a normal speed and was looking long field when you were midfield.

    Me, I’ll be decked out like a Christmas tree.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    in the summer i dont really think about it, Ive got enough kit in all kinds of colours, black, navy, orange, green, some of it is pink too, whites the only colour I really avoid as white lycra is seethru when it gets wet.

    in the winter its a bit different as commutes will involve daylight and darkness, so I try to aim for more visible colours in the darkness for my jerseys even if I start off in the daylight, not bedecked in fluorescents, but enough of a contrast with my surroundings to stand out enough (I hope) and albeit black winter bibtights but they have reflectives

    for day rides, similar story on the bibs, but Id feel more confident to wear a darker jersey, albeit I tend to pick styles that have a contrast colour as a stripe or pattern, but it depends on the weather if its grey overcast and cloudy Id pick lighter colours, if it was bright sunshine but low on the horizon Id actually pick darker.

    I dont think theres any point settling on a particular colour, 5% of the population are colour blind anyway
Sign In or Register to comment.