Several large manufactures have lately been putting more emphasis on visibility, not just comfort and speed while cycling. This is especially notable with the numerous distracted drivers these days. They include Trek and Pearl Izumi.
In a brochure published by Trek, they suggest three basic ABC rules. “A” means always-on lights; “B” means biomotion, i.e. careful placement of materials and “C” means contrast to aid in visibility. Having brighter colors on ones feet and/or ankles is perhaps more important than having a visible jersey, because those parts are moving while you cycle (Pearl Izumi also calls this biomotion).
For night riding, I have always worn reflective ankle bands, but had not considering wearing bright socks, which serve a similar purpose. Consequently, I just purchased a pair of flo-green DeFeet cycling socks (ironically I do not see any flo-green or yellow socks on the PI site, only upper body apparel.)
On the PI site they say:
Fluorescents, like our iconic Screaming Yellow, actually convert invisible UV light into additional visible light. Typical colors reflect a maximum of 90% of light vs. 200-300% for a fluorescent color.
They suggest that there are three key factors in getting driver’s attention:
- True Fluorescent Colors
I see so many roadies wear “cool and groovy” black jackets or jerseys. Dumb. For mountain biking it doesn’t matter, but for city road use..be smart!
Daylight Running Lights
Trek, in their brochure, is also emphasizing the importance of using daylight running lights, both front and rear. See this page for a video and additional info.
They mention three factors in lighting for cycling:
A few cycling friends are now mounting to the rear of their road bikes, rear blinkie lights that also have a mini video camera built in. It runs an endless loop so you will have a record of any collisions or close calls.
With shorter days upon us, please stay safe!