Cyclists are most likely travelers to get into accidents as compared to pedestrians and car drivers, a study from the Australian Journal for Road Safety concluded. This is majorly because it is difficult to spot cyclists on the road especially as it starts to get dark. One of the most popular ways cyclists avoid accidents is with the use of reflective & fluorescent bike gear. These specialized cycling wear makes riders stand out and easy to spot.
The use of fluorescent clothing or cycling attire that contrasts with the environment also keeps the cyclist safe from accidents. Colors like red, yellow and orange make the rider visible as compared to lighter and duller colors.
Let’s quickly go over the tech behind both types of cycling gear to see which one you will need for you daily rides.
“The color spectrum moves from invisible, low-energy infrared rays to high-energy ultraviolet rays. When looking at the color spectrum, the middle of the range represents the colors we actually see (the ‘visible light spectrum’). Normal colors absorb and re-emit a portion of the visible spectrum that matches its principal wavelength, while the remaining colors are absorbed and dissipated as heat.
Fluorescent colors use a larger amount of both the visible spectrum and the lower wavelengths compared to conventional colors (your traditional ROYGBIV colors). The difference between these two types of colors is that fluorescents absorb and convert light energy of the dominant wavelength, but also the wavelengths of ultraviolet rays and other colors lower in the visible spectrum.”
Fluorescent clothing is made with deep vibrant colors to enhance rider visibility during the day. While few cyclists argue that high visibility clothing can cause accidents, that is not the case. Fluorescent cycling gear is crafted to absorb & convert light energy (including UV rays), reflecting them back to the human eye. Conventional colored clothes can reflect 90% of a color present in the spectrum, while a fluorescent color can reflect between 200% and 300% .
On the other hand, reflective cycling clothes are made to enhance visibility in low light conditions. Instead of absorbing it, light is reflected to nearby pedestrians and drivers . Reflective cycling gear with panels and strips are very popular among cyclists, you can have a look at some top options on our shop.
Rider visibility during the day is equally important to night cycling. Several accidents happen with cyclists being hit by cars in day time because the driver couldn’t see the rider. Fluorescent cycling clothes can solve this issue giving riders instant visibility on the road.
Colors that include bright red, yellow and orange that contrast with the environment are very popular fluorescent bike wear. This type of clothing absorbs, converts, and reflects these colors allowing drivers to easily spot cyclists.
Visibility of the cyclist during night is even more important than during the day. Cyclists can improve visibility to avoid accidents and injuries with a simple jersey or gear with reflective stripes. Fluorescent clothing is not as useful as during the night because there are no UV rays to absorb & convert into light. Therefore, reflective cycle clothing is excellent for night trips, evening rides, and rainy days.
Reflective clothes reflect light from nearby cars and street lights, making the rider visible to others. These includes jackets with reflective paneling, black colored track suits with reflective markings, and reflective vests. In addition, reflective strips on movable parts of the body like the ankles, knees, and hands can improve visibility. Some cyclists even opt for reflective shoes so as to enhance their visibility for the drivers.
Along with reflective clothing, it’s always good to enhance your road safety with reflective cycling gear such as shoes, helmets etc. Even the cycling bag used by cyclists should offer a reflective safety stripe. For night riding, the cyclists should consider reflective clothing, or carry reflective gear. Adding front & rear LED lights on the bike can significantly improve both rider safety and road visibility.
Cyclists tend to have a superior fashion sense which usually gets them in trouble. Many cyclists go for clothing that does not conform to the road safety standards. It is very important to realize that stylish doesn’t do the miles, you do. Ensuring your own safety and visibility on road trips is more important than a stylish jersey.
Today most cycling attire is made with reflective strips and fluorescent fabrics, to ensure both safety & style. There is a bias towards certain colors including yellow, red, black, white, pink, and green due to their visibility. Popular brands including GIRO and Mavic are already crafting fashionable cycling clothing for pro-cyclists.
Thanks to the development of reflective & fluorescent cycling wear by prominent brands, there is some brilliant cycling fashion to choose from. Modern cycling accessories like gloves, bags, caps, helmets, and shoes are also made with reflective strips on them.
Even though cyclists wear safety clothing, can these guarantee complete visibility & safety of riders?
The answer to this question is, not always. Safety clothing does keep you safe at times, but there is no guarantee. Accidents still happen, but only a handful are because the driver failed to spot the cyclist. Such accidents usually happen due reckless and incompetent driving.
Do keep in mind that along with essential clothing there are also other factors that affect the rider’s safety. These include the road infrastructure, riding style, educating drivers, road rules for cyclists among others. It is essential to wear noticeable clothing, but is equally important to keep yourself acquainted with proper rules.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it gives you a basic idea about the role of fluorescent & reflective cycling clothing. Always consider your road safety when riding on highways, roads, and busy streets. In case I missed something so remember to leave a comment below and I will add it ASAP. Visit our store to view some brilliant cyclist road safety wear and accessories for your trips. Until next time, see you again soon.