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Brighter is Better–Be Seen and be Safe

November 5, 2015

There’s more to consider when riding in low light conditions than simply outfitting yourself or your bike with lights, and that’s how visible both your body and your bike may be. Whether it’s dawn or dusk, nighttime, or just a grey, cloudy day, being seen on the bike is imperative to help ensure your safety. Yes, great light options are a big part of the puzzle. But there are other options—for both on the body and on the bike—so that you can be seen and be safe as the days get shorter.

The cycling industry has come a long way when it comes to on the body visibility, and aren’t we jumping for joy that solid chartreuse jerseys are no longer de rigueur for being seen on the bike. Reflective clothing elements like hi-viz stitching, eye-popping piping, and light the night fabrics are leading the way in keeping you seen and safe yet stylish, and Castelli’s Mortirolo Reflex jacket  ($239.99) is a great example of that. It’s no secret we love Castelli and that we’re particularly fond of their cool weather gear. The Mortirolo Reflex jacket is an amazing piece that features a full reflective shoulder panel and lower back, with Windstopper and zippered chest vents on the front. It’s the ideal piece for chilly early morning rides.

PicFrame

Castelli does cold weather gear right. And the addition of large swaths of reflective materials is welcome.

Hi-viz colors are still utilized in cycling clothing. After all, the goal is to be seen. But clothing makers are adding features to the typically fuddy-duddy, old school offerings one thinks of when you think hi-viz kit. Endura’s Luminite2 jacket for men and women ($154.99) sports the traditional hi-viz yellow with large, reflective designs. But the cherry on top that we’re most excited about is the built-in LED light in the back pocket. Pure genius.

Endura's integrated light is a simple solution. Never forget your tail light again.

Endura’s integrated light is a simple solution. Never forget your tail light again.

Visibility isn’t just limited to your torso though. Just as higher mounted lights increase the odds of being seen, you can run Specialized’s Echelon2 helmet ($69.99) which features reflective elements on the back of your head. For your feet, Specialized offers the highly anticipated Body Geometry equipped Recon Mixed shoe ($224.99) creates moving heel reflectivity that’s more likely to catch the eye of other road users.

Two of our favorite clothing vendors offer tried and true hi-viz pieces that are sure to make you stand out in a crowd. Pearl Izumi’s ever-popular Elite hi-viz yellow/green jersey ($99.99) is a cycling wardrobe staple, as is the Specialized Deflect jacket ($129.99) offered in a stunning electric orange that won’t be missed. Not only does the Deflect come in a great color, it has 3M reflective laminate, and is wind and water resistant, yet breathable for our sometimes cold but clammy winter riding conditions.

Bridging the gap from body visibility to bike visibility is Chrome Industry’s Night Series bags. We have a selection of the Bravo ($179.99) and Yalta backpacks ($139.99) and the Mini Metro ($159.99) and Citizen messenger bags ($179.99) that all feature highly reflective materials and elements to really add a large swath of reflectivity to your ride.

We're big on reflective elements that don't appear reflective during the day. Like those seen on Chrome's night series bags.

We’re big on reflective elements that don’t appear reflective during the day. Like those seen on Chrome’s night series bags.

On the bike, again, aside from great lights, there are intelligent items like Continental’s City Ride II ($19.99 to $24.99) with reflective sidewalls, Thule’s super Shield pannier bags with reflective elements for your bike’s racks ($129.99 to $149.99) as well as Bontrager’s Shopper pannier ($49.99) option. And just to bring out the kid in us all, RydeSafe’s reflective stickers in various colors and designs ($9.99) and Nathan’s reflective tape ($8.99) are great options to add some flare and safety to your bike.

Who doesn't love stickers?! Rydesafe's come in assorted shapes and colors.

Who doesn’t love stickers?! Rydesafe’s come in assorted shapes and colors.

Last but not least, the reason we can be out there in the first place are the bikes themselves, and some of them are getting the hi-viz treatment too. Trek has a number of models out that feature their “seeglass” paint. The paint’s effect in the day is a particular sparkle but at night the bikes become highly reflecative. These bikes—like Trek’s 7.2 FX and 7.3 FX hybrid models as well as their Silque SLX road bike and Skye 26 mountain bike—are great looking and great for being seen—at any time of day!

Come into the shop and into the light with some great visibility options and keep the ride going all fall.

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