Staying visible on your bike is essential to your safety. The clothing you wear significantly impacts how fast other road users see you, from everything to reflective jackets to footwear. At Bikmo, bike safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Here, we give you the run down to ensuring the maximum visibility when out on the road.
What Do We Mean By Personal Visibility?
Rather than kit such as lights and reflectors, we’re talking about items you wear to enhance your visibility whilst cycling. Think high visibility jackets, head torches and reflective bands or strips; essentially, anything you can wear or attach to your clothing that will help other road users to see you quickly and easily.
Bike safety – Headwear
- Helmets: Many helmets have reflective strips as part of the design on the shell, but if these are insufficient or non-existent it’s very easy to apply reflective tape to give high level visibility which sits more in the eye-line of motorists.
- Head torches: Head torches drastically improve your visibility to road users, particularly from the front. Many bicycle lights have the option to mount on a helmet, making it easy and convenient to do so, whilst some are specifically designed for helmet usage and include a rear-facing light to further enhance your visibility.
Bike safety – Torso
By far the biggest area of your body by surface area, making your torso as visible as possible will significantly assist road users in seeing you from any angle. Reflective or hi-vis jackets drastically improve the distance from which you can be seen. If it’s a little warm to be rocking long sleeves, hi-vis gilets and jerseys are other viable options that offer the same safety benefits to cyclists. Less frequently used now, reflective bands that sit across one shoulder and the chest like a seat belt can improve your visibility.
Bike safety – Legs and Feet
Cycling-specific trousers and shorts often have reflective strips or logos on them which by themselves add some additional visibility, but generally should be seen as supplementary to brighter or hi-vis tops and lights. Some manufacturers of jeans incorporate reflective strips into their products. It’s common to roll up the leg of a pair of jeans to stop them from catching in the chainrings, so reflective banding is incorporated into the interior seam of the legs. Levi’s® Commuter jeans are one option that takes advantage of this useful little design tweak.
Bike safety – Accessories
In addition to all of the above, it can never hurt to make yourself even more obvious to other people on the road. Briefly mentioned earlier, reflective bands can be a quick and cheap way of adding some highly visible kit to your cycling outfit.
Reflective bands come in many different sizes and styles; some are designed to be worn on the torso, others around your wrists and ankles. These items are cheap to buy, easy to put on, and can be a really beneficial supplement to other reflective safety gear.