Be safe, be seen

 

According to bike insurance firm Cycleguard reflective gear makes cyclists five times more visible to other road users, but one in ten of us never wears hig-vis clothing during the winter.

 

The Department for Transport gives some grim statistics: 80 people a year are killed and a further 212 seriously injured on Britain’s roads as commuters travel in the late afternoon and early evening darkness, so clearly anything that we can do it make ourselves more visible on our bikes will help.

 

Without reflective clothing, lights or other accessories a cyclist is visible from just 30 metres in low beam headlights, according to the European Transport Safety Council. Reflective items increase this range to 150 metres away – giving drivers time to take notice.

 

With the clocks going back this weekend, it is the perfect time to look at the options for cyclists to increase their visibility, without completely losing sight of style!

 

Lights

 

We love the super cute and colourful Knog lights and we gave their Boomer USB rechargeable LED lights a rave review a while back – if you missed it you can check it out here.  These little lights do not require the purchase of batteries as they charge from a USB charger or a USB port on your computer.  Plug them in and a couple of hours later you have up to 36 hours of strobe flashing (with three modes to choose from) or 4 hours of constant light at your disposal.  And trust us when we say they are really bright - the rear light actually has two contrasting LEDs for high visibility patterning.

 

 

Importantly, they are very quick and easy to fit onto the bike, using the wrap around silicone strap which hooks back onto the body of the light and fixes it securely to the bars or seat post, and they are just as easy to detach again when you reach your destination – no need to even remove your gloves!

 

Knog have a huge range of lights.  We are currently testing the Wearable Boomer, which cleverly clips onto pretty much anything and also has a magnetic attachment that allows you to wear it on any piece of clothing, bag or strap.  At 280 microcandellas, it is apparently 25% brighter than any other hi-powered mini light on the market although we have to say we haven’t actually counted the microcandellas ourselves!  It has 4 flash modes, as well as constant and a lo-battery indicator, but you will have 80 hours run on FLASH mode so you won’t be seeing a lot of that. Check it out here

 

knog wearable

 

High Vis Jackets

 

We are testing the ultimate high vis jacket, the PROVIZ high visibility cycling jacket which incorporates four (30cm each) electroluminescent lighting strips that glow in an eye-catching electric blue colour to ensure you are highly visible when it really matters.  The strips are powered by a small battery pack that sits snugly in the pocket.

 

Proviz Jacket

 

The design of the jacket has been carefully researched to ensure that there is reflective trim on the arms and sides of the jacket, so that a cyclist can be seen from all angles and comes in fluorescent yellow or black.

 

As if that isn’t enough it is waterproof and breathable, has a fleece lined collar and comes in range of female specific cuts and sizes.  We look forward to telling you more about it but for now, you can check it out here

 

 

High Vis Vests and Gilet

 

There are a huge number on the market, to fit every shape and size.  We like the DHB Ladies Ultra-light gilet which comes in a range of colours including fluorescent yellow, red, blue and black.  It is a super compact gilet, with a “mid-slim fit” – not too tight, not too baggy – at it is windproof, so it will take the chill off your core body.  When you don’t need it, it packs away into its own tiny bag so that you can stow it in your back pocket or ruck sack.

 

We will have a full review soon, but if you can’t wait for that check it out here

 

DHB lightweight gilet 

 

Other accessories

 

If you really want to be increase your visibility you could also consider a high-vis rucksack cover or a reflective band for your helmet, wrists or ankles.  We think high vis gloves are a great idea for anyone who has to give hand signals to get home in the dark.

 

And of course there are a range of stickers and reflectors that you can put on your bike too.

 

We wish you safe riding this winter.

 

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