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-   -   Which is the better visibility color for vests? (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/251863-better-visibility-color-vests.html)

genec 12-11-06 02:11 PM

This is about the most "contrasty" and bright object I could think of... you want to be seen in different light, shadows and really attract attention... this is what you should look like:

http://www.thebeanbagchairoutlet.com...multiswirl.jpg

About the closest a cyclist typically comes to this image is by wearing a multicolored jersey: http://www.oaklandyellowjackets.org/...ersey_comp.jpg

Anything that is a single color can be lost in the "wrong" light.

CommuterRun 12-11-06 03:14 PM

However, the best camouflage uses highly contrasting colors. It's not enough to just be the color of a bush, or whatever the expected background is likely to be, but the outline of the body also needs to be broken up. Contrasting colors do this quite well, and a jersey like the above could get "lost" in an urban evironment, looking like multiple smaller objects.

Better to go with the biggest solid color that fits your body.

The "The Human Eye's Response to Light" chart and write up look good, but it doesn't seem to take into account white. Something appears to be a color because that is the only wavelength we can see that is reflected by the surface of the object. All the other wavelengths (colors) are absorbed. Something appears to be white because the surface of the object reflects all visible wavelengths. So with white, all the advantages of lime and orange are in there.

Unless, of course, you're pedalling down the beach or through the snow. Then white might not be such a good option.;)

ken cummings 12-11-06 10:15 PM

Oh Lordy. Some 15 years ago a test showed "None of the Above". The lime yellow or orange work if you are looking at them. A University test showed that pink - hot pink got both male and female attention better then either of the official hi-viz colors. No one but no one has ever commented on my orange or Lime-yellow jerseys or vests. My hot pink shorts get all sorts of reactions but not THAT kind of reaction, even the times I rode with the Rainbow cycling group in LA.

sbhikes 12-12-06 12:28 AM

I get a lot of comments about my high-vis yellow so I believe it is very effective. I don't have an orange one, however, so I have nothing to compare based on personal exprience. I have seen others with it and it is very visible. Another highly visible color is neon pink.

vrkelley 12-12-06 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec
This is about the most "contrasty" and bright object I could think of... you want to be seen in different light, shadows and really attract attention... this is what you should look like:

http://www.thebeanbagchairoutlet.com...multiswirl.jpg

About the closest a cyclist typically comes to this image is by wearing a multicolored jersey: http://www.oaklandyellowjackets.org/...ersey_comp.jpg

Anything that is a single color can be lost in the "wrong" light.

Genec, I think you might be onto something there. Of course if there are too many colors and the pattern is too busy, it'll be more like war fatiques - camaflage. So have you had better vis with that jersey then?

Gojohnnygo. 12-12-06 01:49 PM

This jacket gives a great outline to the human body. Its cheap but highly visible.

Gojohnnygo. 12-12-06 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
This jacket gives a great outline to the human body. Its cheap but highly visible.

WTF:crash: Invaild file Here is a link http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...ku=8134&brand=

genec 12-12-06 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrkelley
Genec, I think you might be onto something there. Of course if there are too many colors and the pattern is too busy, it'll be more like war fatiques - camaflage. So have you had better vis with that jersey then?

Except for the fact that war fatigues are all somewhat of the same 3 basic colors (either "jungle" or "sand") and those shades are the ones that are mixed... rather than the range of bright contrasty colors I mentioned.

As for what I use... It depends on where I am riding and what the purpose of the ride is.

For commuting... I tend to wear long sleeve bright orange T shirts with a light red shirt over that, and a yellow high vis vest... thus I have 3 colors showing... orange, red, and high vis yellow. My helmet is black and white.

For club rides, where a bit of "trying to fit into the team" issue comes in, I have some microfiber jerseys that I wear... one being very similar to that "Grateful Dead" tie-dye, the others just having a wide variety of color on them... thus nothing I wear is "single color."

It is the "single color" issue that I think is the problem... in certain light, especially in shade or twilght, certain colors go flat... and the best way to avoid that problem is to wear a variety of color.

Many cycling jerseys tend to meet that constraint by simply having a variety of colors on them. And surprisingly, one of the comments one hears from motorists are "why do you guys wear those gaudy colored "pajamas?" Well, the answer is obvious... you saw me, right?

So using a high vis vest is a good idea... but wear something under it that is contrasty... a different color, so you stand out more, under changing conditions.

Another reason for my suggestion of contrast... is the driving public is getting used to the orange and/or hi vis yellow vests... and you want to stand out as something different, ie not a stationary road worker leaning on a shovel. You want to attract attention and be seen... so dress accordingly.

Of course if you are going all ninja... well that's a different story.

BTW I am not an "expert" on this, this just comes from what I have observed... this is all just my humble opinion. My wife is an artist however, so color discussions do come up often in my house.

powerhouse 12-14-06 02:52 PM

I wear a hi-viz yellow jersey and jacket or I wear a blaze orange vest with strips of hi-viz yellow on it along with a dark jersey. Therefore, I don't know which is better. pm me if you have suggestions between these.

unkchunk 12-14-06 05:16 PM

Solid high viz lime, unless there is a lot of snow where the advatage goes to the orange. I avoid multicolored (tie-die or logo wear) as I think they work like the dazzle camoflage on WWI battleships. Sure they are visable, but they make judging distance and speed more difficult.

unkchunk 12-14-06 05:20 PM

oohps, also direction.

damnable 12-14-06 08:37 PM

Hmm, I think many people and parhaps the original poster may be missing the point.
The orange coloured ones are specifically designed for high-visibility during the day.
The yellow coloured ones are specifically designed for high-visibility during nighttime.

I sell them where I work. The orange ones are actually labelled for daytime use and the yellow, for nighttime use.

And I do agree with them.

But if you only had enough money to buy one, I'd get the yellow. Because it's not too bad for vsibility during the day, and increasing visibility is more important at night.

europa 12-14-06 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger5oh
Its been a proven fact for years that the lime-yellow color is more visible than the old orange.

You need to be very careful about comments like that because it depends on the conditions. Here in Australia, our native vegation has a mix of yellows and greens that can render original yellow vests useless and the lime-yellow ones ineffective. I've worked in the bush in high summer and seen people wearing these disappear. The orange is far safer here.

Richard

Eatadonut 12-14-06 11:18 PM

yellow definitely here in oklahoma. orange blends in with the dirt.

Sci-Fi 12-14-06 11:43 PM

It depends on the time of day (or night). In some lighting conditions, esp dawn and dusk, even the reflective tape strips on your safety vest or bike may not be seen well enough or soon enough.

That being said, I like the Surveyors Vest since it has lots of pockets to hold stuff within easy reach. Lots of jogger/running suits/jackets have plenty of reflective piping sewn in and could be considered an alternative for night riders that refuse to wear "Piss Yellow" or "Puke Orange"...but that's their choice.

I've seen one older gentleman wear one of these on his night rides (and he has a remote controlled red revolving strobe light bolted to his rack...dunno where he got that, but it was pretty neat and extremely bright):
http://safetycentral.com/joaclireveve.html

europa 12-14-06 11:51 PM

A lot of it is threat level too. A study here showed that the most easily recognised road uses were riding white BMW motorbikes. Interestingly, our police ride ... white BMW motorbikes :D . It seemed true too - I had my most hassle free motorcycling during the three years I rode a white and blue BMW K100RS, which incidentally, is not the model or colour scheme used by the cops.

Richard

unkchunk 12-15-06 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by europa
A lot of it is threat level too. A study here showed that the most easily recognised road uses were riding white BMW motorbikes. Interestingly, our police ride ... white BMW motorbikes :D . It seemed true too - I had my most hassle free motorcycling during the three years I rode a white and blue BMW K100RS, which incidentally, is not the model or colour scheme used by the cops.

Richard

Yep. I guess there is a Pavlovian conditional responce element to consider. Probably best if everyone dessed like the local cops.

Wogster 12-15-06 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by europa
A lot of it is threat level too. A study here showed that the most easily recognised road uses were riding white BMW motorbikes. Interestingly, our police ride ... white BMW motorbikes :D . It seemed true too - I had my most hassle free motorcycling during the three years I rode a white and blue BMW K100RS, which incidentally, is not the model or colour scheme used by the cops.

Richard

I know a guy who has a CB in his car, a white Crown Victoria, around here, about 90% of police cars are white Crown Victorias, yeah he can slow down traffic.....

Ed Holland 12-18-06 01:22 PM

I remember this a while ago in some debate and experiments regarding colour choice for fire engines. The result was trial of the "lime" green colour. IMHO this is less easy to see than a plain old red fire engine, whatever the lab experiments suggest. Lighting conditions and surfaces have such enormous ranges of illumination level, colour and contrast that it is very difficult to choose one colour for high visibility of an object.

The advantage of orange or green high visibility clothing, for daytime use is fluorescence. The "dayglo" effect is a result of a dye absorbing a wide range of wavelengths (including near UV, violet blue etc.) and re emitting the energy as light in the green/orange where the human eye has high sensitivity. This gives you a gain over the surroundings, which are not generally fluorescent, just absorbent and or diffuse reflective.

At night, this advantage is lost, and retro-reflective materials seem to offer the best passive method for enhancement of visibility. They have the highest reflectance in a narrow angled cone directly back towards the source of illumination - hence they appear bright to other road users with headlights.

Good bicycle lights are of course, essential for visibility!

I have a green/yellow jacket for night/cold rides, but do not wear any especially visible clothing during daylight rides. Being English, I do however have extremely white legs, which are highly noticable and unusual here in California :p

Ed

vol 05-19-13 06:54 PM

Given that at night one mostly rely on lights rather than hi-vi clothing, it seems to me bright orange is preferred to green/yellow clothing, since they are more visible under daylight. Yellow/green are too light-colored for daytime. Comments? (this is an old thread)

In this video, the yellow clothing blends with the trees under bright sun in the beginning of the video 0:04-0:08. Bright orange would do much better (the guy only had a small orange patch on him, not enough).

P.S. Drivers' opinions will be more helpful here.

kookaburra1701 05-20-13 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wogster (Post 3520912)
I know a guy who has a CB in his car, a white Crown Victoria, around here, about 90% of police cars are white Crown Victorias, yeah he can slow down traffic.....

One of my mom's coworkers actually bought an old sherriff's Crown Vic at a police auction. She still has the spotlight on the side mirror. It's the same dark green still as the Co. Sherriffs, but they painted over the emblem on the door. Nobody ever cuts her off, though. :D

Myosmith 05-20-13 06:26 AM

As with any color, what is the "best" for making yourself visible depends on the circumstances. For 90% of riding the Hi-Viz yellow, lime, or orange will suffice nicely. I've noticed that in the winter if you have a bright day with a white background, the yellow gets washed out, favoring the orange or even bright red. This time of year in lakes country the trees are just leafing out and in the sun they take on a bright light green/lime color that can blend with the lime colored safety wear. In the fall when the trees are all orange and red, the orange vest is less of a contrast than it is in the spring. The orange vests are a mixed blessing during road construction season. Drivers are attuned to slowing down when they see orange so are watching for that color, but when riding through an actual construction zone, an orange vest or shirt can get lost among all the orange cones, signs, tape and other static objects. Downtown at night, with all the colored lights, any color can blend into the background. I'm all for hi-viz, reflectors, and active lighting but no matter if you are lit up like a circus wagon or not, your best defense is to assume that drivers do not see you, even if they look right at you.

Looigi 05-20-13 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ken cummings (Post 3502893)
... A University test showed that pink - hot pink got both male and female attention better then either of the official hi-viz colors...

Hot pink short-shorts on females always gets my attention.

Anyway, IMO, lime green is usually best, but not always. In the spring with light green new foliage in sunlight, blaze orange often stands out better. I don't sweat it too much though, and go with lime green, orange, yellow or even bright red...anything other than drab colors.


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