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Old 02-24-07, 04:30 AM   #1
Daily Commute
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ANSI Lime Vest v. Blinkies

A coworker was driving behind me the last few blocks to work yesterday when it was still dark out. She said that ANSI Class 2 lime safety vest really, really popped. She could see my two blinkies, but it was the vest that really stuck out.

I wear the same thing construction workers were, so you can get them at a bazillion sites on the web. I got mine at Home Depot. An ANSI vest should be at the top of any night cyclist's safety list.

Here's an example:



Edit: I am not saying that blinkies serve no purpose. They are especially important when there is little or no light to reflect off your vest. You should always have a blinkie in low-light situations, but a good vest will make you a lot more visible.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-04-07 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 02-24-07, 07:29 AM   #2
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I've had a coworker tell me the same thing.

The advantage of blinkies is that they work even without the reflection of headlights. That's why I have two blinkies, reflectors, and a vest. Anyone that doesn't see me is simply not paying attention.

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Old 02-24-07, 08:35 AM   #3
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You're right that you still need blinkies because you can't count on reflected light. But the vest is brighter than the blinkies when you are in a car's headlights.
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Old 02-24-07, 09:22 AM   #4
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I was down in Portland a few weeks ago, watching some cyclists going by. There were two of them, one wearing an ANSI lime green vest, her companion was not. We could see the cyclist wearing the vest hundreds of feet away, but her companion just blended into the trees...

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Old 02-24-07, 09:23 AM   #5
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yes, ANSI vests are a great boon to enhancing safety. of course, there's one fella in A&S particular that would argue that a safety vest does very little for rider conspicuity compared to lane position, but I think that attitude is unrealistic and shows ignorant bias.

having used an ANSI vest for years, and observing riders with high vis clothing both at night and during the day, adding visibility in clothing is a BIG boon to rider conspicuity.

I use an ANSI vest during the day while touring. sometimes on low vis days I'll add a Vis vest while commuting.

Even cyclist specific vests and sashes add a LOT of visibility for cyclists at night, but ANSI vests seem to have much more sq/in of reflective tape.

And, an ANSI vest will help you get noticed regardless of your road position.
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Old 02-24-07, 09:59 AM   #6
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We have to carry them by law while driving in the EU-- they are required to be reachable from the drivers seat. We are required to wear them when leaving a disable vehicle at night. Of course, we don't have shoulders that are wider than the lanes of traffic, like in the US.

pretty much all bicycle commuters wear some sort of reflective vests when riding in low light--- and everyone uses lights. I don't understand why reflective vests are not more common in the US
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Old 02-24-07, 03:04 PM   #7
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I wear an ANSI vest when riding. Currently mine is orange because that is what my company bought me for work IIRC the lime green is supposed to be the most visible color. What is amazing to me is the amount of cycling gear and clothing that are dark colors...like BLACK? C'mon people. I don't wear much in the way of cycling specific clothing so the vest is a plus.

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Old 02-24-07, 03:08 PM   #8
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Those lime jackets are getting very popular. It's almost strange to see someone with a cycling jacket on that ISN'T lime green.
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Old 02-24-07, 03:57 PM   #9
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Pedestrians need them at night too.
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Old 02-24-07, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Those lime jackets are getting very popular. It's almost strange to see someone with a cycling jacket on that ISN'T lime green.
At a restauraunt I heard a kid ask his mother why I, and my very different looking, much heavier friend, had the same color jackets and pants. Her answer was "maybe they are twins" ???????

I remember thinking roadies had no taste at all, and wore ugly colors.
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Old 02-24-07, 05:18 PM   #11
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AFAIC, lights and reflective gear belong on my bike and my bike gear, but are not part of my wardrobe. Because I want to look normal at my destination, not like a bike geek.
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Old 02-24-07, 05:37 PM   #12
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The one thing I've noticed that riders should pay more attention to is the riders who have the hi-viz ANSI jackets, and then wear a dark backpack, which really reduces the effectiveness of the hi-viz jacket. An ANSI hi-viz jacket and panniers would be so much more effective.
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Old 02-24-07, 05:57 PM   #13
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I wonder if the government issue lime green hi-vis has any effect on drivers treatment of cyclists.

In other words, will car drivers, seeing a cyclist in a vest that they have been trained means slow down, watch out, road workers, drive more safely around cyclists more, if even subconciously?
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Old 02-24-07, 07:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
AFAIC, lights and reflective gear belong on my bike and my bike gear, but are not part of my wardrobe. Because I want to look normal at my destination, not like a bike geek.
The vest is easily removable. I don't wear mine if I'm not on the bike.

I agree about the clothing. Day glo lime green just isn't my color.

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Old 02-24-07, 07:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
The vest is easily removable. I don't wear mine if I'm not on the bike.

I agree about the clothing. Day glo lime green just isn't my color.

Az
I don't think it's anybody's color. But it is very effective at increasing conspicuity.
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Old 02-24-07, 07:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
I wonder if the government issue lime green hi-vis has any effect on drivers treatment of cyclists.

In other words, will car drivers, seeing a cyclist in a vest that they have been trained means slow down, watch out, road workers, drive more safely around cyclists more, if even subconciously?
My experience is that they do drive more safely. The first day I wore it was like a sudden shock of a difference in how I was treated, especially at 4-way stops.
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Old 02-25-07, 09:26 PM   #17
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Vests in the US!

As a rider of bikes and motorcycles a State Trooper said that a lot of drivers use our vests as a more visible target to aim at!
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Old 02-25-07, 09:33 PM   #18
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Night notification

I've noticed that drivers crowd more in the day. My five LED Cateye seems to help people pass a little further from you.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:11 AM   #19
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My backback covers my vest (in back) so I stitched two 1" x 18" strips of SOLAS reflective tape on my pack. In addition to my blinkie and the reflective tape on my fenders it's almost impossible to miss seeing me, even on the darkest, rainiest PNW mornings.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:37 AM   #20
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When I approach visibility concious cyclists during my dark commute with my HID light I see their blinkie way off (~1/2mi) in the distance first, then as I approach closer within 100yrds their reflective material becomes dominant.

Al
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Old 02-26-07, 09:43 AM   #21
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The bottom line is to use several strategies to make one conspicuous. I have different kinds of reflectors on me, the bike and my helmet, blinkies, bright headlights and an orange hunting vest.
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Old 03-01-07, 11:47 AM   #22
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One of my favorite low-light riding items is a reflective vest that has 16 (8 front and 8 back) blinking LEDs imbedded in the reflective strips. It's powered by 2 AA batteries. Got it off eBay back in late 2004. I have no idea if they are still available.

I consider it to be a supplement to the rear blinkies on my seatpost and helmet. I like to be seen.
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Old 03-01-07, 01:15 PM   #23
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Good call and glad hear you were able to find one at Home Depot. I have several that I like a lot, but of course they all say "Sheriff" on them so I am not too keen on using them when on my bike. I will have to swing by there this week.
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Old 03-01-07, 01:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
It's almost strange to see someone with a cycling jacket on that ISN'T lime green.
Lots of that in the SF Bay Area, too.

My pants are usually dark (the better to disguise the dirt) with reflective ankle bands. Sometimes I'll wear my high viz jacket, sometimes I don't. My bag has a huge reflective rectangle on it -- I don't know how effective it is since it probably doesn't point straight back.

My bike, though, is equipped with the biggest, brightest lights that I can reasonable mount on my bike. Most blinkies are fairly worthless, and I usually notice the cyclist before I notice her very dim LED blinkies.
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Old 03-01-07, 02:20 PM   #25
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The vest probably is not much better than a light colored top and a rear reflector. That vest might be too hot in the summer. Construction workers need those vests as they have to wear dark colored safety cloths. I have seen construction flaggers in matching lime tee shirts. Blinky if you are in an area without street lights. Aluminium duct tape is also a cheap solution.
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