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Old 06-06-11, 02:22 PM   #1
adrenaline
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Can a cycling jersey improve your safety?

Hi everyone,

I'm a cyclist who's started a side business and would like your feedback. I've developed full custom cycling jerseys that humanize cyclists to drivers behind them through personalized "I AM" messaging. I've posted a pic below. The idea being: drivers need to see you as a human being, not an object. Initial customers and test riders are finding that the jersey does help improve safety (though it's by no means a silver bullet that will stop all jerks from being dangerous). As a startup, any feedback will be great!

Thanks, Neal


Last edited by adrenaline; 06-06-11 at 03:25 PM. Reason: removed commercial link
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Old 06-06-11, 02:33 PM   #2
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Not that sure it will have the intended effect.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:38 PM   #3
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I do not believe that drivers intentionally want to hit cyclists. They do so because they are distracted by talking on the phone, or texting. There are also other factors that contribute to accidents, such as driving into the just rising or setting sun, and of course being under the influence of alcohol.

However, the jersey might entice a few drivers into being a bit more courteous.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:39 PM   #4
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Your jersey sucks.

However, a high-visibility yellow jersey might improve safety.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrenaline View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm a cyclist who's started a side business and would like your feedback. I've developed full custom cycling jerseys that humanize cyclists to drivers behind them through personalized "I AM" messaging. The idea being: drivers need to see you as a human being, not an object. Initial customers and test riders are finding that the jersey does help improve safety (though it's by no means a silver bullet that will stop all jerks from being dangerous). As a startup, any feedback will be great! Thanks, Neal
Because your jerseys are bright in color or are you stating this simply because no one has been hit?
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Old 06-06-11, 03:13 PM   #6
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I have no problem with drivers seeing me as an object, preferably a steel and concrete object that will **** up their car on impact. Maybe they'd be a little more careful.
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Old 06-06-11, 03:20 PM   #7
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That a Sublimated dye , in the fabric, that the jersey is then sewn out of?

thats how it's done in the big time .. there is no change in the performance
of the fabric, then.
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Old 06-06-11, 03:22 PM   #8
adrenaline
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It is a full digital sublimation jersey. Printed one at a time after the customer picks their color combination and enters their own "I AM" message.
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Old 06-06-11, 03:37 PM   #9
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Jerseys all ready cost too much, give me a simple one that has reflective piping and I'm happy
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Old 06-06-11, 05:00 PM   #10
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Jerseys all ready cost too much, give me a simple one that has reflective piping and I'm happy
There may be a reason that highway workers don't bother with fancy messages; just a simple yellow-green with huge reflective stripes.

Then again, I'm still thinking about a "SPASTIC COLON - STAY BACK 500 FEET" jersey.
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Old 06-06-11, 05:11 PM   #11
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Your jersey sucks.

However, a high-visibility yellow jersey might improve safety.
See that, the jersey doesn't help everyone see you as a human being.

Low-invisibility yellow would be nice though.
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Old 06-06-11, 05:37 PM   #12
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I don't think the message matters. Bright high-vis yellow green with reflectivity is much more useful.
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Old 06-06-11, 06:00 PM   #13
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I don't think the message matters.
I don't know about that. Someone did a study a couple of years ago and found that drivers gave more room to riders they thought were women. It's hard to say why, but it doesn't seem like a huge stretch to think that a humanizing message could have a similar psychological effect.
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Old 06-06-11, 06:06 PM   #14
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So I should stuff my jersey...
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Old 06-06-11, 06:25 PM   #15
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Seems like this pulls attention away from the road where the drivers should be looking, not busy reading the back of some guys back.
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Old 06-06-11, 07:05 PM   #16
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IMHO, you're on the wrong path. Rather than attempting to prove a logical cause and effect, (there is no way to measure if these jerseys actually improve safety) why not simply market your idea as a fun, clever way to send a message?
Frankly, your "I'm a human, don't hit me" approach is quite limiting.
Personally, I dislike the majority of jerseys on the market. It seems most have ridiculous designs and logos. I also have no desire for labeling and brand advertisement. I'd buy one of your jerseys.
You have a great idea here. Expand your horizons.
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Old 06-06-11, 07:09 PM   #17
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This ^ I like unbranded jerseys. I don't like advertising.
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Old 06-06-11, 07:55 PM   #18
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I think there are a few tests you can try, to see if it really does alter driver behavior. I'd suggest using dummies on bikes normally positioned outside of the lane of course, which would necessarily be posed and stationary. You could analyze film of hundreds, or even thousands, of passing motorists for deviations in their lines of travel - compare normal jerseys to your humanized jerseys. Don't forget the control, filming traffic with no cycle at all. This could at least answer the most obvious question: would drivers allow more room? It would be an even greater service if you also determined, with the same experiment, whether "high visibility" jerseys really are safer than street clothes.

You could use live cyclists of course, but that would complicate data collection, inject more variables, and possibly incur liability. With the static dummies however the test should be inexpensive and fairly easy. Something like that is the least you can do if you want to market the jerseys as improving the safety of cyclists.
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Old 06-06-11, 08:48 PM   #19
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There was also a study that showed drivers were more likely to pass lycra and helmet wearing cyclists more closely than people wearing street clothes. The general consensus was that drivers assumed someone wearing a "bike uniform" was a competent cyclist and could handle being passed closely. The study which showed drivers giving female cyclists more room has nothing to do with them being viewed as "people", rather that drivers assume that women are less capable. I wish you well with your jersey, but I can see it being the target of LOTS of abuse.
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Old 06-06-11, 08:53 PM   #20
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I have my messenger bag custom with
"Don't Hit Me!" on it.

I know driver can not read it when moving, but at lights I felt it would give driver's a smile ;-)
One bus driver did he would not.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:47 AM   #21
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I try to always wear brightly colored jerseys when riding in traffic, and I've got a whole collection of yellow and neon jerseys, jackets and vests for riding in the dark and dim light. However, I'm not so big on the whole messaging thing. I don't want drivers to get further distracted trying to read a message on my jersey -- I just want them to see me. Most drivers do not want to hit cyclists, they are just distracted or not paying attention. The psychopaths won't care what you are wearing.
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Old 06-07-11, 10:51 AM   #22
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I like your idea. Humanization works on a lot of different levels. It's used in advertising all the time. But it's not something that the average Joe is going to be concious of. Go for it. Just use a lot of orange and yellow.
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Old 06-07-11, 11:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Fizzaly View Post
Seems like this pulls attention away from the road where the drivers should be looking, not busy reading the back of some guys back.
Yeah, I'd hate to get run over by someone swerving into me as they try to read the back of my jersey....
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Old 06-07-11, 01:26 PM   #24
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Yeah, I'd hate to get run over by someone swerving into me as they try to read the back of my jersey....
It's the whole "you hit where you aim" principle. Just like you are not supposed to focus on a pothole as you are riding--you see it, you correct your course, but you don't fixate on it. That's why so many drunk drivers hit cop cars that are stopped on the side of the road. They focus on the flashing lights and just naturally aim at them.
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Old 06-07-11, 01:35 PM   #25
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... Then again, I'm still thinking about a "SPASTIC COLON - STAY BACK 500 FEET" jersey.
This.

Not a bad idea though. I'm not an expert, but as most car/bicycle accidents are due to drivers placing their needs before the bike rider, at one level or another, maybe something like this might get drivers to think a little more. Will it really help? Dunno, but I doubt it would hurt.
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