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Daytime Visibility: Bright Colors vs. Stripes?

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Daytime Visibility: Bright Colors vs. Stripes?

Old 03-16-22, 01:45 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
you guys got all the right color spectrums .......................................................... now go figure how CORBAH can charge $160.00 for jerseys that make you invisible to cars

app $200.00 retail

urban camo
I'm not surprised it's on sale. I've noticed that fluo yellow/ safety green cycling kit rarely ends up on sale in average sizes. I guess being a visible as possible and staying alive is broadly popular among cyclists!
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Old 03-16-22, 07:10 AM
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I've ridden with other cyclists that have brightly colored jerseys with a detailed design. From medium or far distances, the design blends together, muting the bright colors into a medium grayish color. Even yellow and black would do this.

A single hi-viz color is recognizable in the far distance. I even see people out walking with a hi-viz tshirt way down the road, and think "another cyclist". Like njkayaker said, other florescent colors stand out more, partly because they are unusual.

Up close, I don't think stripes or plain color makes any difference. Fire trucks have stripes on the back so that drivers can quickly judge the closing distance in bad viewing conditions, with glare and lights everywhere.

(I think black is more visible during the day than grayish / tan colors, which blend into the road color! Black is quite a contrast on most roads. Don't do this at night though.)

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Nothing is going to be perfect.

The "safety green" color is used because it aligns with the peak sensitivity of human eyes. If you are in a place with lots of green background, "safety green" might not be optimal. Fluorescent take in other wavelengths and reemit them at the frequency you see (which makes them appear brighter). Pink/orange (especially, fluorescent) can work pretty-well because those colors are rare. Certain bright blues work reasonably well.

Retroreflection works with direct illumination (that is brighter than ambient light). It doesn't do much in bright sunlight.

One goal is to be recognized as "something" of concern from a long distance. More complicated patterns might actually work against that.

The farther away you are recognized as "something" (ideally, as a cyclist), the more time you are giving the driver to register that you are there.

A flashing rear light (even during the day) is pretty recognizable as a cyclist from a long distance (depending on the line of sight) and they work in shadows/tunnels.
Huh, that's my thoughts exactly. The bright single flash blinkies, like my 150 lumen Cygolite, are visible way down the road, where the cyclist is barely recognizable. At noon in bright sunlight. They do spread out very wide at those distances, so line of sight doesn't affect it. Not just visible, but the flash instantly catches my attention. Yes, I want the driver to look up from their phone and see me a quarter mile away!

Yesterday, an hour from sunset, I had front and rear blinkies and my very reflective leg band for the cars with their lights on.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-16-22 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:24 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Nothing is going to be perfect.

The "safety green" color is used because it aligns with the peak sensitivity of human eyes. If you are in a place with lots of green background, "safety green" might not be optimal. Fluorescent take in other wavelengths and reemit them at the frequency you see (which makes them appear brighter). Pink/orange (especially, fluorescent) can work pretty-well because those colors are rare. Certain bright blues work reasonably well.

.
Interesting that you mention pink. Several states now allow it as an option to orange for deer hunting. Indeed it stands out in green vegetation much better.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:11 AM
  #29  
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From my riding experience, the bright flashing rear tailight & a nice bright headlight (steady or on fade) has been the eye catcher for others. Any time I am out in the daytime in a dense traffic area, I usually have a few people tell me they spotted me a "mile away!" with the lighting being used.
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Old 03-16-22, 10:57 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
From my riding experience, the bright flashing rear tailight & a nice bright headlight (steady or on fade) has been the eye catcher for others. Any time I am out in the daytime in a dense traffic area, I usually have a few people tell me they spotted me a "mile away!" with the lighting being used.
I've been called out by motorists who say they appreciate me being lit up like a christmas tree in the daytime. And then once another cyclist came up from behind telling me he saw me from a mile away with my brightly coloured construction worker's reflector t-shirt.
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Old 03-16-22, 11:40 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I've been called out by motorists who say they appreciate me being lit up like a christmas tree in the daytime. And then once another cyclist came up from behind telling me he saw me from a mile away with my brightly coloured construction worker's reflector t-shirt.

I tried wearing one of those construction worker shirts once, and the fabric was really irritating. Do you have a brand you can recommend?
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Old 03-16-22, 01:16 PM
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second option that might deter people from you is to wear a job application pinned on the front & back of a shirt.
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Old 03-16-22, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
second option that might deter people from you is to wear a job application pinned on the front & back of a shirt.

A t-shirt that says "I SELL AMWAY" might be better, but I'm not sure if people in Saudi Arabia would know what that is.
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Old 03-16-22, 02:26 PM
  #34  
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I too am going to chime in here for bright red blinkys. I try to stick to county roads while commuting between cities and here they are laid out in a square mile grid. Even with rollers and in and out of shade it easy to gage distances and can spot a blinky a good mile or even more with good sight lines. Stripes are fine as long as they are hi viz stripes including 3M reflective 3" stripes as required by OSHA. Reflective mesh vests are readily available and cheap compared to kit.
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Old 03-16-22, 04:22 PM
  #35  
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Solid colors are always more visible than any broken up colors, even if the broken up colors are bright. Broken up stuff tends to get lost in the surrounding broken up trees/signs/buildings whatever.

If you don't like florescent colors (which I don't) regular bright yellow or bright white are also very visible. Again, without patterns, including a bunch of logos that break up the solid colors.

FWIW, and probably of no value other than myself, to my eyes, watching cyclists on rural roads, solid white and regular yellow are as visible as anything and I have no problem seeing cyclists from far, far away no matter what they're wearing. It's not like they're invisible if they're not wearing the "safety" colors. Not saying not to wear them, just that I don't believe they're as much safer than people think.

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Old 03-16-22, 08:16 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I tried wearing one of those construction worker shirts once, and the fabric was really irritating. Do you have a brand you can recommend?
This is the brand.
https://www.forcefieldcanada.com/col...fety-tee-shirt

It's 100% polyester. Can get smelly so wash it right away. I got the yellow and the orange. I think my wife got it at Costco.

Try these.
https://www.costco.com/holmes-workwe...100456101.html
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Old 03-16-22, 10:57 PM
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I had the exciting experience of watching a driver run into one of our fire engines. They almost hit one crew member, and he was wearing black and yellow stripe fire gear.

Yes, we had the top lights on. Yes, the engine was big with retro reflective stripes... We even had a guy letting one car at a time through the scene and warning each one of the hazards ahead.
​​​​​​
We also had someone hit a school bus that was stopped with the flashers on...

I have jerseys in lots of different colors and patterns. White, yellow, blue, red, green.. Stripes, stars, doughnuts. I don't trust any of them to keep that one special driver from hitting me. The price of bicycling is eternal vigilance...
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Old 03-16-22, 11:23 PM
  #38  
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I have been wearing brightly colored V-Neck soccer (football) shirts for years. They last a long time, fit close to the body, wick away sweat, don't cost much, and do not offend as I am a fat guy.

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Old 03-17-22, 05:11 PM
  #39  
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I don't think stripes are necessarily a good idea. High contrast is known to work well. The idea being if the background is dark, the bright color shows, if the background is bright the dark color stands out. But we're talking large swaths of color, not stripes that blend together at a distance.

I mostly wear hi-viz yellow jerseys. These often have large black areas like under the arms that I think help to add contrast. I also use very bright flashing lights; red in the rear and white in front. These can literally be seen for more than a mile.

On a ride yesterday I was surprised by another cyclist coming the other way. Didn't come close to hitting them, just a bit spooked by how close they were before I noticed. They were on a fat tire e-bike. The bike was 100% flat black. I don't think there was so much as a bare metal screw head on the thing. The rider was also in completely black clothing, gloves, helmet. Not sure if he was trying to be the cycling version of Johnny Cash or a Ninja. I swear it's like the man wanted to commit suicide. Yes it was daytime, but you just look like a shadow when everything is black.
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Old 03-17-22, 09:12 PM
  #40  
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"Multi-layered sales are illegal in Saudi Arabia and you're speaking Greek."

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
A t-shirt that says "I SELL AMWAY" might be better, but I'm not sure if people in Saudi Arabia would know what that is.
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Old 03-17-22, 09:33 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
100% polyester



No. Not in 30+ Celsius a >70% humidity.

Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
V-Neck


Just... no.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:59 AM
  #42  
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As a motorist and a commuter bicyclist, brightly colored shoes with small strips of SOLAS tape, or brightly colored socks would be ideal, but since my commutes are short, and my wearing pants and street shoes, I wear a pair of bright colored reflective ankle bands, one on each ankle.
When I'm driving at night, the up and down motion of the any reflective shoe, sock, or ankle band at night is a real attention getter for me, plus being a back up in case a rear light battery runs low or goes dead.


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Old 03-27-22, 02:28 PM
  #43  
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The jersey color or pattern makes far less difference IF you have a couple bright taillights mounted to your bike -- preferably one steady, one flashing.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:56 PM
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When i tried wearing high visibilty "yellow jerseys", people on the streets were shouting "gilets jaunes" all the time. When i got tired of that and tried an orange variant, i got arrested by the police and spent an entire evening for interrogation
Now, i wear only black clothes and count on a fluorescent helmet, reflective straps and blinking lights for visibility.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:14 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
When i got tired of that and tried an orange variant, i got arrested by the police and spent an entire evening for interrogation
? ? Interrogate about what?
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Old 03-28-22, 08:18 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
? ? Interrogate about what?
Ugly fashion sense.

Or the shirt had a "DOC"' monogram.
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Old 03-28-22, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mtracer View Post
I don't think stripes are necessarily a good idea. High contrast is known to work well. The idea being if the background is dark, the bright color shows, if the background is bright the dark color stands out. But we're talking large swaths of color, not stripes that blend together at a distance.

I mostly wear hi-viz yellow jerseys. These often have large black areas like under the arms that I think help to add contrast. I also use very bright flashing lights; red in the rear and white in front. These can literally be seen for more than a mile.

On a ride yesterday I was surprised by another cyclist coming the other way. Didn't come close to hitting them, just a bit spooked by how close they were before I noticed. They were on a fat tire e-bike. The bike was 100% flat black. I don't think there was so much as a bare metal screw head on the thing. The rider was also in completely black clothing, gloves, helmet. Not sure if he was trying to be the cycling version of Johnny Cash or a Ninja. I swear it's like the man wanted to commit suicide. Yes it was daytime, but you just look like a shadow when everything is black.
I agree with your comments about contrasting colors... to heck with "fashion sense;" this is all about trying to survive amongst the poorly controlled, heavy, moving things.

I once saw a negative newspaper commentary about cyclists "trying to look like bees," regarding the black and yellow combination... to that writer, I say FU... you saw us cyclists, and that was the important part.
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Old 03-28-22, 10:51 AM
  #48  
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Reflective tape works well. I have it on my helmet and shoes.

3M made a video showing the stark difference between wearing reflective gear and simply wearing bright colors. Granted, it was done while it was dark, but one is clearly more visible than the other.

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Old 03-28-22, 11:18 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
Reflective tape works well. I have it on my helmet and shoes.
Reflective tape really doesn't work in daylight.
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Old 03-28-22, 12:14 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Reflective tape really doesn't work in daylight.
True... especially since there is likely no light source coming from an angle likely to reflect back to a motorist.

But having said that... I would still have reflective tape and reflectors on moving parts of the bike/rider... IE pedals, wheel spokes, toptube (for cross traffic visibility) and helmet, and maybe even leg straps... the latter can both be colored and reflective. After all, one is not likely to remove those reflective materials for daylight riding. But specifically for daylight, contrasting colors, with at least some orange/yellow/bright green combination. I like tape across a couple of spokes, as it weighs "nothing" and gives a flashing movement to any cross traffic... reflective material on shoes and pedal are important for motorists following you.

Now all this is mentioned when riding in areas of mixed speed motor traffic... if one rides on nothing but bike paths... hey, wear what you want. But if you want to be seen by others, UNDER ALL CONDITIONS, you need bright contrasting colors for daytime and reflective stuff for night time... And if the traffic is brutal enough, I would also consider flashing bright lights front and rear for daytime too.

All this comes from the experience of daily commuting (which of course seasonally included night riding), of over 30 years on high speed arterial roads and even short stretches of freeway (yup, interstate freeway).

It comes down to "make yourself visible, and then assume they didn't see you, unless you can actually verify it." Drivers will look right through you and not register your presence. Verify!

How do you verify? Make a signal, nod your head, look for real eye contact... anything to get a response from a motorist... it could save you.
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