October 31, 2014
Hi Visibility materials have made a big impression on the 2014 cycling season. From apparel to accessories, we're seeing nearly every corner of the cycling industry take advantage of this trend. Hi-visiblity materials should stand out against any background, which is great for cyclists trying to be noticed by traffic at any time of day. Here are some of my favorite hi-vis products so far.
The DeFeet Aireator sock has been around since the 90's, so it seems fitting to show how well their new hi-vis yellow jump out by pitting it against my favorite brightly colored 90's soft drink, Surge soda. Since your legs are almost always in motion, these stand out really well on the bike, and the five-inch cuff makes for a lot of hi-vis real estate. You can pick up a pair of these socks for $11, and they are also available in hi-vis blue and orange.
This waterproof/windproof shell is coveted by many of the staff at Adventure Cycling Association. If the hi-visibility fabric isn't enough for you, there's some reflective taping to help you be seen at night. This is available in both mens and womens sizing, and is a screaming deal at $100.
Ortlieb has taken their popular back-roller and front-roller panniers, as well as their Ultimate6 handlebar bag, and given them a high-visibility makeover. You can see these coming from (figuratively) a mile away, and they reflect light well for night time riding. Just look at how well they stand out against a flashy yellow Salsa Fargo.
Giro has been throwing hi-visibility options throughout their helmets, shoes, and gloves. This year I've been enjoying their hi-vis Code mountain bike shoes, and you better believe I'm pairing those with my hi-vis socks.
Top three photos by Josh Tack | Bottom photo by Gage Poore
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's memberservices department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.