Stand Out From the Crowd

When choosing what to wear on your bike there are whole number of factors to consider; is it warm, light, comfortable, waterproof, breathable, and perhaps even fashionable.  Visibility is something that many cyclists consider and the Highway Codes has something to say on the matter too.

Clothing -You should wear

  • appropriate clothes for cycling. Avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights
  • light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light
  • reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.

The use of high-visibility or fluorescent cycling clothing is sometimes a contentious issue with cyclists; some swear by it and make themselves as conspicuous as possible, others say it sends out the wrong message to motorists;

“I don’t want to look like I’m doing something hazardous, when I’m trying to convince people that cycling is safe and fun.” @londoncyclist

There is a strong argument that says cycling should be treated as any normal activity (pedestrians rarely go out with lots of high-viz and reflective materials) as seen in pictures of Dutch cyclists who wear normal clothes, and rarely helmets.  A top-quality, segregated cycle infrastructure certain helps and isn’t what we have in this country so comparisons are not always valid.

Wearing bright clothing certainly makes sense, even if it isn’t fluoro-yellow, and dark clothes should be avoided – especially at night.  Black may be slimming but if you want to be seen at night, choose something brighter.

Don’t forget your backpack.  Many cyclists use high-visibility backpack covers, such as our very own UrbanLimits model, and these allow you to be visible from the rear while still wearing normal clothes.  Various wrist and ankle-bands can help if you are wearing dark clothing.

Nobody wants to look like a walking Christmas Tree but actually, fluorescent clothing is currently in-vogue. Look at the shoes athletes wear or the boots of many footballers and it seem that standing out is very de rigueur.