2016 trends: Fashionable road safety

Hi-vis, reflectivity and day-time lights are in

Many of us may deny it to ourselves and loved ones, but sharing the road on our bikes with other motorists is a dangerous activity. In the name of aesthetics, far too many of us wear potentially dangerous dark clothing and commonly deem the traditional fluorescent yellows as unfashionable.

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As our US editor Ben Delaney pointed out in his column last week, hi-vis clothing and associated accessories are very much on trend for 2016. With this, our gallery rounds up a few of the best roadie-friendly safety products from Interbike. Check out the massive gallery above for detailed looks, and read on for some of the, um, ‘highlights’ of this growing category.

Pearl Izumi’s BioViz

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Pearl izumi’s new bioviz clothing takes a different approach to visibility than straight up reflectivity. firstly, they use fluorescent colours which are said to be three-times brighter than the brightest white. secondly, the brand places highly reflective markers in areas that will be seen effectively when in motion so that motorists know its a human out in front. finally, the brand states that high contrast colours help to grab attention:

BioViz from Pearl Izumi (a little too bright for our camera)

Where most brands are treating their road safety-focused clothing from a reflective point of view, Pearl Izumi says it’s not so simple and that such designs aren’t so effective under daytime conditions or at telling motorists that it’s another human in front.

Instead, the brand’s new ‘BioViz’ range looks at visibility from three points. Firstly, the clothing range uses fluorescent colours that are said to be up to three times brighter than the brightest white. Next is the placement of highly reflective markers placed in strategic positions to work noticeably with a cyclist’s movement. Finally, the brand is using contrasting hues in order to gain further attention. 

Lazer accessorizes

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Lazer z1 helmet owners can now upgrade their helmets with this us$24 led safety light. it simply clips in place instead of the stock rollsys plastic guard :

Neatly integrated light for the Lazer Z1 helmet

Perhaps the best helmet brand when it comes to offering aftermarket accessories, Lazer has a few more tricks up its sleeve for 2016.

Those using the brand’s Z1 road helmet will now be able to replace the Rollsys plastic protection with the small ‘Z1 LED Mudcap’ rear light. Or perhaps you’re needing visibility because its cold and dark out. For this, Lazer will now offer its Aeroshell covers in a range of hi-vis colours.

Reflective printing

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Joining the helmet, garneau’s new rtr range stands for ‘reclaim the road’. pictured is the $180 elite m-2 rtr jersey (stunner rtr for women) which features everything you’d look for in a performance-focused jersey, but with the addition of printed reflective dots for low light visibility:

Louis Garneau is just one brand going big in this market. Those printed grey dots will shine when hit with light

Going against Pearl Izumi’s beliefs, there are many brands doing highly reflective clothing options that truly shine when hit by light at night. A key trend is printed reflective panels allowing brands to keep with their technical materials and cuts while adding night-time visibility. 

Daytime lighting

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Hoping to get back to the top of the lighting game, cateye’s new rapid x3 lights are designed for daytime visibility. the front packs an intense 200 lumens, with the rear offering 100 lumens. expect to pay $60 per light :

CatEye has an expansive range of day-time friendly safety lights, but so do many other brands

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First making waves last year, many brands are now promoting the use of safety lights during the day. With this, the best lights have optimized optics that hit harder in the daytime. Not seen at Interbike, the likes of Specialized and Bontrager have been strong advocates in this market.