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Forum: Clothing

Shorts, eyewear, helmets, gloves, cold/hot/wet weather gear

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#1: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Robin Smith on Tue 2 Oct 2012 22:30 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (9)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hi, this is only my first post, be kind! :) I am starting cycling with my 10 year old daughter as she has completed her Bikeability training at school and is keen to cycle more as a family. We have never used any high visibility clothing or products as have always ridden off road. Now we will be starting to use roads, are vests, coats, back packs etc recommended? Which is the best? I have looked and can get vests for as little as £3, I want to be safe as possible and wondered what other people found work the best? Thank you

      
#2: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Lorraine Nygaard on Tue 2 Oct 2012 23:31 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Congratulations to your daughter and her bike training, and kudos to you, doing good things for your child. My advice comes from that of a mom that raised cycling kids, and ran a program at their school that encouraged parents to leave the car at home by doing bike days and more.

It's really important that your child, in the clothing that you put on her, feels comfortable so that she will continue to ride her bike: your ultimate goal. For example, if absolutely no one at school is wearing a safety vest to ride their bike to school and you force her to, she may get teased and won't be wanting to ride that bike. If the highly visible waterproof jacket is non-breathable fabric and is sweaty and clammy to wear, same result. There's a delightful balance between safety/visibility, what your wallet can handle, and what will be acceptable by her peers.

If you can afford a new waterproof, breathable, highly visible and fashionable cycling jacket for every time that she changes sizes, great. But if you're like me, finding a brightly coloured jacket, with a few reflectors in the right spots will be enough to feel assured that she's visible. As she gets older and is riding alone at night, increase the number of reflectors and lights.

Don't allow a cross-strap bag; they create lousy balance, and back problems too. If you don't have racks and bags, then a decent-sized backpack is best for keeping arms free, and allowing the torso and head to turn for traffic-checking. Too big, and mobility becomes an issue. A place for a water bottle will start a great habit.

Check out this family's journal...pretty inspiring stuff:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=4438

Good luck to you and yours!

      
#3: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Mike Ayling on Tue 2 Oct 2012 23:58 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Robin,

In addition to what Loraine has written about children's wear the adults in the family must lead by example.

Australia is a nanny state in regard to health and safety but a spin off is that safety equipment and hardware and building supply stores usually have a good range of light weight inexpensive visibility vests, yellow or orange, I prefer yellow, with good reflective strips about 50mm or two inches wide on back and front and these work extremely well in a car's headlights.

The small sizes will obviously be too large for a 10 year old but I never leave home without mine, even just riding to the shops.

Mike

      
#4: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Dave Butansky on Wed 3 Oct 2012 00:14 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
A comfortable sized mesh reflector vest can be good without being hot in the summer, size one that will also fit over a rain shell in winter. Some fun glass-bead reflective stickers are great for helmet and bicycle frame. lightly colored helmet and bicycle gives a light spot even if she should go out in dark clothes, make sure the helmet is something that she likes enough to actually continue to wear when you are not around.
Battery flashers white forward and red rear really add to visibility at night and may be required by law from dusk to dawn. For an average teen or even a forgetful adult you can either get a bicycle with a nice dynamo/generator system built into the front hub or get flashers that activate when the bicycle moves, automatic means nobody has to think to activate the lights.
Good safety habits combined with light colored clothing and safety lighting at night is often enough and some people don't like the fashion sense of a safety vest.

      
#5: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By iain c on Wed 3 Oct 2012 03:02 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
My approach to visibility is to choose jackets or tops that are bright yellow or orange. In daylight bright colours stand out. I don't wear specific Hi-Vis stuff much though I did when I commuted in heavy traffic.

At night good lights are needed. I use two rear lights. They stand out more than one light and if if a light fails or the batteries are low their is still one good light. I like the Cateye LD610 but there are other good lights.

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/Cateye-TL-LD610-Black-5-LED-Red-Rear-Light/CATELIGH780000000000?utm_campaign=Googlebase&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=Googlebase

As for back packs - for some reason most rucsacs in cycling shops are not brightly coloured or Hi-Viz so when you wear one you are covering up most of your bright coloured jacket. If you are wearing a rucsac on road and want to be visible get a Hi-Viz rucsac. I used one like this for commuting - bright yellow with reflective strips.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004XYFILU/ref=asc_df_B004XYFILU9947781/?tag=googlecouk06-21&creative=22134&creativeASIN=B004XYFILU&linkCode=asn

Visibility can only do a certain amount though. On road safety is as much about other things. Route choice especially. With a 10 year old I'd be looking at avoiding main roads and using pavements in some places where I'd be on road if I was cycling myself.

If I was riding on road with a 10 year old I'd, depending on road conditions, aim to have them cycling about 1m from the kerb with me about 1.5-2m out. This means all overtakes are well clear of the 10 year old. Using a mirror is worthwhile as well. The mirror lets you watch overtaking traffic so you can see any close passes before they happen.

      
#6: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Emma Taylor on Wed 3 Oct 2012 03:54 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Robin

stay away from the dedicated cycling hi viz vests in the UK and just get a bog standard H&S hiv viz vest - they have much more reflective tape on them and are significantly cheaper.

We have added the 3m scotch guard refelctive spoke reflectors and I think that would also be a really good idea - they are really good for increasing visibility and we always cycle in the UK with a flashing rear light (nothing says bike more than a flashing red light). I really like the Cateye TL-LD1100 it gives 270 degree visibilty...

If you want a rucksack cover, (you mentioned backpacks) then the HUMP ones are stunning. Rucksack cover but could be a touch big?

And a slightly cheaper version of a hi-viz rucksack...

      
#7: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Emma Taylor on Wed 3 Oct 2012 04:16 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
One other thing I would mention is to make sure that if you wear a bright yellow flourscent top, have your daughter in a hi-viz orange top.

Don't wear the same colour.

We noticed that when we cycled with different coloured hi-viz tops motorists were far more aware that they needed to overtake 2 cyclists and not one and it was much safer for us than when we were wearing the same colour, the cyclist at the front (aka your daughter or in my case, me) seemed to surprise them and I was cut up much more often than when I was wearing a different hiviz colour to my OH.

      
#8: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Al Cyone on Wed 3 Oct 2012 06:08 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (2)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I'd suggest keeping a backpack off your kid's back if at all possible (and, of course, it's at all possible). Kids (at least here in the U.S.) seem burdened by backpacks all week at school. Riding a bike should be fun and turning a kid into a beast of burden doesn't sound like fun to me. The bike should be the beast of burden (as well as a fleet steed) so do what it takes to mount a rack (or at least a small bag). And don't forget a mirror. On the bike (not on the kid's head). Good luck!

Message on Review "Mirrors": "Mirrycle Bar End for Hybrid, Mountain, Recumbent" posted by Jerry Harp on Thu 21 Jun 2012 17:33 (US/Pacific)

      
#9: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By James Thurber on Wed 3 Oct 2012 06:29 Edit Delete in reply to #8     Reply (2)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
As a teacher (4th grade) I agree that keeping a backpack off the back is important - this increases visibility greatly.

Panniers are the best way to haul stuff.

In reality does this work? Nope. The students wear their backpacks - even if the parent has provided a rack and panniers. So how do we get traffic (texting, fingernail painting, distracted traffic) to avoid them?

I agree that BRIGHT tail lights are probably the best idea. The only issue will be ensuring that your son / daughter actually turn them on and / or off and USE them . . . ALL the time.

But knowing students - I doubt it'll happen.

The best safety issue is to teach your kids to ride on the RIGHT side of the road ('cept in England or Australia) and NOT on the sidewalk and to PAY attention.

      
#10: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Dave Butansky on Wed 3 Oct 2012 06:37 Edit Delete in reply to #8     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Agree with Al and Lorraine,
I used to one-shoulder a pack with all of my school books, I ended up with a backwards surgeon who did an overly invasive and debilitating in later life surgery to straighten my back from the scoliosis that several doctors attributed at least partly to years of lazy/cool one-strap carry of an overly heavy bag.

If there is anything to be packed the safest place is attached to the bicycle, no more than 5kg in a pack.

      
#11: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By George White on Wed 3 Oct 2012 08:35 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hi Robin,

Welcome to cgoab.

Everything written so far is worthwhile, so I'll try to add to it but I may be repeating some of it.

I would start with a cheap vest (they all have to meet BS standards, the cheap ones just fall apart (poor stitching) or just wear out quicker. You can get her a better one when she stops growing... She will be used to wearing one from her Bikeability training (well - all the schools round here use them out on the road.) If she hasn't already got one: get her a helmet she likes.

I may be saying things you already know - but just in case:
Other basics - make sure all the bikes are fitted with at least a bottle cage and drinks bottle. It is much easier to make sure she (and you) drink enough if it is is readily to hand. You can always carry extra water in a pannier or saddlebag (I agree that backpacks are a bad idea). Carry snacks as well.
You can get ideas for saddlebags from Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle
If you use panniers make sure they have reflective patches (Some, like Deuter, don't)
Make sure everyone is wearing vests, has lights &c otherwise she will feel picked on.

If you are near me (you can see the area I know well from my article on cycling in my local area) I can give you ideas for child friendly cycling (contact me directly if you want to keep your location private).

George

      
#12: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Al Cyone on Wed 3 Oct 2012 13:38 Edit Delete in reply to #9     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
"The best safety issue is to teach your kids to ride on the RIGHT side of the road . . . . and NOT on the sidewalk and to PAY attention."

While I agree that kids will eventually need to learn how to ride safely in traffic, riding on the sidewalk (though anathema to me; see below) is often legal in many municipalities for children under a certain age (14?) and may frequently be the safest option. Of course kids need to understand that pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks but, at least in the small rural towns near me, bicyclists outnumber pedestrians so the sidewalks are almost always empty. On the other hand, there are a few shopping blocks where pedestrian traffic is very dense and, of course, bicycles should be walked in such places. I guess what kids should understand is that when they ride on the sidewalk they're "guests" of the pedestrians and should behave accordingly.

Yikes! Am I really advocating riding bikes on the sidewalk? Well, only for kids, only in special circumstances, and only if it's safe (for cyclists and pedestrians alike).

Since we're getting somewhat off-topic, I'll end by providing a link to an interesting discussion: http://www.commutebybike.com/2008/07/09/top-5-rules-for-riding-on-the-sidewalk/

By the way, I grew up in a planned community (in the Bronx, in the 50s) where, if you were caught riding on the sidewalk (or walking on the grass), the private cops would take your name and a letter would be sent to your parents. It seemed unduly harsh at the time but it was a very densely populated community and the sidewalks stayed safe and the grass stayed green.

      
#13: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By Dave Butansky on Thu 4 Oct 2012 02:06 Edit Delete in reply to #9     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I agree that regular panniers are both expensive and may possibly not be used as to some they look too square and functional or make locking up difficult.
There are ways to either buy or retrofit a handlebar bag type mount plate to a fashionable briefcase/bag or a purse as both can be a problem for a cyclist.
A briefcase like saddle bag that hooks to the seat(saddle) is also a nice retro option.

      
#14: Re: Best Hi Vis? Vest, coat, backpack etc (thread)
By stuart myer on Thu 4 Oct 2012 21:18 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
UK ? October ? IME high vis orange work shirt and big boots gets most respect from drivers (in the form of a wide berth) - compared to wearing yellow/green flouro or bright lycra. UK roads seem to be be less well maintained now with more
potholes, garbage and are narrow, windy and busy (compared to Denmark or France). Plenty of people cycle wearing grey or black and it was scary to see (from vantage point of top of a bus) how close they were shaved.
So what works ? bright colours, helmets, lights, single-file cycling on quiet country roads, bridle/tow/foot paths...
Poundland sells vests, bike lights, Wilkinsons or market stalls for long sleeved wind-resistant flouro. Other cheapish sources might be army surplus or op shops..


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