Visibility is something that a lot of cyclists take very seriously. No doubt the image of a car not spotting you in the dark is a scary one. One company that has jumped on this need is Proviz. They’re providing a range of reflective cycling gear.
They recently got in touch and offered a couple of samples to review for London Cyclist.
The first is the cycling jacket.
Proviz cycling jacket
On the surface the jacket is your standard high-viz cycling jacket. However, on the back and front are four light strips that you can power up from a battery unit held in the inside pocket.
The light strips are pretty bright and would be hard to miss. The below picture is taken in a pitch black room.
I haven’t had much time to test out the jacket and it’s been a little tough to test as I’ve been sent an XL version (And also the batteries in the unit sent were dead!).
What I did notice however is that the battery unit is a little noisy. You get a constant low level noise when you leave the light on. When it’s on blinking mode the noise stops when the lights are off. However, this shouldn’t be noticeable when you are out cycling.
Other than the problem with the low-level noise the jacket seems fairly good. The quality is acceptable and you can’t argue that it doesn’t help you be extra visible. The jacket is particularly suited to the colder winter months as it provides a lot of warmth. If things do get a little hot then there are two big vents that can be unzipped.
The jacket was out of stock when I put this article together but normally it is available from http://www.proviz.co.uk/ for around £67 and I’m sure at some stage will be appearing in bike shops.
Proviz Saturn bike helmet
Fitted with a light at the front and at the back of the helmet the Proviz Saturn helmet is also designed to provide extra visibility.
The helmet features an adjustable strap on the back to make it fit all size heads. I personally found the helmet sat a little high on my head for my liking.
Other than that the helmet looks good, it’s well ventilated and the lights are surprisingly strong. A neat feature is that the visor at the front can snap on and off depending on how the mood takes.
I particularly enjoyed testing out the light on the front by using it to navigate around my house in the dark. I’m sure for night-time road side repairs this little light will come in very handy.
The helmet costs £52.19 and is available from the Proviz website.
Reflective cycling gear and overall review
I’m not a big convert to the Proviz gear but that probably has more to do with my approach to visibility. I personally prefer a decent bike light coupled with a good visible road position (rather than riding in the gutter).
Rather than spend money on a jacket my approach would be to spend more on a brighter bike light.
However, I can’t argue that reflective material can help provide you with an edge. Therefore, as logic would dictate, reflective material coupled with lights is a strong combination.
If your visibility is of concern and you regularly ride in the dark and in poorly lit areas then the Proviz gear is definitely worth considering. I’m hoping to see more great things from the company and it’s good to see someone looking out for the visibility of cyclists.
Check them out at proviz.co.uk where they also have some more reflective bits such as a rucksack cover.
Note: We’re giving away 5 Proviz helmets to 5 lucky winners on the newsletter on Friday 5th Nov (tomorrow). If you’re not registered then do so now and you’ll be in with a chance to win!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.