Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
mnichols
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Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mnichols » 26 Apr 2019, 3:19pm

I recently lost my beloved red Goretex packable waterproof jacket, and looking for a replacement the nearest, and best reviewed alternative that I can find are the new Gore shakedry jackets, but they are only available in black

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/editors-choice/gore-one-1985-gore-tex-shakedry-jacket-358850

It's been very well reviewed, and is currently half price in some places, so I've ordered it. The fit is more slightly more relaxed than I would have liked and the tail isn't as long as my old one which may be a problem when riding in the drops, but all the reviews that I have read say that this is the best lightweight, packable, breathable, waterproof jacket available on the market.......but it's black

I don't normally wear a black top riding as I feel a bit invisible, but is that just me? Is black a problem?

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mjr
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mjr » 26 Apr 2019, 3:28pm

mnichols wrote:I don't normally wear a black top riding as I feel a bit invisible, but is that just me? Is black a problem?

No, black isn't a problem. In low sun or against bright crops, black clothing may even be an advantage and make you less likely to blend into the background - and it may be an advantage in general, making you less likely to be mistaken for a slow-moving roadworker. I've been wearing mostly black, dark blue or dark grey since giving up the hi-vis because I was sick of motorists pulling out across me - and things really did improve.

In darkness, the regulation reflectors and lights are far more important than any clothing.
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JohnW
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 26 Apr 2019, 3:34pm

mnichols wrote:I recently lost my beloved red Goretex packable waterproof jacket, and looking for a replacement the nearest, and best reviewed alternative that I can find are the new Gore shakedry jackets, but they are only available in black

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/editors-choice/gore-one-1985-gore-tex-shakedry-jacket-358850

It's been very well reviewed, and is currently half price in some places, so I've ordered it. The fit is more slightly more relaxed than I would have liked and the tail isn't as long as my old one which may be a problem when riding in the drops, but all the reviews that I have read say that this is the best lightweight, packable, breathable, waterproof jacket available on the market.......but it's black

I don't normally wear a black top riding as I feel a bit invisible, but is that just me? Is black a problem?

Well - you'll have the comfort that you'll be dry whilst lying in the road after a motorist "......didn't see yer......", and hoping the ambulance gets there quickly enough. Some of them don't bother even when they do see you, but I submit that we have to do our best to be as visible as possible.

My opinion, based on my experience, is different from that of mjr (post above). I have seen recently two incredibly near misses because cyclists weren't wearing black/dark colours. I don't think that there's a perfect answer to this, for all conditions; a motorist either cares or he/she doesn't and a seven colour flashing tu-tu wouldn't alter the ethics of some of them.

Having said that, four years ago a motorist drove his Volvo estate into me, wrecked my bike and broke my leg for me and I was wearing hi-viz in broad daylight. The driver behind him had seen me and was my witness to the police. Hi-viz isn't a 100% guarantee but I believe that it does alter the odds a bit in our favour.

I know what my choice would be. Evans web-site has a wide range of suitables at a wide range in prices. I don't have an interest in Evans, but I was amazed at their range when looking recently.

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RickH
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby RickH » 26 Apr 2019, 3:46pm

Given the number of complaints that folk make about seeing "invisible" cyclists in black (preferably with no lights) then it is probably guaranteed to get you noticed! :twisted:

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mjr
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mjr » 26 Apr 2019, 3:47pm

JohnW wrote:My opinion, based on my experience, is different from that of mjr (post above). I have seen recently two incredibly near misses because cyclists weren't wearing black/dark colours.

Doesn't sound different to mine... ;)

JohnW wrote:Having said that, four years ago a motorist drove his Volvo estate into me, wrecked my bike and broke my leg for me and I was wearing hi-viz in broad daylight. The driver behind him had seen me and was my witness to the police. Hi-viz isn't a 100% guarantee but I believe that it does alter the odds a bit in our favour.

Being hit and seriously injured while wearing hi-viz doesn't seem like evidence in favour of hi-viz helping - the opposite, if anything! The driver behind may have been careful/attentive/competent and still have seen you if you'd been dressed in a black body stocking.
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mnichols
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby mnichols » 26 Apr 2019, 5:48pm

I think when riding in the rain I always have a flashing back and front light as well

I think riding in black could effect my confidence, but the magazine and user reviews say that the top is very good, and that this is a real step change in waterproofs. It also doesn't need rewaterproofing, and it's incredibly small and light which is definitely a bonus for credit card touring

JohnW
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 26 Apr 2019, 6:50pm

mjr wrote:
JohnW wrote:My opinion, based on my experience, is different from that of mjr (post above). I have seen recently two incredibly near misses because cyclists weren't wearing black/dark colours.

Doesn't sound different to mine... ;)

JohnW wrote:Having said that, four years ago a motorist drove his Volvo estate into me, wrecked my bike and broke my leg for me and I was wearing hi-viz in broad daylight. The driver behind him had seen me and was my witness to the police. Hi-viz isn't a 100% guarantee but I believe that it does alter the odds a bit in our favour.

Being hit and seriously injured while wearing hi-viz doesn't seem like evidence in favour of hi-viz helping - the opposite, if anything! The driver behind may have been careful/attentive/competent and still have seen you if you'd been dressed in a black body stocking.


When I was hit from behind, clearly the driver wasn't looking. The driver behind him certainly saw me - and gave evidence to that effect. The driver who wasn't looking wouldn't have seen me whatever colour I was wearing.

There is a wide body of evidence to suggest that wearing hi-viz is a beneficial policy - road workers, railway workers, traffic police and police at accidents and other hazard situations........................and there are so many other examples. I can't say any more about it all really.

Mike Sales
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Apr 2019, 6:56pm

JohnW wrote:
There is a wide body of evidence to suggest that wearing hi-viz is a beneficial policy - road workers, railway workers, traffic police and police at accidents and other hazard situations........................and there are so many other examples. I can't say any more about it all really.


This is not evidence that Hi-Viz works, but, at best, evidence that Health and Safety thinks that it works or at least cannot do any harm, that it shows they are busy at their jobs, and that it looks good to people with a little power.

jimlews
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby jimlews » 26 Apr 2019, 7:15pm

I have a suspicion that Hi Viz results in motorists giving less clearance when overtaking and doing so at a greater rate of knots.(Especially that B*****! Subaru Impreza driver.)
I also think that motorists are more aggressive when I'm using 'blinky' lights. I think they become annoyed by them, or something.
When I was knocked off my bike a while ago, I was wearing Hi Viz and had flashing lights front and rear. You can guess what the drivers first words were.
Despite the above I still wear bright clothing for the daily commute, but a black jacket for touring.

tim-b
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby tim-b » 26 Apr 2019, 7:16pm

Hi
It isn't as simple as colour, it's about driver perception.
In testing hi-viz is exactly that, until you introduce the motorist! (link)

Cyclists perceive that dark colours improve their safety, often on a subjective sample of one, which is contrary to a Cochrane Collaboration review of forty two studies, and industry documents e.g the Code of Practice for Safety at Street Works and Road Works which specifies yellow fluorescent material with reflective material
Regards
tim-b
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JohnW
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 26 Apr 2019, 7:19pm

Mike Sales wrote:
JohnW wrote:
There is a wide body of evidence to suggest that wearing hi-viz is a beneficial policy - road workers, railway workers, traffic police and police at accidents and other hazard situations........................and there are so many other examples. I can't say any more about it all really.


This is not evidence that Hi-Viz works, but, at best, evidence that Health and Safety thinks that it works or at least cannot do any harm, that it shows they are busy at their jobs, and that it looks good to people with a little power.

If a mountain walker stumbles and is injured, the rescue helicopter crew (and indeed any rescue party) will see the victim much more easily if she/he is wearing hi-viz than if he/she is wearing black.

irc
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby irc » 26 Apr 2019, 7:22pm

Personal choice but I wouldn't wear a black waterproof. My personal experience from driving, hillwalking etc is that bright colours can be seen sooner than black in most situations if someone is looking.

99.9% of the time it may not make a difference but I think a driver seeing me a second or two sooner is generally a good thing. Much the same way using a rear view mirror on a bike makes no difference almost all the time but just one time told me a large fast vehicle was not stopping or moving out and rather than being hit I went off the road onto the gravel shoulder.

That said using a bright rear flasher might be enough to restore good visibility. Riders with them seem to stand out well to me. So if you get the jacket get a good rear flasher as well. Possibly conditions needing waterproofs are lower light conditions anyway so combining a rear flasher is worth it with any waterproof jacket?

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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby JohnW » 26 Apr 2019, 7:25pm

jimlews wrote:I have a suspicion that Hi Viz results in motorists giving less clearance when overtaking and doing so at a greater rate of knots.(Especially that B*****! Subaru Impreza driver.)
I also think that motorists are more aggressive when I'm using 'blinky' lights. I think they become annoyed by them, or something.
When I was knocked off my bike a while ago, I was wearing Hi Viz and had flashing lights front and rear. You can guess what the drivers first words were.
Despite the above I still wear bright clothing for the daily commute, but a black jacket for touring.


An aggressive motorist is an aggressive motorist - it's in their nature,

I can't guess what the driver's first words were - tell us! Probably something along the lines of "it was your fault". When a bad person gets caught it's often the case that they raile and rant at the victim - how dare you delay him/her by living your life?

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gaz
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby gaz » 26 Apr 2019, 7:39pm

mnichols wrote:Is black a problem?

No, although I prefer a dark green.
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Samuel D
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Re: Black Waterproof jackets - a bad idea?

Postby Samuel D » 26 Apr 2019, 8:14pm

JohnW wrote:I can't guess what the driver's first words were - tell us!

I’m betting it was SMIDSY.

Being seen from a great distance and identified as a cyclist may lead to drivers dismissing you from their mind long before they arrive at you. Giving them something to worry about a bit later may paradoxically lead to greater safety.