Why wear black?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
John Holiday
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Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Why wear black?

Postby John Holiday » 20 Dec 2019, 10:29am

My morning & evening commute has recently been in dark ,wet & often foggy weather.
I have been surprised by the number of obviously experienced cyclists riding in all black gear.
They are usually using good lighting, but why put yours at greater risk of being inconspicuous by wearing black?
I appreciate that it is a pity that as vulnerable road users ,we need to dress as canaries on a Christmas tree, but you don't see construction workers on roads or railways in black.
Have recently purchased a Provis top and am conscious that drivers have been giving me a wider birth when overtaking.
Stay safe!

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Location: English Riviera

Re: Why black?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 20 Dec 2019, 10:36am

Hi,
It's an argument bought up time and time again.
it is proven not to be as simple as that.
I'm not 100% sure but I have also noticed a slight difference recently in driving tactics although it's hard to pin down.
I know I normally condemn short lived campaigns on cyclists safety but the 1.5 meter rule I think is having some affect.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

100%JR
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Location: High Green,Sheffield.

Re: Why wear black?

Postby 100%JR » 20 Dec 2019, 11:00am

I prefer all black kit.Always have since my MTB days.
My CC kit is all black but for 2020 we've gone for a White Jersey option,both having a Flouro-stripe running top to bottom on the front and rear.
My 2nd CC kit is predominantly Black/Blue/White.
Maybe it's because Black seems to look better for longer?My old CC kit was all White and it looked horrible after a couple of months :|

kwackers
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby kwackers » 20 Dec 2019, 11:15am

If you've got those insipid yellow street lights black is more visible than white or yellow.
It's all about contrast.

IMO worse thing you can do (and what I do) is look like a seasoned cyclist.
Better to look like an unpredictable ninja, everyone see's a ninja...

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Why wear black?

Postby reohn2 » 20 Dec 2019, 11:17am

I depends on where and when you're,if the roads are well lit and you're well lit it should follow that it doesn't matter what colour you wear,but I'm of the opinion that if make myself stand out like a sore thumb I'll be obvious to all and sundry and most importantly to those most likely to do me harm.So I wear hiviz mostly or red.
That said,riding into a setting or low sun I'm also aware that hiviz can be lost in the glare when approached from behind,that where the red wind top come in.

There'll be people who'll post that motorist should see cyclists in any conditions no matter what they're wearign and they're right but not all motorists are the same,there are idiots mixed in with the goods drivers.

As you say,be as safe as you can! :wink:
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mattheus
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Location: Western Europe

Re: Why wear black?

Postby mattheus » 20 Dec 2019, 12:20pm

John Holiday wrote:My morning & evening commute has recently been in dark ,wet & often foggy weather.
I have been surprised by the number of obviously experienced cyclists riding in all black gear.
They are usually using good lighting, but why put yours at greater risk of being inconspicuous by wearing black?
I appreciate that it is a pity that as vulnerable road users ,we need to dress as canaries on a Christmas tree, but you don't see construction workers on roads or railways in black.


We're not in great danger, why are you telling us what to wear? Do you lecture pedestrians? How about family members moving round the house at night? Or drivers in grey cars (one of the most common these days)?
Do you wear hi-viz when going to/from your car? (or bus, or train)

John Holiday
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Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Re: Why wear black?

Postby John Holiday » 20 Dec 2019, 1:21pm

I am not lecturing, merely trying to raise a concern that will hopefully save vulnerable road users from unnecessary death or injury.
As a National Standards Instructor of Bikeability in schools, I am keen to see more children riding.One of the most frequent concerns of parents and comments on why they are reluctant to allow children on the roads ,is motorised traffic and vulnerability.
Being clearly visible goes a long way to alleviating this.

loch eck steve
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Location: Argyll

Re: Why wear black?

Postby loch eck steve » 20 Dec 2019, 1:36pm

I think as Kwackers says its all about contrast . Most of the year I like to wear some form of hi viz clothing . but as I live in a highly forested area during Autumn when the leaves have all turned yellow /red etc I find black clothing stands out more .

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 20 Dec 2019, 1:40pm

‘Cos it’s en flique innit. Black also ‘slims’ you. Once you’ve had black, you never go back, apparently.

All black gear, in dark / foggy conditions is just pure Darwinism in action though. Black with high reflect bits on anything that moves, is great because moving high contrast things do get you noticed.

mattheus
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Location: Western Europe

Re: Why wear black?

Postby mattheus » 20 Dec 2019, 1:43pm

John Holiday wrote:I am not lecturing, merely trying to raise a concern that will hopefully save vulnerable road users from unnecessary death or injury.
As a National Standards Instructor of Bikeability in schools, I am keen to see more children riding.One of the most frequent concerns of parents and comments on why they are reluctant to allow children on the roads ,is motorised traffic and vulnerability.
Being clearly visible goes a long way to alleviating this.


What has the concerns of parents for their children got to do with the experienced cyclists you see? How about just telling the PARENTS to dress in hi-viz, if it worries them??

Keep your lectures to your classroom.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Dec 2019, 1:46pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:‘Cos it’s en flique innit. Black also ‘slims’ you. Once you’ve had black, you never go back, apparently.

All black gear, in dark / foggy conditions is just pure Darwinism in action though. Black with high reflect bits on anything that moves, is great because moving high contrast things do get you noticed.



No - as you pointed out - it tends to be cyclists with good lights, which are far more effective than 'not wearing black'
I put black socks on this morning, then fell over because I couldn't see where my feet were...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Audax67
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Audax67 » 20 Dec 2019, 1:48pm

There used to be TV ads urging pedestrians to wear something light at night. Music by Cy Grant, IIRC.

Our club's current jersey, which I refuse to wear, is bright green and black, divided more or less vertically. Seen from a distance, the folk who wear it are only half there.

And in Kabuki theatre, characters who are supposed to be invisible dress in black.

It works.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 20 Dec 2019, 1:53pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:‘Cos it’s en flique innit. Black also ‘slims’ you. Once you’ve had black, you never go back, apparently.

All black gear, in dark / foggy conditions is just pure Darwinism in action though. Black with high reflect bits on anything that moves, is great because moving high contrast things do get you noticed.



No - as you pointed out - it tends to be cyclists with good lights, which are far more effective than 'not wearing black'
I put black socks on this morning, then fell over because I couldn't see where my feet were...

Lights, no matter how good, are less effective if you’re approaching perpendicularly to the cyclist. That’s when the contrast of black / moving high reflect comes into its own.

Smudgerii
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Smudgerii » 20 Dec 2019, 2:08pm

“Why wear black?”

The answer is as simple as, because we can. Long may that be the case.

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RickH
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby RickH » 20 Dec 2019, 2:19pm

It always surprises me the number of people with the superhero ability to see apparently invisible cyclists! :lol: