This week’s Question of the Week was inspired by a question submitted by reader Ron Sowers about dark cycling clothing. Like me, Ron is not a fan and wonders why the manufacturers even sell it. I also prefer clothing that makes me more visible to cars and other riders. But I thought it would be interesting to ask all of the other readers what they think about dark colored winter cycling clothing. Do you like it, or dislike it?
I wear a black jacket on sunny days when temperature is under 45F for the solar heating effect.
I’m not a ninja who’s able to sense and dodge all the traffic all the time. Since I lack that skill, I try to wear clothes that help other drivers see me. I’ll go for drab, even dark, colors for shorts or tights any time I’ve got something bright on up top. But especially in the winter, when I’m commuting half the time (or more!) in the dark, any dark shirt I wear is going to have a bright jacket or vest on top of it.
John Klever says
The Klingons of Star Trek fame pioneered invisibility technology, and they probably started with black. I like bright colors and flashing lights.
Mr. Versatile says
Bright colors only. It’s always been a mystery to me why so many cycle clothing makers make black & other dark colors for their winter wear. No, I don’t use their stuff.
I don’t understand why any one would wear black when riding a bicycle on a public road.
Richard Henley says
Personally, I see color as a tool to achieve visibility. Most of the time light and bright colors, arranged and designed to result in good visibility, and catch (even demand) the motorist’s attention, are preferable. However there are times when light and bright colors do not work well. There are other occasions when dark colors, even black, provide better visibility and are preferable. Day, night, hot, cold, fog, rain, snow, even traffic and road conditions all can present circumstances that make certain colors more visible, usable, comfortable, and preferable. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that when I’m off the bike, as at a ride stop, people tend to have interesting social response patterns to certain clothing, eliciting an extra, open friendliness and willingness to converse. I’ve found that it’s not wise to t rely on clothing colors exclusively for safety, and I typically ride with at least one blinking rear red light on at all times. I normally use three blinking rear-facing red lights and a white front light, even during the day. The combination of situation-appropriate clothing, combined with a generous use of lights, seems to be the most effective.
May all your rides be safe.