My son has discovered a certain dynamic-reptile-ninja-quartet and now he’s completely obsessed with ninjas. Like father, like son. When I was his age, I can recall using wooden dowels as nunchucks, crafting throwing stars from tinfoil and practicing karate kicks on imaginary foes. And then there was dressing up in the archetypal, all-black ninja costume. Wearing all black meant you could hide in the shadows, evade the enemy and, while Dad was up late watching TV, sneak past him and raid the freezer of ice cream.
Years later I would adopt an all-black attire during my late 80’s, heavy metal phase. What can I say? Most of us love to wear black. It’s deeply rooted in our culture. And I can safely say it’s no different in the cycling industry.
The downside, however, is it really doesn’t make much sense when riding around town or in inclement weather. For these activities you need to add some color! And the brighter the better. In a sea of black garments, screaming yellows, blues, orange and pinks can be a breath of fresh air.
Here are some of our top picks for Hi-Vis clothing with cool colors and clashing patterns that will help make you stand out on the road.
Go With Green
If you can only invest in one jersey, go with green. Neon green is pretty much the standard for all safety Hi-Vis clothing, so you can’t go wrong here; drivers will definitely see you coming down the road. For winter rides, the Louis Garneau Tirreno Pro Thermal Jersey is a great choice.
For MTB jerseys, I’ve been digging the Fox Demo Union Jersey. Fox is pretty much the industry leader when it comes to MTB apparel – I promise you, you’re going to love this jersey! Designed with eye catching graphics, it’s available in two Hi-Vis colors: green/black and red/black. Plus, it’s super comfortable and dries quickly.
Socks are often overlooked when it comes to Hi-Vis clothing. The other day I noticed a cyclist dressed in all black, with the exception of a pair of bright green socks. What caught my attention was the movement of those bright green feet, furiously pedaling away in the distance. So, you might want to consider adding a pair of good, Hi-Vis socks to the mix. In addition to the added visibility, they can also be a fun, inexpensive way to spruce up your cycling wardrobe.
Defeet are the unsung heroes of the bicycling world. They have the coolest socks, ever! So, check ’em out. It’s currently my goal to collect them all.
Polka Dots are a great way to stand out on the road. The pattern is nothing like any environment you will ever ride in – so you will definitely stand out. Originally designed for the “King of the Mountains” in the Tour de France, polka dots just visually make sense as an identifier. Luckily, you don’t have to be King or Queen of the Mountains to own a polka dot jersey. All you need is the will to wear it. For this winter our top pick is the Sugoi Women’s Evolution Long Sleeve Jersey
Peace & Love
We used to have a tie-die Sweetwater jersey that I really wanted. They sold out quickly, so I missed my chance. This Women’s Hippy Chick jersey is pretty awesome. 60’s inspired designs on cycling apparel make a lot of sense when you think about it. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, but still want to feel safe on the road, give peace themed cycling apparel a chance.
So you want to go fast? No problem. While the jerseys in this years Tour de France were toned down a bit, there are still plenty of Hi-Vis jersey’s with contrasting colors out there to choose from. A few of my favorite picks are the Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Jersey and the Sugoi Evolution Pro. And with winter right around the corner, the Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Jersey is a great option for cold weather.
In recent years, cycling apparel brands have started to pay homage to classic jersey designs of the 50’s and 60’s. The Formaggio 1965 World Champ short sleeve jersey is probably one of the most iconic. Not only does this jersey look awesome, but its pattern provides plenty of visibility out on the road. In addition to this ’65 classic, the Castelli Tour de France Limited Edition Jersey and the Performance Formaggio Short Sleeve Jersey are also great Hi-Vis choices, with updated designs on classic style jerseys.
I thought I’d end with Tour de France Yellow Jersey. While the World Champion Jersey is iconic, the Yellow Jersey is the quintessential racing jersey. In the beginning, professional cyclists wore only grey. It was suggested that the leader wear a different color so spectators and officials could tell them apart from other cyclists. Today, even from the birds-eye-view, you can still make out the leader in the Tour de France. Just wanted to leave you with that thought. So, no matter what your style, a little (but preferably a lot) of color can really help you stay safe out there. Enjoy the ride.