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Daytime Visibility: Bright Colors vs. Stripes?

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Daytime Visibility: Bright Colors vs. Stripes?

Old 03-13-22, 10:34 PM
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sjanzeir
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Daytime Visibility: Bright Colors vs. Stripes?

I'm in the market for some new tops (I just realized I hadn't bought any new clothes for myself since 2019!) I was just wondering if striped t-shirt might be a little more eye-catching to motorists than, say, florescent ones. One could argue that this very advantage might also make a striped t-shirt more dangerous; I think I read somewhere that motorists tend to look away from plain, brightly colored clothing after a short glance, while tend to stare at striped apparel, with the possibility of eventually crashing into the pedestrian or rider who's wearing it (the "never look at whatever it is you're trying to avoid" thing.) What say you, Bike Forumers?
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Old 03-14-22, 07:15 AM
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Any combination of bright, contrasting and NOT dark or camouflage is good.

I always endeavored to look like the alien mother ship with a clown on top. Seriously. I want to be noticed and seen by drivers. Then I assume I have not been seen (unless clearly verified) and act accordingly.
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Old 03-14-22, 07:44 AM
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I'm guessing there's not a lot of reliable data, and what would be more noticeable might vary a lot by your riding context. I find it hard to believe that certain clothes patterns evoke target fixation. That seems very far-fetched.

What colors are the stripes?
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Old 03-14-22, 08:01 AM
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Need pics bro
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Old 03-14-22, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Need pics bro

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Old 03-14-22, 09:59 AM
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I've had motorists roll down their window and thank me for wearing visible jerseys when I been wearing solid yellow or very bright orange. Never for any pattern. And as a driver, I have found riders with very bright patterned jerseys sometimes disappear in the mottled light under trees. As much as I can, I buy only bright, solid jerseys simply to improve the chances of hanging around longer. (I joke I have yet to see a bright orange road kill squirrel.)
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Old 03-14-22, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Need pics bro

​​​​

Last edited by sjanzeir; 04-02-22 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 03-14-22, 10:05 AM
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Old 03-14-22, 10:10 AM
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Old 03-14-22, 10:12 AM
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Assuming daylight conditions with no fog or rain, bicyclists are easy for safe, alert motorists to see. With our lights and bright colors, we are trying to steal attention from the disengaged or marginally engaged motorist. When I see cyclists while I am riding or driving, the things that stand out most to me are flashing lights and rotating colors. A few years back I came across a rider on the path who was wearing hot pink shoes. Their movement really popped! I have since added safety yellow and flourescent orange socks to my ensemble to take advantage of movement combined with bright colors. A few weekends ago a fellow cyclist commented on the movement of my socks. She said she hadn't seen that before but was going to start doing it.

I don't know that I have seen a stripped shirt, so I cannot comment on whether or not they draw more attention.

Most often when I am riding in traffic, I'll wear my safety yellow helmet (having high vis at the highest point can be useful in a sea of SUVs), a high vis shirt, high vis socks and run flashing lights. All of those serve to compliment an alert, assertive riding style which serve as my first line of defense.
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Old 03-14-22, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Assuming daylight conditions with no fog or rain, bicyclists are easy for safe, alert motorists to see.
This species isn't native to these parts.
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Old 03-14-22, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
I'm in the market for some new tops (I just realized I hadn't bought any new clothes for myself since 2019!) I was just wondering if striped t-shirt might be a little more eye-catching to motorists than, say, florescent ones. One could argue that this very advantage might also make a striped t-shirt more dangerous; I think I read somewhere that motorists tend to look away from plain, brightly colored clothing after a short glance, while tend to stare at striped apparel, with the possibility of eventually crashing into the pedestrian or rider who's wearing it (the "never look at whatever it is you're trying to avoid" thing.) What say you, Bike Forumers?
A cursory search in google should give you a wealth of information on studies performed primarily to prevent crashes with emergency vehicles. Research indicates that red and black are the most difficult colors to resolve, and any colors in combination with those will create a camouflage effect. Safest colors are (surprise) safety green, or safety green with bright blue stripes (see UK police cruiser color scheme).

Modern highway safety and visibility clothing incorporates safety green with retroreflective accents to make the wearer more visible in adverse conditions. There is only one 'best' for safety colors, and it's strongly affected by how our eyes see, and brain reacts. Aside from that, a good headlight and taillight are a great start for visibility, along with road position. If you are still concerned, buy whatever jersey you want and add a safety vest.
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Old 03-14-22, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
This species isn't native to these parts.
lololol.

No doubt that with lights and colors, we are trying to steal attention away from the disengaged or marginally engaged.
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Old 03-14-22, 05:16 PM
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I think bright colours would be more effective. Stripes and patterns from a distance isn't going to make much difference if the driver's eyes can't resolve the pattern anyways unless they are reflector stripes. In which case, they are either a big triangle or an X - and they are brightly coloured anyways.
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Old 03-14-22, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
lololol.

No doubt that with lights and colors, we are trying to steal attention away from the disengaged or marginally engaged.
Rest assured that around where I live, you can doubt that a lot. I could be right there by their left rear passenger door, filling up their driver's side mirror with not one, but two blinding, flashing 120-lumen headlights, and they still won't see me until they hear a nice, clean arc being cut into their paintwork by my drive-side pedal.
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Old 03-14-22, 07:57 PM
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I think striped might blend with shadows & make you less visible. I do like striped shirts off road tho
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Old 03-15-22, 04:54 AM
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The only patterns that matter would be words that say "If you can read this, you are too close."
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Old 03-15-22, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
A cursory search in google should give you a wealth of information on studies performed primarily to prevent crashes with emergency vehicles. Research indicates that red and black are the most difficult colors to resolve, and any colors in combination with those will create a camouflage effect. Safest colors are (surprise) safety green, or safety green with bright blue stripes (see UK police cruiser color scheme).

Modern highway safety and visibility clothing incorporates safety green with retroreflective accents to make the wearer more visible in adverse conditions. There is only one 'best' for safety colors, and it's strongly affected by how our eyes see, and brain reacts. Aside from that, a good headlight and taillight are a great start for visibility, along with road position. If you are still concerned, buy whatever jersey you want and add a safety vest.
I don't think you can generalize studies on emergency vehicles to cyclists. They're not the same in terms of size, ranges of speed, and likely road positions, and the big factor with emergency vehicles is whether the colors assist or detract the visibility and predictability when the giant flashing emergency lights are on.

That being said, I wear either bright yellow or orange.
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Old 03-15-22, 09:38 AM
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I always wore the same safety vest commuting that I was required to wear on a job site.
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Old 03-15-22, 10:20 AM
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Regardless of what you choose, it'll be better than dark clothing that fades into the background or makes you hard to see when you are in the shadows and the other person is in the sections of bright light.

Do you think that the accidents where one presumably had on colors that dazzled the driver are more than the accidents where the person had on dark clothing that blended into the background? I wouldn't think that. But I don't know of any studies.

Greens are confusing at distance compared to oranges and reds which I always correctly identify as a person. However only at a large distance where many times I've thought I saw a green jersey, but it was just greening foliage that was brightly lit by sunlight filtering through the trees. Up close bright greens seem just as visible as the others.

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Old 03-15-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Regardless of what you choose, it'll be better than dark clothing that fades into the background or makes you hard to see when you are in the shadows and the other person is in the sections of bright light.

Do you think that the accidents where one presumably had on colors that dazzled the driver are more than the accidents where the person had on dark clothing that blended into the background? I wouldn't think that. But I don't know of any studies.

Greens are confusing at distance compared to oranges and reds which I always correctly identify as a person. However only at a large distance where many times I've thought I saw a green jersey, but it was just greening foliage that was brightly lit by sunlight filtering through the trees. Up close bright greens seem just as visible as the others.
A rear light is really useful when riding into shadows. The bright colors are not nearly as bright in the shadows as they are with sunlight on them, but lights become more visible in the shadows than they are in bright light. Bright colors and lights serve in a complementary manner.
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Old 03-15-22, 10:47 AM
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This is fairly typical of the way I roll.

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Old 03-15-22, 10:48 AM
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Look how the orange really stands out in the sunlight.

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Old 03-15-22, 03:20 PM
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Nothing is going to be perfect.

The "safety green" color is used because it aligns with the peak sensitivity of human eyes. If you are in a place with lots of green background, "safety green" might not be optimal. Fluorescent take in other wavelengths and reemit them at the frequency you see (which makes them appear brighter). Pink/orange (especially, fluorescent) can work pretty-well because those colors are rare. Certain bright blues work reasonably well.

Retroreflection works with direct illumination (that is brighter than ambient light). It doesn't do much in bright sunlight.

One goal is to be recognized as "something" of concern from a long distance. More complicated patterns might actually work against that.

The farther away you are recognized as "something" (ideally, as a cyclist), the more time you are giving the driver to register that you are there.

A flashing rear light (even during the day) is pretty recognizable as a cyclist from a long distance (depending on the line of sight) and they work in shadows/tunnels.
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Old 03-15-22, 03:56 PM
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you guys got all the right color spectrums .......................................................... now go figure how CORBAH can charge $160.00 for jerseys that make you invisible to cars

app $200.00 retail

urban camo
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