Thursday, December 2

High Vis Basic Black

Shine a Light on the Black Bag and it Looks Silver
I sometimes refer to my outfits as "High Vis Basic Black." Mostly, it's because a lot of cycling stuff seems to come in that color. My gloves are mostly black. My Cycling shorts and tights are black. My cycling shoes are black. My cycling jacket is black. Clothing companies seem determined to make us look like ninja wannabes during the colder season when the outlandishly colored jerseys get covered up.

The Same BagWithout a Bright Light Shining on it
My black trunk bag that I'm using right now, however, has a dual personality. This is a bag that I got off of eBay that was made by Performance Bicycle using "Illuminite." During normal light, it looks like a dark gray. When a bright light hits it - a headlight or a camera flash - it looks like the photo at left. I have not observed that motorists treat me any differently in the dark whether I am using this bag or not, but it suggests that the term "High Vis Basic Black" is not entirely an oxymoron.

Just thought it was an interesting comparison.

FRIDAY UPDATE - CONTROVERSY ARISES!
Pondero raised a theory that the light, in addition to what it does to the "Illuminite," also changes the bike. However, the photo below debunks this theory, suggesting that it is, in fact, the RAIN that makes the bike change while the light makes the Illuminite shine. Further supporting evidence may be seen because the wet bike has also sprouted fenders, which would be totally useless to the dry bike.
Evidence that the the Bike is NOT Changed by the Lighting, Unlike the Bag

8 comments:

cycler said...

I love Illuminte as a concept- I wish more manufacturers used their technology.
I ordered some gloves and a jacket from them last year, Had to return the jacket because it wasn't cut for a woman with curves (just for the 16 year old 105 pound model I guess) and the gloves, while nicely reflective were kind of wimpy for these parts. I have a great running jacket from them in navy blue, and would definitely see it as a selling point if more manufacturers offered it.

limom said...

Black = Yummy!
Reflecto = pooh pooh

Chandra said...

Steve.
That bag looks nice!

I have Performance Arm Warmers with Illuminite and they shine very well in light - but the light has to hit the object directly, if I am not mistaken.

I wonder if part of the reason all cycling tights and such are black is because they were not made for commuting cyclists, at least in the beginning.

I use hi-vis vests atop my jacket and reflective bands on my tights/pants legs to increase my visibility.

Peace :)

Trevor Woodford said...

During the winter months and on very dull days I will wear a Hi-vis top. Also when on long distance endurance rides along busy roads I wear a Hi-vis gilet. The truth is though, that drivers still don't see you whatever you wear..!!

Pondero said...

Amazing! If you look closely at the photos, you'll see that it also changes the appearance of the bike. :)

RANTWICK said...

Hey, I had never heard of that stuff before. It is pretty cool if you ask me. It also means that you are an illuminite!

Apertome said...

That's a really cool idea. I'd definitely get a bag like that, or other items with the Illuminite technology. I too sometimes wish more cycling clothes were better for visibility.

Tracy W said...

I had a pair of rain pants out of that stuff. The reflection stuff works amazingly well!

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