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Being able to cycle year round and at the dawn and dusk of each day is a key challenge for all cyclists. Motivation comes from within. Warmth and visibility comes from the right kit with the right technology.

Words Peter Bourne

 

 

 

 

 

“From the very first day we conceived the idea of the ELEMENTS. collection some twelve months ago, we had a very clear direction on where we wanted to take it,” explains Black Sheep Cycling CEO and Head Designer, John Polson.
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BE BOLD. BE SEEN.

The direction was clear. The essence of the range too. As cyclists we can’t always choose the conditions we ride in, we can’t always guarantee finishing a ride on time, we can’t legislate for huge temperature fluctuations. We often start and end our rides in the depth of darkness, we train through the winter months, we are pounded by thunderstorms, lost helplessly in thick fog and knocked sidewards by fierce, brutal crosswinds. “As a clothing company that proclaims to be on the edge of trends and innovation, it is our duty to ensure we are treating rider safety with the utmost of importance,” continues Polson.

 

 

 

 

“As a clothing company that proclaims to be on the edge of trends and innovation, it is our duty to ensure we are treating rider safety with the utmost of importance.

 

The first big decision during the R&D phase was the choice between reflectivity and fluorescent clothing. Subtle but significant, and potentially lifesaving, touches to kit or the ultra high-vis, in your face, ‘be seen’ pink and yellow bibs and booties. Polson explains why Black Sheep Cycling opted for the former: “When it comes to visibility, the use of reflectivity is much more beneficial than fluorescent clothing. This is a common misconception that can have dramatic consequences. The use of reflectivity increases driver perception by up to 90 per cent. Perception is at its highest when reflectivity is positioned on the extremities of the rider, clearly identifying them as a person and not an innate object.”

 

 

 

 

The use of reflectivity increases driver perception by up to 90 per cent.
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Fluorescent clothing offers only marginal improvement to black at night."

Recent studies indicate color itself is not the key component in being seen, instead visibility is often constructed by contrast to one’s background. Other tests conducted among drivers in Australia, pointed to fluorescent clothing offering only marginal improvement to black at night. Fluorescent clothing, is not redundant, far from it, but its concept is based on converting UV light from the sun into a light we can see. At night and in the depths of winter there is little to no sunlight to convert. This is where reflective clothing comes into its own.

 

ELEMENTS - THE NORTH COLLECTION by Black Sheep is available online. Now. Click Here to view more.
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