Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby russell.bathard » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:34 am

Wearing brightly coloured socks can be used to increase the visibility and safety of the cyclist on the road. A bright colour moving up and down with each pedal stroke is very noticeable.
Suitable multi coloured socks can readily be found in the $2 shops and are sold as knee high socks for young girls. Plain bright yellow and banded socks are available. They are made of acrylic,polyester and elastane and stretch to any size to give a mild compression.
A great addition for all cyclists who want to be seen on the road.
Help yourself stay alive and make this the new fashion trend for cyclists.
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by BNA » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:07 am

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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby familyguy » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:07 am

I hear black socks with a reflective ankle strap works well too...

Do you do trouser clips? Spats?
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Summernight » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:31 pm

familyguy wrote:I hear black socks with a reflective ankle strap works well too...


Wasn't there a survey in one of the Bicycle [Whatever]'s emails/magazines that mentioned that one of the most visible things a cyclist can wear for a motorist to see them in the dark is a reflective strap around the ankle (or I guess reflectors on the pedals would work as well). It is the reflection of the vehicle's headlights on a moving part of the body that causes people to be noticed in the dark.

Just one piece of the being visible puzzle.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby zero » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:58 pm

My cycling shoes have a rearward facing reflector, you can augment that with shoe colored reflective tape on the sides/front. Reflective tape comes in any color including black if you are a fred and want your cycling shoes to remain visually acceptable to another fred.

Note that reflectives will have little to no influence on someone pulling out on you from a driveway or cross road. My last test of that due to a headlight failure, lasted a grand total of 1 intersection with a car in it before there was a pullout.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby VRE » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:06 pm

So, if I wear bright socks, ride in the gutter, wear a bike sign, and look really gawky, it will improve my safety? Sorry, Russell, but as I mentioned in reply to one of your posts previously, I believe our safety will be improved more by our riding style than what we're wearing.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby sminns » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:39 pm

I have those Altura yellow reflective socks from Wiggle, they have a reflective part on them to catch headlights, pretty cool looking I think. I mostly ride at night so I think they are invaluable.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby russell.bathard » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:46 pm

To VRE,
Like you I believe responsible cycling behaviour is the first and most important part of bicycle safety. BUT there are some inconsiderate motorists out there and no matter how well YOU ride YOU cannot control what a motorist will do.
In ADDITION to riding safely I am suggesting that if you increase your awareness, presence or visibility on the road YOU will have a greater chance of survival.
Hence my use of bright socks,a bikesign,and now I am also using a bright yellow duster mounted on a spring at 90 degrees to the bike on the traffic side.
YOU will certainly SEE me on the road and hopefully you won't catch me dead in this gear!!.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Summernight » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:00 pm

russell.bathard wrote:Hence my use of bright socks,a bikesign,and now I am also using a bright yellow duster mounted on a spring at 90 degrees to the bike on the traffic side.


Is that a DIY version of this (overseas model shown with reflector on left-hand traffic side):

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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby VRE » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:52 pm

russell.bathard wrote:...no matter how well YOU ride YOU cannot control what a motorist will do.

I disagree. By positioning my bicycle appropriately, I can have some control over what a motorist will do, and this reduces the need for me to wear exceptionally visible clothing. And before you respond with "some motorists are clearly not rational", I'll just forestall that argument by saying that irrationality is not restricted to any one type of road user, and I'm not going to ride around living in fear of the small number of maniacs that live among us: life is too short to worry about it.

Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, read up on "vehicular cycling", which describes how cyclists can have some control over other road users. Riding in the gutter does not increase a cyclist's visibility on the road, it reduces it.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Percrime » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:08 pm

russell.bathard wrote:To VRE,

In ADDITION to riding safely I am suggesting that if you increase your awareness, presence or visibility on the road YOU will have a greater chance of survival.
YOU will certainly SEE me on the road and hopefully you won't catch me dead in this gear!!.

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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:01 pm

No bright socks (hey, you can't even see the socks) so I guess we must be invisible ???

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Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:10 pm

il padrone wrote:No bright socks (hey, you can't even see the socks) so I guess we must be invisible ???

Well, YOU appear to be invisible, unless you've stopped cutting your hair :P

I'm a big fan of the VRE method, been using it for years.
Though Percrimes idea should work too...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:28 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
il padrone wrote:No bright socks (hey, you can't even see the socks) so I guess we must be invisible ???

Well, YOU appear to be invisible, unless you've stopped cutting your hair :P


No that's the GLW. We were both wearing charcoal or grey GE socks. Mind you some of the streets got a tad narrow and I was less worried about drivers..... Palermo, near the Teatro Massimo - felt a bt like wheeling our bikes through someone's loungeroom :oops:

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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:33 pm

You need to be where motorists look. As little as 20 degrees either side and you're invisible. Where do motorists look? Where they expect to see other vehicular traffic.

SO riding in the gutter is one of the most dangerous things you can do.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:19 pm

il padrone wrote:No bright socks (hey, you can't even see the socks) so I guess we must be invisible ???

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I'm getting sick of you dangling this Italian excursion in front of my face at every possible opportunity. Eat mouldy pasta and die.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:41 pm

Awww, poor Womble.

Go on Pete, post the pic from the beachside villa overlooking the Adriatic on one of those days when the only clouds in the sky are those few cheerful fluffy ones scattered around to highlight just what a wonderful day it is :twisted:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:52 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:I'm getting sick of you dangling this Italian excursion in front of my face at every possible opportunity. Eat mouldy pasta and die.


:P :lol:

Didn't know you were getting my Facebook posts :wink:


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Portigliolo, Corse :D
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:55 pm

I see everything.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:36 am

The 2nd Womble wrote:I see everything.

And comprehend about half :P
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:08 am

Mulger bill wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:I see everything.

And comprehend about half :P

Me? Strong like Bull, smart like Wall.
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Re: Bright Socks = Cycling Safety

Postby russell.bathard » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:58 pm

To Summernight,
In answer to your question, yes, and for daytime use it is slightly better in that it MOVES randomly on the spring to be more noticeable.
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