Just as the bikes we ride have grown more hi-tech, so too the safety kit we use has become far more sophisticated. Here are three innovative new products that are available now, but which point the way to cycle safety equipment of the future.
Proviz Reflect360 hi-viz
Proviz’s new Reflect360 range is a selection of products made from truly incredible, totally reflective material. The textile used is essentially polyester, but what gives it astounding reflective capabilities are millions of minuscule reflective glass beads that are ingrained within it. When light isn’t shining onto the jacket, though, it looks like a pretty low-key ‘normal’ piece of clothing.
“With Reflect360 we haven’t used just the odd strip of reflective material here and there —it’s all over — so you’re going to light up like a beacon on the commute home at night,” Proviz boss Rupert Langly-Smith told Cycling Active magazine recently. “With the jacket on, the wearer isn’t aware of the light reflecting into their eyes, it’s just functional, but in the depths of winter you’ll see people wearing it from miles away.”
The Reflect360 jacket is available for RRP £79.99, the rucksack cover is £29.99 and the rucksack itself is £69.99.
See.Sense is the world’s first ‘smart’ bike light, which automatically provides exactly the right mode of lighting a cyclist needs in any given situation. By using patent pending sensor technology to monitor the rider, the bike and the environment, the light can choose the most suitable function to keep the cyclist safe. So, for example, it can identify when you’re approaching a junction, or when you’re riding in shadow, or if there are approaching car headlights, and react by flashing brighter and faster to improve your visibility.
“There are two primary sensors in the device: an accelerometer and a light sensor” See.Sense inventor Philip McAleese said. “Essentially, the light follows the cyclist through a number of different riding scenarios that it is continually looking for. Then, as it gets more and more indicators that the rider is in one of these situations it starts flashing faster and brighter.”
See.Sense products are available now priced at RRP £44.99 individually, or £79.99 for a set of front and rear lights.
MIPS helmet technology
No matter how much a helmet helps cushion in a direct impact, in many accidents the forces acting upon the head are converted into what’s called ‘rotational acceleration’. This is where the brain rotates inside the skull and is responsible for a multitude of other issues, not least concussions.
However, Multi-directional Impact Protection System — or MIPS helmets — feature a low-friction layer built into them. In an accident this layer slides and moves independently of the rest of the helmet, reducing the rotational forces being transmitted to the skull and brain. It doesn’t take much movement to have an effect — in the event of an impact, the low-friction layer works within 15 milliseconds and moves less than 15mm — but scientific tests have shown it’s enough to significantly reduce rotational forces.
MIPS technology is currently available in a selection of Lazer and Scott helmets.
And don’t forget, whatever accessories or cycle equipment you buy, cycleplan has policies to keep them covered, as well as your bike itself!