At last a fashionable reflective gear for cyclists. Reflective gears are essential when cycling at night however most of the neon colored jacket and reflector stripes makes you look like a traffic cone. Now comes the UK-based Lumo which has launch of their Kickstarter campaign to raise enough funds to develope their fashionable line of reflective, cycling-specific, LED-powered gear.
Their jackets and bags looks ordinary with no reflective seams or bright neon colors that are not easy on the eyes, but once it gets dark you will see the rows of bright LED strips on the front and back, that are designed to be hidden. The LEDs are waterproof and can be wash by machine. It is powered by a removable USB-rechargeable battery pack which is hidden inside. The battery can last from 2 to 6 hours depending on the settings you use.
Lumo's gear includes jacket, parka, backpack, cycling cap and polo with reflective detailing. All apparel is available in women and men cuts and sizes. The Jackets start at $264, while the backpack starts at $200.
Watch this video from the Guardian on tips from cycling professional on how to set your riding position on your bike for maximum efficiency and comfort. Essential tips from saddle height to cleat positioning.
To check the fit of your bike check:
1. Cleats and pedals - the ball of the foot should sit directly above the cleat spindle. Adjust the position of cleats with an Allen key. Badly positioned cleats can lead to over-extend leg and damage the achilles tendons. It also makes you use more energy , so efficiency will suffer.
On the pedal, use a low tension setting to start off with so it's easier to unclip.
Benefits of wearing cleats include:
a. Avoids muscle strain from incorrect foot position.
b. Makes you more efficient on the bike.
c. You can pedal in a circular motion, so it is easier to ride faster.
2. Saddle position and height- saddles can have their height adjusted, as well as their fore/aft position for a good fit. The correct knee angle helps avoid pain and discomfort on joints.
3. Handlebar setup - stems can be bought in different lengths and spacers added to get the right fit for you. Check the new stem matches the diameter of your fork, as these can vary.
Usually, men have longer arms and differently proportioned upper bodies. Distance between saddle and handlebars is longer on men's bikes.
It's really hard to go out cycling during winter, the cold can be numbing and it may want you to skip cycling during winter and use your car instead. Not to worry, there are decent jackets that can keep you warm without burning a hole in your pocket. Staying warm while cycling is important to keep you riding and keep you healthy.
Here are my top three cycling jackets for winter:
1. Proviz Reflect 360 jacket -
Based on statistics there are more accident that involves cyclists during winter when there are poor visibility. The Proviz Reflect 360 jacket can help you in that area since the entire outer shell surface of the jacket is reflective. It bounces car headlamps light back to the driver, that makes it very visible for motorists. It is a great choice when you are cycling at night and twilight.
The jacket do its job in keeping you warm, it also has rear pocket, and a small interior pocket for your smartphone. It is also waterproof, that makes it poor in the breath-ability department even though it has large vents placed strategically around the jacket.
For safety and visibility, this is the jacket for you.
2. Polaris Tornado jacket -
This jacket is stylish and it offers both breath-ability and wind protection but it has poor visibility. The front of the jacket is made from windproof fabric while the back is a lightweight and breathable fabric. The front is completely black which makes it hard to see during the night even though the majority of the back is fluoro yellow.
3. Giordana Silverline Jacket -
Here's a great jacket for us women. It has a great fit and do its job as a windbreaker. The jacket is made from durable Corsa fabric that keeps you warm and comfortable during those chilly rides. It also has an inner layer of WindTex fabric that protects you from wind and water but it removes water vapor from your body to prevent overheating. It has DWR (Durable Water Resistant) coating. The jacket has reflective logos at the face and at the back. It also has reflective strips along the three back pockets that helps in the visibility department.
There's also plenty of room for a small pump and other tools with its three large pockets at the back. What it lacks is a zipped compartments that keeps you from dropping valuables.