Saturday, 28 November 2015 13:49

NiteBright Extreme Visibility Safety System Tested and Reviewed

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There is a general perception that cycle commuting is dangerous but in reality it’s no more dangerous than other forms of transport and certainly better for my mental health than sitting in a metal box watching other drivers checking Facebook or picking their noses.

However it’s important to be seen. Reflectors are a legal requirement at all times and lights are a legal requirement after dark. The mantra of Hi-Viz is repeated ad nausea and reflective strips adorn just about every cycling garment one can buy. Problem is both need light to actually work and don’t always attract attention away from Snapchat. That’s where the NiteBright Extreme Visibility Safety System comes in.

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Developed by Allister Barker, after being challenged to do so by his hospital doctor brother Craig, and launched at this year’s Cycle Show the system is designed to cover all non-car road users. The complete set with a RRP of £28.95 includes a Hi-Viz harness, a Hi-Viz pouch to attach to commuting bags, the NiteBright patented LED unit (red or green) and 6 inserts that go into the LED Unit. The inserts include symbols for bicycle, motorbike, runners and the Caution sign with the remaining two saying SLOW and CHILD. The unit takes 3 AAA batteries (included) which after 80+ hours of use are still shining bright like a diamond. The harness also features reflective strips and a phone pouch, although the pouch seems too small for the vast majority of smart phones. There is also an emergency whistle on the chest strap which is a lovely little feature.

I’m going to be honest straight away. This won’t appeal to the dedicated roadie or Mamils and it may appear to be a simplistic design. Well it is but so is the cat eye stud. Sitting high on the bag the positioning is perfect to be at the eye level of other road users. My tester has a commute which includes urban roads, bike paths, traffic and rural roads so a good mix. Picking her way through traffic she felt far more visible than with a standard Hi-Viz.

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The harness is light and easy to wear and easy to switch on and off whilst wearing and importantly in the grim Welsh autumnal weather easy to clean and maintain. The only down side was it’s only available in fluro yellow which isn’t actually the best colour for early morning commutes so an expanded range to include blue, orange or pink might be a plan for NiteBright to consider.

More telling though was the feedback our tester got from other road users and cyclists. All of it was positive. I wondered if the looks might put people off but obviously other cyclists aren’t as precious as me and most said they’d wear it. Many were also amazed by how effective the NiteBright Extreme Visibility Safety System was and I suspect there may be a bit of interest going to the website soon.

This is a simple effective easy way to increase your visibility when riding in less than perfect conditions. Ideal for commuting and the inserts make it versatile (maybe a horse symbol could be added). Asking a few people for feedback the quote that sticks to mind is “Why didn’t I think of that?”

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