Take a gander at riding apparel today and you might think the 80s called and told everyone to start rocking their neon and acid-wash again. But there's a big difference between a trend and an intended purpose. Now, we have nothing against the former. Cycling is supposed to be fun. But for us, high-visibility cycling gear has always been about safety (as "unsexy" as that might sound). And today, with more distracted motorists on the road, it's more important than ever. So we've stepped up our game even more. The result - Pearl Izumi BioViz(TM), a system that leverages human biology to stimulate driver's awareness in three ways.
Flourescents, like our iconic Screaming Yellow, actually convert invisible UV light into additional visible light. Typical colors reflect a maximum of 90% of light vs. 200-300% for a fluorescent color. The fluorescent glow increases perception distance five times over standard colors, so drivers can see you from much further away.
Biomotion describes our brain's ability to recognize patterns of movement from limited information, especially when it's related to human movement. By placing high quality reflective markers strategically, the points work together to identify you as a human on a bike...faster. The motion created by these coordinated points is noticeably easier to see than garments completely covered with lower quality reflective elements, reflective thread, or dots.
Our brains are wired to notice graphic patterns, so by breaking up high-visibility colors with blocks of contrasting colors we can catch a drivers eye even more effectively.
No visibility standards existed for cycling, so we made some assumptions and did a little math. We set our visibility minimum standard at 100 meters, based on the fastest closing rate a driver would typically encounter a rider on the road, to allow ample time for evasive action. Then we tested our apparel in real world conditions, because if it only works with a camera flash, we wouldn't want it on our backs.