When it comes to riding in winter the conversation usually focuses on temperature and weather, and while there is a reason these are the focal subjects, as we head into winter we want to focus on another aspect of winter rides - visibility. As the days get shorter more and more cyclists will head out in the early mornings or late afternoons and find themselves riding in low light conditions there is an increased need for high visibility kit.
That's why we've set out to create a range of winter kit and accessories designed to make sure you're seen when the lights are low. While the focus may be on getting noticed, winter riding conditions still played a big part in the development of this range. That's why the focus has been on accessories designed to keep you warm as well as dedicated winter kit such as fleece jackets, long sleeve jerseys and gilets.
From the outset our R&D team has been working on integrating high visibility fabrics and trims into our garments. This was never more apparent than in the development of our Vindex 2in1 Jacket/Gilet. This jacket featured highly reflective strips on the lower back, one of the most important visibility areas. Ciovita's Head of Sales Freddie Enslin recalls the moment the full power of reflective kit became apparent to him during the night leg of the 2017 Trans Baviaans 24 Hour Mountain Bike Challenge. As the riders disappeared into the darkness it wasn't their headlamps that were visible, but the reflective strips on the backs of the Vindex Jackets. Although the Vindex Jacket has been discontinued to make way for our new range (WATCH THIS SPACE!) we still have ladies styles of this Ciovita Classic available.
In 2018 Ciovita launched the Luna Range of highly reflective kit. This was the first range to feature our new highly reflective fabrics, which appear perfectly normal in sunlight, but become unmissable when the sun goes down. These highly reflective fabrics were integrated into the trims of the jerseys and gilets. These trims represent the optimal positioning for visibility as visibility from behind and the sides is paramount for cyclists. In the images above and below this paragraph you can see the difference in how the strips appear in daylight (above) and low light (below). Reflective fabric is not the same as bright or luminous fabric, but instead catches other light sources and reflects this light back creating a glowing effect.
In 2019 we've continued to expand on our Luna Range adding a Men's Lava Jacket and Ladies Lava Jacket to the mix. If you're looking to get the most value both sets (excluding Lava Jackets) are also available on the bundles section of our site.
The start of 2019 saw the launch of our Supremo Bib Shorts and while you can read all about these high tech bib shorts here, one feature in particular was centered around visibility.
This key safety feature is more often seen on jerseys and jackets, but to us you can never be too visible. We created two high visibility marks that are positioned on the back of each thigh. As the cyclist peddles the strips create a flashing effect similar to the hazard light on a car resulting in a bib that isn't just about performance and comfort, but also results in increased safety.
Besides the core products mentioned above we've put a strong focus on building on our range of reflective accessories. The reason for this is simple, as a rider you might not have a reflective jersey or bib for every ride, but you can augment your visibility by pairing your kit with the right accessory. Arm warmers, knee warmers, leg warmers, casquettes and buffs are all ideal for winter temperatures and so we wanted to put a focus on ensuring these items aided visibility as well.
Our online store has many high visibility items spread across numerous categories with new products scheduled to be released over the next few weeks, so we've created a handy BE SEEN COLLECTION where you can find all our visibility kit in one place. This will be updated as we add more items over the next month as we rollout our winter styles, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to find out about that.