How (not) to be seen?

What are the biggest items that help you be seen on the road?

I have some Bontrager Flare RT lights on the way, and I’m currently vacillating about which helmet to get, since I’d prefer the Specialized Evade, but I dislike the way their white color looks (and studies show that white is the most visible helmet color).

Am I being overly cautious in writing off a black helmet?


Some discussion over here: Tips to be more visible to vehicles?

My best purchase in this area has been my Garmin Varia Radar. Not only is it a really good tail light, knowing whats coming up behind has me feeling a lot more safe during these colder rides where I cant hear quite as good through my ear cover.

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I’ve been considering switching head units just to be able to use the Varia properly.

I figure that although it’s a lot of cost, it pays for itself easily by one avoided collision (from a medical bill standpoint).

I do a lot of solo rides out into the edge of SF Bay Delta, on country roads and into a strong headwind. For that reason and others I bought the Varia 500 (original, not bright) and Flare RT. Both work great with Edge 520. Now I can’t imagine riding without the rear radar, particularly on 55mph county roads in Sacramento metro area and the Sierras.

If starting over, I’d get the Varia 510 and either 520+ or 1030 (from REI or CleverTraining during a 20% off one item sale).

I wasn’t crazy about white Bontrager Balista but picked it up for the same reason you cited. Would have preferred black…

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That’s the direction that I’m leaning. Even though I primarily race MTB, there are enough long days that I do out on the road that I need to make sure I’m as visible as possible and minimize risk actively.

Also, as stupid as it is, I don’t want to have to think about turning on the lights everytime. I just want to be as safe as possible with as minimal effort.

I could be doing it wrong, but my Varia wont work until I press the button at least once, then when I start moving the 520 light network actually turns the blinking on. I’m waiting for the Ion 200 RT to come back in stock for a front light.


The only significant thing you can do beyond assertive, confident riding is campaign for better laws, better enforcement and harsher punishment of motorists.

Why not the Cateye BM-45 instead of Varia? A sleek mirror 1/20th of the cost.

I’ve used a mirror forever, and currently have one at the end of handlebar. Despite looking a lot at it, was missing enough traffic (and close calls) that I paid for the Varia and it was totally worth the extra money.

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You may consider clothes with reflective material as well. Sugoi has ZAP and Eliel has a new line they are promoting called Lost Coast.


Alright. Just wanted to hear your opinion on mirrors.

Always use a mirror at end of handlebar, and Varia radar. Here I am on a 55mph divided county road getting passed at 28mph:

Note the mirror… and why does it look like we are standing still? LOL

I just bought this pretty cool jacket from God and Famous:

You’ll be pretty visible in that when the lights hit you


That is an awesome jacket. I might have to pick that thing up!

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Yeah, I’m really happy with it, but unfortunately not warm enough to ride through the Danish winter with…

Passing nearly 30 below the posted limit AND in they moved over?!?!

Sunday morning with very little traffic, reason why I’m just inside the breakdown lane. One of my riding buddies was getting mad at the earlier 24mph pace I was setting, and wanted to raz me after the ride with a getting passed pic (Go Pro takes great pics).

The mirror is great for seeing riders behind me, the Varia radar is perfect for keeping a handle on car traffic. On roads like that, I move over at least 3 feet to the right of white line when I see traffic on radar.

edit: p.s. are you in Texas? Maybe a gun rack on the back of your bike would get cars to move over? LOL. NorCal is somewhat/mostly friendly to cyclists, and we were off the front with a group of maybe 10-20 behind us.