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High Visibility Cycling Trousers and Shorts – Rain Pants for Improved Visibility

Especially in the dark months of the year, it’s all about “seeing and being seen”. To make sure other road users will see you early in low light and darkness, we offer a wide range of high-visibility overtrousers. These waterproof trousers keep you dry in any weather, while providing additional road safety with reflective elements. A must-have for commuters and all those who don’t want to do without cycling in poor visibility conditions.

We stock a range of hi-vis cycling trousers with large reflective elements for women and men by renowned brands like VAUDE. Shop for high-visibility trousers at ROSE Bikes now!


Why you should wear high-visibility cycling pants

You’ve probably already experienced how hard it is to see pedestrians in dark clothing in low light or darkness. You often only see them in the last second when they get hit by your headlights. Thus, we offer a wide range of high visibility cycling trousers and shorts for improved road safety.

These cycling pants feature large reflective elements that light up when hit by headlights. Thus, you stand out against the darkness and are perfectly visible for car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Wearing high-vis cycling pants makes you a safer cyclist, especially in the dark months of the year.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Waterproof hi-vis trousers feature large reflective prints
  • Reflective elements turn into a reflector when hit by headlights
  • This makes you highly visible for other road users


What you should pay attention to when purchasing high-visibility overtrousers

In contrast to hikers, cyclists place different demands on waterproof trousers. When riding in strong headwind, rainwater is pressed against the outer fabric even harder. This may cause water to penetrate the material faster than while hiking, walking, skiing or jogging.

In addition, cycling-specific waterproof trousers are subject to increased wear. Due to constant friction from the saddle or – in the worst case – from the crank, chain or chain case, the material wears out faster. On the areas exposed to friction, moisture can penetrate much easier. If you are looking for waterproof trousers, you should make sure they are specifically designed for cycling and feature additional reinforcements in the zones most exposed to friction to prevent wear.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Headwind increases the pressure of rain on the fabric
  • Thus, waterproof cycling trousers should be more resistant to water than trousers for other kind of sports
  • Constant friction from the saddle makes the fabric wear out faster
  • Good rain trousers come with a reinforced crotch panel


Which waterproof trousers for which use?

Road bike

  • The trousers should fit tight around your legs or feature a Velcro width adjuster to make sure the trousers legs cannot get caught in the chain.
  • A reinforced crotch or knee panel proves advantageous for increased durability.
  • Articulated knees allow for higher mobility.
  • High breathability should be guaranteed.

MTB

  • The trousers should fit tight around your legs or feature a Velcro width adjuster.
  • Waterproof shorts are becoming increasingly popular, too.
  • A reinforced crotch or knee panel proves advantageous for increased durability.
  • Articulated knees allow for higher mobility.
  • High breathability should be guaranteed.

Urban / City / Everyday

  • Long zips and Velcros for width adjustment allow you to quickly and easily put the overtrousers on.
  • A reinforced crotch or knee panel proves advantageous for increased durability.
  • Articulated knees allow for higher mobility.
  • Large reflective elements make you highly visible for other road users.


Which size is right for me?

Hi-vis overtrousers are usually true to size. The manufacturers have already taken into account the fact that the trousers are worn over your cycling trousers or jeans. Thus, you usually don’t have to order one size up.

Some manufacturers additionally offer models with extra short legs or extra long legs. Click here for our range of waterproof trousers!


Which water column value do I need?

To make sure you don’t have to stay at home on rainy and/or stormy days, our hi-viz overtrousers feature an integrated membrane. These are weather-resistant plastic sheets that are welded to the outer and inner layer of a garment. The membrane’s micropores are so tiny that raindrops can’t penetrate the fabric from the outside. When sweating though, water vapour can escape easily through the pores. This makes the membrane both waterproof and breathable.

There are numerous types of membranes with different sizes of micro perforations and features. That’s why the membranes offer a different level of water permeability. This level is referred to as the so-called water column – a water-permeability test for materials including membrane. During the test, a vertical tube is placed on the material and filled with water. The quantity of water the material resists before allowing the water to pass through describes the maximum water column of the fabric.

According to the European standard DIN EN 343:2010-05 (protective clothing against rain), a fabric must have a water column of at least 800mm to be rated as “class 2 waterproof”. Everything below this magic limit is water-repellent, which means that the fabric absorbs water after a short time. There is no upper limit. Here, the manufacturers outbid each other with values of up to 30,000 mm.

When riding in strong headwinds, cyclists are well advised to go for a high water column value, since the rain is pressed even harder against the fabric. Besides, you should pay attention to a high breathability for sporty tours.

Some popular waterproof membranes for overtrousers are for instance GORE-TEX by GORE, VAUDE CEPLEX ACTIVE, VAUDE SYMPATEX or JACK WOLFSKIN TEXAPORE.

What’s also important is that garments with a waterproof membrane have water-resistant seams and zippers. These are usually welded to make sure no water can penetrate.

Apart from a membrane, most waterproof trousers come with a special surface treatment, often called DWR for “Durable Water Repellent”. Thanks to this coating, water cannot penetrate the fabric and is repelled from the fabric’s surface. In contrast to a membrane though, the surface finish will wear out over time, so that you need to treat your trousers with waterproofing spray or special washing detergent.

AT A GLANCE:
  • A membrane is a weather-resistant plastic sheet
  • Raindrops cannot pass through the fabric
  • Micro perforations inside the membrane allow water vapour to escape
  • Membranes offer different levels of water resistance and breathability
  • Cyclists should go for a high water column value and high breathability
  • An additional DWR finish repels water and dirt
  • We recommend to renew waterproof and breathable clothes regularly
  • Seams and zips should be welded


Other features that might be interesting for you

  • Leg zips – Those who want to pull over their reflective overtrousers on the go will appreciate a half- or full-leg zip. These leg zips help you put on the waterproof trousers without having to take off your shoes. The length of the zip depends on the model. Trousers with half-leg or full-leg zips are a great choice.
  • Reflectors – Whether for summer or winter, for mountain biking, road cycling or city cruising – reflective elements on your trousers are a must-have when riding in low light and darkness. Make sure the reflective elements are of high quality and that they guarantee 360° visibility.
  • Bright colours – For increased visibility, you should stand out against the dark background. One important aspect for your safety is the colour of your clothes. A bright neon yellow or other fluorescent colours are perfectly visible in poor light conditions.


To top off your outfit, you can also use a matching cycling jacket as well as accessories in fluorescent colours and with large reflective prints. Discover our range of high-visibility cycling clothing.

We stock a range of hi-vis cycling trousers with large reflective elements for women and men by renowned brands like VAUDE. Shop for high-visibility trousers at ROSE Bikes now!