London’s Superhighways Criticised

superhighway2The Barclays Cycle Superhighways in London have been criticised by police giving evidence at the inquest into the death of cyclist Brian Dorling. Dorling, 58, was killed in October 2011 at Bow roundabout (east London) as he cycled to work at the Olympic Park; using the Superhighway to cross the junction he was hit by a lorry turning left and ignoring a red light. The lorry driver, David Cox, was given a suspended six-month sentence after admitting causing death by careless driving, but at the current inquest at Poplar Coroner’s Court PC Simon Wickenden giving evidence suggested that the Superhighways gave a: ‘…false sense of security’ were ‘ambiguous’ and could ‘lead to confusion.’


The coroner, Mary Hassell, recorded a ‘narrative verdict’ on the death and noted it was possible that Mr Dorling had been given a ‘false sense of security’ by the cycle route. Transport for London who manage the Superhighway network are to await the full coroner’s report before responding specifically. Four Barclays Cycle Superhighways are already in operation across the capital, with a further eight to be introduced by 2015.


Featured Features

Cycle Safety – Let’s Get Visible

Cyclo is supporting The Child Brain Injury Trust’s Child Safety and Awareness Campaign (read our feature here) and with this in mind, and with the nights drawing in, we take a look at some of the best reflectives, lights, LEDs and other cycle safety products on the market. It’s really quite simple – if you want to stay safe on the bike, you need to be seen…


Lezyne Femto Drive LEDLezyne Femto Drive LEDKeeping it simple (and simply beautiful) Lezyne offer a functional approach to cycle safety, with these tiny, machined aluminum lights that measure just 30mm long, with a sub-25mm diameter and a mere 29g in weight. Attached with modest, but effective, rubberised straps to the bike, the Femto Drive LED isn’t astonishingly light at just 15 lumens front and 7 lumens rear, but they offer five modes – flash, slow flash, rapid flash, strobe and solid – and their go anywhere, fit in a pocket, dimensions means you never have an excuse to get caught without lighting – or extra lighting – again. RRP £12.99. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Knog LightsKnog LightsAnother long-time Cyclo favourite is the Knog range. This Melbourne-originated brand, has been producing cycling kit for a decade now and they continue to combine style with substance almost effortlessly. If the Femto’s harder, more industrial lines are not to your taste then the Knog’s softer approach to aesthetics could be for you. Take for example the Knog Frog Strobe, a flexible silicone bodied light with an impressive 80 hour burn time in flashing mode or 50 hours in constant; they connect to the bike with a quick release system, dish out a more than adequate 25 lumens and, for the fashion conscious, come in a range of five colours including a rakish pink. At around £7, they’re a bargain too. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Nite IzeNite Ize – Nite Ize supply an impressive range of LED cycle solutions including some child-specific appeal options, such as the bendable BugLit LED Micro Flashlight and carabiner-clipped flashers. Cyclo particularly likes the Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus; weighing a minimal 19g it’s a thin, durable polymer strip encased in weather-resistant nylon fabric, which can be attached to helmets via hook-and-loop strips or with the rubberised twist tie to pretty much any part of the bike – seat post, baskets, panniers, etc. Also worth a look is the SpokeLit which adds side-on visibility when added (easily and securely) to the spokes – press once for a continuous glow or twice for flashing mode and the supplied and replaceable battery gives up to 20hours of added illumination. Take a look at their products, reviewed on Cyclo, here.



NathanNathanAnother option for excellent LED solutions – and numerous reflectives – is Nathan ( A brilliantly simple idea is the featherlite ClipLight (£10), coming in at just 7g, including battery, it clips onto apparel – a rear lumber pocket is ideal – or can be attached to ClipPods which, with their sticky back, can in turn be attached to pretty much anything else. With either solid or flash-mode the ClipLight is one of the smallest and most efficient cycle safety LEDs we’ve seen. If you want to add some extra visibility the LighBender is an arm strap, which is weather-proof and, in either blinking of solid mode, promises 2,400foot of visibility and up to 100 hours from the replaceable battery. RRP £19.99



Fibre FlaresFibre Flares – We loved Fibre Flares when we first reviewed them back in 2011 and not just because you can have lightsaber fights if you buy a pair. No, Fibre Flares provided much needed, and too often neglected, side-on visibility to the bike using high intensity LED’s to illuminate a flexible fibre optic core and attaching ,via silicone straps, to a variety of bike parts including over-size tubes of up to 60mm. Available in a variety of lengths and colours and promising visibility for up to 300metres and a burn time of 75+hours on a set of two AA batteries – Cyclo can firmly say this is another cycle safety product that looks good in more ways than one. Priced from £21 – Read the full Cyclo review here.



Aura BeltsAura Belts – An approach to not only side-on but true 360degree visibility comes in the form of the Aura Belt. Constructed from high-wearing ‘ballistic’ nylon, the Aura features an integrated LED strip (powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery) beneath coloured, weather-proof, fabric which switches on via a button next to the clip fastener. Available in six colours – pink, yellow, orange, blue, red, green – the belt can deliver either a fixed ‘on’ glow or two speeds of pulsing flash. It comes in a one-size-fits-all option (at £25) so regrettably not an option for kids as yet – but the makers tell us they’re working on it. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Fuze Wheel WriterFuze Wheel Writer – More side-on visibility, arguably for kids (or the big kids in all of us), comes in the form of the Fuze Wheel Writer. It looks initially daunting when it comes to fitting the individual parts to the bike’s spokes, but is far easier than first feared. Once in place and switched on the Wheel Writer’s ultra-bright LEDs can be set to display a range of images and animations as the wheel spins – aliens, skulls, flames, an old-fashioned ‘space invader’… There’s even an option to display the bike’s speed if you’re really looking to impress. It’s not the most robust or weather-proof piece of kit, but might just provide the fun needed to encourage reluctant children to take cycling safety into consideration. RRP £19.99 and widely available online.



Altura Night Vision GlovesAltura Night Vision Gloves – Adding visibility to apparel greatly improves cycle safety and if you can keep your hands warm at the same time, all the better. The Altura Night Vision Gloves are a Nylon/Polyester mix and a 100% Polyester liner, which cope well with even the most biting winter wind and their ample and well-placed reflective detailing is to be commended. Pick the day-go yellow option rather than the ninja black and that will help visibility too. Available in five sizes – S to XXL – the padding is exceptional and the triple grip (thumb, outer edge and finger bases) delivers superb grip. Take a look at the full Altura Night Vision Gloves review from Cyclo here.



SealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis GlovesSealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis Gloves – If you’re looking for complete weatherproofing to combine with cycle safety the SealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis Gloves come in either yellow or orange and feature the famous SealSkinz waterproof membrane. Feeling a little bulkier than traditional cycling gloves and lacking zone-specific padding these are best suited for commute rather than dedicated MTB or road cycling, but they live up to their name when it comes to grip – palm and fingers are studded with silicone dots that deliver a Spider-man like grip. They wick will and use Merino wool so their thermal properties are impressive too. RRP £32.50 details and online purchase at



pop_bandsVendante Pop Bands – Cycling safety doesn’t have to be complicated and things don’t come much simpler than the Vendante Pop Band. Made of highly reflective 3M Scotchlite (the go-to product for most on-garment sports reflectives) Pop Bands are flexed across their width to straighten, then tapped against the arm/leg to wrap them firmly in place without the need for Velcro, or similar fastening. Available in blue, green, orange, pink, white and yellow, the latter two promise reflectivity from up to 450 meters (the others a still impressive 130m). Vendante Pop Bands come in sets of two at around the £12 mark, Cyclo have tried other similar ‘snap’ bands, but for our money the Vendante are by far the most durable.



FlipFlapFlipFlap – One for the cycling commuters rather than the Lycra-lovers we feel. The FlipFlap is an unusual answer to cycle safety; a reflective designed to flip out of front or rear pockets – one side of these reflective paddles is rubberised to grip the pocket, whilst the flap which… well, flaps out, is hi-viz, tested to (and exceeding) the EN13356 safety standard. You can tuck the whole thing back into your pocket when not in use and it’s on hand (bum) when it’s needed. £16.95 (plus P&P) isn’t cheap for a reflective but the FlipFlap does offer a little more than your standard set of stickers or bike additions. Curious, but well worth your consideration…


Feature photo courtesy of Moritz Waldemeyer. For more information on the ‘Joy Rider’, an exercise in pure minimalism that mounts two LEDs on spokes to paint a smiling face, and his other extraordinary light projects visit



York Cycle Alert Scheme

York Cycle Alert SchemeAs of October York will become the first city in the world to fit their inner city buses with Cycle Alert, a cycle specific detection system, with the launch of a partnership between the system’s developers, The University of York, City of York Council and Transdev Unibus. The Cycle Alert comprises of three elements: a tag fitted to the bike (or worn by the rider), sensors that are fitted to the HGV, bus or other vehicle, and a cab-mounted device to alert the driver of the cyclist’s proximity.


York already has some of the best cycling infrastructure in the country, with Sustran cycle routes replacing old train tracks and an extensive network of off-road cycle paths and on-road cycle lanes. Fiona Macey, Travel Plan co-ordinator, University of York, commented on the partnership: ‘We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Transdev Unibus and the City of York Council to be the first UK city to pioneer the use of Cycle Alert on our University bus fleet. The University is committed to promoting sustainable modes of travel and Cycle Alert will be a huge benefit to our cyclists and city wide.’


When the system goes live on October 10, Cycle Alert cyclist tags will be available at £25 from both the York Students Union Store and


Find out more about Cycle Alert at


Extras Featured Reviews

Nite Ize LED

In poor visibility and, of course, the dark good cycle lights are essential (a legal requirement in fact) but there are plenty of other ways to maximise your visibility and stay as safe as possible on the bike. Cyclo took a look at just some of the LED solutions available from the Nite Ize range…


Nite Ize Helmet MarkerFirst up for test was the Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus. Weighing an unobtrusive 19g the Helmet Marker Plus is a thin, durable polymer strip encased in weather-resistant nylon fabric, which can be attached to helmets via hook-and-loop strips or with the rubberised twist tie to pretty much any part of the bike – seat post, baskets, panniers, etc. The replaceable (and included) lithium battery powers either a continuous glow or strobe option with a maximum battery life of 75hours. Cyclo really liked the (literal) flexibility of this product, being easy to attach and remove it proved equally useful for mounting on the back of the helmet as it did attached to straps on a commuter day pack; the fact that the nylon cover also featured passive hi-viz reflective markings was a bonus, adding an extra dash of safety. RRP £11.95.


Nite Ize SpokeLitThe Nite Ize SpokeLit is a commendable way of adding illumination from the side of the bike – something so often neglected. Press the unit between the spokes and slide it towards to rim until a tight fit is achieved (we found it stayed perfectly put once in place), press once for a continuous glow or twice for flashing mode and the supplied and replaceable battery gives up to 20hours of added side-on safety. Weather and shock resistant the Nite Ize SpokeLit retails at £7.95 with a choice of colours – green, amber, red, blue – or a ‘Disc-O’ option that cycles through a spectrum of colours in solid mode. A neat alternative, or indeed addition, to the SpokeLit is the button sized Nite Ize See’Ems, which come in packs of two (blue, purple, pink £6.95) and clip directly to the spokes to provide a continuous glow. Like the SpokeLit the See Ems produce an interesting, and attention grabbing, solid circle of light once you start pedaling.


Nite Ize Sport VestFinally, Cyclo took a look at the Nite Ize LED Sports Vest a lightweight black mesh vest made with 3M Scotchlite reflective material, which features two illuminated flexible polymer strips (one to the front and one rear) that can be set to either a solid illumination or strobe effect mode. The universal fit uses an elastic side strap with adjustable hook & loop closure, but regrettably is likely to still prove too big for most children – a missed trick as this lightweight vest would be perfect for tucking into a schoolbag for use on those school afternoons where the light is drawing in. Still, an excellent option for commuters that combines well advised reflective strips with the added benefit of flashing LEDs. The Nite Ize LED Sports Vest retails at £24.95.


Full details and online purchase of these (and other Nite Ize LED products) at


Cyclo is supporting the Child Brain Injury Trust’s Child Safety and Awareness Campaign to get kids clearly visible on their bikes – find out more here.




Extras Featured Reviews

Children’s Cycle Helmets

Who knows what word today’s kids are using to describe things that are ‘cool’ (sick? phat?) – it’s entirely possible Cyclo has just made itself deeply ‘uncool’ by even posing the questions. Either way we agree with the Child Brain Injury Trust that ‘wearing a helmet is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury’ – and they should know as they help over 5,000 people a year affected by injuries that are often the result of road and cycle accidents. But how do you pick out children’s cycle helmets that are cool/sick/phat? Cyclo took a look at two of the latest brands to arrive in the UK.


Raskullz & KrashFirst up for test was the Raskullz & Krash range. At heart these are traditional cycle helmets (also suitable for skating, etc.), which feature a shock-absorbing EPS inner shell for protection, aerodynamic cooling vents and adjustable nylon retention straps for easy adjustment. What sets them apart from the norm is their adornments – for the younger children (4+) the Raskullz range features everything from dinosaurs to pink cat creatures and ladybirds, whilst for the older (7+) kids the Krash range keeps things exciting with mohawks, skulls, psychedelic swirls. All helmets feature substantial rubber 3D elements (cute ears and noses or blood tipped horns for example) that will certainly have the offspring standing out in the peloton.


The straps adjusted well and stayed put once fitted and our young Cyclo testers found them comfortable and light despite the additions, which on paper we had feared would add too much weight. They also found them ‘fun’ to wear (so we guess ‘cool’ wasn’t the word we were looking for.) Regardless, these proved hugely popular and Cyclo was suitable impressed by the amount of fitting and safety instructions included too. The only further addition we might consider useful would be a foam chin guard around the strap clip because we’ve lost count of the amount of times our children have curtailed an otherwise enjoyable ride by pinching skin when putting on their helmets. Though it’s possible we just have clumsy children around Cyclo HQ…


EGG HelmetsAn alternative when it comes to ‘fun’ (as that’s the word we’ve settled on) children’s cycle helmets comes from EGG. Suitable not only for cycle and skate but also snow and water sports, the EGG is an incredibly solid piece of kit that allows for almost infinite configuration and personalisation. Pick a helmet – small at 48-52cm or medium 52-56cm, add a ‘skin’ – anything from union jacks (or union flags for the pedants amongst you) to daredevil ‘dante’ flames or Cath Kidston-style flowers then add 3D adornments such as horns, fruit stalks or mini-mohawks, which can be snapped onto the helmet even once on. With an ABS outer shell, a flexible EPP safety core, and an EVA comfort core the sandwich design offers maximum protection, whilst an integrated finger-press air pump adjusts everything for ultimate comfort.


Cyclo’s mini testers adored EGG not only for their comfort (arguably they might suit slightly older kids as they are undeniably heavier than traditional helmets), but because of the amount of personalisation they offered. The only downside we experienced was trying to get children out of the door and onto the saddle when they just wanted to add ‘one more’ adornment… For adults that feel they are missing out on the fun, the manufacturers promise adult sizes coming soon too.


Raskullz & Krash helmets are widely available (RRP £19.99 – ££22.99) including from Argos, for further details and other product information see


EGG helmets are available online from (amongst other places), helmets £59.95, skins £12.95 and add-ons from £7.95 – further details at


For further information about the Child Brain Injury Trust (Registered Charity No. 1113326) see


Featured Features

Child Brain Injury Trust

Child Brain Injury TrustThe Child Brain Injury Trust is a national charity, registered in 1991, providing information, support and training to anyone living in the UK who is affected by a child’s brain injury. In the lead up to the end of British Summer Time, they will be running a Child Safety and Awareness Campaign to encourage school children to embrace the use of helmets, lights and reflectives – Cyclo will be supporting the campaign with a series of features and reviews – but first we spoke to Andrew Tee, the Community Fundraiser at CBIT behind the campaign, to find out what they had planned…


Cyclo: Firstly, can you tell us a little more about what the Child Brain Injury Trust does…


Andrew Tee: We currently work with over 5,000 people each year – not just injured children but their family (both immediate and extended), and any professionals who come into contact with the child from teachers to healthcare and social care workers. We ensure that we are accessible at every stage to provide practical support and solutions to the many complex issues surrounding a child with an acquired brain injury


Cyclo: And the campaign?


AT: The Child Brain Injury Trust is committed to providing practical and up to date advice on road safety and the prevention of head injury. So we are planning a week-long child safety and awareness campaign to launch on October 21, which is the week leading up to when the clocks go back. It’s a time of year when suddenly children can find themselves traveling to and from school not necessarily in the dark, but certainly in worsening weather and lower lighting conditions. The campaign will be aimed at school-age children, and will focus on staying safe on the roads whilst cycling, scooting, and skating, and to encourage children to wear a helmet and hi-vis clothing. We really want to get the message across that wearing a helmet is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury!


Cyclo: What activities are planned for the week?


AT: Our Child and Family Support Officers and Fundraisers across the country will be visiting schools to spread the safety message, and handing out reflective ‘slap wraps’ with the slogan ‘Be seen not hurt’ to children to really encourage them to think about being seen and staying safe during the winter months.


We’ve also developed a wide range of National Curriculum based activities and worksheets all based around education and awareness of brain injury, child safety and injury/accident prevention. These school packs will be used in conjunction with the school visits. The campaign will culminate with a sponsored cycle ride from the Charity’s head office in Bicester on Sunday October 27, along with other rides from our offices in Belfast and Glasgow. The campaign aims to engage as many groups and individuals as possible during the week, and we are already getting offers of support from people involved in the sporting/cycling world, and companies who design safety equipment.


Cyclo: And how else are you planning on getting your message across?


AT: We’re planning to post blogs each day throughout the campaign week, from people who can inspire young people to get active, but do it safely. We have a number of seasoned adventurers who have completed amazing journeys by bike and skateboard already signed up to support the campaign and write these for us; they will help us to spread the message via their social media channels.


We will also be dedicating pages on our website to promote the campaign, with safety/prevention information and regular updates from our guest bloggers. We aim to run competitions throughout the week, with prizes from UK cycle and safety companies. Social media will certainly play a big role in this campaign, driving traffic to the website and encouraging our followers to share our activities with their friends and followers.


Cyclo: So your key messages would be?


AT: Wear a helmet! – Our mantra really is that wearing a helmet (and also using lights and reflectives) is a lot cooler than getting a brain injury… We absolutely want to promote that enthusiasm for children to be active, but equally to be safe; so to encourage more children to wear a helmet is fundamental. As a charity we certainly want to raise awareness of childhood brain injuries and highlight the common sense approaches to avoiding them when it comes to road safety.


For further information about the Child Brain Injury Trust (Registered Charity No. 1113326) and the latest on the campaign (check back regularly for updates) see: and take a look at their video below.


Read Cyclo’s latest reviews of children’s cycling helmets here and our reviews of the Nite Ize LED range here.




Pedal on Parliament

Pedal on ParliamentYesterday (Sunday, May 19) saw thousands of cyclists descend on the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood as part a campaign, supported by Olympic legend Chris Hoy and ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Graeme Obree, calling for 5% of Scotland’s transport budget to be spent on cycling. Pedal on Parliament, who describe themselves as, ‘a grass-roots group of cyclists of all kinds who want to see Scotland become a place where everyone can cycle safely and enjoyably,’ claimed some 3-4,000 cyclists look part, whilst police estimated just 2,500 participants. Beginning at 3pm with a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives on Scottish roads, the cyclists headed for Holyrood through the centre of Edinburgh and down the Royal Mile.


Reiterating the campaigns ‘everyman’ approach, David Brennan – one of the Pedal on Parliament organisers – told the assembled crowd: ‘We aren’t “cyclists”, we’re everyone – from the mum taking her children to nursery to the road cyclist doing 100km at the weekend… But we’re also the kids in the back of the car looking wistfully out of the window because their parents can’t risk them riding to school, the people who drive to the gym to ride on stationary bikes because the roads are too fast and busy.’


The campaign’s manifesto is calling for:


Proper funding for cycling.

Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.

Slower speeds where people live, work and play

Integrate cycling into local transport strategies

Improved road traffic law and enforcement

Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians

A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training

Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy


Further details can be found at




£40million of Cycle Safety Schemes

£40million of Cycle Safety SchemesThe Department for Transport has announced 78 cycle safety schemes which will benefit from £40million of national and local government investment, a move welcomed by British Cycling who worked with the DoT in selecting the proposals to improve the design and layout of roads in towns and cities across in England. The schemes are a mix of improvements including the reallocation of road space, ‘significant simplification’ of road layouts, changes to priority and junction layouts, designs that lower speed and changes to crossings.


Making the announcement Transport Minister Norman Baker commented, ‘This is part of the £107 million investment we have announced in cycling infrastructure over the last year, over and above the £600 million we have invested through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund…’


Martin Gibbs, British Cycling Director of Policy, added:  ‘The investment will pay real dividends because more people on bikes means a healthier population requiring less help from the NHS… Reducing congestion will make our towns and cities better places to live and if we want to continue to produce Tour de France winners and Olympic and Paralympic champions, we need as many people cycling as possible, especially young people.’


The schemes, which are funded via a £20m government grant and £20m of local authority match-funding, cover every part of the UK apart from London which is overseen by Transport for London. The regional breakdown is: East of England – £5.31m, East Midlands – £3.17m, the North East – £3.29m, the South West – £3.09m, the North West – £14.77m, the South East – £5.57m, West Midlands – £1.51m, and Yorkshire and Humber – £2.62m.