Thursday, March 29, 2018

Let's Get Visible, Visible

It's time yet again for a product review here at The Cycle! All together now: "Yay."

I was recently contacted by the folks at Leg Shield to see if I would be interested in trying out a few of their visibility aids. Being somewhat obsessed about not getting run over while commuting (hence my status as the World's Most Conspicuous Ninja), I said (paraphrasing), "Heck yes."

Shortly thereafter, an envelope arrived in the mail containing the following:


You're seeing two of the eponymous Leg Shields (one stealth black, one tennis-ball yellow with reflective stripes), two ankle bands (both are reflective on the outside, I just flipped one over to show its black underbelly), and two wrist bands (ditto). All are made from a fairly thin, stretchy neoprene material.

Now, the real fun with reflective stuff is to turn on the flash on your phone and take the same picture... so I did just that:


As expected, the stealth Leg Shield disappears. The reflective parts of the yellow shield light up, but there isn't much reflective there. The stars of this simulated headlight scenario are the screamingly bright wrist and ankle bands. My benchmark for good reflective material is 3M Scotchlite tape, and these are just as bright, not to mention having more reflective surface area than any other reflective band in my vast collection.

Construction quality seems good at first glance -- the stitching is well done, and the Velcro even has nicely rounded corners. That's a nit-picky detail, sure, but it does feel better when you use it compared to a squared-off corner. Brace for groaner Dad-joke wordplay: I guess you could say that by cutting corners, they're not cutting corners. (Thank yew! I'll be here all week! Tip your waitress!)

I wasn't planning to put a "ride test" in my first impressions post, but after tonight's commute, I noticed this:


See the little schmutz spot above the lower reflective stripe? I lubed my chain last night (first time in months), but I wasn't very fastidious with the "wipe off excess" step. It certainly wasn't a planned, scientific test, but the photo doesn't lie -- the Leg Shield did in fact shield my leg.

I'll have more to say once all the shields and bands have spent an extended test period wrapped around my chubby ankles and wrists. I'm especially curious how they'll fare over the long term compared to the bands I've been using, and whether or not the shields will trigger Sweaty Calf Syndrome (SCS) given than I have an almost superhuman ability to produce a disproportionate amount of perspiration from the most meager exertion.

The usual disclaimer applies: I was not bribed, coerced, or otherwise unduly influenced to review this stuff favorably. The Leg Shield folks did send me the products you see above at no cost to me, but I will do my level best not to let that color my opinions about the products themselves.

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