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Thread: Mirrors?

  1. #1
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    Mirrors?

    Anyone here using one on their commuter? Currently, I don't have anything, and I'm hearing mixed signals from friends who bike. Some say it's nice but don't bother, others that it's absolutely necessary. If I'm going to drop 20 bucks on a reflective piece of plastic, I want to know that it's going to do something.


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  2. #2
    Natural Born Killer
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    I've got this one on my main commuter:
    mirrycle.com: mountain mirrycle

    I consider it pretty much indispensable for commuting and I use it just as often and for the same reasons as I use the mirrors on my car and motorcycle. A person could get by without mirrors while out on the road but I don't know why they'd want to unless they were surrounded by a peloton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
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  3. #3
    I Ride for Donuts
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    I don't use a mirror. I can see how it would be nice when you hear stuff coming up behind but don't want to look over the shoulder at that moment I guess... I've never thought "man I wish I had a mirror for situations like that one" though. If I had a sweet moustache and a side-of-helmet-mounted camera I'd use one though, just for that little reflection of awesomeness in each image.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  4. #4
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    I have one of these: Amazon.com: CatEye Road Bicycle Mirror BM-300G: Sports & Outdoors I think I paid $3 at REI.

    From a riding perspective, I don't know how to function without a mirror anymore. When I ride one of my other bikes without a mirror I constantly glance down to check behind me for cars.

    From a practical perspective, that mirror is kind of a pain, on drop bars. It sticks out on the left side and gets bumped by seemingly everything. When I have to change a roadside flat, the bike has to sit on the left side (especially when working on the rear) to avoid damaging the RD assembly, which means it sits right on the damn mirror. Its position also puts my wrist/forearm in the way so I have to move my arm a bit to check it.

    All that said I haven't seen anything I like better for drop bars, especially for the few dollars I paid. One day I may try a few others, but it's not on the top of my list of stuff to buy.

    edit: Amazon.com: Blackburn Road Mirror: Sports & Outdoors is one style I'd like to try when I have $20 hanging around to replace something I already have that's working fine. So... not soon. But if it mounts okay it puts the mirror way up closer to your line of sight.

  5. #5
    Natural Born Killer
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    I'm thinking about getting one of these for my drop bar bike:
    Bike-Eye - Now selling internationally as well as the UK!
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
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  6. #6
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    Have one of these, and it works OK. Takes a bit getting used to and positioning it just right can be a challenge, but in the end, it's nice to have a mirror.

    Three things I noticed, and they're probably common for most helmet mounted mirrors:
    1. focal length. when looking in the mirror, one eye is on the mirror while the other is still looking at the road. Really hard to focus. I close the non-mirror eye for a second, look in the mirror, and back at the road. Only take my eye of the road for a second, without having to turn my head.
    2. adhesive. the 3M tape is good, but if you throw your helmet in the back of your car and it gets shoved around or left there during really cold weather, the adhesive tape will come undone. Not a big deal, but needs replaced occasionally.
    3. overbending the wire. the plastic cover on the bendy wire split on me. Doesn't affect performance, but it doesn't look as clean as it once did.

    Amazon.com: Cycleaware Reflex Bicycle Helmet Mirror: Sports & Outdoors

  7. #7
    MTB, Road, Commuting
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    I think mirrors are the biggest piece of safety equipment you can buy. You can tell at a glance if there is a car behind you if you are coming up to an obstetrical or intersection where they might right hook you. If I had to choose between helmet and mirror I'd probably pick the mirror. I also ride with headphones so it's a trade-off but I'm no bat and my echolocation skills aren't as good so I'd rather see where the car is than hear them.

    I could NOT get the hang of a helmet mirror even though I tried. I gave up before I got hit by a car trying to bobble my head around to get it in my field of view.

    For flat bars I like the Third-Eye
    Amazon.com: Third Eye Bar End Bicycle Mirror: Sports & Outdoors
    for brake levers that they fit I like the mirrycle
    Amazon.com: Mirrycle Road STI Bicycle Mirror: Sports & Outdoors
    For my bike with no bar end shifters I have this:
    D+D Oberlauda UltraLight Bike Mirror at BikeTiresDirect

    I like the looks of some of the options posted in this thread too.

    More mirror discussion here:
    Mirror for Cross Check?

  8. #8
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    I don't use a mirror. I could see the utility of one, but I haven't really found one that I like enough to spend money to take a chance on it. Bike shops almost everywhere I've been have been very down on mirrors, so they don't carry some of the more interesting designs that have been posted here.

    A couple criteria for me if I were to spend on one:

    1. It should not affect my grip on the bars
    2. I should not have to move my hand away from the bars to use it
    3. It should be easy to adjust while riding because I do take my commuter on rougher options than perfectly buff pavement sometimes.

    I have thought about getting a helmet mounted one like the Cycleaware. The comments about focusing make me want to try before I buy, though. The Bike-Eye looks nice, but I have to wonder how visibility would be with panniers. The Oberlauda also looks interesting, but I would appreciate some pics of it mounted for comparison purposes. It looks like it might be a more flexible option than the Bike-Eye.

    For now, I've been doing shoulder checks and have not had any problems as a result. I have good hearing, so it's rare that a car comes up behind me without at least hearing the tires on the pavement.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I think mirrors are the biggest piece of safety equipment you can buy. You can tell at a glance if there is a car behind you if you are coming up to an obstetrical or intersection where they might right hook you.
    I can't let that one go without comment. If you are coming up on an obstetrical, you're going to need a lot more help than a mirror.

    p.s. I have not tried a mirror. I do have a guessing game "what is coming" that I have gotten pretty good at (using my ears). For changing lanes I take a look an go plenty early.

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    ^^I wasn`t going to let if go without a comment either, but I`m glad you beat me to it because yours is better than my simple "huh?"

    No mirror on my commute, but I do wear one if I`m going to be playing in traffic or out on the highways. I use the little ones mounted either to my glasses or to my helmet. They definitely take some getting used to, and they have their down sides, but I feel better with one than without. Mostly a placebo, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    If I had a sweet moustache and a side-of-helmet-mounted camera I'd use one though, just for that little reflection of awesomeness in each image.


    EDIT: just in case anybody was wondering, the topic of mirrors brings on even more flames at Crazyguyonabike forum than steel/aluminum/carbon or double/triple.
    Recalculating....

  11. #11
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    I dislike handlebar mirrors. Because they are always in the way so constantly getting bumped. Mostly I dislike them because vibration in the handlebars made the images too hard for me to see. Before chelation fixed it, I could not see the words and letters on a page of a freshly opened book. They sort of rose out of an indistinct gray. Got slaughtered in interactive video games. I suspect that the moving mirror image was the same issue. It might be OK now, but I am disinclined to find out.

    Helmet mirrors: I have only tried one brand: Amazon.com: Third Eye Pro Helmet Bicycle Mirror: Sports & Outdoors

    I addressed the sticky pad not holding well enough with a couple of loops of electrical tape through the vents and around the mounting pad. That works very well hot or cold. If the tape starts to lose adherence, a fresh application is no problem. What I don't like is that the mirror to ball (front ball joint) construction is inadequately braced. The ball and socket joints get stiff with age and chain lube helps but the constant readjustments needed every time the helmet is worn eventually leads to a fatigue fracture at that point. I then patch and epoxy but three have died that way.

    So I got a nice metal mirror for the glasses. I had to wind solder onto the other ear piece to keep my glasses in place. Take A Look de Best Clip on Bicycle Bike Mirror Orig | eBay

    Neighborhood kids thought it very cool. Dorky Grandpa gets the kid cool approval. Though they also think I am fast. So I can't put a lot of stock in that endorsement.

    The cat has hidden that one so I am currently using: THIRD EYE EYEGLASS GLASSES BICYCLE BIKE MIRROR NEW on eBay!

    It was a spare I had (after a couple of broken ones, I decided a spare would be a good idea). I tried to ride with no mirror when the nice big metal one was misplaced and in a mile, I felt unsafe so came back and dug the spare out. It is a smaller mirror and it is closer to the right adjustment each ride, but it has the same poorly reinforced mirror-ball joint. Whether it will be fatal in time is not known yet.

    If I had normal eyesight I could set these up for peripheral vision. When a blob is seen, then a look and refocus will handle it. However I am legally blind where I do not have a lens something like 1000/20. I loved contacts but road dust on a bike and contacts are not a good combination. So I have to look to see if anything is approaching.

    I am thinking of asking Santa for this one:

    Helmet mirror with an mtb twist

    I thought mirrors were fro PeeWee Herman, but now I am in Bedwards camp. Have mirror will commute.

  12. #12
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    Mirrors?

    I'm digging the look of that Third Eye flat bar end mirror. Seems like it'd be good for lending an eye when necessary, but not something that would constantly get in the way like the larger ones.


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  13. #13
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    I use a bar-mount mirror only in the winter, since in freezing conditions I wear goggles which impact my peripheral vision, and it's harder to look over my shoulder wearing winter gear.

    My speed generally also drops relative to other traffic with cold air and winter gear, so there's a greater chance cars will be passing me and a shorter time frame to see them behind me when they do.

    Hence at the beginning of November, the bell comes off and the mirror (and day/night headlight) go on.

  14. #14
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    I tried several before settling on the HubBub. The mount works well and doesn't move after adjusted. Real durable. HubBub Custom Bicycles Online Store - Product Detail

  15. #15
    MTB, Road, Commuting
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I can't let that one go without comment. If you are coming up on an obstetrical, you're going to need a lot more help than a mirror.

    p.s. I have not tried a mirror. I do have a guessing game "what is coming" that I have gotten pretty good at (using my ears). For changing lanes I take a look an go plenty early.
    Damn spell correct! But you've got to admit that in some cases a good inspection mirror could come in handy.

  16. #16
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    Mirrcycle on the handlebar, use it all the time on my commuters. Very helpful, not in the way and does not vibrate.

  17. #17
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    I've tried a couple different (borrowed) mirrors and find that I just prefer turning to look. Unlike in a car, you have no blind spots to overcome with mirrors.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  18. #18
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    I always use a mirror when riding on the road. I use one of these style. Take A Look Best Clip on Bicycle Metal Stable Mirror F Wrap Around Sport Glasses | eBay

    Small price for a bit of insurance. It has saved me a couple of times to be able to see a situation approaching. Well worth the small price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    Anyone here using one on their commuter? Currently, I don't have anything, and I'm hearing mixed signals from friends who bike. Some say it's nice but don't bother, others that it's absolutely necessary. If I'm going to drop 20 bucks on a reflective piece of plastic, I want to know that it's going to do something.


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  19. #19
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    ^^ The one my cat hid on me. My neck isn't as flexible and 55-65 mph traffic would have my head swiveling a lot! I was *very* resistant to getting a mirror. It has helped me avoid truck mirror strikes, crowding passing drivers, and plan my turns/lane changes for maximum safety. Now I feel naked riding without one. So you have been warned: they are addictive.

  20. #20
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    I have certainly become accustomed to the mirror. While walking on the sidewalk or through a parking lot, I catch myself looking where the mirror should be to see behind me. Doh!

  21. #21
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    I tried one and then just learned how to look over my shoulder without swercing into traffic. My perspective is: by the time I see and erratic driver barreling down on me in a mirror, it's too late. I don't have time to react, i am just going to get get clobbered whether I see it coming or not. no point in putting distractions on my bike.

    can any of you think of a time when a mirror "saved your life" by giving you enough warning to react to a car passing too close? I would like to know if they actually work or if they are a false sense of security.

  22. #22
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    can any of you think of a time when a mirror "saved your life" by giving you enough warning to react to a car passing too close?
    I have in my time suggested that VC'ers have a superhero complex in suggesting that they can see a high-speed overtaking car about to hit then in the mirror and leap to safety.

    But that said, here's a few cases where mirrors have helped:

    1. A couple of times when I was brushed by a rear-view mirror on a passing car, I had a second to get a better grip on the bars and pick the best compromise between more contact with the car and getting closer to the curb, which might have kept me from crashing during the side-swipe.

    2. There are some circumstances when I pull completely off the road when *any* car is overtaking, such as driving into the setting sun, or when everyone is drunk late on saturday night, or during heavy snowfall, etc.

    3. Most roads I use have two lanes in each direction. If I can see they are already in the passing lane or moving over in plenty of time, I can focus on the road ahead. If I see they are waiting until the last minute or moving RIGHT INTO MY LANE AS THEY APPROACH, then I may start looking for an out, even if they aren't barreling up at twice the speed limit.

    4. When I see those custom tuned-headlights like the teenage street racers use... yeah, forget that.

  23. #23
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    Not seeing my favorite listed. The Safe Zone mirror is helmet mounted mirror that is rather larger than the others. Provides me with a great field of view and isn't subject to the vibrations that can sometimes make a bike mounted mirror useless. Mine is still rock solid after nearly 3 years of daily use.

    My mirror is one of the handful of pieces of equipment that I can't imagine how I rode without before and would never go back to riding without. Being able to change lanes or get over into a turn lane without having to be constantly checking over my shoulder is worth it by itself. That enables me to be more nimble cutting through traffic.

    Only once have I seen a vehicle that was obviously driving in the bike lane and the mirror enabled me to make a quick dart to the right to avoid being run over. Luckily I was abreast of a bus stop instead of the row of parked cars all along the rest of that stretch of road. Still, even being saved once from being crushed by a box truck is pretty good in my book!

    Mostly its great for letting me get out of the doorzone/gutter/lame bike lanes, as I can see when there isn't any traffic behind me and take the part of the lane that has the least amount of rough road/pot holes. It makes "control and release" taking the lane FAR easier.

    Once you try a good mirror, I'd be surprised if you go back.

    Kind of like an Airzoundz!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 12-10-2013 at 04:47 AM.
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  24. #24
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    Re: Mirrors?

    I'll thinking about getting a handlebar mounted mirror.

    I do my best to look back and steer clear of turning cars and a mirror would help

    Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 2
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    My mirror is one of the handful of pieces of equipment that I can't imagine how I rode without before and would never go back to riding without. Being able to change lanes or get over into a turn lane without having to be constantly checking over my shoulder is worth it by itself. That enables me to be more nimble cutting through traffic.
    Ditto. I've used helmet mirrors since the '80s with my old Bell Tourlite. They are absolutely indispensable, and I'm so accustomed to them that sometimes I instinctively try to see behind me by looking where the mirror would be, only to realize "oh, I'm not wearing a helmet, LOL... superpowers temporarily unavailable!" Right at the moment, I'm waiting for my new helmet mirror because I accidentally broke the arm on mine, and trying to ride in traffic without it is like trying to type with mittens on. Ugh.

    I prefer a helmet mirror over bar-mount because 1) helmet mirrors are close to the eye, giving a large field of view, 2) they have flat mirrors, so they give accurate depictions of how far away stuff is, 3) they can be steered to view all angles of approach as needed, and 4) they're less prone to vibration than a bike-mounted mirror. They can also be used for, um, tactical purposes

    Only once have I seen a vehicle that was obviously driving in the bike lane and the mirror enabled me to make a quick dart to the left to avoid being run over. Luckily I was abreast of a bus stop instead of the row of parked cars all along the rest of that stretch of road. Still, even being saved once from being crushed by a box truck is pretty good in my book!
    Back in the '90s, I was on a nighttime 70-mile trek home from college for the weekend, riding on the shoulder of highway 195. Using my helmet mirror to check up on the overtaking stream of 55mph traffic, I suddenly realized there was a vehicle coming UP THE SHOULDER at probably 40mph+. This was in the era of 0.6W incandescent dynamo taillights and basic reflectors, and we were out in farm country where a cyclist wouldn't be expected. I steered off into the gravel as the car went by. It's a safe bet I would have been hit and seriously injured or killed without that warning.

    Kind of like an Airzoundz!
    Oh now that's just crazy talk

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