Seeking advice on mirrors for commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Seeking advice on mirrors for commuting

    Hey everyone,
    I am commuting on my fat bike on a mix of city streets and a sometimes busy bike path.

    Especially for the streets, I would like to have a mirror on the left side of my handlebars.

    I like the Zefal Spy mirror, but it cramps my hand position some on the handlebar. Would the Mirrycle or Cateye mirror be a better choice? Other suggestions?

    Many thanks for your thoughts on this. Ride safe!

  2. #2
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    Seeking advice on mirrors for commuting

    The Mirrycle mirror is really nice, functionally and optically, but still winds up looking out of place on the handlebars, IMO. If looks don't matter, definitely get it... The build quality is top notch, and the mirror is actually made of glass, so the quality of the image is unparalleled compared to other offerings. The few broken ones I've seen have been easy to fix up without having to put a whole new one on.

    A slightly better solution (especially in tight areas, like cities and crowded bike paths) is a helmet/glasses mounted mirror. The commercial stuff is pretty much all rubbish, though. You can make a better one out of an old spoke and a piece of mirror from a used up makeup compact. Look up the user miket here...his site should give you plenty of inspiration if you go that way.

  3. #3
    CB of the East
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    What about the Zefal mirror cramps your hand? It should be out of the way. I like this one for a nice cheap bike mirror with a good field of view. http://www.amazon.com/Third-Eye-Bar-...3rd+eye+mirror

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I have a bell on my handlebars, which I find very useful when coming up behind other cyclists, runners and walkers on the bike path, so I don't mind the aesthetics of a mirror. And since motorcycles have mirrors, I figure it's good for a bicycle, too.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    What about the Zefal mirror cramps your hand? It should be out of the way. I like this one for a nice cheap bike mirror with a good field of view. Amazon.com : Third Eye Bar End Bicycle Mirror : Bike Mirrors : Sports & Outdoors
    Maybe I need to give it more of a chance, but the Zefal takes up an inch or so on the end my handlebar, narrowing the space for my hand between the mirror and my grip shift.

  6. #6
    CB of the East
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    Got it. I didn't realize it was a clamp mount. The Third Eye one replaces the end-cap and doesn't take up any room. It is real glass too so the optical quality is good. They last forever or until you break them.

    I could never stand a helmet mirror. I always felt like I was reducing my safety trying to swivel my head around and changing my focal distance. Maybe I'm just special.

  7. #7
    Air Pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenbaybiker View Post
    Maybe I need to give it more of a chance, but the Zefal takes up an inch or so on the end my handlebar, narrowing the space for my hand between the mirror and my grip shift.
    Try one of the many mirrors that mounts into the end of the handlebar like a bar-end plug instead of strapping onto the bar. With one of those you would get back all that valuable handlebar real-estate.

    Zefal makes a bunch if you want to stay with that brand.

    Blackburn makes some.

    CycleAware has a few. They also have eyeglass/helmet mirrors.

    Cateye...

    And the old standard, Mirrycle.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  8. #8
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    Mirrors are nice, but they're no substitute for looking over your shoulder. Just like mirrors in cars and motorcycles they have blind spots and it is the onus of the operator of a vehicle to check both mirrors and blind spots.

  9. #9
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    The mirrcycle fit into the bar end, no loss of bar grip area.

    ^^^ rogbie, I'm supposed to look over my shoulder 100 times on every commute? That's what the mirror is for. And my ears.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    ^^^ rogbie, I'm supposed to look over my shoulder 100 times on every commute? That's what the mirror is for. And my ears.
    Yes and no. Trusting just a mirror is imprudent. Using a mirror and checking blind spots over the shoulder is a more effective way of checking for over-taking vehicles. A mirror offers only a narrow view of what is behind any vehicle operator.

    It's doubtful any cyclist needs to look behind them 100 times on a commute. That sounds like hyperbole. That said, I commute without a mirror and check behind me if I need to deviate from my line. Other than that, I hold my line and try not to worry about what's happening behind me, most problems I've encountered occur ahead of me.

    I'm not saying mirrors are a bad thing, just not to rely on them solely. I've known cyclists that use mirrors and get lazy about checking behind them before changing their line. Of course, the issues arose during a group ride and the mirror user did not see the cyclist over taking them in their blind spot. They moved over and nearly took out the rider coming past them (there were audible warnings as well, the mirror user didn't hear them) at ~30mph. The entire group chastised him for not looking and not listening. His excuse, "I used my mirror"; no apologies for nearly taking out an entire group of riders.

  11. #11
    CB of the East
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    Mirrors don't let you know when it is safe to change lanes but the do tell you when it is not safe to change lanes. A glance in the mirror that tells you that a car is approaching also tells you that you don't have to take your eyes off that thin ribbon of broken pavement to look over your shoulder when you need to be paying attention to what is ahead of you.

  12. #12
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    Many thanks to everyone here, including Air Pirate who posted the helpful link to some mirror makers. I decided to go with the Cycle Aware Urbie, partly because I like the fact it can be folded down when carrying the bike through a narrow door. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

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