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Mirrors, are they pointless?


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#1 decca234uk

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:50 PM

I've always had a bit of a downer on cycle mirrors going back years. mainly because the old ones I tried weren't very good, they vibrated a lot making it difficult to see what was behind. I also found that they got in the way and generally made me feel uncomfortable. I've now been hearing that there's companies making new mirrors which are supposed to be good, no vibration, clear views. I know some cycllists who have difficulty turning and looking behind them will find a mirror essential, but I'm still not sure about them. What do you guys think, do you use mirrors? If you do which are the best?















#2 SierraSlim

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 05:30 PM

Hi, Decca!

 

My hubby has a mirror on his helmet which has saved his life twice when he saw distracted drivers drifting toward him from behind.  It may look a little odd, but not as odd as your body crumpled into a hood ornament.  He says that it took him a few days to get used to it, but now he would never ride without it.

 

I just bought a bike, and had him buy me a mirror that mounts on the handlebars because I think seeing everything move in it when I turn my head would distract me.  He hasn't put it on yet, so I don't know how I will like it, but I have to have something after his experience.  I hadn't thought about vibration affecting the view in it, but I don't have to see a car clearly to know that it's heading my way, I don't think.  I hope, lol.

 

After I get it installed I will let you know what I think of it.  In the meantime, as I said, it saved him.



#3 kdelong

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:07 PM

I have a detachable mirror on my commuter. It came in handy when I needed to claim the left hand turn lane and when riding with my lady friend on the bike trails. Our rides together are kind of slow so we get passed a lot and I like to see that I am going to get passed before it actually happens. No need for a mirror on my road bikes when I'm riding alone because I am usually the one doing the passing.


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#4 Daddo

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:13 PM

I commute to work by bicycle 5 days a week and I use a bar mounted mirror. I have tried a few but settled on one that is Schwinn branded from Target.  It is (except for the oval glass mirror) made of some type of plastic composite and secures to either grip by means of a Velcro strap  Because of the fact that the viewing angle is almost infinitely adjustable, I can position it to view the road directly behind me as I ride. I make use of the mirror both when commuting and when I am pulling my cargo trailer.

 

Strangely enough, I don't use it when I am out for a recreational ride or just headed to the store to pick up some miscellaneous items.

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#5 BHOFM

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:14 PM

I tried some high end mirrors from Lewis and Clark and found they distorted the view

to the point they were useless.

 

However, the $6 ones from Walmart are fine, they just take some getting used

to. And you have to button the cuff on your shirt.. And I have two, big spender..

They do required getting used to, I can't stress this enough. At first you think,

this ain't gon'a work.

 

When I ride the knock around bike I miss the mirrors.

 

To answer your question, no they are a safety thing and they work.


I am old, fat and ugly, but I have 20 million dollars so it don't matter!

#6 Daiho

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:44 AM

For many years now I've been using handlebar mounted mirrors for urban riding and can't imagine going out without one, anymore than I could go out in a car without them.  I don't have anything fancy, just $10.00 Chinese manufactures you can buy at your local equivalent of Wal-Mart. 

 

I find when I ride my mountain bike I look now and then for a rear view.  Hardly necessary as the goats aren't likely to overtake me.  



#7 decca234uk

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:21 AM

Thanks guys for your opinions. The consensus is mirrors are a good aid for safer cycling. I think I'll take the plunge and try a few mirrors out, see if I can used to them. There's plenty of different types on the market today.

 

 Thanks

 

Paul



#8 Yojimbo_

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:38 PM

Let me offer my two cents.....

 

I think mirrors are pointless.  I tried one once many years ago - one of those types that attach to your helmet.  I found it a big distraction because I kept trying to place my head in the exact position I needed to see behind me and that took my attention off the road in front of me.

 

What do you expect to see in a mirror anyway? 

 

If they were useful maybe we'd see the TdF guys using them - only we don't.

 

I pass all kinds of bike commuters with mirrors when I'm riding to work - I wish they'd see me coming and move over a bit to give me some room. 


The universe is indeed expanding.............to get away from this planet!!!

#9 CalicoCat

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:56 PM

I don't use one, and don't want one. I am good at listening for traffic, anticipating traffic, and looking over my shoulder for cars/cyclists etc.

 

I think that mastering the skill of quickly looking over your shoulder or under your arm while still holding your line is one of the best skills a cyclist can have - and it is really pretty easy!



#10 BHOFM

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:07 PM


 

Originally Posted by CalicoCat View Post

I don't use one, and don't want one. I am good at listening for traffic, anticipating traffic, and looking over my shoulder for cars/cyclists etc.

 

I think that mastering the skill of quickly looking over your shoulder or under your arm while still holding your line is one of the best skills a cyclist can have - and it is really pretty easy!


I agree 100%, how ever, I have bad eye sight and my line of vision is limited to the sides as I look

past my glasses, the mirrors are good to see if the approaching vehicle is signaling a turn.

 

Also as you get older, your head doesn't turn as far as it once did.

 

Like a lot of things, what works for one doesn't always work for all.


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I am old, fat and ugly, but I have 20 million dollars so it don't matter!

#11 Daiho

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 12:02 AM

Yojimbo, you're funny.  I'm sure there are some guys out there who think they can drive a car just fine without mirrors.  Or safety belts or air bags.  And maybe they can.  But I'd prefer not to ride with them nor share the road with them.  Maybe you just need to try a different kind of mirror.

 

Be safe.

 



#12 Yojimbo_

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:37 AM



Originally Posted by Daiho View Post

Yojimbo, you're funny.  I'm sure there are some guys out there who think they can drive a car just fine without mirrors.  Or safety belts or air bags.  And maybe they can.  But I'd prefer not to ride with them nor share the road with them.  Maybe you just need to try a different kind of mirror.

 

Be safe.

 


Cars are considerably different from bicycles. 

 

I have found that there are many types of cyclists.  The types that use mirrors usually don't go very fast - riding with them is torture.

 

What do you expect to see in a bicycle mirror anyway? 
 


The universe is indeed expanding.............to get away from this planet!!!

#13 Daddo

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 10:32 AM



Originally Posted by Yojimbo_ View Post

I have found that there are many types of cyclists.  The types that use mirrors usually don't go very fast - riding with them is torture.

 

What do you expect to see in a bicycle mirror anyway? 
 


Yojimbo:

 

While this is a statement that generalizes groups of cyclists, I still need to agree with part of it.  

 

I go both fast and slow, depending on the type of riding that I am doing. But when I am commuting, and sometimes going fast (on the way home) quick and frequent glances down into my left bar end mounted mirror works well for me. What I do get to see is the car right behind the one that is overtaking me to pass. That is the inattentive goon who is most likely to hit me. The quick glance down into the mirror tells me if the driver has seen me and is moving to the left, or if he (she) is busy texting/

 

All I want is a last minute warning to bail out before the dolt flattens me. Look, there are mirrors and there are mirrors. The small ones are almost worthless, but the 3" x 4" view that mine offers is still worthwhile to me,

 

You never know what is behind you.

 

attack-helicopter-rear-view-mirror.jpg


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#14 64Paramount

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

I've been using a mirror for years. Most cars are fairly quiet these days and when I'm jetting along on my bike with wind noise in my ears I often don't hear them till they are right behind me. I like to know sooner than that, and yes I could just constantly turn my head and look behind me, but I find it easier just to scan the mirror with my eyes.

 

I use it the same way I use the mirrors in my cars and trucks. Riding a bike defensively is just as important, if not moreso, than driving a car defensively. Mirrors on bikes may not be considered cool by people who are concerned about their appearance, and they may be too difficult for some people to use for a variety of reasons, but if you can utilize a mirror to improve your ride quality and safety then you should do so. Regardless of whether you get stereotyped with all of us other "uncool" bike riders.

 

I certainly won't think any less of you for using a mirror when you ride.

 


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Sometimes you may have to look very close to see it, but a measure of grace exists within us all..

#15 oldbobcat

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:40 PM

Mirrors--I don't use 'em but I know enough riders who swear by them. So I defend their right to use mirrors without prejudice or ridicule.



#16 bikester62

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:01 PM

I use a helmet mounted mirror.  It takes a few seconds at the beginning of a ride to adjust the mirror so that you only have to glance at it. I don't have to turn my attention away from traffic.  It makes sense to know what is going on behind you - just as it does in a car. 

 

I'm a daily commuter, so I'm riding in traffic all the time.  If I were out in the country or on a trail, a mirror might not be so important. 



#17 john gault

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 05:46 AM

Mirrors are  indispensable  for me. I don't like trusting people too much so I'm always keeping an eye on my six o' clock postion. It's funny of some of the things you see, like the drivers that will get right on your ass (they actually come into the cycling lane) I guess they think it's funny -- especially since they think I can't see them. I usually get in their lane at this time and let them know I know they're there.

 

One important thing with mirrors. They are like any other tools, in the right hands very useful, in the wrong hands very dangerous. It is easy to get distracted by things in your mirror, you must train yourself to do quick glances. If you can't make out the object in your mirror, just look away (keep your eyes on the road) and do quick glances.

 

Like any thing else it's a PITA at first, but with practice doing quick glances becomes second-nature. I don't go more than 30 seconds w/o glancing -- much more often in heavy traffic without bike lanes.


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#18 BHOFM

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 10:13 AM

I have been riding my vintage Spalding the last few days and I miss the mirrors.

 

I really hate to put them on this bike because they just don't like they belong.

 


I am old, fat and ugly, but I have 20 million dollars so it don't matter!

#19 SierraSlim

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 12:38 AM

Hi Guys!

 

Hubby finally installed my new mirror on my bike today, and then we went for an 11-mile ride.  (My first 11-miler; I'm progressing!)  The mirror is the kind that installs on the handlebars and sits above them on its own 'stilt.'  I've never used a mirror on a bike before, so was curious as to how it would be.

 

It took me a few minutes to get it adjusted right, but once I did, I loved having it!  I could tell when Dear Hubby had had enough of 'drafting behind me'  (right....)  and was coming around to pass without warning me -- so I could pretend to 'smoke him,' lol.  More importantly, I could see cars coming up behind me and make sure I moved far enough to the right.  The most important thing I noticed was that not only did I see  the car behind me coming (that I could hear coming, anyway), but I could also see the car BEHIND that one, which I would not have heard over the first one's motor.  I found it almost invaluable!

 

At first I was disappointed because whenever I hit a bump, the mirror would move and not be in my line of vision again.  But after that happened several times, Hubby figured out that he hadn't tightened the screw enough that makes it adjustable/keeps it from moving, and once that was accomplished it was great. 

 

So for now, I've got it on, and I like it, I like it! 



#20 BHOFM

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 06:28 AM

Word of warning about your mirrors! Don't get them too tight, they need to move

if they are bumped, and they will get bumped! If they don't move they will break.

 


I am old, fat and ugly, but I have 20 million dollars so it don't matter!




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