If you use mirrors....



TheDL

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Jul 1, 2004
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I'm going to need to get one here soon. I've got drop handle bars....

I'm wondering what you all use, the different types, their advantages and disadvantages. So please....share your experiences.

Thanks.
 

Brunswick_kate

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Aug 16, 2003
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TheDL said:
I'm going to need to get one here soon. I've got drop handle bars....

I'm wondering what you all use, the different types, their advantages and disadvantages. So please....share your experiences.

Thanks.

I've got flat handle bars and I have a CatEye mirror. My problem is that every time I want to check something, I need to adjust it. I'm thinking maybe a helmet mirror might be more useful.
 

ed073

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May 19, 2004
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TheDL said:
I'm going to need to get one here soon. I've got drop handle bars....

I'm wondering what you all use, the different types, their advantages and disadvantages. So please....share your experiences.

Thanks.


imho, not a good idea.
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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TheDL said:
I'm going to need to get one here soon. I've got drop handle bars....

I'm wondering what you all use, the different types, their advantages and disadvantages. So please....share your experiences.

Thanks.

I've used a CycleAware helmet mirror for the last couple of years. Wouldn't ride without it now. Believe anyone riding on the street should have a rearview mirror. I got used to them on motorcycles, and in cars, and believe they are even more essential for road bikes.

The helmet mirror gives the clearest view I've found. Also, easy to pop off for race day if you don't want to know who's coming around you.
 

ed073

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Brunswick_kate said:
Why? Just curious...

-limited field of view.
-encourages you to look into it, rather than over your shoulder.
-if mounted on your helmet, can injure you in a crash.
-if mounted on your helmet, takes up part of your field of view, so even if you do turn to check what's behind you, the mirror can obscure things.
-distortion. Distance b/n objects can be difficult to judge when viewed in a reflection.

Safer, imho, to keep your ears open and your common sense about you.
 

Brunswick_kate

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ed073 said:
-limited field of view.
-encourages you to look into it, rather than over your shoulder.
-if mounted on your helmet, can injure you in a crash.
-if mounted on your helmet, takes up part of your field of view, so even if you do turn to check what's behind you, the mirror can obscure things.
-distortion. Distance b/n objects can be difficult to judge when viewed in a reflection.

Safer, imho, to keep your ears open and your common sense about you.

Yes, I agree it is NOT a substitute for a shoulder check, any more than use of rear view/side mirrors are a substitute for a shoulder check in a vehicle.

Are you aware of any documentation, ie medical literature, on injuries being caused by helmet mirrors? Again, just curious.
 

ed073

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Brunswick_kate said:
Yes, I agree it is NOT a substitute for a shoulder check, any more than use of rear view/side mirrors are a substitute for a shoulder check in a vehicle.

Are you aware of any documentation, ie medical literature, on injuries being caused by helmet mirrors? Again, just curious.
nup...only one anecdotal.
Had a cutomer come in with a black eye from where the mirror swung around and poked her.

Rest of her face was pretty farked up too though!!! :D
 

Brunswick_kate

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Aug 16, 2003
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ed073 said:
nup...only one anecdotal.
Had a cutomer come in with a black eye from where the mirror swung around and poked her.

Rest of her face was pretty farked up too though!!! :D

I'd best stay away...I'm a klutz first class at the best of times. So far, I've managed to keep from dinging myself with the handle bar mirror but the season is young..
 

ed073

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Brunswick_kate said:
I'd best stay away...I'm a klutz first class at the best of times. So far, I've managed to keep from dinging myself with the handle bar mirror but the season is young..


lol.....:)
 

TheDL

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Jul 1, 2004
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ed073 said:
So, hear a lot of suggestions NOT to use a mirror. So the whole looking over the should thing....do do the whole, use one hand to grab the stem and let go of he other hand and look over technique?
 

ed073

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May 19, 2004
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TheDL said:
So, hear a lot of suggestions NOT to use a mirror. So the whole looking over the should thing....do do the whole, use one hand to grab the stem and let go of he other hand and look over technique?


Not the stem...too close to the centre of the bike, any slight over-correction will launch you over the bars.

Keep your body aligned as if you are riding straight, hands on brake hoods. (We ride on the left, so reverse if you are in USA, Canada, etc) Take right hand off the hood (this will enable you to look further than just a glance) and put hand on your right hip for balance. At the same time twist head and upper body to the right and have a gawk at what's coming....

then reverse the above and keep riding.

Don't do if....
-corner approaching
-following a wheel
-descending (cars can wait...you'll probably be going faster than them anyway)
-riding on the inside...it's the person on the outside's resposibilty. You just need to keep tempo.
 

dhk

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ed073 said:
-limited field of view.
-encourages you to look into it, rather than over your shoulder.
-if mounted on your helmet, can injure you in a crash.
-if mounted on your helmet, takes up part of your field of view, so even if you do turn to check what's behind you, the mirror can obscure things.
-distortion. Distance b/n objects can be difficult to judge when viewed in a reflection.

Safer, imho, to keep your ears open and your common sense about you.

My opinion is that your reasons against mirrors are not valid:
-great, looking into the mirror is safer than over the shoulder
-don't think so..a small plastic mirror on a flex mount isn't a threat in a crash since it will bend or break away easily.
-not in the field of view at all, any more than the side mirror on my car
-no distortion. Much easier to check and judge rate of closure when you can take a good look in the mirror vs a quick rear glance.

Lots of riders here don't use mirrors either. They usually ignore traffic in back of them, or rely on others to yell out "car back". Believe their attitude is that they have a right to the lane, and that it's the responsibility of the cars to pass safely. I like to be reassured by seeing the car either slow down or pull over to pass. You really can't do that without a mirror.

I rode for several decades without them, so I know it can be done, but I'm convinced mirrors are safer on the road. I see more and better in the mirror than I ever could by glancing over my shoulder. I ride a lot in groups or pacelines, where taking your eyes off the riders ahead can get you in trouble.
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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dhk said:
Lots of riders here don't use mirrors either. They usually ignore traffic in back of them, or rely on others to yell out "car back". Believe their attitude is that they have a right to the lane, and that it's the responsibility of the cars to pass safely. I like to be reassured by seeing the car either slow down or pull over to pass. You really can't do that without a mirror.

I respectfully disagree. I commute by bike almost every day, 10 miles each way in traffic, and I don't use a mirror. I can assure you that by glancing back often and keeping my ears open I'm very aware of traffic behind me (and ahead of me and in all directions). If I weren't I'd probably be dead by now! Lots of bike commuters here and the majority of them (from what I've seen) don't use mirrors, so I don't think I'm an acception to the rule either. You can ride safe without a mirror.

I'd like to add too that while I do try to give every courtesy to motorists, as a cyclist you do have a right to the lane and it is the responsibility of cars to pass you safely. Just like when they're passing another car. Unfortunately, a lot of motorists seem to think that you don't have a right to be there.
 

nonewdirections

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Jul 18, 2004
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i have borrowed my dad's hybrid bike a few times and it has a mirror mounted on the handlebar. i find that when i'm on his bike i use the mirror as a crutch, but if i've just ridden on a bike without a mirror, i ignore the mirror completely and look over my shoulder, which i feel gives me a better sense of what's going on behind me. sure i have to take my eyes off the road for a second, but it's not as if i glance over my shoulder just to see every car that is coming up behind me -- very often i look behind to see if crossing a lane is safe or possibly if there is a situation where i need to speed up or slow down for turning traffic. and that kind of awareness is probably better achieved by looking behind you instead of looking into a little mirror.

besides, i *think* read a statistic recently about how very very few cyclists are actually hit from behind by cars in road accidents, but overwhelmingly from other causes or angles of collision. anyone care to support this if it's true?
 

dhk

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nonewdirections said:
i have borrowed my dad's hybrid bike a few times and it has a mirror mounted on the handlebar. i find that when i'm on his bike i use the mirror as a crutch, but if i've just ridden on a bike without a mirror, i ignore the mirror completely and look over my shoulder, which i feel gives me a better sense of what's going on behind me. sure i have to take my eyes off the road for a second, but it's not as if i glance over my shoulder just to see every car that is coming up behind me -- very often i look behind to see if crossing a lane is safe or possibly if there is a situation where i need to speed up or slow down for turning traffic. and that kind of awareness is probably better achieved by looking behind you instead of looking into a little mirror.

besides, i *think* read a statistic recently about how very very few cyclists are actually hit from behind by cars in road accidents, but overwhelmingly from other causes or angles of collision. anyone care to support this if it's true?
Understand we all have our opinions and riding styles. I got used to rear view mirrors on my motorcycles, and don't like to ride without them. When you're in a pack, and hear the big truck coming up behind, I can see him much better in the mirror than by taking a "quick glance" over the shoulder. Plus, I can still see what the wheels in front of me are doing, and hold my line better with a mirror view.

I wouldn't think of driving a car or riding a motorcycle on the road without rearview mirrors; guess that's why I want one on my bike helmet. I suspect lots of riders just avoid using a mirror because it doesn't look racy....same reason you don't see more road riders using their helmet visors.

Guess we all have different opinions about the need to easily see what's in back, but if you do want to really check out what's going on behind, believe a helmet-mounted mirror is much better than a quick, intermittent glance over the shoulder.

Agree very few cyclists are actually hit from behind. Of the accidents around here this season, I only know of one who was hit from behind by a car.
 

pseudocrow

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Jan 1, 2004
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I use the take-a-look mirror from Bike Peddler in Colorado; it's available at REI and several other shops as well as direct. The take-a-look is clipped to my eyeglass frames, and works exceptionally well.

I use the mirror not as a crutch but as a supplement to looking and listening. Let me explain by example. Although I try and avoid four-lane roads and major highways, most every ride I take puts me on a four lane section of road where it meets the interstate (Ladue Road at I-270). As I come into that intersection, I need to watch cars coming up behind me that want to cross my lane to get on the interstate. At the same time, I need to watch traffic coming at me from the opposite direction and signalling left across in front of me. And I need to watch for glass, hubcaps, and other junk in the road. And there are three stop signals to manage. That's just on one side of the interstate; once I've passed underneath there's another signal plus people merging from my right ... get the picture? I *do* look over my shoulder, and I *do* listen. But it is sure nice to be able to see the SUV coming up behind me and the Minivan crossing in front without moving my head much at all.

Another example: in town, two lanes each way, parallel parking on my right. It's 8:15 and we all are commuting ... having the ability to spot check who is behind me without taking my eyes from what happening ahead - especially people pulling out of those parking spots - is reassuring and has saved my ***** several times.

I know I'm entitled to my fair chunk of the road. I also know that I do a disservice to other cyclists if I "teach" drivers by my behavior that I don't have any rights. I take the lane when I need it. But, around here, some people just don't pay attention - and a good mirror gives me just a little more advantage.
 

dhk

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pseudocrow said:
I use the take-a-look mirror from Bike Peddler in Colorado; it's available at REI and several other shops as well as direct. The take-a-look is clipped to my eyeglass frames, and works exceptionally well.

I use the mirror not as a crutch but as a supplement to looking and listening. Let me explain by example. Although I try and avoid four-lane roads and major highways, most every ride I take puts me on a four lane section of road where it meets the interstate (Ladue Road at I-270). As I come into that intersection, I need to watch cars coming up behind me that want to cross my lane to get on the interstate. At the same time, I need to watch traffic coming at me from the opposite direction and signalling left across in front of me. And I need to watch for glass, hubcaps, and other junk in the road. And there are three stop signals to manage. That's just on one side of the interstate; once I've passed underneath there's another signal plus people merging from my right ... get the picture? I *do* look over my shoulder, and I *do* listen. But it is sure nice to be able to see the SUV coming up behind me and the Minivan crossing in front without moving my head much at all.

Another example: in town, two lanes each way, parallel parking on my right. It's 8:15 and we all are commuting ... having the ability to spot check who is behind me without taking my eyes from what happening ahead - especially people pulling out of those parking spots - is reassuring and has saved my ***** several times.

I know I'm entitled to my fair chunk of the road. I also know that I do a disservice to other cyclists if I "teach" drivers by my behavior that I don't have any rights. I take the lane when I need it. But, around here, some people just don't pay attention - and a good mirror gives me just a little more advantage.

Agree, the mirror is great in heavy traffic when you can't glance behind at every car. Small world comment: I used to ride out Ladue Rd, Clayton and Conway Roads when I lived in University City.
 

pseudocrow

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Jan 1, 2004
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dhk said:
Small world comment: I used to ride out Ladue Rd, Clayton and Conway Roads when I lived in University City.

DHK, maybe it's riding these particular roads in West County that's trained us to appreciate mirrors! I'm not complaining, however. We moved from the Chicago suburbs (Downers Grove) six weeks ago, and riding Ladue, Conway, etc., really beats the road situation up there.
 

[email protected]

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Jan 26, 2004
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meehs said:
I respectfully disagree. I commute by bike almost every day, 10 miles each way in traffic, and I don't use a mirror. I can assure you that by glancing back often and keeping my ears open I'm very aware of traffic behind me (and ahead of me and in all directions). If I weren't I'd probably be dead by now! Lots of bike commuters here and the majority of them (from what I've seen) don't use mirrors, so I don't think I'm an acception to the rule either. You can ride safe without a mirror.

I'd like to add too that while I do try to give every courtesy to motorists, as a cyclist you do have a right to the lane and it is the responsibility of cars to pass you safely. Just like when they're passing another car. Unfortunately, a lot of motorists seem to think that you don't have a right to be there.

I believe you meant "exception."

If you're looking back that often, how are you keeping track of what's coming from the front? The majority of bicycle-related accidents are caused by vehicles turning left in front of an on-coming cyclist.

Mirrors are not meant to replace a look over your shoulder. They are very handy when you must look forward, but need a quick glance behind you. Without a mirror, you cannot look in two different directions at once. Same principle as using the rear view mirror in your car.

-Wm.