Mirrors, are they pointless?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by decca234uk, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    If I was sharing the road only with professional riders, I probably wouldn't need a mirror either. Unfortunately most of the motorists and some of the cyclists in this area don't even meet amateur status. Besides, what the TdF guys use and what the rest of the cycling public use are going to be different because we are talking about different groups of people riding for different reasons under different conditions. I have never seen the riders in the TdF having to dodge heavy traffic during the competition. And while you may be of TdF caliber, I am not so I'll just keep my mirror so that I can see the next idiot that isn't paying attention so that I can take evasive action prior to becoming a hood ornament.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    jolimbo, I use my Cycleaware mirror (helmet-mount) to see behind me. Mostly cars, but also bikes when I'm in a pack. After riding with a mirror for the last 30K miles, I no longer want to be on the road without it. I got used to mirrors when riding motorcycles and driving cars; to me they are more useful on my bicycle. We don't have bike lanes or shoulders here, so awareness of vehicles behind is useful. Normally I'll ride near the middle of the lane, and when I see a car approaching will normally more over and raise my hand in a wave if it's safe to let pass. If not,

    Concerning style and speed, I could care less what TdF riders do on closed roads as you seem to. Actually the helmet mirror pops off instantly for races and photo ops, or swings down when I don't want it in the field of view. Lots of veteran racers here are now using mirrors when on club rides and tours. Since I'll never be as fast as them, I don't need to worry about how I look wearing my mirror. Some of them even carry rear racks for their extra gear....makes it more fun when they put the hurt on some unsuspecting newb with his 15 lb CF wonderbike.
     
  3. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Hi, KD and DHK!

    You're both right; the next time I'm racing Lance or whoever the bigwig is in the TdF, I'll take off my mirror, as I'm sure that's the only thing I would have to be embarrassed about. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif

    Actually, I do love having it to see the idiots in their cars behind me who are texting/dozing/applying makeup as they drift toward me. But I also found on my last trip that it was nice for checking out the thugs I passed on the road (to make sure they're not taking a sudden run at me to steal the bike), as well as a dog that chased me. She was so tiny and cute she couldn't have hurt me if she tried, unless I hit her and lost control. But because she wasn't barking, I hadn't realized she was chasing me until I saw her in the mirror -- and also saw her poor owner running frantically down the road after her, which enabled me to turn around so she could catch her before a car came by.

    I actually think I'm really going to like having it. And as far as what it makes me LOOK like.... If I worried about what I look like on a bike, I would never have started riding at my weight to begin with... in which case I wouldn't weigh 50 pounds less now than I did in July! So I'll keep biking - with my mirror -- and keep working on looking better in the big ones at home.

    Thanks for the input, y'all.

    Sierra

    (And Brad, thanks for the warning about over-tightening; we'll watch that.)
     
  4. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    "Are they pointless?"

    Hell no...in fact, they're kinda pointy. They're so pointy that when my wife crashed last August (did an endo while descending & landed on her face) the mirror she was wearing punctured her cheek, ripped a hole through-and-through so far that it also slashed her gums open. Plastic surgeon had to sew up the hole in her face in five separate layers. Mirror looked like someone had dipped it in the pan drippings from a roast turkey.
     
  5. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Wow, Bob,

    That's really scary! I am assuming your wife was doing mountain biking, or at least racing, since you're talking about descending. Was it a helmet mirror or bar-mounted? As a total newbie, I so far only do flat-terrain bike paths, so I think the chance of my doing an endo are fairly slim. I'm also assuming that a splintered fork or shredded aluminum could do the same thing, but that's scary, nonetheless. Makes me definitely wanna be careful, riding, lol.

    Glad she lived through it!
     
  6. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    Re doing an endo...

    I was riding in a group with a friend on a TT bike - I was right beside him when his rear wheel came straight up and over his front. He had hit the tiniest little hole in the road - not really even big enough to be called a hole actually. I think what happened was because the TT bike put most of his weight on his front wheel and when he hit the bump even more weight got shifted forward and over he went. Pretty scary to see but I guess it's even scarier if it happens to you.

    This chap landed on his head and back and lay in the road until the ambulance arrived to take him away. I saw him later that evening with his arm in a sling because he had hurt his shoulder but other than that (plus a broken helmet and a slightly damaged bike) he was ok.

    I still see many people riding without helmets - it's unbelievable to me. Some of these guys are very experienced racers with wives and families too - I just don't get it.

    And....he didn't have a mirror (I think).
     
  7. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    That is scary. ( . . . reason for not riding a TT bike in a group, but I am not really going to go there now . . . )

    We had a similar situation with a teammate at a TTT practice. She was in her aero position, hit a tiny hole, and went down hard. After lots of surgery to repair her face and arm, and many months off the bike, she is recovering well. This is one reason to really work on strengthening the core. Even down in the aero bars, we still need to be able to unweight the front wheel and absorb shocks without losing control, and this requires shifting weight ever so slightly onto the saddle and off the handlebars.
     
  8. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    Neither mountain biking nor racing. Just a casual group ride on the rolling roads of southern Connecticut. Pretty hard not to do some descending (and ascending) anytime you go for a ride in the northeast.

     
  9. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    That's even scarier, that you can do an endo just going down a hill! Fortunately for me, Sacramento doesn't have much in the way of hills, which at this point I would have trouble getting up, amyway, lol. But eventually I expect to do some mild ones.

    I've always wondered if using the drops on bars doesn't push your weight more over the front bar and lend itself to doing an endo. (And I have no idea what a TT bike is, lol.) I'm guessing your wife's mirror was helmet-mounted? Because it seems like otherwise, the header off the bike would take your face away from a bar-mounted mirror, not into it, though I could definitely be wrong.

    I think I'm actually looking for some security so that the same thing doesn't happen to me. Scary stuff! (But not enough to make me quit biking... or using my mirror.)
     
  10. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    If it's any consolation, you can do an endo on perfectly flat ground.

    But obviously the trick is to not do one, ever! And the best way to avoid them is a combination of preparation/observation, so that you never get in a situation where an endo is likely, and possession of the small but mandatory skillset for getting out of an endo should one become immenent. With that combination it doesn't really matter where your weight is in relation to the front wheel; it has a whole lot more to do with where your focus is.

    My wife's mirror was mounted to her glasses.


     
  11. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Ok, thanks. So now I need to ask, what are the situations that can cause an endo (so I can avoid them), and what is the skillset for getting out of one if it becomes imminent?


     
  12. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    Could write a whole article on this (and probably should at least start a new thread, since we've already drifted way Off Topic now), but in short, endos usually occur due to grabbing the front brake too hard and holding it too long. (And no, the way to avoid endos is not to avoid using your front brake! That just opens up a different can o' worms, one which has a much less reliable skillset for avoidance once it's begun.) And the skillset for getting out of an endo is primarily a combination of getting your ass back (off the saddle, towards the rear of the bike) and pushing the bars forward with bent (but strong) arms.


     
  13. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    It happens mainly to cute bikes with fenders, something about the airflow?

    Sometimes they just flip over while parked, poodles and chihuahuas suffer from the
    same condition.

    It is know as flipoverunexpectedlyous. If you watch late night television they have
    a pill for this, $19.95 plus shipping and handling. If you are one of the first zillion
    callers they double your order and charge ten times the normal shipping and handling.

    The best way to avoid this is to ride backwards all the time. You will need a
    special gear set, also available on late night TV!
     
  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Bob, suggest you start that new thread about "endos". I've never heard of anyone whos done one on flat ground by just braking, but of course that doesn't mean it's not possible. Would like to discuss further on a new thread if you want to.
     
  15. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Brad, you're so funny! You always give me a smile, and I love it.

    DHK, I went ahead and started a threat on Doing An Endo in the Bike Cafe section; thanks for the suggestion. I'll look forward to what people say about this creepy event!
     
  16. celia123

    celia123 New Member

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    a little funny for sure.
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I think I'd rather insert a big 3" O.D. stainless steel bar in my spokes at speed than use a mirror...
    ... based on the one 5 minute experience with one a few years back.

    Just my personal opinion 'n all...
     
  18. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    What happened 5 years ago, Swampy?
     
  19. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I use a mirror that mounts to my glasses and I do ride fast . First and foremost, I expect to see the idiot driver who is not paying attention , has no respect for pedestrians / cyclists and who has poor driving habits that could very easily affect my life . I find it to be torture passing a cyclist or cyclists who are not aware of their surroundings .sometimes I use my mirror when I'm going fast and I have to swerve around a road hazard of some type than I can judge what the vehicles are doing behind me . there is a place for mirrors in the world of cycling . be safe and live to ride another day !
     
  20. Gus Riley

    Gus Riley New Member

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    [SIZE= 10pt]My mirror also mounts on my glasses. When on my road bike I ride fast. While riding through Kunsan City, South Korea with our group of thirteen riders I consistently outpace all of them. Why? Because I am the only rider in our group who uses a mirror. How does that work? With a congested and the somewhat chaotic (but surprisingly organized) traffic environment within a Korean city my mirror proves to be very useful. Cross traffic, pedestrians crossing without rhyme or reason and many times without warning, city buses, Asian semi-trucks, traffic lights, parked cars, suddenly opening car doors (everywhere), oncoming cars passing others in my lane.... all of these dynamics (and more) all at the same time, and all of the time, demand maximum attention to the frontal area, and yet maximum attention is required from behind as well! My mirror allows me to keep an eye up front with quick and consistent scans behind for overtaking city buses, trucks, cars, and scooters. With a mirror, I am far more able to time traffic in order to weave through, around, and past the dangers of the road without getting wiped out from behind. My ride mates are hampered by having to turn their heads to gauge traffic. The result is they have no choice but to slow down, or crash. Turning ones head (and body really) takes a remarkable amount of time, as compared to effective mirror use. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE= 10pt]IMHO not using a mirror out on the open road isn't that big a deal, but when in heavy/chaotic traffic situations, effective use of a mirror is a valuable asset. [/SIZE]
     
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