rear view helmet mirrors



D

Dennis P. Harris

Guest
On 23 Apr 2007 08:09:57 -0700 in rec.bicycles.tech,
[email protected] wrote:

> And paranoid? Usually not, but
> when you keep hearing of cyclists getting killed by cars, I appreciate
> seeing the passing car/truck not veering into me.


The kid reaching his arm out of the pickup window to whack my
helmet from behind sure was surprised when my arm came up with my
pump just as they pulled alongside, I made contact, and then hit
the brakes.

He yelped pretty loud.

I would have heard the truck slowing down, but I wouldn't have
seen the arm out the window without my Third Eye. I feel naked
road riding without it.
 
On Apr 22, 11:30 pm, [email protected] wrote:
> >

> In California you'll fail the driving test if you don't look back when
> changing lanes. The reason is that even with three mirrors in the
> car, there is still a blind spot that can best be viewed by looking
> back. The same goes for bicycling.


I'll join the chorus: Not true for an eyeglass mirror. It's not
perfect, but with the ability to turn my head and scan, it's much,
much better than my car's or motorcycle's fixed mirrors.

> The primary reason for rearview
> mirrors in bicycling is to allay the fears of paranoids, not to see
> whether it is safe to move into a lane for a left turn or the like.


Not in my case. I find it handy in many ways. Examples:

It really does help me move into a left lane. I can time my
intersection approach to coincide with gaps in approaching traffic. I
still look back before making the move, but it's a much smoother
process, with less risk from things like potholes.

It helps me to be aware of the full 360 degrees worth of vehicles.
This can be handy if a pothole jumps out if front of me. (Do I do a
lateral "rock dodge" or jump vertically? It can depend on the traffic
inventory.)

It helps me keep track of my companions. In the case of my wife, I
don't want her to get dropped, or she's less likely to ride next
time. In the case of some friends, I may want them to hurt just the
right amount... ;-)

Overall, I find the mirror so handy that I've worn it while flat-water
kayaking, for benefit #3.


> I doubt that a racer would risk crashing a fellow racer by relying on
> a rear view mirror, one attached to the head one way or another, while
> making a maneuver in a pack.


As opposed to swiveling one's head back and completely losing sight of
the pothole or crash that just came up in front??

> Beyond that, the information gained by
> skewing one eye to look into that mirror is like trying to read this
> screen with ones head facing 45° to one side.


If so, this may be a matter of skill or personal details of visual
acuity. I certainly have no problem gaining all the information I
normally want.

- Frank Krygowski
 
B

Bill Westphal

Guest
John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]> writes:

> On 23 Apr 2007 09:40:59 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>On Apr 23, 9:15 am, John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]>
>>wrote:
>>> On 23 Apr 2007 08:09:57 -0700, [email protected] wrote:
>>>
>>> >In a race, one would think that the ability to see (nearly) everything
>>> >behind while also seeing in front would be an advantage - either when
>>> >attacking or defending.

>>
>>I agree. For exmple it's easy to keep an eye on someone on your wheel,
>>regardless of whether the goal is to keep them or shed them.
>>
>>> >I suspect racers don't use it because they
>>> >haven't tried it.
>>>
>>> I have. I don't use it anymore. I suspect most racers don't use it
>>> because they don't think it'll help much.

>>
>>And, I would bet, most don't think it will help much because they
>>haven't tried it.

>
> Are you suggesting that if they tried mirrors they'd use continue to
> use them? What evidence do you have for that? Have you raced bikes
> with some success (however you want to define it) with a mirror and
> found it useful? If not, how can you think that trying mirrors would
> result in racers continuing to use them?
>
> Seems to me they're doing something very logical -- looking at best
> practice in their field and using that to determine if something is
> useful. And most racers in the US have seen people with mirrors, so
> may have thought about using them but don't.
>
>
>
>
> --
> JT
> ****************************
> Remove "remove" to reply
> Visit http://www.jt10000.com
> ****************************


Racers would never use mirrors because to do so would be extremely
dangerous. If one showed up at a race the others wouldn't go near
him. Riding in close proximity and turning in unison, and squeezing
through gaps, and getting forced to the side, like into the shoulder
or over the centerline by reckless (mostly newer/young cat 4/5 racers)
requires constant manuevering, and almost instantaneous reactions.
You need to keep your eyes mostly straight forward, rely on peripheral
vision, and shift your neck into contorsions to control the threats
and evaluate your own moves. With the mirror, your field of vision is
too highly focused looking into the thing at an unnatural angle, and
you could miss a critical move from an area you're distracted from
(like right in front of you) because you're too busy trying to focus
on something else, or scanning your head around looking for the thing.
And I think most importantly, you need to move your eyeball to use the
mirror, and I think you can't move your eyeball nearly as fast as your
neck. And when you move your eyeball I think you lose some of your
peripheral vision.

Riding alone on a long ride on a shoulder with a lot of traffic is
another story. It's too much to turn around to look at every car so
riders without mirrors don't look at any of the cars, and so have to
ride 1" from the edge of the road for hours, unless you're in a quiet
area and can rely of hearing them coming. Looking behind you to check
for traffic before you dodge rough spots or potholes on the edge of
the road is tiresome. With the mirror you have a pretty good idea
already of what is there because you are constantly monitoring behind
you, so you can do a very quick **** of the neck to double check.
With the mirror you can always see the 1 in 500 kook who is planning
on driving within 1" of you, and you can move over. If they look like
they aren't going to at least drift toward the centerline, and there
are no oncoming cars, I assume they are hostile toward bicycles, and I
drift a bit out from the edge of the road in front of them to force
them toward the centerline and then shift back toward the very close
edge as they approach, thus creating a safety cushion for myself that
I otherwise wouldn't have had. I do this for my own safety and
protection from either physically disable people, like nearly blind
elderly, sleepy people, drunk people, angry people, and the insane.
And my move is subtle enough so I'm not enraging them. I just don't
see why I should be forced to test my skill and ride within
millimeters of the gravel edge, esp here in the mtns where I can slide
off the road and fall quite a ways. It's all about crash avoidance,
both for my good, and that of the drivers.

The only trouble is if you ride with the mirror on solo rides you get
in the habit of relying on the thing, and do less well without it.
But I'm really afraid of cars. One might even call me paranoid, but
I'm still breathing.

Bill Westphal
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On Tue, 24 Apr 2007 04:11:34 -0600, Bill Westphal <[email protected]>
wrote:

>Racers would never use mirrors because to do so would be extremely
>dangerous. If one showed up at a race the others wouldn't go near
>him.


I used one as a beginner for year and it didn't help, but didn't seem
dangerous. There's one guy in New England (Paul Curley) who used one
for years, and he rode at a very high regional level (won the Tour of
Somerville, one of the top amateur criteriums in the country at the
time, I believe) and I don't think it changed tactics of other rider
in the race much. I think he still uses it in masters level events.

I, and other racers, just don't see the value of it.
--
JT
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On Apr 22, 10:55 pm, "Bill Sornson" <[email protected]> wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> > are world class racers wearing rear view mirrors?
> > if not why?
> > watching the tour de georgia, seems many were wasting energy and speed
> > looking backward

>
> they'd look too dorky...like I do.
>
> also, maybe they're not "aero"


looking back 5 times in 300 yards is not "aero"
i tried feeling wind drag turn my head to the mirror side, maybe I
could shave my head?
 
B

Bill Sornson

Guest
Bill Westphal wrote:
> Racers would never use mirrors because to do so would be extremely
> dangerous. If one showed up at a race the others wouldn't go near
> him. Riding in close proximity and turning in unison, and squeezing
> through gaps, and getting forced to the side, like into the shoulder
> or over the centerline by reckless (mostly newer/young cat 4/5 racers)
> requires constant manuevering, and almost instantaneous reactions.
> You need to keep your eyes mostly straight forward, rely on peripheral
> vision, and shift your neck into contorsions to control the threats
> and evaluate your own moves. With the mirror, your field of vision is
> too highly focused looking into the thing at an unnatural angle, and
> you could miss a critical move from an area you're distracted from
> (like right in front of you) because you're too busy trying to focus
> on something else, or scanning your head around looking for the thing.
> And I think most importantly, you need to move your eyeball to use the
> mirror, and I think you can't move your eyeball nearly as fast as your
> neck. And when you move your eyeball I think you lose some of your
> peripheral vision.
>
> Riding alone on a long ride on a shoulder with a lot of traffic is
> another story. It's too much to turn around to look at every car so
> riders without mirrors don't look at any of the cars, and so have to
> ride 1" from the edge of the road for hours, unless you're in a quiet
> area and can rely of hearing them coming. Looking behind you to check
> for traffic before you dodge rough spots or potholes on the edge of
> the road is tiresome. With the mirror you have a pretty good idea
> already of what is there because you are constantly monitoring behind
> you, so you can do a very quick **** of the neck to double check.
> With the mirror you can always see the 1 in 500 kook who is planning
> on driving within 1" of you, and you can move over. If they look like
> they aren't going to at least drift toward the centerline, and there
> are no oncoming cars, I assume they are hostile toward bicycles, and I
> drift a bit out from the edge of the road in front of them to force
> them toward the centerline and then shift back toward the very close
> edge as they approach, thus creating a safety cushion for myself that
> I otherwise wouldn't have had. I do this for my own safety and
> protection from either physically disable people, like nearly blind
> elderly, sleepy people, drunk people, angry people, and the insane.
> And my move is subtle enough so I'm not enraging them. I just don't
> see why I should be forced to test my skill and ride within
> millimeters of the gravel edge, esp here in the mtns where I can slide
> off the road and fall quite a ways. It's all about crash avoidance,
> both for my good, and that of the drivers.
>
> The only trouble is if you ride with the mirror on solo rides you get
> in the habit of relying on the thing, and do less well without it.
> But I'm really afraid of cars. One might even call me paranoid, but
> I'm still breathing.


Obviously! (Wasn't sure if you'd ever take a breath! :) )

Terrific post -- I agree about the one downside of using a mirror being
becoming dependent on it; also can lead to laziness (I've been guilty of
trusting it and not doing a head check before crossing the road, for
example).

All things being unequal (big cars, little me), I prefer knowing what's
moving up fast behind me. A mirror works really well for that.

Bill "dork alive" S.
 
D

DirtRoadie

Guest
On Apr 23, 5:04 pm, John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]>
wrote:
> On 23 Apr 2007 09:40:59 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >On Apr 23, 9:15 am, John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]>
> >wrote:
> >> On 23 Apr 2007 08:09:57 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

>
> >> >In a race, one would think that the ability to see (nearly) everything
> >> >behind while also seeing in front would be an advantage - either when
> >> >attacking or defending.

>
> >I agree. For exmple it's easy to keep an eye on someone on your wheel,
> >regardless of whether the goal is to keep them or shed them.

>
> >> >I suspect racers don't use it because they
> >> >haven't tried it.

>
> >> I have. I don't use it anymore. I suspect most racers don't use it
> >> because they don't think it'll help much.

>
> >And, I would bet, most don't think it will help much because they
> >haven't tried it.

>
> Are you suggesting that if they tried mirrors they'd use continue to
> use them?


While that isn't what I said, I suspect that if a racer were to use a
mirror that was properly adjusted he/she would be less prone to merely
follow the accepted fashion of NOT using a mirror. As I pointed out,
there have been mirrors that I have not liked and one that I now use
all the time.

> What evidence do you have for that? Have you raced bikes
> with some success (however you want to define it) with a mirror and
> found it useful?

I see, now it's a matter of my racing success. Never mind, I have not
yet won the Tour de France therefore my opinion is of no relevance
whatsoever.
Which year did you win it and what is your real name (Fignon, Hinault,
Lemond, Roche, Delgado, Pantani, Riis, Indurain, Ullrich, Armstrong,
Landis)?

You're right, a mirror is useless in a time trial when (without
turning around) you can see whether you are gaining or losing ground
to the guy behind you. (Maybe he's just a club racer that you have a
friendly rivalry with). Yeah, I know, you just get splits by radio
from your DS in the team car.
It's of no help at all in a small group to see whether (good or bad)
the guy behind is hanging on. Maybe you're just trying to tow another
rider back to a pack and you want to go as hard as possible yet not
drop the "towee." And in leading out a sprint at speed, it is also
generally preferable to turn one's head to see who (teammate or
opponent) might be on your wheel.
Sorry, I don't know what got into me in thinking a mirror could be
useful in a racing situation. Maybe I WILL win the TdF if I dump that
stupid mirror right now.

> If not, how can you think that trying mirrors would
> result in racers continuing to use them?

I think that primarily because I have found a mirror to be VERY
useful, especially so in pack riding.

> Seems to me they're doing something very logical -- looking at best
> practice in their field and using that to determine if something is
> useful. And most racers in the US have seen people with mirrors, so
> may have thought about using them but don't.


Your logic is absoulutely impeccable. Similarly, that Lemond fellow
was pretty stupid to not rely on the status quo when he began using
those silly triathlete aero bars for REAL bike racing.
Would a mirror provide a similar speed benefit? Nope. Is it useful?
Yes, especially since there is no real downside. (OK I'll grant you
the geekiness factor for the external mirrors) Even with a mirror in
place It is not mandatory to use it when some other method of
observation would as good or better. But if and when (even during a
race) it is destirable to see what's behind without having to turn
one's head, a mirror can be very useful indeed.

This is what I have found. But please feel free to not use a
mirror.

DR
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On 24 Apr 2007 12:29:21 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:

>I suspect that if a racer were to use a
>mirror that was properly adjusted he/she would be less prone to merely
>follow the accepted fashion of NOT using a mirror.

Why do you suspect this? Have you ever races bikes with some sort of
success, or advised people who do so? Do you know any racer that uses
a mirror or has used a mirror and found them useful?

If your answer to all these questions is no, I find it bizarre that
you can look at a community of thousands of people not doing something
that is neither new nor secret, and think that any significant number
(even just 1%) would change their behaviour.

In fact, I don't think you know what you're talking about at all about
mirrors and racing.
--
JT
****************************
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P

Paul Kopit

Guest
I remember when cars didn't come standard with mirrors on the right
passenger side of the car. Didn't need them? No purpose? I'm no
pro. I ride roads and streets. The mirror is handy for seeing when
it is not safe to move into a lane. Actually moving into the lane, I
do turn my head before the move. Among amateurs that are competitive,
it's nice to know when a rider in the rear is moving up on you or
dying. I can't see how someone would say a mirror is more dangerous.
 
S

sl

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>[email protected] wrote:
>> > Are world class racers wearing rear view mirrors, and if not why
>> > not? Watching the Tour de Georgia, seems many were wasting energy
>> > and speed looking backward.


>To quote myself from a thread a few years ago:
>I know more "serious" riders who do not use mirrors than those who do.
>But speaking only for myself, I first tried one of one of these:
>http://www.cycleaware.com/products/viewpoint.php
>a few years ago. I 've been using it ever since and wouldn't be caught
>riding without it. Once positioned properly it works extremely well. I


I saw these at the LBS... they seem awfully small to work well...

Do they give a good view to the rear? Or just to the side?

Are they easy to move to a new set of glasses, or do you simply replace
them as well if you need new lenses?

Thanks for the pointer.. I'll pick some up.

I have been using a mirror mounted in a bar-end plug.. Wouldn't consider
leaving home without it for training rides. And even for longer social
rides it let's me know if I'm going a bit faster than the other riders
want.

But (to answer the original question, even though I'm barely even local
class racer... :) ) havn't tried a mirror for racing.
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On 23 Apr 2007 08:22:58 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:

>To quote myself from a thread a few years ago:
>I know more "serious" riders who do not use mirrors than those who do.
>But speaking only for myself, I first tried one of one of these:
>http://www.cycleaware.com/products/viewpoint.php


Interesting. My problem, in racing, with glasses or helmet mounted
mirror was that it the field of vision was too small to be meaningful
I'd assume that that devive, with the mirror closer to the eye, would
give a large field of view -- is that true?

How easy is it to move the thing from glasses to glasses, or is it
fairly permanent?

--
JT
****************************
Remove "remove" to reply
Visit http://www.jt10000.com
****************************
 
B

bob prohaska's usenet account

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
>
> In California you'll fail the driving test if you don't look back when
> changing lanes. The reason is that even with three mirrors in the
> car, there is still a blind spot that can best be viewed by looking
> back. The same goes for bicycling. The primary reason for rearview


True enough of car mirrors, but not at all true of a helmet mirror.
A slight head movement inspects the entire field behind.
Besides, since when do bicyclists care about driving tests?

> mirrors in bicycling is to allay the fears of paranoids, not to see
> whether it is safe to move into a lane for a left turn or the like.
>

No mirror can tell a rider it's safe to make a move. The mirror
can save some effort by reducing head checks; if the view in the
mirror is good, it's worth a head check. If a threat shows in the
helmet mirror, don't bother with a head check.

> I doubt that a racer would risk crashing a fellow racer by relying on
> a rear view mirror, one attached to the head one way or another, while
> making a maneuver in a pack. Beyond that, the information gained by


Ok, perhaps true; a peloton is not normal traffic and racing is always
cooperative to a point. My point is that the mirror is a labor saving
device, not a guarantee.

> skewing one eye to look into that mirror is like trying to read this
> screen with ones head facing 45? to one side.
>

It takes some practice, but it's not hard. Nothing at all compared
to what it takes to become a competetive bicyclist. All that's
required is a little care and consistency

> Jobst Brandt

It's very hard for me to believe this post was from the real
Jobst Brandt. If it's a troll, the troll won. If not, the front
wheel on my Cannondale will explode before morning, as it was
built following the principles espoused in "The Bicycle Wheel".
:cool:

In a more serious vein, I've used helmet and eyeglass mirrors on
bicycles and motorcycles. Head-mounted mirrors are more useful
than either frame or bar-end mirrors at speeds up to about 45
mph. Their greatest value is in traffic, a miniscule head turn
reveals most of the rearward hazards. That's of most value on
a motorcycle, because of the higher speeds and shorter reaction
intervals. Past about 45-55 mph the mirrors either vibrate or
blow out of position.

I suspect the greatest obstacle to acceptance of helmet mirrors
is the implicit admission that one expects to be passed.

bob prohaska
 
B

Bill Sornson

Guest
bob prohaska's usenet account wrote:

> I suspect the greatest obstacle to acceptance of helmet mirrors
> is the implicit admission that one expects to be passed.


Certainly not for recreational/fitness road cyclists (after all, cars ARE
going to pass us); you may indeed be right for racer types...although seeing
what's behind you sure seems like it could be helpful.

Bill "if you meant motorcycles, then never mind" S.
 
?

_

Guest
On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 05:54:33 GMT, bob prohaska's usenet account wrote:

> [email protected] wrote:
>>
>> In California you'll fail the driving test if you don't look back when
>> changing lanes. The reason is that even with three mirrors in the
>> car, there is still a blind spot that can best be viewed by looking
>> back. The same goes for bicycling. The primary reason for rearview

>
> True enough of car mirrors, but not at all true of a helmet mirror.
> A slight head movement inspects the entire field behind.
> Besides, since when do bicyclists care about driving tests?
>


Well they should, should the test(s) be insufficiently rigorous to prevent
poor drivers from gaining permission to use their motorcars on the roads.

In other words, always.
 
D

DirtRoadie

Guest
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

> In fact, I don't think you know what you're talking about at all about
> mirrors and racing.


Apparently:
(1) You missed my last post,
(2) You saw it but could not understand it,
(3) You are a self-obsessed bicycle racer, or
(4) You are just intent on arguing.

I suspect it's:
(5) a bit of all the above.

DR
 
J

John Forrest Tomlinson

Guest
On 26 Apr 2007 11:55:49 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:

>John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
>> In fact, I don't think you know what you're talking about at all about
>> mirrors and racing.

>
>Apparently:
>(1) You missed my last post,
>(2) You saw it but could not understand it,
>(3) You are a self-obsessed bicycle racer, or
>(4) You are just intent on arguing.
>
>I suspect it's:
>(5) a bit of all the above.


It could be three of the first four, but not all four (or five) - 1
and 2 are mutually exclusive.

I've just looked at your previous posts and see the following exchange
(I'm >> and you are >):

>> What evidence do you have for that? Have you raced bikes
>> with some success (however you want to define it) with a mirror and
>> found it useful?

> I see, now it's a matter of my racing
> success. Never mind, I have not
> yet won the Tour de France therefore my
> opinion is of no relevance
> whatsoever.
> Which year did you win it and what is
> your real name (Fignon, Hinault,
> Lemond, Roche, Delgado, Pantani,
> Riis, Indurain, Ullrich, Armstrong,
> Landis)?


You seem to have not read my question very carefully -- I mentioned
"some success (however you want to define it)" That's a pretty broad
statement, and intentially so. It could be winning a very low level
race, or even doing better in a race than you would have otherwise.

It's not saying you have to be some sort of great or famous racer to
make the judgement. That criterion includes even a low level racer
who does well. Maybe even as lowly level a bike racer as me who has
occasssional success against other low level racers. To try to
characertize my query as demanding that only people at the absolute
pinnacle of the sport have relevance is a straw man.

So I'll ask you again -- what evidence you you have that a helmet
mounted mirror would be useful in racing? Have you used it with any
sort of success (howver you want to define it)? Or even advised or
observed such an item being used with *some* sort of success in
racing?

If not, I don't think you can possibly understand what you're talking
about.

--
JT
****************************
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B

Bill Sornson

Guest
DirtRoadie wrote:
> John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
>> In fact, I don't think you know what you're talking about at all
>> about mirrors and racing.

>
> Apparently:
> (1) You missed my last post,
> (2) You saw it but could not understand it,
> (3) You are a self-obsessed bicycle racer, or
> (4) You are just intent on arguing.
>
> I suspect it's:
> (5) a bit of all the above.


Wow, you're a quick study! LOL

Bill "dealing with JFT: better you than I" S.
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
bob prohaska's usenet account <[email protected]> wrote:

> I suspect the greatest obstacle to acceptance of helmet mirrors
> is the implicit admission that one expects to be passed.


Who saw Gumball Rally [1976]?
Raul Julia plays Franco Bertollini.

Franco: And now my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving.
[Franco rips off his rear-view mirror and throws it out of the
window] What's-a behind me is not important.

--
Michael Press
 
On Apr 23, 11:15 am, John Forrest Tomlinson <[email protected]>
wrote:
> On 23 Apr 2007 08:09:57 -0700, [email protected] wrote:
>
> >In a race, one would think that the ability to see (nearly) everything
> >behind while also seeing in front would be an advantage - either when
> >attacking or defending.

>
> Have you raced bikes?


I have, yes.

>
> >I suspect racers don't use it because they
> >haven't tried it.

>
> I have. I don't use it anymore. I suspect most racers don't use it
> because they don't think it'll help much.


If one stays in the pack most of the time, I agree, the mirror
wouldn't help much. No need to look back. But if one is a Voigt-type
and aggressive, then it could very well be useful.

My comment racers not having used it is based on never having seen a
racer using a mirror in a training ride (with traffic and all).

> --
> JT
> ****************************
> Remove "remove" to reply
> Visithttp://www.jt10000.com
> ****************************
 
D

DirtRoadie

Guest
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

> On 26 Apr 2007 11:55:49 -0700, DirtRoadie <[email protected]> wrote:
> >Apparently:
> >(2) You saw [my post] but could not understand it,


You have now demonstrated that to be the case.

> >> Have you raced bikes
> >> with some success (however you want to define it) with a mirror and
> >> found it useful?


Yes, and I gave examples.
Try reading it again

DR