Recommendations for Cycling mirrors

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by thomas_cho, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tags:


  2. rek

    rek New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    0
    This might be a controversial opinion but I believe mirrors do more harm than good.

    I think that being able to look over your shoulder while still riding straight is safer: that way you can establish eye contact with whatever else there is on the road, and they'll subconsciously recognise you as a "person" rather than a "slow moving object on the road", and act accordingly.
     
  3. robalert

    robalert New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have used various handle bar mounted mirrors... all crap compared to my helmet mounted mirror

    i commute virtually everyday on the road, and IMO, it is essential

    how are you suppose to look in front of you if you are looking behind you?

    mirror helps a heap, you can see everything coming up behind you, all of the time, tell if a driver is an idiot or not...

    helmet mirrors are better hands down because they sit close to you eye which mean your field of vision is wider and you can scan by moving slightly side to side

    i found handlebar mirrors had a narrow view, you had to take your hands of the bars to adjust it and often it got knocked around

    though, if you are talking about havinr the look, a helmet mounted mirror is daggy

    but, better daggy than dead
     
  4. rek

    rek New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    0
    I could ask "how are you supposed to look in front of you, if your eyes are focused on a mirror that's ~10cm from your eyes" but that'd be a smartarse thing to do :p

    When looking ahead, I'm rarely looking just straight ahead. I'm looking about at everything, anticipating things that could or will be a potential hazard in the coming 5-15 seconds or so. Call it a "total situational awareness" of sorts.. it's not exactly relaxing (until you get used to it and becomes a reflex/subconscious action) but it keeps you out of trouble on the road; be it on a bike, motorbike, car, pedestrian...

    I guess you could use a mirror to help out with this, but in five years of commuting I've never felt a need for one. It only takes a fraction of a second to look back over the shoulder, it can be done very easily within the anticipation comfort zone.. and most importantly, it makes you an active participant on the road: not only can you can see others, but others can see that you see them.

    As an example, consider when there's a pinch-point in the road (lane narrowing, parked car, etc.) that means traffic is going to need to merge. How many times have you noticed a driver thinking they can get past without letting you merge, until you give a head-check, make eye contact, and they suddenly become more accomodating?

    They might have been just inattentive enough to not really notice how much road space you were needing, that they'd be able to just "slip past"; but the eye contact removes any shadow of a doubt. It tells them you're THERE, and need to be taken into consideration. Doubt quickly sets in and they reconsider. You don't get that sort of communication by a passive glance into a mirror. Not doing a head-check in that sort of situation puts a shiver up my spine.

    Now think of it a little more from a driver's perspective. When driving about in your car, have you sometimes seen a car up ahead where you suspect the driver is off in their own little world, not really knowing what they're doing? And you start to get anxious about being near them, fearing they could do any sort of random shit at any time? That's the kind of appearance I try to avoid by all of this. I want other road users to feel confident that I'm aware of what I'm doing, I know what's around me; and that as a result, my actions will be predictable.

    To each their own, though.. there's nothing wrong with mirrors if they help you ride more confidently. :) And that, the outward appearance of confidence, is what keeps you safe in the end; and what keeps other road users from trying anything on.

    (BTW; I'm not having a go at you at all, just thought that my point of view probably justifies a good explanation :cool: )
     
  5. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll second the helmet mirror for commuting.
    Sydney is a completely different kettle of fish for commuting than Melbourne. I have been a commuter for for over 20yrs here averaging up to 15,000kms a year so I have a bit of experience in this.
    A quick glance in the helmet mirror takes a fraction of the time that it takes to turn your head. If you are in traffic travelling at 30+kms and hour a pothole may have appeared that was obscured by the car in front or a car has started to brake...........
    I usually commute using the tandem with my wife on the back. The essence of defensive cycling is to see and plan ahead. I do my best to eliminate any risks and to be in a position to aviod morons before they are a problem.
    Helmet mirrors dont look cool but they are much easier to use to keep track of the surrounding traffic than glancing over your shoulder.
    Just my tcw.

    Happy, Safe cycling
    Geoff
     
  6. slaw

    slaw New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've used a helmet mirror for 25 years or so and would be lost without it.

    Actually, the trick is to not focus at 10cm, cause you don't want to be looking at the mirror itself, but the image in the mirror, which is however many 10s of metres the traffic is behind. ie about the same focus as you are looking at the traffic in front of you. It takes a little while to get used to. I tried one that had a convex lens and that threw me cause I had to focus differently from front to rear. Probably could have got used to it, but have gone back to a flat mirror.

    I do the above, as well as being more aware of what's behind.

    I can do both. I can glance in the mirror, and if I feel that I need to make eye contact, then I can look over my shoulder and get it. If I glance in the mirror and find that the driver is allowing for me, there is no need for me to look back.

    So as a good driver, you allow for that suspect road user ahead of you. In glancing in the mirror, I can make a judgement if the driver behind me is perhaps doing that so I don't need to look them in the eyes, cause I don't need them to do anything different. I can even give a wave if I think they are being particularly accommodating.


    I know mirror users are far in the minority. So who knows if it's safer to be with or without but the few times that I've been without mine, I've felt a lot more vulnerable out there.
     
  7. jur

    jur New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1 on the helmet mirror. If I judge the situation to necessitate making eye contact with the driver of a vehicle, I usually turn my head. But to be aware of traffic behind one at all times is valuable beyond measure. I don't want to be turning my head all the time to find out what the situation is. If you don't use a helmet mirror, chances are you're not very aware of what's going on behind you. I know specifically of 3 or 4 cases where having the helmet mirror saved my bacon, where vehicles simply didn't see me but I was able to take evasive action.
     
  8. rek

    rek New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Messages:
    1,190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aah, this might explain my apathy towards mirrors :) Compared to other states, I suspect that traffic is fairly docile and bike-friendly here, and with the dedicated bike lanes all over the place..

    .. and that's if you have to be on a road at all, if you're lucky there's usually a part of the separate bike path network that can cut out a lot of road exposure time.
     
  9. thomas_cho

    thomas_cho New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what should I get ? A helmet one? bar end one? Which one is easier to remove when I dont need it, or just need to swap to another bike?

    The combination of a mirror and a quick look behind is what i do when I am driving.
     
  10. ward17

    ward17 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi
    The Italian mirror is under the bar tape.
    It`s not something you move from bike to bike.
    I have not used a helmet mirror so can`t comment.
    I would think you would have to be careful how and where
    you put it down. Carrying it in a bag maybe out?
     
  11. slaw

    slaw New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, forgot to answer your questions. You could try both, they're not that expensive. I use a helmet mirror and a couple of my bikes have bar mirrors. With the helmet mirror, I get a good field of view by angling my head, and it's not as subject to road vibrations as a bar mirror. Also it works on any bike I ride.

    Not sure about this particular bar mirror because you'd have to look a fair way down to see in it. The bar mirrors I have are on the end of flat bars and even to look at them I have to look a fair way out of my normal range. Therefore I prefer helmet mirrors.
     
  12. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sydney drivers aren't always so accommodating even when you have established eye contact. I have experienced several incidents where I had come off the Harbour Bridge on my commute to work and come out onto Kent St. Several times at the intersection where cars turn right to go onto the bridge on ramp I have established eye contact but the driver still just drives through forcing me to stop or take evasive action. At least twice I have had to come to an abrupt halt and the drivers watched me as they cut me off!!!:mad: Another occassion a 4wd owner gestured madly suggesting what the hell am I doing on the road (I replied with a middle finger). On all occassions I had right of way.
    Incidentally, I have used mirrors but have not done so for quite some time. I do prefer to turn my head. Having said that, however, I do think the use of mirrors is valid; there have been times in very heavy traffic and high wind where I often thought a mirror could have been a benefit if only to give an indication of traffic behind me. I would still turn my head though (even if I had a mirror) when it came to changing lanes, turning etc.
    I guess my point is to not be too comfortable in thinking that making eye contact will rule out the possibility of accidents or problems. Use everything you can to ensure you arrive at your destination safely; whether that be with mirrors, head turning, multiple blinking lights, ultra-bright clothing, flags etc. There should be no shame in how you appear when cycling. It would be more of a shame if you could not be cycling because you did not take the necessary precautions to avoid collisions.
     
  13. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm another Sydney rider who has never used a mirror and feels no particular need to get one.
     
  14. MLMercer

    MLMercer New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ride with a 3rd eye eyeglass mirror...

    http://www.3rd-eye.com/welcome.html

    I couldnt find anyone is Aus that stocks it - I think I ended up ordering from US or Canada..

    Easily adjustable and you can pan around. You can also take it off the sunies when you don't need it - works for me (riding in Latrobe Valley - country Victoria)

    Shell M :eek:
     
  15. TONY M

    TONY M New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    :) The frame fitting mirror Bike-Eye is a brilliant mirror to use with dropped bars as the mirror fits on the bicycle frame, against the head & down tube. A guy I know bought one to use in the 2006 Houston to Austin BP MS 150 and discribed it as Simply the Best mirror he had ever used and beats all other mirrors he had used hands down [​IMG] "an awesome product I will recommend to other cycling club members" if you need further info on the best mirror of it's kind around take a look at the web site www.bike-eye.com I'm sure it will be the mirror you are looking for!
     
  16. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure I'd be too happy about having to flick my gaze 60-70deg away from the usual direction.
     
  17. TONY M

    TONY M New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Idea with the mirror is it helps you keep in contact with riding buddies & pre warns of approaching traffic, quicker and easier than a 90 - 180 head turn!
     
Loading...
Loading...