Road bike mirrors: Worthwhile?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Scott Leckey, Mar 25, 2003.

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  1. Scott Leckey

    Scott Leckey Guest

    I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be
    more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make & model?

    All opinions gratefully received.

    I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.

    Scott Leckey
     
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  2. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?
    >
    > All opinions gratefully received.
    >
    > I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.
    >
    > Scott Leckey
    >
    >

    How about that helmet with one built in ?
     
  3. Ian D

    Ian D Guest

    I like mirrycles: http://www.mirrycle.com/ I have an original on my fixed wheel road bike. They may
    not be compatible with some modern levers, I'm sure mirrycle would tell you if you emailed. I use
    the mountain bike ones with adapters from ICE on various recumbents. A nice feature of mirrycles
    (aside from they work well as a mirror!) is that you can get replacement parts if/when you crash and
    break one. Helmet mirrors can be ok once you get used to them - and in certain places I've been glad
    to have been wearing a helmet and able to see behind me *after* I've got off the bike - all a bit
    robocop... The worst thing is that they go completely out of adjustment *every single time* you take
    off your helmet.

    ian

    btw - not "rear view (obviously)". There was a product some years ago called the 10% (I think -
    meaning 10% faster). The idea being ride fully tucked and use the mirror to see where you're going -
    scary, eh?

    "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?
    >
    > All opinions gratefully received.
    >
    > I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.
    >
    > Scott Leckey
     
  4. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?

    I've tried various mirrors over the years because I'm not very flexible and have lousy peripheral
    vision so the glance behind is not as reliable as I would really like it to be.

    That said, in between bouts of buying, trying and removing mirrors I do cycle most of the time
    without a mirror.

    I suppose I have simply never found a mirror that did enough to make me feel happier. I did have a
    good one once -- when in Germany -- but somehow it never worked as well on the other side of the
    bike (despite being, seemingly, ambidextrous) and finally was removed by Mondeo Man :(

    T
     
  5. "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors?

    I once had a myrycle mirror when I first started cycling, but I'd much rather look over my shoulder
    now when switching lanes or turning as you get a far better view.
     
  6. Kit Wolf

    Kit Wolf Guest

    I use a helmet mounted mirror, which I prefer as I can move my head to scan a wider area, and
    because it's less likely to get hurt _when_ I fall off.

    I probably wouldn't bother with a mirror at all, except that I ride a recumbent (why I fell off so
    often... It's happening less frequently now) and so can't move my shoulders to look straight back.
    But it can be useful on big roads to keep tabs of whatever's behind.

    Kit

    On Tue, 25 Mar 2003 15:12:43 +0000, Ian D wrote:

    > I like mirrycles: http://www.mirrycle.com/ I have an original on my fixed wheel road bike. They
    > may not be compatible with some modern levers, I'm sure mirrycle would tell you if you emailed. I
    > use the mountain bike ones with adapters from ICE on various recumbents. A nice feature of
    > mirrycles (aside from they work well as a mirror!) is that you can get replacement parts if/when
    > you crash and break one. Helmet mirrors can be ok once you get used to them
    > - and in certain places I've been glad to have been wearing a helmet and able to see behind me
    > *after* I've got off the bike - all a bit robocop... The worst thing is that they go completely
    > out of adjustment *every single time* you take off your helmet.
    >
    > ian
    >
    > btw - not "rear view (obviously)". There was a product some years ago called the 10% (I think -
    > meaning 10% faster). The idea being ride fully tucked and use the mirror to see where you're going
    > - scary, eh?
    >
    > "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    >> mirror. What do people think about the utility
    > of
    >> such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which
    >> make & model?
    >>
    >> All opinions gratefully received.
    >>
    >> I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.
    >>
    >> Scott Leckey
    >
     
  7. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Scott Leckey <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be
    > more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make & model?
    >
    > All opinions gratefully received.
    >

    Waste of money IMHO. Helmet mounted or not they are never in the right adjustment. On helmets its
    because your head moves around so you look in the mirror and then have to spend time moving your
    head around until you can see what you want to see. On the bars it changes as you move from the tops
    to the hoods to the drops so each new hand position requires a readjustment of the mirror. In the
    time you are doing that it is far quicker, safer and less distracting to glance over your shoulder
    when the field of view of your eyes captures much much more information than the limited field of
    view of a mirror.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them
    their job."

    Samuel Goldwyn
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Scott Leckey wrote:
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors?

    I gave handlebar-mounted mirrors a good go some years ago, trying various models and positions. It
    is nice not to have to look round so much but there's three major problems with them:
    1) They get in the way - even the Mirycycle (the best one) - of hands, or when leaning bike
    against things, or when going through small gaps.
    2) Can be distracting - can spend time focussing on and peering at the small vibrating distorted
    image when you should be concentrating on the road ahead.
    3) You'll never be happy with the position and angle and it'll move through vibration or
    knocks or when folded for parking so you're forever adjusting the thing, trying to get a
    better view.

    > Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful?

    I would have thought so (although I've not tried one).

    ~PB
     
  9. Orienteer

    Orienteer Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Scott Leckey wrote:
    > > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > > mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors?

    I use mirrors on my bikes. They are not a complete substitute for turning round to look, but are
    useful for staying more aware of what might be approaching from behind in some circumstances. Also,
    as our bodies age, turning round becomes ever harder....

    It is difficult to find suitable ones. I've tried many, but currently use one with a flexible stem,
    which seems to damp out vibrations. Unfortunately it's irreplaceable, as I bought it in a Japanese
    '100 yen' (everything 60p) shop, and they didn't have any more on a return visit.
     
  10. On Tue, 25 Mar 2003 16:17:33 -0000, "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Scott Leckey <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    >> mirror. What do people think about the utility of such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be
    >> more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make & model?
    >>
    >> All opinions gratefully received.
    >>
    >
    >Waste of money IMHO. Helmet mounted or not they are never in the right adjustment. On helmets its
    >because your head moves around so you look in the mirror and then have to spend time moving your
    >head around until you can see what you want to see. On the bars it changes as you move from the
    >tops to the hoods to the drops so each new hand position requires a readjustment of the mirror. In
    >the time you are doing that it is far quicker, safer and less distracting to glance over your
    >shoulder when the field of view of your eyes captures much much more information than the limited
    >field of view of a mirror.
    >
    I agree with all the above. The funny thing is that now I drive so much more than I cycle, when I'm
    on the bike I've caught myself looking for an imaginary mirrror to check behind!

    Cheers! Stephen
     
  11. "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?
    >
    > All opinions gratefully received.
    >
    > I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.
    >
    > Scott Leckey
    >
    >
    I have used a Reflex Cycleaware helmet mirror from SJS Cycles ( hawk, spit) for several years and
    wouldn't be without it. I gave up with bike mounted mirrors. It gives a large field of view and
    doesn't move in use. I also use it touring abroad and it's not necessary to mount it on the other
    side as one can see perfectly well what's behind. It needs a flat area on the side of a helmet about
    the size of a 10p piece. Many helmets have vents in the required area.

    Marnie.
     
  12. ChrisW

    ChrisW New Member

    Joined:
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    0
    I never used a mirror until I switched to a recumbent. I'm not sure what sort of mirror it is, but it's invaluable as my laid-back attitude (beetle on its back, not cool dude) makes it difficult to turn my head and look behind. The field of view is good and it enables me to check that vehicles coming up behind aren't about to pass too close.

    I suspect that a handlebar mirror might be less useful on an upright, probably because the position of your head with respect to the handlebars is more variable. Also, my view of the road ahead is just over the handlebars, so I can look in the mirror without moving my head.

    Chris


     
  13. Jt

    Jt Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Waste of money IMHO. Helmet mounted or not they are never in the right adjustment. On helmets its
    > because your head moves around so you look in the mirror and then have to spend time moving your
    > head around until you
    can
    > see what you want to see. On the bars it changes as you move from the
    tops
    > to the hoods to the drops so each new hand position requires a
    readjustment
    > of the mirror. In the time you are doing that it is far quicker, safer
    and
    > less distracting to glance over your shoulder when the field of view of
    your
    > eyes captures much much more information than the limited field of view of
    a
    > mirror.

    Get a convex mirror and replace that flat one on the end of your bars - then it doesn't matter if
    they are turned a bit.
     
  14. Nc

    Nc Guest

    "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?

    I'm a fairly late convert to mirrors. For 20-odd years of riding a drop-bar tourer I never bothered
    with mirrors - can look behind and have ears to hear things coming up.

    Then my partner learned to ride a flat-bar bike. She found cars creeping up behind a bit un-nerving,
    so I fitted a myricycle bar-end mirror (from Edinburgh Co-op I think). She was much happier in that
    she got advanced notice of things behind, though does look behind before manoevers.

    A few years ago I learned to ride a motorcycle. In the training, use of mirrors, followed by
    over-shoulder-checks ("lifesavers" in the jargon) are drummed into the learner rider. Having found
    myself looking for the mirror on the pedal cycle, I decided to try a mirror, and now find it quite
    handy to get a quick idea of what's behind. Its no substitute for a shoulder check, but very useful
    to know what might be there.

    I use a myrricycle for drop bars (from SJS who appears to have cornered the market in them).
    Vibration isn't too bad (and depends on road surface). The view is fine on either the tops or drops.
    Adjustment on-the-go is easy. It will only fit some types of drop bars; those with a traditional
    brake-cable which flaps in the breeze after leaving the top of the brake-hood. There may be "bodges"
    to make it fit the more modern types of brake lever.

    I only have the mirror on my tourer which is used for longer road runs. I manage without on my
    old-heap shopping bike, and it wouldn't bother on an off-road bike.

    NC.
     
  15. Stephan Bird

    Stephan Bird Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] family.com says...
    >
    > Waste of money IMHO. Helmet mounted or not they are never in the right adjustment. On helmets its
    > because your head moves around so you look in the mirror and then have to spend time moving your
    > head around until you can see what you want to see. On the bars it changes as you move from the
    > tops to the hoods to the drops so each new hand position requires a readjustment of the mirror. In
    > the time you are doing that it is far quicker, safer and less distracting to glance over your
    > shoulder when the field of view of your eyes captures much much more information than the limited
    > field of view of a mirror.

    Ditto that, *and* I'm surprised no-one else has mentioned this (unless I've got a crap feed), the
    glance behind helps give other road-users an idea of what you're about to do... remember
    M-S-(P-S-G) etc..?

    Stephan
    --
    Stephan Bird MChem(Hons) AMRSC [email protected]
     
  16. "NC" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Scott Leckey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:b5pqur$e4a$[email protected]...
    > > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    > of
    > > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors
    are
    > > appropriate, which make & model?
    >
    > I'm a fairly late convert to mirrors. For 20-odd years of riding a
    drop-bar
    > tourer I never bothered with mirrors - can look behind and have ears to
    hear
    > things coming up.
    >
    > Then my partner learned to ride a flat-bar bike. She found cars creeping
    up
    > behind a bit un-nerving, so I fitted a myricycle bar-end mirror (from Edinburgh Co-op I think).
    > She was much happier in that she got advanced notice of things behind, though does look behind
    > before manoevers.
    >
    > A few years ago I learned to ride a motorcycle. In the training, use of mirrors, followed by
    > over-shoulder-checks ("lifesavers" in the jargon) are drummed into the learner rider. Having found
    > myself looking for the
    mirror
    > on the pedal cycle, I decided to try a mirror, and now find it quite handy to get a quick idea
    > of what's behind. Its no substitute for a shoulder check, but very useful to know what might
    > be there.
    >
    > I use a myrricycle for drop bars (from SJS who appears to have cornered
    the
    > market in them). Vibration isn't too bad (and depends on road surface).
    The
    > view is fine on either the tops or drops. Adjustment on-the-go is easy. It will only fit some
    > types of drop bars; those with a traditional
    brake-cable
    > which flaps in the breeze after leaving the top of the brake-hood. There
    may
    > be "bodges" to make it fit the more modern types of brake lever.
    >
    > I only have the mirror on my tourer which is used for longer road runs. I manage without on my
    > old-heap shopping bike, and it wouldn't bother on an off-road bike.
    >
    > NC.
    >
    >

    I wear varilux specs and looking behind in them is difficult - so I really like my mirrcycle mirror:
    very strong never moves but can be folded out of teh way through bushes and so on.
     
  17. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I was intrigued to read this thread as I considering investing in some.

    FWIW I have noticed that on Sheldon Browns website her appears with a helmet mirror.

    I have also seen a fantastic idea (if not cheap) on Wiggle, which is some folding mirrors which are
    built into bar ends.

    --
    Andrew

    "Look laddie, if you're in the penalty area and aren't quite sure what to do with the ball, just
    stick it in the net and we'll discuss all your options afterwards." Scott Leckey
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I recently passed a roadie whose drop handlebars were adorned with a rear-view (obviously....)
    > mirror. What do people think about the utility
    of
    > such mirrors? Would a helmet-mounted mirror be more useful? If mirrors are appropriate, which make
    > & model?
    >
    > All opinions gratefully received.
    >
    > I ride a Trek 1400 road bike, mainly on rural day tours.
    >
    > Scott Leckey
     
  18. I've been using a mirror for over 20 years and I would feel most unsafe without it. I began cycling
    as an adult when I was nearly 40 and I didn't use a mirror at first but one day I had an experience
    that made me decide that I needed one. I was cycling along a very quiet road and I heard a car
    approaching from behind. Since I (and the driver) could see for a long way ahead and there were no
    oncoming cars in sight I didn't bother to look back. As the car passed me I was startled to see a
    fool leaning far out the wondow on the passenger's side. He had attempted to swat me as the car
    passed but either had missed or had a late attack of sense. Perhaps he just wanted to scare me by
    making me think he nearly hit me. It seemed to me to be one of those situations where there were two
    young males in the car and though either one would have been perfectly sensible if alone, when
    together each has to try to show he can do something dumber than the other. In any event in that
    moment I decided that I wanted to keep very good track of whatever was behind. A mirror is the best
    way for me to do this because I can make very frequent checks much more easily than looking back
    over my shoulder. I use a mirror that mounts to the bow (temple) of my eyeglasses. It is only 1"
    accross but it is said to have the same field of view as a mirror 9" accross mounted on the bars. I
    can turn my head to increase the field of view anytime I like while you can't turn the handlebars
    with as much freedom. In fact since I live in the US I have my mirror on the left side of my glasses
    but when I come to the UK I just leave it on that side because it works just fine even though I have
    switched sides of the road. (my good eye is the left one) The glasses mounted mirror is less prone
    to vibration than a handlebar mounted one and less likely to get bumped out of adjustment. It also
    doesn't get broken if my parked bike falls over. There is available a type of mirror that mounts on
    a helmet but they vibrate more and besides some people wear helmets and some don't.

    Alas I don't think that the eyeglasses mount mirror is sold in the UK. The last several times I come
    over for cycling trips some of my cycling companions have liked the idea of my mirror but even when
    we stopped at every bike shop we came accross we couldn't find one. I've always given the mirror
    away at the end of the trip. They aren't expensive (about 5 GBP). I have heard the story that the
    first mirrors of this type were made from the mirrors that dentists use. That would be a pretty
    expensive way to produce one I should think.

    I have been asked how I can focus my eye on a mirror only an inch or two from my eye. The answer is
    that I can't but I'm not looking at the mirror but rather at the image reflected in the mirror. It
    the object whose image is being reflected is 15 feet behind then it's the same as looking at
    something 15 feet away.

    Anyway, I feel lots more comfortable with a mirror but to each his own.

    Bob Taylor
     
  19. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    [email protected] (Robert Taylor) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Alas I don't think that the eyeglasses mount mirror is sold in the UK. The last several times I
    > come over for cycling trips some of my cycling companions have liked the idea of my mirror but
    > even when we stopped at every bike shop we came accross we couldn't find one. I've always given
    > the mirror away at the end of the trip. They aren't expensive (about 5 GBP).

    We can always get them by mail order. I like the look of these and am tempted to try one myself. A
    bit more than a fiver though at USD
    14.95.

    http://www.teamestrogen.com/products.asp?pID=4043

    --
    Dave...
     
  20. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

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