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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 02-14-17, 10:18 PM   #1
moogyboy
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Mirror configuration? Dumb noob question

As one who's never ridden much on the street (I admit I stayed on sidewalks the last time I biked regularly, in college), I'd like to outfit my next bike for safe street riding. I assume that would include fitting a mirror. Or would that be two? I don't know. It seems like the standard configuration, if it is "standard", is a single mirror on the left, but coming from the world of cars I'm more used to mirrors on both sides. Is that overkill? I'm just not sure what the right setup is, I can't find much info. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Thanks as always...

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Old 02-15-17, 05:54 AM   #2
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My thought is that 99% of the time you are concerned with traffic approaching from the rear, aka cars. One on the left should do it. Some go sans mirror and just turn their head. Then your decisions are what mirror and where to mount it.
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Old 02-15-17, 10:47 AM   #3
Jim from Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moogyboy View Post
As one who's never ridden much on the street (I admit I stayed on sidewalks the last time I biked regularly, in college), I'd like to outfit my next bike for safe street riding. I assume that would include fitting a mirror. Or would that be two? I don't know. It seems like the standard configuration, if it is "standard", is a single mirror on the left, but coming from the world of cars I'm more used to mirrors on both sides. Is that overkill? I'm just not sure what the right setup is, I can't find much info. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Thanks as always...

cheers

Billy S.
I have frequently referred to this post about wearing left and right eyeglass-mounted Take-a-Look rearview mirrors:
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I use both left and right rearview mirrors, in my case Take-a-Look eyeglass mounted ones. I got the idea from a cycling companion who used only a right hand mirror. The additional right hand mirror affords a pretty good rearward view, but is particularly useful:
  1. Riding on the left-hand side of a one-way street
  2. Riding in the middle or left lanes of a two-way thoroughfare
  3. In a rotary
  4. On a curved road to the right
  5. When passing entrance/exit ramps from a freeway, with the right hand mirror, I can view the ramps to my right, and stay wide of them, while watching upcoming traffic on my left, all while almost continuously looking straight ahead
  6. When the sun is directly behind, usually one mirror can be positioned away from the glare of the sun
  7. When wearing a backpack, usually one mirror has a less-obstructed view over my shoulder.
My main argument for a mirror, particularly in the urban environment is summarized by Jim’s Law of the Road: No matter how well paved or lightly-traveled the Road, a vehicle is likely to pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.”

One other situation where hearing is ineffective, even on rural roads, occurs when being passed by one car, and I'm never sure that another one is following the first. No problem with a mirror.
Note: For best viewing, the right-hand mirror is oriented vertically, and the left-hand mirror horizontally.
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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-15-17 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 02-15-17, 10:52 AM   #4
BobbyG
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I understand your goal. I commute and each of my bikes has a mirror on the left. But for the last dozen years or so I have also been wearing a glasses-mounted take-a-look mirror (on the left). It gives me a better view of what's behind me than my handlebar mirror, and by slightly turning my head to the left, I can see behind me to the right. If you don't wear glasses you could wear protective eyewear, or get a helmet mounted mirror.
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Old 02-15-17, 08:53 PM   #5
Milton Keynes
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I have one mirror mounted on the left side of my helmet and find that to be sufficient.
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