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Thread: Hate the mirror

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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Hate the mirror

    So after reading the now missing mirror poll I thought I'd give one a try.

    Hated it!

    Super distracting, gives me a blind spot, and never seemed to be adjusted right.

    I realized that I look over my shoulder probably every few seconds anyways and am much more aware without one. I'm going to give it one more try tonight, but will probably be giving it away if tonight ends up like last night.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    love the mirror!
    (you'll get used to it anyway....).
    fore-sight/hind-sight, sight is good, anywhich way!
    t

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    Senior Member velo2000's Avatar
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    I don't like helmet/glasses mounted mirrors either. I love my handlebar mounted mirror though. Saves you all that tiresome turning of the head. If you have drop bars, consider one of these. I have that same mirror and love it. Just make sure you adjust it correctly before you re-tape your bars.

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    What mirror did you get?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Night time is probably not a good time to try out a helmet mirror. They do take some getting used to. I would try it a few times during the day before giving up on it. I use mine less often at night than during day time rides.

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    The mirror that clips on the visor of my bell metro helmet sucks. Can't see anything but yourself in it. I missed out on the mirror thread. Do the ones that clip onto your glasses work?

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    SSP
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    The best mirror available today is the Take a Look. Unlike bar-mounted mirrors, there are no issues with blind spots or vibration due to rough roads.

    To the OP - what mirror were you using?
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    I tried a glasses mounted mirror. Didn't like it at all.

    I have a handlebar mounted mirror. I love it. It is teh roxorz.
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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    The best mirror available today is the Take a Look. Unlike bar-mounted mirrors, there are no issues with blind spots or vibration due to rough roads.

    To the OP - what mirror were you using?
    I was using the Third eye mirror, so not much different than the Take a Look.
    I can see how someone would dig on it, but I just look around too much and I find the blind spot very distracting.

    I am going to try and use the bar end mirror suggested by one of the other posters and see how that works out. Thankfully I kept the original packaging and receipt so the Third Eye's going back in the mail tomorrow.
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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    The Take-a-Look is more adjustable than the 3rd Eye mirror. You are much more able to get it where you need it. To each his own but it is impossible, at least in my opinion, to be as alert without a mirror as with one.

    A BIG advantage of a glasses or helmet mounted mirror is that your view is not restricted to where your bars are aimed. Plus, there's no vibration.
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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil
    The Take-a-Look is more adjustable than the 3rd Eye mirror. You are much more able to get it where you need it. To each his own but it is impossible, at least in my opinion, to be as alert without a mirror as with one.

    A BIG advantage of a glasses or helmet mounted mirror is that your view is not restricted to where your bars are aimed. Plus, there's no vibration.
    I don't want to debate mirrors, as to each their own and all, but 20 years of urban cycling without a mirror would beg to differ. 95% of my possible issues are in front of me and I have very little worry about overtaking incidents. That being said, I'm going to try the small bar mounted mirror, but the eyeglass/helmet mirror can take a flying leap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    So after reading the now missing mirror poll I thought I'd give one a try.

    Hated it!

    Super distracting, gives me a blind spot, and never seemed to be adjusted right.

    I realized that I look over my shoulder probably every few seconds anyways and am much more aware without one. I'm going to give it one more try tonight, but will probably be giving it away if tonight ends up like last night.

    Give it a least a week of riding in the day before you decide. Your experience is typical. The take a look mirror will work better.

    You need to have it off to the side (not in you rstraight line of vision) and adjusted so you need to turn your head just a little to see the road directly behind you. The glasses mount mirror will work if you are on drops or tops. A bar mirror only works if your head is in one palce.

    It does seem horrible at first. Once you get used to it, you wonder why you did not have one before.
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  13. #13
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, plenty of people get around just fine on a bike without mirrors.

    But it is impossible to be as alert to everything around you (whether you care what is behind you or not isn't the issue) without a mirror. No different than in a car. One of the main principles of driving is knowing what is all around the vehicle. Can't be done without mirrors. Certainly not as quickly and easily anyway.
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    So then I guess my question to the serious mirror users is do you have some reason why you are uncomfortable looking over your shoulder, neck injury, fear of drifting or are you worried about overtaking accidents. Because I don't find myself checking my rearview that much either in the car, I check the wing mirrors constantly and my blind spots, but it's kind of the responsibility of the person directly behind me to keep from rear ending me whether driving or cycling. In Los Angeles I can guarantee that there will be a car directly behind me on the majority of my commute and they won't look any different if they are going to rear end me or stop as I'm taking the lane, so what's the point of looking at what I already know is back there? If I was doiing rural riding this would be a completely different discussion. But I have to have faith that the drivers I share the road with every day will not rear end me or I wouldn't be able to ride in this city.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    So then I guess my question to the serious mirror users is do you have some reason why you are uncomfortable looking over your shoulder, neck injury, fear of drifting.
    No need to get sarcastic.

    I'm not uncomfortable at all looking over my shoulder. I just don't have to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    So then I guess my question to the serious mirror users is do you have some reason why you are uncomfortable looking over your shoulder, neck injury, fear of drifting or are you worried about overtaking accidents. Because I don't find myself checking my rearview that much either in the car, I check the wing mirrors constantly and my blind spots, but it's kind of the responsibility of the person directly behind me to keep from rear ending me whether driving or cycling. In Los Angeles I can guarantee that there will be a car directly behind me on the majority of my commute and they won't look any different if they are going to rear end me or stop as I'm taking the lane, so what's the point of looking at what I already know is back there? If I was doiing rural riding this would be a completely different discussion. But I have to have faith that the drivers I share the road with every day will not rear end me or I wouldn't be able to ride in this city.
    In a highly urbanized environment, mirrors may be less useful because, as you note, there's always somebody behind you. Where they really shine (so to speak) is in suburban and rural areas (especially higher speed roads with no shoulders or crappy shoulders).

    That said, I'd use one in urban cycling too...they're useful when left merging/turning to assess the situation behind you. It could also help alert you to a Fast & Furious style driver weaving back and forth and passing cars behind you, or help you to see that the landscaper's pickup truck has moved over enough to pass you but his trailer is still coming too close to you. The benefits are many, and not easily replicated with the "look back over my shoulder" technique.

    As others have noted, they take some practice to get them set up properly and used to using them. One day of usage is not enough to pass judgement...especially if you've been riding for years (decades) without one.
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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil
    No need to get sarcastic.

    I'm not uncomfortable at all looking over my shoulder. I just don't have to.
    I really wasn't trying to be sarcastic. I was seriously wondering if any of the problems applied.
    If I offended I sincerely apologize.

    And SSP, you are correct, two days is not a good amount of time to judge mirrors in general. It was enough time for me to know that this particular brand would not work for me. My commute is very intense and this mirror was distracting enough to constitute a danger for me. Whether that's because of my own built in habits or its poor design who can say.

    I will be trying the end of the road bar mirror and see how that works out. I'm trying to be open to new ideas as I get older.

    I also agree with the benefits of the mirror on the rural commute. I grew up in a rural area of Western Washington where I had to share shoulderless roads with 50mph logging trucks. I relied heavily on a bar end Rhode Gear mirror. I should check if they still make those. It was simple and worked great, like most of their gear.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    First I tried a helmet mirror many years ago. It was cheap and shook a lot and was never in the right spot. Threw it away after a few days.

    Then recently I tried the bar end mirrors, but I wasn't able to see behind me when I was riding off my seat. Plus it would shake easily at higher speeds.

    Then I went back to helmet mounted and bought Third Eye. It was impossible to position it where I wanted ideally, so I returned it.

    Finally, I bought the Take a Look mirror. It was very easy to position. once I got it mounted and got used to it, I was sold. I'd highly recommend it.

    Regarding mirrors in general, using a cycling mirror is like using your car's rear view mirror. You feel insecure if you ride without one.

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    One more thumbs-up for the Take-A-Look(TAL). I've posted before in these mirror threads that come along every once in a while, and I'll say it again. The Third Eye is plastic and useless, the TAL metal and stays in place. It's a little weird when you first use it, but once you get used to it you won't go back. I can't speak to bar mounted mirrors, never used one. Try the TAL. I have two of them, the older one has a shorter stem, the longer stem makes it easier to use so get that one if you have a choice. This is especially true for Oakley type glasses that wrap around the eye because the mirror cannot be mounted on the curved part of the sunglass frame. I prefer putting the mirror on my sunglasses rather than the helmet mount that comes with the mirror. The helmet mount glues in and the glue ultimately fails, then I srewed my helmet mount in and it holds but ultimately broke anyway, so I've decided that the glasses mount is the way to go. For a while they were hard to find in the bike shops (now I see them everywhere) and I ordered one through Amazon.com, but they are pretty easy to find in the shops and on line.

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    I have tried mirror on the handle bars on my helmet and found them to be a waste of money and time. I could never get them adjusted right. I found it was quicker just to look back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    I don't want to debate mirrors, as to each their own and all, but 20 years of urban cycling without a mirror would beg to differ. 95% of my possible issues are in front of me and I have very little worry about overtaking incidents. That being said, I'm going to try the small bar mounted mirror, but the eyeglass/helmet mirror can take a flying leap.
    I never used a mirror until about 5 years ago (after over 30 years of urban, and every other kind of cycling). Trust me, there is a BIG difference between the Take-a-Look and the Third-eye. Trouble with most of the bar mounted mirrors (I have lots of them) is the vibration, the fact that things are 'closer than they appear', and that you have a limited field of view. With my take-a-look, I can scan around behind me if I need to, and I get a nice, clear view. I have a similar helmet mounted mirror, a bit larger, but made by some old feller I see at some organized rides, that is even a better mirror...but as you know I don't wear the helmet that much.

    As far as looking into it too much, you can break yourself of that, it's a function of self-discipline, not a function of the mirror.

    Just sayin, before you discount glasses/helmet mounted mirrors, try a Take-a-Look, which is the only one worth trying.
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  22. #22
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    Mirrors can be problematic for me mostly because of trying to keep one adjusted. Regardless of where it's mounted, periodically I have to readjust the mirror at the right angle. Having said all that, I will continue to use a mirror on my commute. What convinced me is the argument, "Would you drive your car without mirrors?" The answer is no. And for me, cycling shouldn't be any different. I get more awareness of what's behind me. Not just what's directly behind me, but a couple hundred yards back I can get a better feel for traffic approaching.

    Now if I can find the perfect mirror!
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    I stopped using a mirror about 12 years ago and haven't started again.

    Motorist-overtaking mishaps are relatively common around here in serious bicycle accidents, but I'm not sure a mirror would give me the means to avoid them.

    Maybe I'll try one again sometime in the next little while.

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    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    I remember living with a mirror. Interestingly, there isn't one on my current bike. It was never in adjustment because some ham fisted oaf kept knocking it. I always had to do a head check anyway ... only fools rely on mirrors.

    BUT ... if riding in heavy traffic, it did have its uses in that it saved you having to turn your head when there actually was someone there.

    So, do I hate mirrors?
    Yes.
    Will I fit a mirror to my bike?
    If I find I'm forced to ride in traffic all the time, I probably will ... and still loath the sodding thing.
    What will I do in the meantime?
    Keep practicing doing head checks without veering all over the road and making sure I always have a good look behind me before doing something stupid - you need to be able to identify the vehicle that has just run over you for the insurance claim

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    I agree that a helment mirror can be a beast to adjust but once you've found the "sweet spot" it can give a surprisingly large field of rear vision while remaining relatively unobtrusive-as long as you're cruising on smooth asphalt.

    However, after reading your posts I am afraid to drive around any of you guys! Every car I have ever driven (lots) has had at least a little blind spot. There is no substitute for the look back while riding or driving; mirrors only give a sense of what is behind you.

    I use my helmet mirror to know what to look for when I look back or in low pressure situations where I am not going to get creamed when taking the lane. The look back gives me ALL the information and lets the cars know I am aware of them or that I may move.

    No mirror can signal like that.

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