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Old 01-05-13, 10:48 AM   #1
wolfchild
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Questions about mirrors ??

First of all I know that there have been threads about mirrors in the past, I don't feel like searching for old topics. Since this is a new year I thought I just start a new thread.
After riding for over 5 years now, I am thinking of getting a mirror. I want to hear from people who have experience (not opinions but actual experience), with helmet vs handlebar mounted mirrors. The reason why I want a mirror is because I regularly ride along rural roads with no shoulder and I think it would be nice to see what's behind instead of swinging my head around all the time. So which one do you prefer ?? Helmet mount or handlebar mount ??

Last edited by wolfchild; 01-05-13 at 11:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-05-13, 10:52 AM   #2
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I prefer bar end. Spend the money, get a nice one. The most useful piece of safety equipment you will ever have.
Most of them have reflective plastic lenses. This works OK, but glass is sooooo much nicer especially if you ride at
night or pre-dawn.
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Old 01-05-13, 10:54 AM   #3
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do you have marbles/hot potatoes in your mouth?

or are you Danish?

i was quite impressed with The Chemist's mirror in his/her photos on the last page of the "post your commuting bike" thread.
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Old 01-05-13, 10:59 AM   #4
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I prefer the lightweight mirror which attaches to the side of my eyeglasses/sunglasses (moves with my head), although I use a bar-mounted mirror also. If I ride a bike without mirrors, I feel as lost as I would if I drove a car with no rear-view mirrors.

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Old 01-05-13, 11:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
do you have marbles/hot potatoes in your mouth?

or are you Danish?
LOL I just realized I spelled the title of this thread wrong. I tried correcting it but it wouldn't work. I hope one of the MODS corrects it.
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Old 01-05-13, 11:38 AM   #6
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I like the bar end mirror myself. Compact and effective.
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Old 01-05-13, 11:38 AM   #7
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LOL I just realized I spelled the title of this thread wrong. I tried correcting it but it wouldn't work. I hope one of the MODS corrects it.
just busting yo' chops



check out The Chemist's mirror as it looks quite good to me.

personally, I ride mirrorless on the street as there's no where I could go if I was to be hit anyway.
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Old 01-05-13, 12:04 PM   #8
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It's a question impossible to answer as not all helmet mirrors are equal and not all handlebar mirrors are equal. You could prefer a better helmet mirror than a bad handlebar mirror even if you prefer handlebar mirrors in general.
So I can only answer on the case by case basis.
For now i prefer this helmet mirror
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...isor-mount.jsp
over that one
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...lmet-mount.jsp.
that one
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...ebar-mount.jsp
and that one
http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-96018-Mi...ndlebar+mirror

The main cons i have found with the helmet mirrors i have used is that I constantly need to adjust them before each ride as because those are attached to my helmet they constantly hit something when I put my helmet away. The one i prefer is less sensitive to that but the mirror lens can fall off if I adjust it too many times without pushing to keep the clip system in place.
The main cons of the handlebar mirrors i have tried is that i have to remove them from the bike each time or accept that someone steals or breaks it. Another cons is that they are too far from the eyes and small and that without suspensions on a bumpy road those are pretty much useless

By the way humans like chicken have a kind of stabilizing system in the neck not bikes except those with suspensions
Here is an actual test of steadiness via a camera on the head of a chicken, a human and in hand
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adlgpovEv7g

Last edited by erig007; 01-05-13 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-05-13, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
...So which one do you prefer ?? Helmet mount or handlebar mount ??
I recently posted on another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankykentucky View Post
Jim, this is interesting that you use two mirrors...

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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I got the idea for an additional right-hand mirror besides the usual left one, from an acquaintance who rode with only the right one. The advantages of two mirrors are:

Riding on the left-hand side of the one-way street
Riding down the center of a wide two-way street, or in a rotary
Riding into a curve in the road to the right
When the sun is directly behind, often one mirror will be out of direct sunlight

A perennial argument against mirrors is that a cyclist should be able to turn and look behind themselves while keeping control of the path of the bike. I counter with Jim’s Law of the Road: “No matter of how well-paved and lightly traveled a Road is, you will likely encounter and obstacle on the right, as a vehicle passes you on the left.” In an emergent situation, I think it's difficult to turn around and view behind while maintaining total control of the path of the bike approaching an obstacle. Even then, the view behind is limited. For example, I find when being passed by one car, it's hard to tell if a second car is behind it just from the sound, and I don't think I can turn around far enough comfortably to check behind the first car.

Furthermore, by occasionally and easily scanning behind, one has a foreknowledge of upcoming traffic, and may not even need to look behind. My own preference is for an eyeglass-mounted mirror since I do wear eyeglasses, and IMO such mirrors require the least head and eye movement for rapid response while still facing forward towards the path of the bike...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-05-13 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-05-13, 01:26 PM   #10
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For about 6 months in 2012, I rode with both a bar-end mirror (Mirrycle) and an eyeglasses clip-on (Take-A-Look), because I was new to bicycle commuting and wanted to figure out which worked best for me, in the interest of safety.

It didn't take very long for me to find out that I strongly prefer the eyeglass clip-on mirror. I even was switching twice daily between clear safety glasses and sunglasses, and it was a quick, easy swap out.

The eyeglass clip-on mirror gave me the best quality image, and it truly became second nature after a couple of rides to just look up and left to see what is behind me. I sometimes now catch myself during the day looking up and to the left to see something behind me, it is that second-nature now.

The biggest drawbacks to me for the bar-end mirror were (1) skaky, lower-quality image, and (2) whenever I did any bike maintenance that involved flipping the bike over to place it upside down on the ground, the bar-end mirror got bent out of position.

I rode with both on the bike for at least 6 months, even though I really preferred the eyeglass clip-on and used it constantly. Toward the end of the bar-end mirror's tenure on the bike, I would occasionally look down at it when stopped for a red light and realize that it was out of alignment and probably had been all ride to that point, since I didn't use it. Still, I kept it on the bike because it did provide another view angle and it did provide a better-than-nothing insurance for the couple of times that I forgot to put glasses on for a short quick trip to the grocery store, etc. The bar end mirror eventually worked itself loose from too many times being bent when I flipped the bike over for maintenance, and it fell off my bike one morning in traffic at the corner of 5th and Laurel, to be crushed by the car behind me.

Mirrors are a personal choice, and I can see why a bar end would work well for some riders. I really prefer the eyeglass clip-on, though.

Here is an Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Peddler-C.../dp/B001VTQNVO

and a picture:
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Old 01-05-13, 01:34 PM   #11
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That's a great picture, and useful link! Thanks for posting! I was trying to think of a way of doing the same thing, but you saved me the effort! That's exactly the same one I use, I love it, thanks again!

- Wil
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Old 01-05-13, 02:09 PM   #12
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The Take-A-Look mirror is awesome, been using it for two years now. I always know it is in alignment while riding because I can see just a bit of my jersey and helmet strap in the mirror.
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Old 01-05-13, 05:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
j

check out The Chemist's mirror as it looks quite good to me.
It is a good mirror. All metal with a glass mirror. It's actually designed for the electric scooters that are very popular in China, but it fits my handlebars just fine.

I used to use a helmet mounted mirror (Third Eye) but the bar mounted mirror is FAR better IMO as it doesn't need to be adjusted every ride and I find it gives a clearer view of what's behind me.

For reference, here's mine again:
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Old 01-05-13, 07:00 PM   #14
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Mirrcycle. Requires certain brifters, but if you have them, it's great.
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Old 01-05-13, 07:30 PM   #15
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During the winter, I'm using a helmet cover, so a helmet mounted mirror won't work.

I have a bar end mirror on one bike with flat bars. It works, except the field of view is limited.

My favorite mirror is the Take-a-Look. Provides a good field of view, easy to check with minimal movement and I can change where and what I'm looking at with a slight adjustment of the head. Comes in handy when you need to check anything behind you from different angles....... large group of cyclist, angry motorist, dogs, big trucks etc....
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Old 01-05-13, 07:53 PM   #16
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I prefer bar end mirrors. I just never could get used to helmet or glasses mounted mirrors.
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Old 01-05-13, 07:54 PM   #17
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Another vote for the take a look. I have had it only a week, but I really like it. I used bar end type mirrors in the past, and found that I had to adjust them all the time as they got bumped in the bike rack. They tended to break within a year or so,another drawback. I got the tale a look for $11 shipped to my house, hard to beat that.
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Old 01-05-13, 08:05 PM   #18
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I have always used bar end mirror and can't see being in traffic without it. I recently upgraded my handlebar grips to the ones with the built in adjustable bar ends and now have no way to use my bar end mirror. I will need to get something else, but to answer your question, You need a mirror, its a personal choice and you may want to try different ones but you'll never ride without one after you use one.
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Old 01-05-13, 09:58 PM   #19
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I've used a third eye eyeglass mirror and a rather small Sprintech drop bar bar end mirror. It's a trade off: better view with the Third Eye. More convenient with the bar end. I lost two Third Eyes, so I'm sticking with the Sprintech bar end:
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Old 01-06-13, 12:07 AM   #20
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Have used helmet- or glasses-mounted mirrors for more than thirty years.
Take-a-Look mirror for several years - my favorite.

From the OP: "I think it would be nice to see what's behind instead of swinging my head around all the time." There you go. That's it. Get yourself a mirror and see what's behind you.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:52 AM   #21
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I use a helmet mounted mirror that attaches to my visor. My one experience with a bar mounted mirror wasn't good. Too much vibration to really see what was approaching from behind.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
First of all I know that there have been threads about mirrors in the past, I don't feel like searching for old topics. Since this is a new year I thought I just start a new thread.
After riding for over 5 years now, I am thinking of getting a mirror. I want to hear from people who have experience (not opinions but actual experience), with helmet vs handlebar mounted mirrors. The reason why I want a mirror is because I regularly ride along rural roads with no shoulder and I think it would be nice to see what's behind instead of swinging my head around all the time. So which one do you prefer ?? Helmet mount or handlebar mount ??
I point my bullhorns out and have a bar-end on the left bullhorn. Visabilty is awesome with this setup.

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Old 01-06-13, 08:49 AM   #23
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Decided, I am gona go with the handlebar mount. Just gota visit few local LBS and see what they have available.
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Old 01-06-13, 12:30 PM   #24
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^^^^that would be a mistake in this rider's opinion. It is certainly better than no mirror at all but...

It's worth the effort to learn how to use a head mounted (helmet/glasses) mirror.

Stationary mirrors are entirely too restrictive limiting the search area to where the bars are pointed.

The movable mirror can scan 180 degrees in the blink of an eye.

Not using that type of mirror denies you the best vision possible. Why would you do that?
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Old 01-06-13, 12:40 PM   #25
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^^^
I hear you, point taken. I may just try both of them and see how each of them performs.
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