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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-29-13, 06:49 AM   #26
daven1986
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Love my mirrors, have one on every bike and it is the first thing I'd buy for a new bike. Also the reason I only use shimano levers as that is where the mirror attached - mirrycle STI mirror.
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Old 03-29-13, 07:04 AM   #27
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I always listen for cars and look at every single car coming behind me in the mirror. I can tell if they saw me when they move over to give me 3ft clearance. If they are coming right for me, it means they did not see my blinking lights, reflective safety vest etc. I move over onto the gravel. Also very useful in the city when swapping lanes to turn. I can't ride without a mirror.
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Old 03-29-13, 07:29 AM   #28
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Nothing says Fred like a mirror. Love it when I pass a guy with a mirror, and he complains that he didn't know I was there and I didn't call out I was passing. I rely on my hearing and situational awareness, rather than a mirror. Keep your eyes focused ahead.
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Old 03-29-13, 08:09 AM   #29
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Nothing says Fred like a mirror. Love it when I pass a guy with a mirror, and he complains that he didn't know I was there and I didn't call out I was passing. I rely on my hearing and situational awareness, rather than a mirror. Keep your eyes focused ahead.
I'm aware of the Fred thing... I don't even ride in full kit haha. I did mention right, that I do still pay attention with my eyes and ears. Thousands and thousands of road miles and have been quite pleased with my level of being safe. How come you don't call out "passing"? Are *you* relying on another riders mirror?
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Old 03-29-13, 08:32 AM   #30
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Heh. Calling out "Passing!" deserves it's own entire debate thread! I've given up on doing that, since I inevitably either:

1. Startle the living daylights out of the person in front of me, with resultant unpredictable behaviors ensuing, or...
2. Am totally defeated by the earbuds of the person in front of me, who might not even notice if that Russian Meteorite were to explode right above their heads.

Now I just slow WAY down and pass them quietly at near walking speed, with as much distance between them and myself as possible. Unless they're walking a dog.

The "not noticing, even with the mirror" thing is common for me, since the mirror only alerts me when I think to look at it, and my hearing sucks, so modern quiet cars still get right up on me before I hear them.

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Old 03-29-13, 09:23 AM   #31
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for city riding i find mirrors to be distracting. moreover, depending only on a mirror can be dangerous because they have gaps in coverage. i always look back before i change lanes in fast moving traffic. for ex-urban areas mirrors make more sense.
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Old 03-29-13, 09:24 AM   #32
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i tried a helmet mirror for a while, but just didn't like the extra feedback/distraction.

probably just due to habit. i was made to practice the "look back" over either shoulder w/o swerving since i was a kid.
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Old 03-29-13, 09:44 AM   #33
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Calling out "Passing!" deserves it's own entire debate thread!

Am totally defeated by the earbuds of the person in front of me
Yeah, I hear you on both points...
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Old 03-29-13, 09:59 AM   #34
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Mirrors are cool - your roadie friend just didn't know any better.
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Old 03-29-13, 10:03 AM   #35
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I should try a handle bar mirror. I've got a TAL glasses mirror, but it gives me headaches and blocks my 10:30 view.
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Old 03-29-13, 10:06 AM   #36
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Now I just slow WAY down and pass them quietly at near walking speed, with as much distance between them and myself as possible.
That's my strategy too. At the hours I commute, there's pretty much nobody on the MUP other than hobos and other commuters, but when I'm toodling along running errands or something, I just slow down to maybe 5-6 mph and give them a cheerful "Good morning/afternoon!" as I pass.
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Old 03-29-13, 01:21 PM   #37
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Nothing says Fred like a mirror. Love it when I pass a guy with a mirror, and he complains that he didn't know I was there and I didn't call out I was passing. I rely on my hearing and situational awareness, rather than a mirror. Keep your eyes focused ahead.
Mostly agree. A mirror can be another tool in your belt. You don't let it do all the work but it's just yet another layer.
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Old 03-29-13, 01:23 PM   #38
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Mirrors are cool - your roadie friend just didn't know any better.
Pretty much what I was thinking... Gets super grim and tries to drop people if they're not in full kit. Poophead.
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Old 03-29-13, 02:19 PM   #39
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That's my strategy too. At the hours I commute, there's pretty much nobody on the MUP other than hobos and other commuters, but when I'm toodling along running errands or something, I just slow down to maybe 5-6 mph and give them a cheerful "Good morning/afternoon!" as I pass.
Me too. People get startled and try to get out the way and it makes things worse. I only say "Passing Right!" or "Coming Left!" if the situation dictates it. Then the "Thanks!" or "Good morning!" and such.
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Old 03-29-13, 09:37 PM   #40
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i use a mirror on my left handle bar, i love it
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Old 03-29-13, 09:43 PM   #41
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I have a buddy who is an old roadie and still trains as though he was racing. That's cool and all. He likes the big rides and does them often. Years ago, I purchased a mirror, the one that attaches to the bow of your glasses. He was like, "those ain't cool man..."
Who gives a poo-poo what any old (or new) roadie has to say about anything related to commuting?
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Old 03-29-13, 11:21 PM   #42
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Nothing says Fred like a mirror. Love it when I pass a guy with a mirror, and he complains that he didn't know I was there and I didn't call out I was passing. I rely on my hearing and situational awareness, rather than a mirror. Keep your eyes focused ahead.
What, I'd kill you to ring your bell? I have a mirror, and occasionally am passed by someone who I didn't notice back there. Inevitably it happens in heavy traffic when all my attention is on the cars in front of me and the mirror is aimed at the car traffic coming up behind and to the left of me. If someone on a bike turns onto my street and passes me within a block of doing so I may not spot them behind me, and I have to admit it often startles me and irks me. Not that I'd say anything aloud though.

Back on topic: I have a Safe Zone mirror. This mounts to your helmet, has a very adjustable arm to position it just where you want it, and has a nice (biggish) sized lens. I highly recommend this mirror, very easy to adjust when you need to, it shows no signs of wear and tear after nearly two years of daily use, and I really appreciate the field of vision you get from the large mirror close to your face.

I haven't tried the smaller helmet or glasses mounted mirrors, but I was concerned my aging eyes would have a hard time switching from the road ahead to a very small mirror. Also, although I always where glasses or prescription sunglasses, I didn't like the idea of messing around with putting and taking the mirror off of my glasses every time I rode. I tried handle bar mirrors, lots of people say that they work fine for them, but most of the roads I travel over are so rough that I had a hard time focusing on the handlebar mirror. With an impact every 5' or so from seams in the pavement or just plain rough asphalt the mirror might as well have been vibrating. It probably didn't help that I ride pretty upright and so the mirror seemed pretty far away too.

The only time I'd consider riding without my mirror is mountain biking. Although I rode for years without one, now that I have ridden with one I consider a mirror essential.
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Old 03-30-13, 05:29 AM   #43
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I mounted mirrors on both of my bikes a few months ago, and now I wouldn't want to go without one. Definitely helps with awareness of traffic around me, especially on busy Shanghai streets with unpredictable traffic.
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Old 03-30-13, 07:41 AM   #44
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In NYC I don't need a mirror. I just assume there is someone right behind me as there always is. Don't make stupid moves, if you are unsure about what is behind you don't pull out. There's already enough visual stimulation on our streets in front and to the side of us. The instant I look behind will be the same instant that pedestrian steps right into my path.
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Old 03-30-13, 08:53 AM   #45
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Back on topic: I have a Safe Zone mirror. This mounts to your helmet, has a very adjustable arm to position it just where you want it, and has a nice (biggish) sized lens. I highly recommend this mirror, very easy to adjust when you need to, it shows no signs of wear and tear after nearly two years of daily use, and I really appreciate the field of vision you get from the large mirror close to your face.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to look into that mirror.
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Old 03-30-13, 08:54 AM   #46
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In NYC I don't need a mirror. I just assume there is someone right behind me as there always is. Don't make stupid moves, if you are unsure about what is behind you don't pull out. There's already enough visual stimulation on our streets in front and to the side of us. The instant I look behind will be the same instant that pedestrian steps right into my path.
A buddy of mine in NYC says similar. There IS NO relaxing there. Well actually there is I suppose because it's relative but he says that all situations occur at all times.
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Old 03-30-13, 12:18 PM   #47
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The idiotic comments regarding mirrors and why people do not use them when sharing the road never ceases to amaze me. There is not a single good reason not to wear one. Any comment against it can easily be disregarded as nonsense.

Lastly, any mirror is better than none at all but if you truly want to be efficient with your vision, it needs to be head mounted.
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Old 03-30-13, 01:04 PM   #48
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I picked up one of the Italian Bike Mirrors off a recommendation. It slips over the bar ends of road bars. I had to rewrap my handlebars twice to get it right. It's ok. Like it but don't love it. Objects are closer then they appear and I can hear them before I can make out if its a car or a big truck. It's totally out of the way and not noticeable so I'll probably just leave it.
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Old 03-30-13, 06:34 PM   #49
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The idiotic comments regarding mirrors and why people do not use them when sharing the road never ceases to amaze me. There is not a single good reason not to wear one. Any comment against it can easily be disregarded as nonsense.

Lastly, any mirror is better than none at all but if you truly want to be efficient with your vision, it needs to be head mounted.
I tried a helmet mounted mirror once, and it only distracted me. There is nothing a mirror would do to make me feel safer or actually be safer. Not like a car is going to do anything different, and I already have 360 degree awareness.
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Old 03-30-13, 07:46 PM   #50
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Nothing says Fred like a mirror. Love it when I pass a guy with a mirror, and he complains that he didn't know I was there and I didn't call out I was passing. I rely on my hearing and situational awareness, rather than a mirror. Keep your eyes focused ahead.


Great, if you are racing or riding only in organized rides with little or no traffic to worry about. I don't care about cyclists overtaking me, its the garbage trucks, semi-drivers and school teachers on their cell phones that I want to watch for. People who ride in the real world should use a mirror.

Marc
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