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Old 04-01-13, 05:46 PM   #76
the sci guy 
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can anyone answer my question above?
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Old 04-02-13, 10:04 AM   #77
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I've never been in a situation where I felt a mirror saved me. But I've been riding with one for the last 5 years and feel unsafe without it.

The tangible benefits I've had are:
1. Finding a space to move over in traffic
2. Knowing that cars are coming up behind me from a greater distance than my hearing. I usually only use this if I'm riding in the lane I'll move onto the shoulder if it's safe to do so.
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Old 04-02-13, 10:44 AM   #78
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can anyone answer my question above?
Yes, that's exactly what it's for. Whether it will fit tight and not shake so much that you can't see anything is another issue.
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Old 04-02-13, 10:55 AM   #79
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I didn't read thru this long thread, so if anyone hasn't mentioned it, the CycleAware Reflex is a pretty good helmet mirror.
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Old 04-02-13, 04:02 PM   #80
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It never ceases to amaze me, the depth of the penetration of ignorance and obstinacy in the bike riding community. A poster characterized this thread as informative... how so? All I see is contradiction and self service. In lieu of an actual personal opinion on mirror merits, or lack of same, I will make some observations: mirrors are used on space craft, some of the most sophisticated transportation devices fashioned by man, and when the vital need to monitor the rearward 180* is present, it is not entrusted to video monitors or such, it is down to a mirror to keep a billion dollar Command Module from an untoward collision.

Driver and passenger side rear view mirrors do not unduly distract most drivers... ...

Driver and passenger side rear view mirrors do not eliminate painful... deadly, collisions between drivers... ...

Why do some imagine that the first time they use a helmet or glasses mounted mirror that they should be able to read license plates on vehicles that are 10 car lengths distant??

If you are one of the several mirror praisers who think a mirror has saved your bacon before... oh boy, do you have a reality check coming...

H
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Old 04-02-13, 05:56 PM   #81
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It never ceases to amaze me, the depth of the penetration of ignorance and obstinacy in the bike riding community. A poster characterized this thread as informative... how so? All I see is contradiction and self service. In lieu of an actual personal opinion on mirror merits, or lack of same, I will make some observations: mirrors are used on space craft, some of the most sophisticated transportation devices fashioned by man, and when the vital need to monitor the rearward 180* is present, it is not entrusted to video monitors or such, it is down to a mirror to keep a billion dollar Command Module from an untoward collision.

Driver and passenger side rear view mirrors do not unduly distract most drivers... ...

Driver and passenger side rear view mirrors do not eliminate painful... deadly, collisions between drivers... ...

Why do some imagine that the first time they use a helmet or glasses mounted mirror that they should be able to read license plates on vehicles that are 10 car lengths distant??

If you are one of the several mirror praisers who think a mirror has saved your bacon before... oh boy, do you have a reality check coming...

H
I will make one comment, in support of my already stated opinion. Drivers do not have to worry too much about someone walking in front of them as they are checking their rear view mirrors. Cyclists do, at least here in NYC where they put the cycling lane up against the sidewalk. As anyone who has lived here for even a short time would know, pedestrians are NOT shy about walking anywhere they please, especially in a spot, the bike lane, where there is no imminent danger. The best defense against iPhone talking, texting, and otherwise oblivious pedestrians is NOT a rear view mirror. It is a forward facing blinding strobe light. Unfortunately these only work at night, but are very effective. During the day a hearty YO will sometimes do. I quite frankly don't give a damn about what is coming behind me. I'm careful enough to not pull out into it.

End of comment and rant...
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Old 04-03-13, 01:04 PM   #82
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I didn't use a mirror ever.Decided to try one on the new touring bike.Now I use a mirror.

I don't care what other people think about it.....I own the worlds smallest violin....it plays My Heart Bleeds for You.

Last edited by Booger1; 04-03-13 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 04-03-13, 01:21 PM   #83
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I will make one comment, in support of my already stated opinion. Drivers do not have to worry too much about someone walking in front of them as they are checking their rear view mirrors. Cyclists do, at least here in NYC where they put the cycling lane up against the sidewalk. As anyone who has lived here for even a short time would know, pedestrians are NOT shy about walking anywhere they please, especially in a spot, the bike lane, where there is no imminent danger. The best defense against iPhone talking, texting, and otherwise oblivious pedestrians is NOT a rear view mirror. It is a forward facing blinding strobe light. Unfortunately these only work at night, but are very effective. During the day a hearty YO will sometimes do. I quite frankly don't give a damn about what is coming behind me. I'm careful enough to not pull out into it.

End of comment and rant...
That is why a mirror is helpful so you are aware of what is behind you so you know if you can swerve to avoid a pedestrian.

I fully disagree that glances in the mirror means you can not keep track of pedestrians ahead or that having primarily front obstacles means the rear is not important. In fact the first thing I do when I see an obstacle or potential obstacle ahead is glance in the mirror to check my options.
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Old 04-04-13, 07:22 AM   #84
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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.”

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… I can also HEAR what's coming at me, with 2 exceptions. #1 and the most usual suspect is another bike. #2 is an electric bus or car…
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.

Addendum: This past weekend I rode with a companion on a low-riding recumbent three-wheel trike. I just deflected my right-hand mirror slightly downwards so I didn’t have to crane my neck upwards to see him. The left-hand mirror was still in place to monitor reaward traffic.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-14 at 06:23 AM. Reason: Added addendum
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Old 05-02-13, 09:01 AM   #85
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As most areas of the USA now have nice riding weather, I think this thread needs to be re-started.

Not with the yes-vs-no-mirror-usage-or-fred-vs-notafred-issue but with some photos of products, or a "best of" list of available mirrors that those who use them can share (re-share).

Not happy with the models of eyeglass-mount mirrors out there, I made my own. Here's a photo for you to copy to make one too. Or check my signature below.


Last edited by bikeideas; 05-02-13 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 05-02-13, 09:27 AM   #86
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I have recently started using a take-a-look eyeglass mirror. I ride in NYC and I disagree that it is a distraction. Probably those who think it is a distraction only rode with it once or twice and didn't take the time to get used to it. It's a tool in your safety toolbox--no, it doesn't replace turning your head, but I feel it is beneficial to my awareness. My advice is try it for a week of commuting before you discount it.
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Old 05-02-13, 12:28 PM   #87
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Not happy with the models of eyeglass-mount mirrors out there, I made my own...
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I have recently started using a take-a-look eyeglass mirror...
I know these type of mirrors are popular, but there is a small chance you could be injured by them in the event of a crash. The wire that makes the arm can be forced into the soft tissue of your face (eyes?) by the force of impact with ground, car, etc. I guessed this was a possibility several years ago when I was considering mirrors, and perhaps 4 years ago a bf.net user posted a pic of a T-A-L mirror arm jammed into his cheek area - so it can happen. I'm sorry I can't provide a link, but it did happen.

The mirror I use now, linked above in #79, attaches to helmet. The main arm is wire, but it is covered by a thick rubber layer, specifically to prevent the type of injury just mentioned. It is very flexible and holds it's shape, and the rubber dampens mirror vibration. It's like the old Gumby dolls. Right now amazon has them for the cheapest I've ever seen:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_os_product
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Old 05-02-13, 12:54 PM   #88
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I know these type of mirrors are popular, but there is a small chance you could be injured by them in the event of a crash.
That is a concern of mine. I may switch to a different brand in the future or attach it to my helmet, away from my eye.
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Old 05-02-13, 12:58 PM   #89
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I disagree on the statement about not hearing electric vehicles. Most of the time when I hear a vehicle, any vehicle, I hear the vehicle's tire noise and wind/air noise more than anything else. Rarely do I hear the engine until they gun it as they try to get around me. But I can still hear it approaching beforehand. Electric vehicles would be no different as they still have tires and still have to cut through the air.

Then again when going 15 MPH and above there is quite a bit of wind/air noise around my head and ears, and sometimes I think I hear a car when really there is nothing there.

No I don't have any mirrors yet but will probably get a TAL soon. Also considering that one UK-made mirror that attaches inside the front frame triangle just behind the head tube.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:11 PM   #90
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I do love my Take-A-Look mirror. Accidentally left the house without it yesterday and was annoyed by it's absence the rest of the day.

I also agree with the folks who place a higher priority on their mirror than on their helmet. The helmet's all about surviving or minimizing the damage in an accident. The mirror is about avoiding the accident. I know which I'd prefer. Not that all accidents are avoidable. Not that I know of any accident I avoided with a mirror. It's just my preference.

That said, it's what you're comfortable with. There's always someone who has this piece of gear or that practice that is absolutely essential, and anyone who doesn't follow suit is a fool. I try not to be that person. I don't know that a mirror makes me any safer. I know that I feel safer and that I'm more aware of other traffic as a result. But I can really only think of one time that I actually used my mirror to make the decision to bail off the road. Mostly it gets used for lane changes, which can also be done with a turn of the head.

So does it make me safer? I really don't know. It does make it easier to move through traffic, but it doesn't mean it'll do the same for everyone. Just like some driver's can't let the cell phone go unanswered in the car, maybe some cyclists can't help but ignore where they're going in favor of staring wistfully at the little bit of reflective stuff showing where they've been.

Does it affect my ability to look cool? Probably not more than any other choice I make about my wardrobe and choice of transportation. Cool isn't one of my goals. If it was, I'd probably lose the mirror, the gears, the helmet, 50 pounds, etc. But until then I'll keep the mirror because I like it.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:16 PM   #91
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You all are missing the main point of a mirror on a commuter bike. You gots to drop the hammer when you see the roadies approach. Life is all about cat 6 commuter racing right? I like my bar mounted mirrcycle mirror, works for me, YRMV. It is easier to see behind me. I find that a great help. Like when the lawncare pickup trucks have those extra wide trailers.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:27 PM   #92
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I don't have a mirro on my bike .... yet but I have a couple questions for those who do. 1) Since getting hit behind is fairly rare, do you think being able to see something approaching from behind can actually help you prevent being hit? 2) What does "awareness" of the surrouding buy you in terms of safety? and 3) Even with the mirror, do you still turn around to look before you turn? Thanks.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:43 PM   #93
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I never used mirrors till I began commuting but now do all road rides with either handlebar or glasses mirrors. There is not a more useful tool for the road biking (but esp commuting) than a good mirror relative to left turns, road debris/holes, large 18 wheelers approaching from rear, etc.

Last edited by dailycommute; 05-02-13 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-02-13, 01:46 PM   #94
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I don't use a mirror. I use the Force.



But I do intend to get a mirror. Once I get too old to turn my head.
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Old 05-02-13, 02:28 PM   #95
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I definitely appreciate having a mirror, but don't consider it absolutely essential. I have a brifter-mount that I used for about a year and loved it, and got one for my wife. Discovered that our storage arrangements in our small apartment are too tight to store both bikes with mirrors attached. So now mine mostly sits in a drawer, I take it out to go touring or on longer rides, but not for the daily riding around the city core. I found that once I re-adapted to riding without a mirror, most of its functions are replaced by my ears, so while the mirror is very useful for being aware of overtaking bikes, I'm just as aware of motor traffic without it.
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Old 05-02-13, 02:35 PM   #96
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I don't have a mirro on my bike .... yet but I have a couple questions for those who do. 1) Since getting hit behind is fairly rare, do you think being able to see something approaching from behind can actually help you prevent being hit?
Maybe. Getting hit from behind is relatively rare, but then getting hit at all is relatively rare. And, if I can remember statistics, I think rear collisions, while rare, have the highest fatality rate, so they may still be the ones you want to guard against. That said, whether you know that there's something behind you because of a mirror, because of listening, or from turning your head, it's unlikely that the vehicle is going to give you any indication that it's going to hit you. That's why, even though I love my mirror, I try not to over emphasize the safety aspects. You don't generally dodge cars on your commute, at least I don't. Riding in a safe, predictable manner should be all you need to do, even if you remain ignorant of everything behind you. That said, I was once riding down a long, straight, two lane road with almost no shoulder and 55 mph traffic. In my mirror I could see that one car was trying to pass another, but that it would be unable to pass before an oncoming car met them. I made the decision to ride off the road, and one of the cars passed me by inches. I can't say I would have been hit had I stayed on the road, but it sure seemed that way. The other way the mirror can help, and this is far more common for me to see, is that if I see a car behind me with its right turn signal on, and that car then passes me, I pay extra attention to the possibility that it's going to turn right right in front of me, which happens a little too often. Right hooks are a little more common than rear collisions, I think.

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2) What does "awareness" of the surrouding buy you in terms of safety?
I doubt there are any numbers for that. It's largely subjective. What I find is that the mirror makes lane changes and left turns much easier, and, to my mind, safer. If I can look in the mirror and see that the road behind me is clear, then I can limit the amount of time my focus is away from what's in front of me. Or, if the road behind me is no clear, I can decide whether I need to change lanes, or take the lane in preparation for a turn, or if I have time to let the overtaking car pass before I move left.

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and 3) Even with the mirror, do you still turn around to look before you turn? Thanks.
It depends on the situation and the mirror. With my eyeglass mounted mirror, I can get a pretty good view of the road behind me. If I can see that it's empty, I may not turn around. If I can see that there are vehicles, but they are far enough away to allow a merge, I usually double check that situation. I don't have as good visibility with a mirror mounted on the bike. In that case, I will almost always turn my head to double check.
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Old 05-02-13, 02:51 PM   #97
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1) Since getting hit behind is fairly rare, do you think being able to see something approaching from behind can actually help you prevent being hit?
In the event that you were going to be hit from behind, I suspect that having a mirror (and checking it with the occasional glance even if you're not changing lanes) would increase your ability to avoid the crash. Yes, crashes from behind are rare, but not non-existent.

The situation that I've had come up more than once that the mirror helped with is on a bridge MUP I frequently cross, I have to slow down when I encounter a slow bike or a ped until there's a gap in oncoming traffic. The mirror lets me know when impatient jackasses are racing by me just as I'm trying to take advantage of a passing opportunity.

Quote:
2) What does "awareness" of the surrouding buy you in terms of safety?
Awareness in more directions gives you more ability to safely maneuver, whether knowing which direction to dodge in an emergency situation or just to avoiding a pothole. Mirrors offer pretty costless awareness as, unlike shoulder checks, you can keep one eye in the direction of travel while the other eye checks behind.

Quote:
3) Even with the mirror, do you still turn around to look before you turn? Thanks.
Yes, but the mirror saves me from having to do this many times when it is not safe, just the once when I'm already quite certain I'm good to go.
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Old 05-02-13, 04:07 PM   #98
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I don't use a mirror. I use the Force.
ROTFLMAO! Thanks for making my day....

I started bike commuting about a month and a half ago and I've had trouble feeling comfortable that I am actually seeing (or not seeing) cars far behind me. This is not so important in slower traffic, but on the 40 mph roads I feel a little hesitant to change lanes. I wear glasses and unless the car has DRL, its hard to confirm the lane is safe as many colors don't stand out well for me against the road. A mirror is definitely on my list.
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Old 05-02-13, 05:29 PM   #99
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Sharing the road requires 360 degree visual awareness as close to 100% of the time as possible. Not only does it keep you safer, it prevents you from being a burden on other road users. This is not possible without a mirror.

One big problem is a lot of people are clueless how to even read road situations so what good is a mirror gonna do?

Then there's others who figure the entire burden is on the cars because after all, bikes have a right to the road, right?
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Old 05-02-13, 05:51 PM   #100
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I don't use a mirror. I use the Force.
"Luke! I am your... bicycle mechanic!" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
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