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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 05-30-13, 09:17 AM   #1
jyl
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Helmet mirror and backpack - don't mix?

I use a helmet mounted mirror (Take-A-Look clipped to the left side of the helmet visor) and consider it an important part of my safety toolkit in traffic.

I also recently switched from my Timbukt2 messenger bag to an Ortlieb cycling backpack.

The messenger bag blocked my mirror view directly behind me, when I'm in a low position. The backpack blocks my mirror view directly behind, all the time.

The only solution I've found so far is to adjust the mirror so that it points to the left, then rotate my head about 35 degrees to the left when I want to check my rear. With my head straight forwards, the mirror shows what's on my left-rear. With my head turned, the mirror shows what is behind me, and the motion move the mirror leftward just enough that I can see around the backpack.

This is much less convenient than just flicking my eyes up. I used to be able to ride while monitoring the mirror all the time (almost unconsciously). Now I am blind to my six o'clock until I consciously check it. Not pleased.

Has anyone found a better solution?
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Old 05-30-13, 09:50 AM   #2
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Rack and panniers
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Old 05-30-13, 10:11 AM   #3
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Been there, done that, have some nice Ortlieb panniers sitting in the closet.

Panniers are great for carrying stuff long distances, but are a pain to attach and detach as you go into and out of stores, office, etc doing daily errands. They are a pain to carry around when off the bike. Panniers plus rack are also rather heavy. There is a reason why no messenger uses panniers, and for some of us, our usage pattern is closer to a messenger than to a bike tourist.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:27 AM   #4
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Get a Wingnut pack. Courier bags are good for couriers who need to get stuff out every few minutes, but a real cycling pack is better for everyone else. A Wingnut will be invisble to your mirror.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:54 AM   #5
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Lumbar packs sit lower on your back , maybe you can set up the shoulder straps to Be Much longer

so the bag can be lower on your Body.. + augment your helmet mirror with another one on the handlebars.

can you look under your armpit to, directly see behind you, while in the drops?


Maybe the Google glasses will allow a rear view camera feed to be monitored
in the screen image?

of course as I found with the little stick on inside your glasses Mirror ,
after the 18-35 year old market target everyone sells to, is aged past ,

The only people able to use this stuff will have to be quite nearsighted..

the whole Bifocal and I need reading glasses folks will be SOL.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-30-13 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 05-30-13, 01:08 PM   #6
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How high up do you wear your backpack? If you can lengthen the straps to where it sits lower (which the Banjo Brothers backpacks are designed to do), that may help some.

Alternate solution would be to place the backpack on a rack of some kind- either front or rear. I've toyed with the idea of a porteur rack, but those things are pricey and would mean reconfiguring the front lighting...
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Old 05-30-13, 01:31 PM   #7
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I switched to a Nashbar trunk bag mounted on a rear rack (which I already had on the bike). If you want something you can remove from the bike easily, there are lots of products that do so, without the hassle of true panniers. The Arkel Bug comes to mind.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:39 PM   #8
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I think I need to make a periscope that looks up and over the helmet.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Been there, done that, have some nice Ortlieb panniers sitting in the closet.

Panniers are great for carrying stuff long distances, but are a pain to attach and detach as you go into and out of stores, office, etc doing daily errands. There is a reason why no messenger uses panniers, and for some of us, our usage pattern is closer to a messenger than to a bike tourist.
I'm slightly baffled by this; my Ortleibs with the QL1 system go on in literal seconds. Less time than it takes to put on a backpack for sure. To be fair, they do weigh more than they have to, and are a pain to carry off the bike.

Messengers don't use them because messengers are style conscious (at least the ones you see on the media), dirt poor (being a messenger pays poorly) and often have to leave their bikes in theft prone places where a pannier might be stolen in the second it takes to remove.

I do some messenger-ish work (bike delivery) and my coworkers who use backpacks only do so because they can't bear the notion of spoiling their bike with a rack and panniers, or can't afford to spoil their bike with a rack and panniers.
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Old 05-31-13, 10:31 AM   #10
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Get a bike that you ride more upright?
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Old 05-31-13, 10:41 AM   #11
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If you need a pannier that kinda works off-rack, try this. I just got this and used it as a normal bag today, and it worked fine with a laptop in it. Just need to figure out if that's going to work well on the rack

But yeah, that was the problem when I used a backpack with glasses mirror in Vancouver. When I do go to the drops it's harder to see with it.
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Old 05-31-13, 12:36 PM   #12
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I have the same problem. The times I ride with the backpack, and is full of what ever, I have to tilt my head as you do? I have thought of getting a handle bar mirror, now that I moved the shifters from bar end to brifters. I'm also curious to see what other people recommend. I also have panniers and admit that for some applications I rather use the backpack. When the pannier is too much and the trunk is not enough! Double O
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Old 05-31-13, 12:49 PM   #13
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Get a Wingnut pack. Courier bags are good for couriers who need to get stuff out every few minutes, but a real cycling pack is better for everyone else. A Wingnut will be invisble to your mirror.
I checked it out and I think this will work for me! Thanks! Double O
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Old 05-31-13, 12:56 PM   #14
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I think I need to make a periscope that looks up and over the helmet.
How about a micro camera with blue tooth to project rear view video on smart phone at the handle bar? Now that will be high tec.! Double O
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Old 05-31-13, 01:38 PM   #15
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I'm slightly baffled by this; my Ortleibs with the QL1 system go on in literal seconds. Less time than it takes to put on a backpack for sure. To be fair, they do weigh more than they have to, and are a pain to carry off the bike.
I don't take off the backpack, I just lock the bike and walk away, carrying nothing in my hands.

The Wingnut packs look great.
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Old 05-31-13, 01:46 PM   #16
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I use a saddlebag with a quick release for commuting. It takes 2 seconds to remove it, and it doesn't get in the way of anything. Carradice saddlebag + Carradice quick release bag mount. I attached an old camera bag strap to the saddlebag so I can carry it off the bike like a camera bag.
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Old 05-31-13, 02:11 PM   #17
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How about a micro camera with blue tooth to project rear view video on smart phone at the handle bar? Now that will be high tec.! Double O
Problem there is that your smartphone screen often gets fairly washed out in daylight.

This one supposedly doesn't -
http://www.cerevellum.com/hindsight.aspx



From - http://bicycledesign.net/2012/06/cer...t-impressions/

Or -
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Old 05-31-13, 02:17 PM   #18
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I think I need to make a periscope that looks up and over the helmet.
Like so? http://www.reevu.com/
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Old 06-02-13, 01:20 AM   #19
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I use a saddlebag with a quick release for commuting. It takes 2 seconds to remove it, and it doesn't get in the way of anything. Carradice saddlebag + Carradice quick release bag mount. I attached an old camera bag strap to the saddlebag so I can carry it off the bike like a camera bag.
+1 The Bagman quick release support changed my life! Seriously, super quick and a Zimbale 18 liter bag holds a lot of stuff (as would a large Carradice).

OP - if you want to stick with the back pack you might try changing mirrors. The EVT Safe Zone mirror is articulated every 1/2 inch along its arm, you might be able to adjust it to a position to mostly see around your backpack.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:13 AM   #20
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Rack and panniers
Or rack and basket, put backpack/messenger bag, or groceries in it.
Or get a handle bar mounted mirror.
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Old 06-02-13, 06:03 PM   #21
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This might work: http://harriscyclery.net/product/bik...irror-2995.htm

Bike-eye.

I just ordered one. Looked interesting to me.

J.
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Old 06-03-13, 08:36 AM   #22
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I'm slightly baffled by this; my Ortleibs with the QL1 system go on in literal seconds. Less time than it takes to put on a backpack for sure. To be fair, they do weigh more than they have to, and are a pain to carry off the bike.

Messengers don't use them because messengers are style conscious (at least the ones you see on the media), dirt poor (being a messenger pays poorly) and often have to leave their bikes in theft prone places where a pannier might be stolen in the second it takes to remove.

I do some messenger-ish work (bike delivery) and my coworkers who use backpacks only do so because they can't bear the notion of spoiling their bike with a rack and panniers, or can't afford to spoil their bike with a rack and panniers.
I'm baffled too, my Ortleibs lift of in all of a second. Putting them back on is quick as well. They basically just drop back on the rack.
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