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  1. #1
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Is a helmet mirror worth it? / Suggestions

    Hey all, I'm leaving for Ireland in August on a 3 week bike tour (solo - unsupported) and was thinking that a mirror for those long narrow roads might be a smart addition to my trip. Although I've been riding for years without one comfortably in traffic and what-not, my thinking is if I see a large truck barreling towards me from behind I'd be smart to pull off. I'm wondering for those with experience with them whether a) they think it's worth it and b) what mirrors they are big fans of. If I do get it as I bike in Canada I'd like one that I can move from the left side of my helmet to the right side when I get to Ireland (so adhesive is out), beyond that, I'm open to anything.
    Last edited by seanpatrick76; 06-26-14 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member texbiker's Avatar
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    I have a mirror on my helmet. I am not fixated on it but I do rely on it to check traffic when the road changes. When I lost a mirror I still could ride but I missed the ability to keep a tab on what's behind. I use the Monkey Mirror. Good size mirror and it grips my helmet like no other mirror I have used and no adhesive.
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  3. #3
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    Find a Take A Look mirror set up for right side glasses use. That's what you want for riding in left=lane countries.
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  4. #4
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ride without a mirror. Seems silly to do so.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  5. #5
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    I've used a mirror for over 20 years. Don't leave home without it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I rode for a while with the Third Eye helmet mounted mirror and while it was OK, I did find it a bit of a pain to use. I switched to a handlebar-end mirror and found I like it a lot better.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I rode around Ireland in 97, I didn't feel a need for a mirror , still dont , but thats Me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    We love our Take-A-Look mirrors, and they can be mounted on glasses. So they're usable for driving on the other side of the road.

    Youll get get more answers on a different forum than this one for biking electronics.

  9. #9
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I've been using my Take-A-Look mirror a lot lately, and I've finally mastered it. It's great. I am now confident that I don't have to turn and look before making a lane change. It took practice. Now I can change lanes very quickly.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    The take a look mirror is quite good, I've tried most helmet mirrors, Safety Velo ( think that is the name of the company ) makes a very good helmet mirror as well. The bottom line for me is that I could never get used to any helmet mirrors focal length YMMV. So you may wish to borrow if possible, one to give it a try first before purchase. i like a mirror but use a bar mounted one out of necessity . My Surly LHT bar ends required I make a mount from a short section of PVC pipe and other spare parts laying around. It's not perfect, but as I prefer riding with a mirror than without, it's the best solution for me.

  11. #11
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Wow! Lots of great suggestions. Interestingly enough the take a look mirror and monkey mirror were the ones I had noticed during my searches. They both look good, though the attachment for the monkey mirror looks a little more solid, in that Idont have a visor to attach the take a look to. In any case unfortunately I don't know any one who has one so will have to make a gut call. I guess I'll see which of the two is cheaper shipping to Canada. I do like that the monkey mirror is made in North America though. In any case, thanks to all for narrowing it down for me!

  12. #12
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    Any mirror besides a handlebar mounted mirror is great. The handlebar mounted mirrors seem to have too much vibration to see accurately behind you. I have the "Take-a-Look" mirror that connects to my glasses. You can get them for either side. There's no vibration and rear vision is great. I believe they even have a life time warranty for repair/replacement. They do come in a couple different lengths...a short stem for normal bikes and a longer stem for tandems. I have a normal bike but bought the longer stem because it sticks out in front of my glasses farther and makes it easier for these "old" eyes to find the mirror. I don't like the helmet fastened mirrors because they seem more vulnerable to damage if you forget there's a mirror on your helmet, although there is a mounting kit for this mirror if you want to attach it to a helmet. They come in about three different lengths. My older eyes don't see so well, so the longer length works great for me. They do have a helmet mounting kit for the Take-A-Look mirror if your prefer that route rather than attaching to your glasses.
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...cyclist-mirror
    Last edited by 1 Miyata Biker; 07-17-14 at 06:48 PM.

  13. #13
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    I drilled two small holes in my helmet to mount my Take a Look mirror. I never could mount it to my eyeglass arms. Invaluable as I almost always drift off my line when looking behind me.

    MEC sells the Take a Look mirror in Canada.


    edit: A couple downsides to a helmet mirror. They'd probably get in the way of a rain cover. Interfere with ski goggles when riding in the winter.
    Last edited by gecho; 06-26-14 at 09:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    I have both the "Take a look" and "The third Eye". While the "Take a look" is an optically better mirror the weight was too much for my glasses causing them to tilt to one side. I couldn't deal with that. Additionally, when I found the perfect spot to see approaching traffic it ended up creating a very big blind spot off to my left. I didn't like that either.

    The "third eye" is not as big as "glasses mount" type mirrors go. I found the Third eye more useful mounted to my helmet visor ( with a little electrical tape on the visor to help lessen vibration. Vibration can be a big problem when dealing with mirrors. ) The visual area is not as big as the "Take a look" but for me this works. No blind spots off to my left. As long as I can see approaching traffic I'm good, even if the field of vision and visual clarity is not as good as I might want it to be.

    Oddly I misplaced my "third eye" just before the season started ( I actually own two ). Although I don't always feel the need for a mirror I was really missing it on one of my recent road rides. Personally when I ride roads with very little ( or no ) shoulder I really like having the mirror. Luckily I found it again just about a week ago.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 06-27-14 at 05:03 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecho View Post
    I drilled two small holes in my helmet to mount my Take a Look mirror.
    that is a fabulous idea!

  16. #16
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecho View Post
    I drilled two small holes in my helmet to mount my Take a Look mirror. I never could mount it to my eyeglass arms. Invaluable as I almost always drift off my line when looking behind me.

    MEC sells the Take a Look mirror in Canada.


    edit: A couple downsides to a helmet mirror. They'd probably get in the way of a rain cover. Interfere with ski goggles when riding in the winter.
    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    I have both the "Take a look" and "The third Eye". While the "Take a look" is an optically better mirror the weight was too much for my glasses causing them to tilt to one side. I couldn't deal with that. Additionally, when I found the perfect spot to see approaching traffic it ended up creating a very big blind spot off to my left. I didn't like that either.

    The "third eye" is not as big as "glasses mount" type mirrors go. I found the Third eye more useful mounted to my helmet visor ( with a little electrical tape on the visor to help lessen vibration. Vibration can be a big problem when dealing with mirrors. ) The visual area is not as big as the "Take a look" but for me this works. No blind spots off to my left. As long as I can see approaching traffic I'm good, even if the field of vision and visual clarity is not as good as I might want it to be.

    Oddly I misplaced my "third eye" just before the season started ( I actually own two ). Although I don't always feel the need for a mirror I was really missing it on one of my recent road rides. Personally when I ride roads with very little ( or no ) shoulder I really like having the mirror. Luckily I found it again just about a week ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
    that is a fabulous idea!

    I'll be damned if I didn't through out my visor a month or so back. I've been determined not to keep things around I never use to avoid clutter, but it seems this kind of thing keeps happening. Oh well - In any case I can get a replacement visor for my helmet in WHITE, but my helmet is black, so it would look pretty stupid. I'm pretty much down to either the Take a Look mirror (though I'd have to drill holes in BOTH sides of the helmet for using in Ireland) or the Hubub helmet mirror that seems to attach directly to the helmet: HubBub Custom Bicycles Online Store - Product Detail
    The third eye looks pretty good but lots of complaints from people who mount it INSIDE their helmet (as opposed to visor) saying the velcro digs into their heads - and they end up gluing it to their helmet which is not ideal in my case as I need to move it from one side to the left. Too bad I threw out that visor, It would make my decision much easier (take a look).

  17. #17
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    For me the problem is that I use the same helmet for Mountain-biking that I do for the road. I just like a helmet with a helmet visor. Works real well when riding into the sun or blocking car headlights. The thing is I don't use a mirror MTB'n which means that if I go for a road ride I have to get the mirror set-up and dialed in every time I ride WHICH is not as easy as it might seem.

    Anyway, the rear derailleur on my MTB is screwed up right now and causing me fits. Looks like a road ride is in for the weekend. That said I've been playing around with the mirrors. I might have found a better position for the Take a Look but that position is really close to the front of my visor. I have to test it again to see how it works.

    The Third Eye fits perfectly on my helmet visor. The only screw in this arrangement is that the mirror picks up a lot of vibration from the visor. If it wasn't for that I'd go with the Third eye without question. At least when mounted to my glasses I didn't get any vibration. I definitely like the more forward mounting of the mirror on the visor though. I'm hoping to find a solution to cut the vibration.

    One other minor annoyance when dealing with helmet/glasses mount mirrors is that they will occasionally find a way to "lose their mark" so to speak. Not sure how this happens. Maybe when you start getting fatigued your head starts to drop more(?)...Hard to say. Next thing you know you're stopped on the side of road fiddling with the mirror. That can be a real annoyance, not to mention a real bike-fun-time buzz kill. Until I find a solution to solve the minor annoyances with mirrors I might be better off not using one. Definitely if you get too fixated on mirrors it can ruin your ride.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 06-28-14 at 05:04 AM.

  18. #18
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Well I ended up buying a new helmet with a (removable) visor and the third eye mirror. I haven't tried it out yet but it certainly seems to be the one to beat. The padding on my old helmet was starting to get shredded anyways, so it gave me an excuse to go and spend the money. I'm sure the third eye will be just fine

  19. #19
    Senior Member bikeideas's Avatar
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    I decided that I wanted an eyeglass-mount mirror for riding yet was unhappy with the size and design of the available products (T-a-L, 3rd-I). So I made my own.

    Posted here for you to copy - maybe you have DIY time before your trip.

    messengermirrordotcom

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    For what it's worth, I found that the mirror vibrated too much while attached to my helmet. I use a Take a Look attached to my glasses. Works great!

  21. #21
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dachshund View Post
    For what it's worth, I found that the mirror vibrated too much while attached to my helmet. I use a Take a Look attached to my glasses. Works great!
    Yep, that is a problem. Helmets as stable as you think they might be while strapped to your head are not completely vibration free. Tonight I retried my Take a Look ( mounted to my glasses ). Seems like I found the right position. I have mine adjusted so that the mirror comes very close to the front of the visor. I had to bend the wire a bit to do that but it seems to be working and the view from the mirror is great. Since it's now higher than before I don't have the mirror blocking so much of my view to the left. This is an acceptable compromise. I'll have to try it on an extended road ride but I think it's going to work better than the Third Eye. No vibrations and way better visual acuity. Since it comes so close to the visor I might have to trim of bit of the visor away to prevent occasional contact but I can live with that.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    I had to bend the wire a bit to do that but it seems to be working and the view from the mirror is great.
    I had to bend mine, too. The Take a Look is easy to adjust while riding, and it will fit glasses with thick stems. It's a very handy little mirror.

  23. #23
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    I decided that I wanted an eyeglass-mount mirror for riding yet was unhappy with the size and design of the available products (T-a-L, 3rd-I). So I made my own.

    Posted here for you to copy - maybe you have DIY time before your trip.


    Just an update - that new helmet I purchased turned out to be to small - I don't know why I didn't notice in the store but I realized it sat WAY to high on my head. The upshot of it was I actually had 2 different people shout encouragement at me while 1. riding up a hill and 2. just riding down the street (You can Do IT!, and some thumbs up) as I think the disparity between the size of the helmet and the actual size of my head (whilst being an all white helmet - a la hockey helmet) made me look mentally challenged.
    niagara photo.jpg
    In any case I bought a proper road bike helmet that fit, which didn't have a visor, so ended up ordering the Blackburn Road mirror. It attaches (or is meant to attach) to the break hoods, in my case I have it attached to part of the drops. It works quite well for my purposes, shakes a lot - but I think I prefer it to the helmet method. Bonus is it can easily detach from one side and be moved to the other side of the drops for Europe. Blackburn Road Mirror at WesternBikeworks
    Last edited by seanpatrick76; 07-10-14 at 10:54 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    I bought my first Third Eye back in 1984. SOLD. That was a glasses model. Today, the whole family runs the helmet model. By turning your head, there is no blind spot. You can always track whatever is behind you. Handlebar based mirrors just the same as car mirrors will have blind spots. Never on a Third Eye. They are also not on the bike to break when the bike falls over. You just learn to protect the helmet and mirror when taking off the helmet.

  25. #25
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    Love this mirror. http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Zone-Bicy...ycling+mirrors

    attaches with zip ties. Used it for over 10,000 miles sometimes in heavy traffic. Great comfort factor.

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