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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 07-19-07, 04:28 PM   #1
cccorlew
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Embraced my inner Fred: got a mirror

I didn't want a mirror. They are so not cool. They are for old people, and after all, I am (cough cough) the new 30.
But the organizers of the Seattle to Portland strongly recommended one, so I bought a "Take-a-Look" glasses mounted mirror.
I wore it a day or two before the ride and didn't like it much.
Then I wore it during the ride.
It was flippin' great. Surrounded by other riders, riding in an unfamiliar area, while trying to make sure I didn't ditch my sweet wife riding partner was it bit unsettling. The mirror helped a ton. I got used to just glancing up in no time.

When I got home and took a ride without it I kept glancing up for it, and it wasn't there. I guess it takes 200 mikes to adjust, but once I did I really miss it when it isn't there.

I guess I'm a Fred...
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Old 07-19-07, 04:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I didn't want a mirror. They are so not cool. They are for old people, and after all, I am (cough cough) the new 30.
But the organizers of the Seattle to Portland strongly recommended one, so I bought a "Take-a-Look" glasses mounted mirror.
I wore it a day or two before the ride and didn't like it much.
Then I wore it during the ride.
It was flippin' great. Surrounded by other riders, riding in an unfamiliar area, while trying to make sure I didn't ditch my sweet wife riding partner was it bit unsettling. The mirror helped a ton. I got used to just glancing up in no time.

When I got home and took a ride without it I kept glancing up for it, and it wasn't there. I guess it takes 200 mikes to adjust, but once I did I really miss it when it isn't there.

I guess I'm a Fred...
Not a Fred, just smarter than the average bear. I couldn't imagine being out on the road without one. I think about the pro riders and know that they've got support vehicles and/or often team members to make them more of a presence on the road. But for solo riding, I want every advantage I can get.
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Old 07-19-07, 04:43 PM   #3
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If you have to use a mirror it's because you're not a very good cyclist. At least that's what they say at Le Forum Des Turques.


But I don't believe them. I'd feel unsafe riding without my mirror. Unless it were in the woods. Probably a good idea there, too, with the increasing presence of bears and mountain lions due to global warming.
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Old 07-19-07, 05:47 PM   #4
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>>> didn't want a mirror. . .so not cool. . .are for old people

I've been bikin' for almost 50 years. There was a mirror on my first bike and on every one since. In that time I've ducked lots of hazards "out there", many of them coming up from behind and viewed in the. . .wait for it. . .mirror. There's a reason we're still cycling at 50+; it's called good sense. I know Fred. . .and you Sir, are no Fred!!!
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Old 07-19-07, 06:11 PM   #5
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Every time I tried eyeglass or helmet mounted mirrors, I end up walking or riding around in circles trying to see in it. For a while I used one that mounted in my bar end but I have a shifter there now. I haven't used one for years. I found them to be as much a distraction as a safety feature. I look and listen behind me and sometimes I just sense that there is something back there.
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Old 07-19-07, 06:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I didn't want a mirror. They are so not cool. They are for old people, and after all, I am (cough cough) the new 30 ... I guess I'm a Fred...
Welcome to the Fred world. I've used a mirror for years and love it. A couple of times I've ridden off without my helmet and gone back to get it, just for the mirror.
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Old 07-19-07, 06:31 PM   #7
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Every time I tried eyeglass or helmet mounted mirrors, I end up walking or riding around in circles trying to see in it. ...I found them to be as much a distraction as a safety feature. I look and listen behind me and sometimes I just sense that there is something back there.
Maybe you are better at sensing cars behind you, but I've found the new cars (especially the smaller imports) are so quiet, many of them make less noise than the wind in my helmet and are really tough to hear. Also, if several cars are passing at once, there is no way I can tell how many more there are.

I got right hooked once (car made a right turn just as it passed), and I really like being able to use my mirror to keep an eye out for turn signals behind me (not that anyone around here uses one).
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Old 07-19-07, 06:31 PM   #8
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Can somebody recommend a mirror that works. I've tried a few, and never seem to have good luck.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:14 PM   #9
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Can somebody recommend a mirror that works. I've tried a few, and never seem to have good luck.
I like the "Take-a-Look" under discussion but it needs glasses with
a stout flat temple. I don't buy glasses without carrying the mirror
to make sure it fits. I've made enough mistakes.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:14 PM   #10
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All I know is that the rural road that passes by my house is a popular biking route and I sure wish a lot more of the riders had mirrors, because I "sneak" up on them all the time, without them having any idea I'm right behind them.

I'd say the number of riders without mirrors who sense/hear me and move out of the way before I have to slow down is about 25% of them. The other 75% need mirrors.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:28 PM   #11
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I tried a mirror for about 6 months. I found it hard to adjust and in the way. Fortunately, I'm a person that can only handle about one thing in my feeble brain at a time. When I ride, I ride and am able to be conscience of what is happening around me--------this is the only activity that I can do this. I guess stress has to have some release.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:29 PM   #12
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If mirrors work so well in a car, then why wouldn't the work well on a bike?
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Old 07-19-07, 07:37 PM   #13
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If mirrors work so well in a car, then why wouldn't the work well on a bike?
Because it is so easy to sit in one place and move around in a car and focus on a large mirror. On a bike, the mirror is extremely small and the path is not as straight, at least in my case where I live, as it is in a car. I find is is much easier to depend on other senses. To each is own.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by head_wind View Post
I like the "Take-a-Look" under discussion but it needs glasses with
a stout flat temple. I don't buy glasses without carrying the mirror
to make sure it fits. I've made enough mistakes.
+1 I have been using this mirror for a couple of years and really am amazed at how far back I can see with it. I have even had luck checking out the birds that sometimes swoop down on me when riding.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:47 PM   #15
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Because it is so easy to sit in one place and move around in a car and focus on a large mirror. On a bike, the mirror is extremely small and the path is not as straight, at least in my case where I live, as it is in a car. I find is is much easier to depend on other senses. To each is own.
I don't know about your bike mirrors but mine are about 3" around. Work just like cars.
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Old 07-19-07, 07:49 PM   #16
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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the smartest cyclist of all? The one who has the greatest ability to see ahead, behind and all around, that's who. I've tried three or four and found one I really like, the Blackburn oval-shaped one that attaches with Velcro to the outside of the handlebar. You have to experiment a bit to find one that suits you best....
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Old 07-19-07, 08:12 PM   #17
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increasing presence of bears and mountain lions due to global warming
I must admit I haven't heard that one before.
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Old 07-19-07, 08:26 PM   #18
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I always ride my road bike with a mirror. It does take some getting used to. I have a "3rd Eye" mirror mounted to my helmet (left side of course to see vehicles overtaking me from behind).
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Old 07-19-07, 08:27 PM   #19
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Can somebody recommend a mirror that works. I've tried a few, and never seem to have good luck.
http://www.3rd-eye.com

I've had really good luck with the 3rd-Eye Bar End mirror. Works with flat bars or drop bars.
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Old 07-19-07, 09:13 PM   #20
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We all have a dominant eye. Depending on which one of your eyes is dominant, you may not be able to use a helmet or glasses mounted mirror.
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Old 07-19-07, 09:33 PM   #21
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http://www.3rd-eye.com

I've had really good luck with the 3rd-Eye Bar End mirror. Works with flat bars or drop bars.
I like the 3rd Eye, too. I have both the helmet and glasses mount type. I prefer the glasses mount since I always manage to knock them off the helmets.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:16 PM   #22
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We all have a dominant eye. Depending on which one of your eyes is dominant, you may not be able to use a helmet or glasses mounted mirror.
You've got me nailed. I tried every setup I could think of to make that take-a-look work, and it just didn't happen for me. Maybe I should have given it more time. Heck, I even tried mounting it for the right eye.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:23 PM   #23
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All I know is that the rural road that passes by my house is a popular biking route and I sure wish a lot more of the riders had mirrors, because I "sneak" up on them all the time, without them having any idea I'm right behind them.

I'd say the number of riders without mirrors who sense/hear me and move out of the way before I have to slow down is about 25% of them. The other 75% need mirrors.
Get a bell or speak to them. "On your left" or simply "hello" works well.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:25 PM   #24
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I'm talking about sneaking up on them in my car. I'd say about 75% of all road riders, without mirrors, do not detect my car coming right up to being within a few yards of them.

I have no idea how many could detect me coming up on them on a bike, because I could not catch up with any road bikers while riding on a bike.
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Old 07-19-07, 10:28 PM   #25
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I have used the Take-A-look mirror for about 10 years and next to the helmet it is the best safety device you can use. I mount mine to my glasses and it took about 10 miles of riding to get use to it.
I have not had good look with the helmet mount mirrors nor the bar end mirrors[they vibrate too much and I keep knocking them out of focus].
In the last two years, in my area, there have been two cyclist killed by cars turning right just in front of them. I have seen this situation developing, a few times with the mirror, and avoided the problem.
I strongly recommend the Take A Look, you can find them at REI if not at your LBS.
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