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Old 03-04-11, 05:26 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Tried My Invention: Heads Down Display Neck Saver

I finally got around to trying out my wacky idea: a convex mirror on the handlebars that allows you to look forward without tilting your head up. The basic idea is to allow you to ride with your head down more often, avoiding neck pain. The mirror warns you if any obstacles (drain, animal, person, other rider) are coming up.

I got a small convex mirror at the auto parts store for $2, drilled some holes and attached it to the handlebars with zip ties:







It's easy to adjust so that you get a good view. In this photo the "X" is the shifter cables.



Then I took it on a 50-mile ride for testing.

The verdict: It does work as expected. I can ride on a safe road while only looking in the mirror. It doesn't take long to get used to the image being small, upside down and backwards. It feels a lot like watching a movie on an iPod. It doesn't feel unsafe, and one could ride many miles looking only in the mirror.

HOWEVER, it just doesn't feel right. I found myself looking up as often as I did with no mirror.

Also, when riding behind my wife, it makes her butt look fat.

So it was a fun experiment, but I'm taking it off the bike.
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Old 03-04-11, 05:30 PM   #2
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Also, when riding behind my wife, it makes her butt look fat.

So it was a fun experiment, but I'm taking it off the bike.
That's the crux of the biscuit right there!
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Old 03-04-11, 05:32 PM   #3
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I got used to mine after a while. First I had a factory made model with two mirrors, that made what you see right side up. That was maybe 10 years ago. I gave it away. But it was OK.
I made one out of a typical bike rear view handlebar mirror. Not much work. One can get used to it being upside down. I don't use it in traffic.
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Old 03-04-11, 05:49 PM   #4
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I got used to mine after a while.
Interesting -- I had no idea that anyone else made something like this.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:01 PM   #5
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They tried something like that for RAAM a few years back, they ended up just using neck braces when needed.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:21 PM   #6
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The dog trike rolls with three mirrors. One for looking forward when way down. One does not need to go fast to get benefit from being more aero, 10 mph ride into 10 mph headwind is just like going 20 mph.

Then one so I can see the dog without turning around, and a helmet mirror to see behind.
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Old 03-04-11, 07:35 PM   #7
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Jeez: I'm glad I'm not the only one that can hardly ride anymore because of my neck. I'm just now starting to get back into it after 15 years off, and already I know that I'm going to have to sit more erect. I'll be lowering the saddles just a little and raising the stems. Weight will be thrown to the rear so I'll be looking for sprung saddles. Strangely, I have been known to amuse myself in the car when alone on the road by driving by the reflection on the hood, the same concept as the bicycle mirror. You can get used to it. I'm thinking a wider mirror on the bike with a very mild 'fisheye'.
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Old 03-04-11, 07:43 PM   #8
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A convex mirror that lets you see the whole road is better than a flat mirror. You don't have to see detail, you just need to see that something is coming.

Almost forgot, neck problems here too.
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Old 03-04-11, 07:50 PM   #9
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Boy, the things people will try to avoid getting a recumbent.
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Old 03-04-11, 07:54 PM   #10
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Also, when riding behind my wife, it makes her butt look fat.
Trombone, you got more guts than me. If your wife ever sees this, we'll be calling you just "Al."
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Old 03-04-11, 08:06 PM   #11
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Boy, the things people will try to avoid getting a recumbent.
My neck hurts because I'm always looking up at the clouds.
Looking straight ahead - not so much.

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Old 03-04-11, 08:35 PM   #12
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Al, if you mount the mirror upside-down wouldn't that make the image appear rightside-up? Just sayin.

Oh...and if you're forced to move to Australia because of what you said about your wife, the image will, of course, automatically appear rightside-up.
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Old 03-04-11, 08:37 PM   #13
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+1 Louis
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Old 03-05-11, 03:45 PM   #14
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That's the crux of the biscuit right there!
No. The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.
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Old 03-05-11, 06:40 PM   #15
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No. The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.
don't eat the yellow snow.

Wanna meet me at St. Alphonso's pancake breakfast?
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Old 03-05-11, 06:46 PM   #16
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I went on a charity ride this morning - it was fun. In the group were two people riding recumbents. I was wondering how they would do with those giant things, but darn if they didn't whip a lot of peoples butts. Plus, they looked really fun.
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Old 03-05-11, 07:49 PM   #17
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No. The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.
Dog biscuits ????
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Old 03-05-11, 07:49 PM   #18
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I went on a charity ride this morning - it was fun. In the group were two people riding recumbents. I was wondering how they would do with those giant things, but darn if they didn't whip a lot of peoples butts. Plus, they looked really fun.
Don't be fooled. Those things are no fun at all. Unless you like a comfortable ride with better aerodynamics. And little kids pointing and yelling "Cool bike!"
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Old 03-05-11, 07:53 PM   #19
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Boy, the things people will try to avoid getting a recumbent.
I can't sit on a seat and pedal,the arthritis in my hips needs to have my legs hang off the sides of a bike seat.
I had to give up riding motorcycles. I wonder if anyone else has this problem?
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Old 03-05-11, 11:33 PM   #20
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don't eat the yellow snow.

Wanna meet me at St. Alphonso's pancake breakfast?
There is a house around here with a jockey holding a piece of watermelon. I want so bad to go and knock it over some night.
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Old 03-06-11, 12:17 AM   #21
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Well, maybe a video camera with a small monitor on the handle bars. Would overcome the upside down and backwards problem.
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Old 03-06-11, 12:49 AM   #22
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Well, maybe a video camera with a small monitor on the handle bars. Would overcome the upside down and backwards problem.
That would be just like the car I rented earlier this year. The darned thing had a video camera facing rear-ward that showed its image in the rear-view mirror when the vehicle was in reverse. And to think, I thought all those people who were backing up without looking over their shoulder the way we were all taught were just too lazy or stiff to do it safely.
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Old 03-06-11, 03:51 AM   #23
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That would be just like the car I rented earlier this year. The darned thing had a video camera facing rear-ward that showed its image in the rear-view mirror when the vehicle was in reverse. And to think, I thought all those people who were backing up without looking over their shoulder the way we were all taught were just too lazy or stiff to do it safely.
My new car, a Nissan Leaf, has the rear view camera and it is actually very useful. For one thing when two SUVs park next to you it allows you to see oncoming traffic when you are backing out before you can see them from the driver's seat. It also has a feature where these yellow lines show your trajectory with the current wheel position. That is surprisingly helpful. It also allows you to see many other things that hidden to the driver by the car body, like a small child directly behind the car.
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Old 03-06-11, 01:13 PM   #24
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I don't think I would have felt safe with such a mirror. To say nothing of having to make quick decisions while looking at an upside down and backward image, I wouldn't know which way to turn, and would probably be looking up all the time anyway.
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Old 03-06-11, 04:41 PM   #25
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Boy, the things people will try to avoid getting a recumbent.
I think I would consider a recumbent before resorting to something like this. Fortunately I do not have neck pain problems. I do have a problem with diminished range of motion with my neck because of the effects of radiation treatments to my throat. I have to ride with my handlebars a little higher than before so I can see down the road. But it doesn't hurt me to look up as far as I am able.
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