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Old 02-15-12, 03:24 PM   #1
John_V 
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Third Eye mirrors. Opinions please?

Thought I would ask here since many of the 50+ members probably are wearing bi or tri focal glasses. I know that there is a thread on bike mirrors, but it didn't have what I was looking for.

I have always had a mirror on my bikes since getting back into cycling. When I bought my Defy I tried using a mirror that attaches to your eyeglasses. For whatever reason, I couldn't get used to them so I bought a mirror that mounts on Shimano STI shifters (Sora/Tiagra w/gear indicator) and gets attached under the hood. My new bike has Ultegra shifters and the mirrors don't fit without cutting a section of the hood. That's not happening!

Today, I bought a Third Eye helmet mount mirror and was wondering how easy is it to get used to if you wear prescription bifocal glasses when you ride? I haven't mounted the mirror yet and probably won't do so until Friday. I haven't been using a mirror on my daily MUP rides, but I did a club ride this past Saturday without a mirror and I was really uncomfortable riding on busy city streets without one. I have a charity ride on Saturday and would really like to have a mirror to see what's behind me as this ride is on a busy street that goes along the Gulf beaches. Thanks in advanced for any and all opinions and comments.
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Old 02-15-12, 03:52 PM   #2
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I'm one of those irascible traditionalists who has been riding for 40 years without a mirror and doesn't plan on changing soon. I tend to side with those who would be damned if they have a tiny piece of breakable glass so close to their irreplaceable eyeball. BUT -

I've mounted one of those handlebar-end mirrors on my tandem. It's funny how quickly you get used to it. I'm not at the point where I'm dependent on it, nor am I ready to put one on my primary single bike, but I don't think I'll be taking it off the tandem anytime soon.

Those helmet-mounted mirrors John Forester cautions against because they might send the wrong body language to those behind. In order to catch some backward angle prior to a left turn, you might turn your head to the right. Usually it's better just to look back; this send motorists a signal, or suggests your intentions. On the track, you signify that you're going to swing off by turning your head over your right shoulder.

Digression: Having said that, I am a STRONG believer in mirrors on a car. I set mine up according to advice given by a race car driver. The outside mirrors are set outwards such that you cannot see the side of the car. Instead, you can track a vehicle as it approaches from behind in the inside mirror, then as it begins to pass, you start to see it disappear from the inside mirror, but simultaneously appear in the outside mirror. This is how you avoid blind spots. I get really annoyed when I take the car in for service, and the outside mirrors get readjusted by some ignorant mechanic!

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Old 02-15-12, 04:30 PM   #3
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I wear an eyeglass mounted mirror and it is just a part of my accouterments for bicycling. I think I have had it some thirty years now. I wear Verilux progressive lens so that doesn't address the OP question directly about bifocals or trifocals. My mirror is made from optical plastic so no glass near the eyeball issue.

I have not seen a mirror like mine for sometime now and the closest thing out there is too large and heavy for me to be comfortable wearing. Cuts down too much of my peripheral vision and requires a large bow to secure tightly.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:38 PM   #4
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I have a helmet mounted mirror. I like it. When I wear contacts, I use monovision and my left eye is my near eye. The mirror works as long as it is very close to my left eye. It's not as issue with my bifocals.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:43 PM   #5
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I use a Take-a-look mirror mounted to my progressive bifocal glasses. Works great for me. My wife also uses and likes one with her bifocals. I have my adjusted to be toward the top of my sightline as pictured below. It's more out of the way, like the central rear view mirror in a car.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:31 PM   #6
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I was never into mirrors until I suffered a neck injury after a motorist knocked me off my motorcycle. Now I have limited ROM and a mirror is very helpful. Still I hate the look of add on mirrors. Fortunately I stumbled upon the Italian Road Bike mirror. They are almost unnoticeable and work well for me. Just wondering if you've ever considered them.

http://www.aspirevelotech.com/Listings/Mirror.htm
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Old 02-15-12, 05:48 PM   #7
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I use a helmet-mount mirror, along with a handlebar-mounted one. I think they are both Third Eye products. I don't have much of a problem using the helmet-mounted mirror with my trifocals. I'm not in high-traffic areas, though. When I'm looking at the helmet-mount one, I'm not looking through my glasses lenses at all.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:13 PM   #8
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When I started bicycling in Aug 05 I bought a computer and a glasses mounted mirror. Wouldn't ride without it.
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Old 02-15-12, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I use a Take-a-look mirror mounted to my progressive bifocal glasses. Works great for me. I have my adjusted to be toward the top of my sightline as pictured below. It's more out of the way, like the central rear view mirror in a car.
This is the one I've used for many years. Give it a week or two and you hardly notice it's there except when you use it. I find it invaluable in heavy traffic when I'm trying to turn left. I feel naked without it. It's become such a part of my life I sometimes glance up when I'm walking expecting to check who is behind me.
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Old 02-15-12, 07:55 PM   #10
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I like mirrors in general, and the Third Eye Mirrors are the best IMO. They are larger an have a mount that I like better - but I throw away the double stick tape a glue it on.
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Old 02-15-12, 08:42 PM   #11
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I use the Safety Zone helmet-mounted mirror. This thing is huge and provides an incredibly clear view. I wear progressive lenses and can see quite well with this mirror, though occasionally I have to nod my head up or down slightly to bring the view in focus.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:20 PM   #12
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I much prefer the glasses mounted Take-A-Look mirror (REI, etc.) from Bike Peddler. I have tri-focals and have no problem with that. Comes in two sizes....I use the smaller and find it more than enough. Easy to adjust while riding. Helmet mirrors were too vulnerable to getting knocked off and, for me, required more head tilting and were less easily adjusted. My one handlebar mirror vibrated too much
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Old 02-16-12, 12:00 AM   #13
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I think everyone likes different things.

I tried a glue-on helmet mirror, it vibrated too much. I tried a clamp-on helmet mirror. The place where it needs to clamp is sloped "downhill", if that makes sense, where it just won't clamp on. I've tried two or three different eye-glass mirrors. One seemed heavy, don't remember about another one. The one I DO like is a "Cycleaware". Even with it, it clips onto eyeglasses but can be knocked off, so I have a rubber band around it, too.

So just buy $75 worth of mirrors, and you'll probably find one you like, too.

One of the low points of my cycling adventures was when I was riding along, wiped the sweat off my forehead, and in doing so, accidentally snagged my mirror, and knocked my glasses off. Fortunately, I was going very slow at the time. Unfortunately, I couldn't see my glasses when they were on the ground. Fortunately, one of the ladies in the group discerned what the problem was and picked them up for me.

Oh, the bifocal question. My peripheral vision is fairly fuzzy anyway. So a lot of what I see in the mirror is not very sharp, but it's still worth having the mirror. The biggest issue with sharpness is sometimes I can't tell if a rider is still back there if he's too far back.
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Old 02-16-12, 06:36 AM   #14
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I have used a helmet mounted Third Eye mirror, and a Take A Look eyeglass mounted mirror, and yes, I wear bifocals. (I don't need them, I just wear them to look smarter ).

I much prefer the Take A Look.

A tip on the Third Eye- we keep our helmets in the garage with the bikes. In the summer, the heat would soften the glue, to the point where the mount would slide/move.
A small drill and zip tie fixed it.

ALso, the ball/socket on the Third Eye eventually (several years) got to the point where it would not tighten any more, and would slowly allow the mirror to drop down. I would have to dis-assemble it, wrap the socket sleeve in a piece of plastic wrap and re-assemble every so often.

The Take A Look also has a helmet mount of some sort available- have not used it though.
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Old 02-16-12, 07:38 AM   #15
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Thanks all for the responses. I guess that I will have to see how this mirror works for me after mounting it tomorrow. My concern is that I can't adjust my eyes to see what's on it. I may also have to look at the eyeglass mounted mirrors again but after the first experience, I am holding off on those as the last resort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce19
I was never into mirrors until I suffered a neck injury after a motorist knocked me off my motorcycle. Now I have limited ROM and a mirror is very helpful. Still I hate the look of add on mirrors. Fortunately I stumbled upon the Italian Road Bike mirror. They are almost unnoticeable and work well for me. Just wondering if you've ever considered them.

http://www.aspirevelotech.com/Listings/Mirror.htm
This is one of my problems. I don't have the ROM to turn my neck around to see what's behind me, only what's to the left of my shoulder. Actually, I am suppose to be wearing trifocals, but I get by on bifocals quite well. I do have a pair of glasses for the computer which makes up for the intermediate vision. I did try one of the bar end mirrors and had a difficult time seeing clear images on them because they fall into the above vision range. They are slightly to close for the normal vision area of my glasses and too far for the diopter to focus in correctly. I'm having cataract surgery on the right eye next week and that is going to change a few things so I will be looking into this further when I get my new glasses, if the helmet mirror doesn't pan out.
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Old 02-16-12, 07:58 AM   #16
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John,
I got a new eyeglasses' prescription on Tuesday and the optometrist changed the focal point on my bifocal so I didn't have to return to trifocals. Looking in a mirror is no problem for me with the old prescription (bar end) so I hope I can retain the focal point I need for the mirror. I used a helmet clip and glasses arm clip mirrors in the late 70's and never got used to the thing in my peripheral vision. One of our club members was a dentist and he made our mirrors from old dental mirrors he had laying around the office. Didn't have the heart to tell him they didn't work and shook around like a hair clipper was hooked to them. I haven't found a bicycle mirror that didn't bounce the image around to much, actually. I turn my whole trunk to the left to look back, too much screwed up in the spine for me to rotate my neck that far.

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Old 02-16-12, 08:19 AM   #17
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I started with the biggest, ugliest, priciest, helmet mirror possible, the Safety Zone: http://www.amazon.com/Safe-Zone-Bicy...401722&sr=8-14



I have also tried the Take a Look eyeglass mirror. The Safety Zone is head and shoulders better than the eyeglass mirror. However, it does take a while to get used to it being there. You feel like the Borg wearing the thing.

On my hybrid I have a handlebar mirror and absolutely love it; much nicer than the helmet mirror or eyeglass mirror. I like it so much that I am looking at handlebar options for my Madone.

Here is a review of two options for bar end mirrors for drop bars: http://www.signatureride.com/PRtwomirrors.html

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Old 02-16-12, 08:22 AM   #18
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No matter where you situate your mirror, close-field or on your handle-bars, your eye will be focussed on infinity. You should not be looking through the close vision part of your bi-/tri-focals. I tend only to wear a Take-A-Look mirror when leading or riding shotgun on group rides, but only to observe participants' progress.

I think body language is a major contribution to safe riding. It must be demonstrable to traffic coming up behind you that you are aware, not to put the onus on you for for your own safe conduct, but to establish a connection, a bit like looking into a driver's eyes at a road junction.

Okay, as I've got older looking over my shoulder has got a bit more restricted, but I find that leaning forward and looking back and down, past, rather than over my left shoulder, enables me to properly assess the road behind and establish that I'm a sentient being to approaching drivers.

Whatever you do, do not depend on the limited field of view available through any mirror.
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Old 02-16-12, 09:01 AM   #19
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I've worn bifocals for decades (I'm 56) and am both astigmatic and near-sighted. I have tried a couple variations of helmet/eyeglass-mounted mirrors with circular and rectangular mirrors of various sizes and long & short mounting arms. I can use such mirrors but they constantly aggravate me.

There are a few factors that add up to outweigh any/all positives for me.
1. The mirror always blocks something in my field of view no matter where I look.
2. However "safe" anyone argues a helmet/eyeglass-mounted mirror is, its very proximity to my face/eye makes me mentally uncomfortable in terms of potential damage to my face/eye in an accident.
3. My right eye is my stronger eye, but due to traffic patterns in the US, I pretty much have to mount the mirror on the left. This causes me noticeable, but not debilitating, eye strain over long rides or even medium length rides in high-traffic situations depending on how much mirror use is required.
4. I have two slightly different pairs of bifocals; their frame and lens sizes being different, each requires a slightly different physical location for best mirror imaging and conscious, deliberate eye focus. Ultimately, the mirror just doesn't sit in a natural location for me to focus on it with either pair of glasses.

In addition to all of the above and probably most significantly, I have to close my right eye to actually focus on the mirror's image even for a second. Having spoken with numerous people using similar mirrors, this is apparently not that unusual. But others have overcome similar initial difficulties (ex., military helo pilots are taught to simultaneously focus one eye on a video screen at eyeglass distance and the other eye at far distance). After months and over 4000 miles of use, I haven't been able to do so.

Ultimately, I'm simply not comfortable with a helmet/eyeglass-mounted mirror and have gone back to a bicycle-mounted mirror. YMMV. Good luck.
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Old 02-16-12, 10:02 AM   #20
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Whatever you do, do not depend on the limited field of view available through any mirror.
This is why I turn around even in a vehicle and look after I use the RVM. We had it drummed into is in driver's education in high school, 1972. Carries over to my bicycling and motorcycles, too.

Bill
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Old 02-16-12, 02:57 PM   #21
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I use a Take-a-look mirror mounted to my progressive bifocal glasses. Works great for me. My wife also uses and likes one with her bifocals. I have my adjusted to be toward the top of my sightline as pictured below. It's more out of the way, like the central rear view mirror in a car.
This...

I have the take-a-look mounted similarly, this way, direct line of sight is not hindered. I only need to rotate my eye up to see what's coming from behind.

After starting to ride last May, I didn't have a mirror and rode a few months this way. My son, who doesn't own a car (he and the wife are car free), said I was crazy. For my August B-day, he got me the take-a-look, said after trying many mirrors thought this was easiest to use and wear.

Now, I'm so accustomed to having the mirror, it feels strange and awkward not having it. Last fall after leaving the house, I quickly realized I forgot the mirror after hearing a car close behind me. Figured I'd go ahead and complete the ride anyway, which I did. But talk about an awkward ride......constantly rotating my head was uncomfortable. When I think about this, I would rather forget the water bottles then leave without a mirror, it's become that important for safely riding near traffic.
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Old 02-16-12, 03:22 PM   #22
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With a mirror mounted on your glasses or helmet, you can move your head a little to scan the entire area behind. The field of view in a Take-a-look mirror is pretty wide already because of the size of the mirror and proximity to the eye. The only things you won't see in the mirror are vampires.
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Old 02-18-12, 04:37 AM   #23
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I wear progressive tri-focals and have used both helmet and eyeglass mounts for years. I like the eyeglass mounts better because they vibrate less and are still there if I have to remove my helmet during long climbs on hot days but have had little difficulty getting used to either.

My cousin has a removable handlebar mirror that uses Velcro straps for mounting. Maybe something like that would fit around your new hoods.
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Old 02-18-12, 01:20 PM   #24
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I played with the helmet mirror the other night to see if I could actually see clearly behind me with the helmet on. I actually was able to see quite well and it looks as if though this will work better than the eyeglass mounted mirror that I had tried last year. I was hoping to get it permanently mounted on the helmet by this morning, but no luck. Did the charity ride without it. No close calls, but I was still a bit apprehensive when riding outside of the bike lanes and on the street. May get the mirror mounted today for tomorrow morning's club ride.
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Old 02-18-12, 01:47 PM   #25
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I find, after using a Take-A-Look for some years now, that scanning for traffic by changing the angle of my head or looking up is almost intuitive.......kind of like I hated bifocals years ago-- took a week to get the unconscious moves down. Now I have progressive tri's and it's thoughtless. When I first began the mirror I thought, "What is this damned thing!" The benefits are worth the time getting accustomed.
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