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Old 03-20-05, 05:58 PM   #1
HaagenDas
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Mirrors

I notice that a lot, if not most cyclists don't use rear view mirrors.

I gotta tell you, cycling on the road with lunies on their phones and generally not paying attention does scare me.

I see mirrors are available... however. I they a useless bit of gear or just no one wants to be seen looking like a dork. Since I look like a dork anyway, I feel a mirror wouldn't be detrimental but could help me increase my SA.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:15 PM   #2
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I feel naked without my bike mirror. I've always used them. I like to keep track of what's coming up behind me and plan my next move.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:18 PM   #3
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Us bent riders sink down in our cushy lawnchair type seats and can't turn around to see what's behind us. Mirrors are very very important.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:23 PM   #4
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I've got a mirror on my glasses... Don't know why I waited so long to get one... its made life alot easier.
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Old 03-20-05, 06:26 PM   #5
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I just got a helmet-mount Blackburn mirror from Nashbar. It doesn't seem to work too well I can't get it adjusted to a position where I can see cars before they are 10 feet away... anybody have any tips on this thing?
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Old 03-20-05, 06:39 PM   #6
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Stop turning around?
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Old 03-20-05, 06:40 PM   #7
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I used a "take a look" mirror for a while. While I had no problems with it shifting while riding, I did often knock it off while the helmet wasn't on my head. I also found that there was only spot on my commute I really used it. I don't use it anymore, and only rarely miss it at that one spot.
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Old 03-20-05, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaagenDas
Stop turning around?
In a way, you answered your own question. Cultivate the habit of looking over your shoulder often... as though you were a fugitive and were being hunted down. Err... well... I'm presuming you're not a fugitive, but one never knows.

Anyway, because you're in NSW, I would probably advise getting a mirror, and *still* keep looking over your shoulder. You may need to experiment with types of mirrors. I've never used a helmet mirror, but have used a round Mirycle (?) and a Rhode Gear oval mirror, both mounted on the end of the bars. The Rhode Gear seemed pretty good both in terms of rearward coverage as well as not being too sensitive to vibration.

Be careful not to put your entire faith in a mirror -- still look over your shoulder before making a move, as you would/should in a motor vehicle.

The debate over mirrors thankfully is not quite so heated as helmets, earphones, bike lanes and shared paths.
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Old 03-20-05, 07:55 PM   #9
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Can anyone recommend a particular mirror he or she likes? I've tried several and never felt I quite got the hang of any of them.
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Old 03-20-05, 08:45 PM   #10
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"The debate over mirrors thankfully is not quite so heated as helmets, earphones, bike lanes and shared paths." or shaved legs

I just bought a mirror at the LBS. The guy there was quite honest "You're wasting your money". After having set up said mirror and then seeing how useless it was I removed it.

The only one I think that would be practical is the Rhode Gear Oval Mirror. Even it wouldn't be brilliant all the time. I can see mine getting knocked off every time I put the bike away etc., etc.
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Old 03-20-05, 09:10 PM   #11
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I dont have a mirror, I dont want to see the car that is about to run me down, it takes a .1 of a second for a car to run you down, what is a mirror going to do, even if you see the car you wont have time to react.
just my 2cents worth.
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Old 03-20-05, 09:25 PM   #12
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I use my handlebar mirror pretty often. I'd like to see if I can take the lane or obstructing traffic. Drivers here are courteous enough to make me feel compelled to give way. I also use it to see if I need to resignal while waiting at the lights at a junction.
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Old 03-20-05, 09:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graham58
I dont have a mirror, I dont want to see the car that is about to run me down, it takes a .1 of a second for a car to run you down, what is a mirror going to do, even if you see the car you wont have time to react.
just my 2cents worth.
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Well I was hoping that mine would help me see a lane of traffic a few seconds ahead, so I wouldn't have to turn my neck so much when merging left in traffic. But I can't adjust it right, so it doesn't
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Old 03-20-05, 09:52 PM   #14
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Helmet-mounted mirrors ARE--almost--worse than useless, IMHO!!

I used one, briefly, before I found hood-mounted ones for my road bikes. The mirror was tricky, at best, to keep in adjustment and picked up way too much vibration to adjust to..even breathing would make the image "jump"!!

Handlebar-mount mirrors work far better!

Are handlebar mounted mirrors perfect? No! They will pick up more vibration, and need more adjustment, than the ones on your motor vehicle...likely due to the 'removable", and lightly-built, design needed to make the units usable for cyclists. A well-designed one, however, will minimize these problems.

If a mirror is used PROPERLY, you WILL get more than 0.1 second warning that a vehicle or vehicles are coming up behind you...you should get enough time to react accordingly! ALSO... and I have said this before!... a mirror is NO SUBSTITUTE for that head turn!

YOU NEED TO DO BOTH !!
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Old 03-20-05, 09:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaagenDas
The only one I think that would be practical is the Rhode Gear Oval Mirror. Even it wouldn't be brilliant all the time. I can see mine getting knocked off every time I put the bike away etc., etc.
The Rhode Gear set-up is quite robust. I've had two -- one velcroed on to the end of the bars, the other one plugs into the bar end (making it practical for flat and drop bars). The plug-in one has a swivel at the base of the mirror. The bike's been dropped on the plug-in one several times, and it's been knocked by path chicanes, doorways, pillars and stuff. Still going strong, or would be if I still had it on a bike.

The Mirycle, on the other hand, was knocked against a fence around 15km/h and cracked the glass. Bad luck ever since...

When I use them, the mirrors can give me a sense of what is happening behind me, including the vehicle that might be hugging the gutter. It can help identify openings when I need to take a lane. How far a vehicle is away and its approach speed. And if you are riding with someone, it can help you moderate your pace if you are fortunate enough to be faster than they are. Oh yeah, and you can check the reaction on the face of that pedestrian that you've just cut-up on the shared pathway -- just like drivers do to you as a cyclist!

But it never replaces a glance over the shoulder before executing a manoeuvre in traffic.
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Old 03-20-05, 11:13 PM   #16
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We were shopping for a 'bent for my wife yesterday, and the shop owner sent me out with her on a test ride, using one of his rental bikes, and their helmets. No third eye. I was lost without it.

Let's see...

Look like a dork vs. getting hit from behind without warning.

If it makes me look like a dork, so be it. Better an alive dork that a dead studmuffin.
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Old 03-20-05, 11:14 PM   #17
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Not being too smart here (me that is), but what's the difference between being hit from behind *with* warning and *without* warning?
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Old 03-20-05, 11:17 PM   #18
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With warning I'm less likely to get hit. I personally like my helmet mirror, but don't rely on it entirely. It let's me know when there's something coming that I can have a look at, and get a feel for what they are doing before they get close enough to do any damage.
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Old 03-21-05, 01:59 AM   #19
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I use mirrors on my bikes for many years and will not ride a bike without a mirror. A few years ago I found out about Z'efal mirror and now I shall never ride a bike without Z'efal Cyclop mirror.

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Old 03-21-05, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I use mirrors on my bikes for many years and will not ride a bike without a mirror. A few years ago I found out about Z'efal mirror and now I shall never ride a bike without Z'efal Cyclop mirror.


That's the mirror I use on my road bike as I have STI's I just love the thing, no bounce. Unfortunatly I cannot use it on my touring bike as I have bar end shifters.

On my touring bike I have on of those lever mount mirrors, you know, the kind that mounts on your brake lever and attaches with a velcro strap...? However, I have not mounted it there, but rather on the handlebar just behind the drops. I can't put my hands there because of the mirror but I never do anyhow. I have found this takes alot of the bounce out of the mirror, especially if you use electrical tape to mount it.

Wouldn't ride without a mirror, nor would I change lanes without a glance over my shoulder. I use the mirror as an early warning system, especially for the damn kids in case they have a 2x4 stiking out of the car, I can either duck or ride off the road.

Just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me.

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Old 03-21-05, 11:14 AM   #21
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I wouldnt ride without my Third Eye glasses mount mirror. It isnt the cars you need to watch, but cyclists sneeking up on you, so you can latch onto their rear wheel is they pass. Looking over your shoulder gives following motorists a clue that you might be about to change lanes.
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Old 03-21-05, 11:28 AM   #22
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I use both a helmet and a bar mirror. The helmet mirror for when Iím on the hoods. I can see anywhere behind me by aiming the mirror with head position. The bar mirror is for when Iím in the drops that way I do not have to lift my head up to align the helmet mirror.

I figure that the more ways I can keep track of my surroundings the better.
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Old 03-21-05, 12:21 PM   #23
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Good review on mirrors

The link above is a good read for considering mirrors. I tried the Third eye mirror but did not like it. The mirror was too close to my eye to use comfortably.

So I tried the Take-a-Look mirror. I like it much better. Been using it for about a month now. Easy to adjust and stays put for me very well on my glasses. I never tried the helmet mount.


As for those that say they look dorky, do you realize how dorky we all look wearing spandex?

Adding a mirror is not gonna make much of a difference to how you look on a bike
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Old 03-21-05, 12:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
As for those that say they look dorky, do you realize how dorky we all look wearing spandex?
Who's wearing spandex?
I ride in blue jeans!
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Old 03-21-05, 10:22 PM   #25
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I wouldn't say a mirror is necessary, but they are useful. I rode for many years without one, and never really felt the need. I tried a helmet mirror for a few days - didn't like it. It was impossible to adjust satisfactorily, and the one eyed rear view didn't offer much useful information. I've been using a handle bar mirror for a couple of years now, and I much prefer it. I appreciate not having to shoulder check as often, and it's been interesting noting how patient drivers are in waiting for a chance to overtake, something you can't see without a mirror.

They're also good for checking out the exasperated look on the face of the wheelsucker you just dropped.
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