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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 09-02-09, 09:20 AM   #26
coasting 
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
So have your removed the mirrors from your car because they are dangerous?
totally different for cars. the problem with the bike is that the handlebars move so the mirror is not always pointing in the same direction. turning the bars to look in the mirror moves the bike's direction...hence it is dangerous.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:21 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post
Look in bike mirror
Car going fifty is fast
Mirror does not help
Helps more than not seeing the car coming at all.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:23 AM   #28
Carbon Unit
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
totally different for cars. the problem with the bike is that the handlebars move so the mirror is not always pointing in the same direction. turning the bars to look in the mirror moves the bike's direction...hence it is dangerous.
That is why handlebar mirrors are useless. With a helmet or sunglasses mounted mirror, you just need to turn your head slightly to see behind you.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:28 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
totally different for cars. the problem with the bike is that the handlebars move so the mirror is not always pointing in the same direction. turning the bars to look in the mirror moves the bike's direction...hence it is dangerous.
Funny.
I use a convex Sprintech mirror on the left bar-end and have never needed to move the bars to use it.
Is the mirror you tried flat, or convex?
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Old 09-02-09, 09:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Funny.
I use a convex Sprintech mirror on the left bar-end and have never needed to move the bars to use it.
Is the mirror you tried flat, or convex?

this is the one. it is convex
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Ca...or/5360007169/
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Old 09-02-09, 09:42 AM   #31
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I use a helmet mirror when I ride with my GF. That way I can glance to see if she's keeping up without annoying her by constantly looking over my shoulder.

It's an adjustment...
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Old 09-02-09, 09:48 AM   #32
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I have used a Mirrycle brake mount mirror on my old bike that I liked very well. I guess it depends on the mirror or the person. I just ordered a Mirrycle mirror that I will install under my Ultegra brake hood since I started commuting with heavy truck traffic.

I have mirrors on my motorcycles which also work well even when I am stopped or moving to see what's behind me without having to turn my head.

Even with a mirror blind spots need to be checked before changing lanes or turning. A good mirror and experience with using it is safer when sharing the road with vehicles than no mirror.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:49 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
i just put a handlebar mirror onto my get about town bike and took it out for a test ride yesterday evening. here are my first impressions:
I don't think you are giving it enough time. It's a learned skill.

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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
it isn't always pointing the right direction so i have to change direction/turn handlebar to point it
You should be able to just move your head laterally ("like an Egyptian"). (Don't turn the bars.)

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i swerve when i look at it (turning the bar or just not looking ahead)
Do you think you are going to swerve less by turning to look behind you?

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it only tells me there are cars in the lane way back which is useless info
This is really what (I think) the real value of mirrors are. The more riding you do, the better you will be able to use this information.

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cars right up close that affect the riding are close enough to hear and don't always show up in the mirror
Clearly, then, this isn't the purpose of a mirror. (The point of a mirror is to plan moves.)

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Originally Posted by rangerdavid View Post
what about helmet mirrors? I see lots of people around here using those (admittedly tourists on their beach cruizers though)........ actually don't think I've seen a roadie using one.
I've seen lots of roadies with helmet mirrors, more than with handle bar ones.

============================

It appears that many people who have tried mirrors overestimate the things that they can do and underestimate the skill/learning/experience that using them requires.

Being able to look behind you is a useful skill whether or not you use a mirror.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-02-09 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:59 AM   #34
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Never understood mirrors on bikes. There is nothing going on behind me that I am concerned about, or could do anything about if I did know.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:08 AM   #35
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I tried a helmet mirror once. Suicide on a stick, if you ask me.
Maybe they sell them at the Minnesota State Fair?
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Old 09-02-09, 10:16 AM   #36
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just to clarify...

i don't have a problem looking back without a mirror. i hold my line just fine. the op is about the handlebar mirror making me swerve when turning my head doesn't...hence it is a false safety accessory for me.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:20 AM   #37
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Never understood mirrors on bikes. There is nothing going on behind me that I am concerned about, or could do anything about if I did know.
(Future road kill.)
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Old 09-02-09, 10:30 AM   #38
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Never understood mirrors on bikes. There is nothing going on behind me that I am concerned about, or could do anything about if I did know.
A guy I ride with, that was wearing a mirror, had a motor home coming up behind him. The motor home had left it's step open which was sticking a few feet out from the side of the vehicle. He heard a truck coming up behind him and looked in the mirror. He saw the step and moved as far to the right as he could. If he hadn't moved to the right he would have been road kill.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:31 AM   #39
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just to clarify...

i don't have a problem looking back without a mirror. i hold my line just fine.
That's a useful clarification. I think many people would swerve more.

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the op is about the handlebar mirror making me swerve when turning my head doesn't...hence it is a false safety accessory for me.
Then you're doing it wrong. I think it takes some learning/experience to use a mirror.

You should be able to move your head laterally to increase the view in the mirror rather than turning the bars. A lot of people use mirrors.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-02-09 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:33 AM   #40
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thanks for the pointers. i'm not removing it just yet. just my first impressions. we'll see if it becomes more useful after giving it a chance.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:33 AM   #41
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I used to use a handlebar mirror, I now use a helmet mirror.

It does take some getting used to. For the first few days I was like "this was a waste of money"

Five years later I won't ride in the street without one.

Better Fred than Dead.........
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Old 09-02-09, 10:37 AM   #42
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thanks for the pointers. i'm not removing it just yet. just my first impressions. we'll see if it becomes more useful after giving it a chance.
It could take a few weeks. Starting out, you are just working too hard! I think the value of them is more subtle than people expect. And they certainly are not perfect.
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Old 09-02-09, 10:39 AM   #43
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Helmet mirror user here. I ride mainly on rural roads. Most common use for me is when there's a car approaching to make sure there's not one overtaking at the same time. You don't need a lot of detail for that.

Recently was passed by a fellow biker that gave no warning indication of his presence - and he passed darn close. Mirror saved me from a startled jerk of the bars.

BTW, it takes quite an effort to turn my arthritic neck enough to see what's behind me. Now THAT would be seriously dangerous.
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Old 09-02-09, 11:45 AM   #44
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Helps more than not seeing the car coming at all.
Not picking a stupid boardie fight or anything, just genuinely curious... HOW does it help more than not seeing the car coming at all?

Do you ride differently when you see a car in the mirror? Do you move over to the right side of your 3 feet? Do you dive in the ditch if you think they aren't swerving for you??

I assume two things when I ride, 1) I'm invisible and 2) there's a car behind me at all times. I've learned to look back before I make moves into the lane and would never trust a glance in a mirror to give me the full view of what's going on behind me (meaning, you have to look back anyway). Nor do I want anything at all blocking my view to the front left, where there are oncoming cars who want to turn left and potentially hit me (a MUCH bigger concern, imo, than cars coming from behind, I can't tell you how many times some taxi or whatever is watching the cars and not me coming toward him, just waiting for the gap that he can turn, forcing me to grab a handful of breaks and almost find jesus)....
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Old 09-02-09, 11:50 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
No, mirrors are a key safety device that every cyclist must adopt.
It's OK if pcad approves of them. No, wait a minute... That can't be right!

===============

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Not picking a stupid boardie fight or anything, just genuinely curious... HOW does it help more than not seeing the car coming at all?
You are taking his comment out of context. Don't read too much into it.

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I assume two things when I ride, 1) I'm invisible and 2) there's a car behind me at all times. I've learned to look back before I make moves into the lane and would never trust a glance in a mirror to give me the full view of what's going on behind me (meaning, you have to look back anyway).
Really, the point of a mirror is to confirm that there is a car behind you. It can't establish completely that there is no car there. If you "trust" a mirror, you are using it wrong. (This is no different than mirrors in a car!)

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Nor do I want anything at all blocking my view to the front left, where there are oncoming cars who want to turn left and potentially hit me (a MUCH bigger concern, imo, than cars coming from behind, I can't tell you how many times some taxi or whatever is watching the cars and not me coming toward him, just waiting for the gap that he can turn, forcing me to grab a handful of breaks and almost find jesus)....
To each his own. I know many competent cyclists who use mirrors; I know many who do not.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-02-09 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:00 PM   #46
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Consider this for a moment...

If you are looking in the mirror, you are not looking where you are going. You might say that you can do both, but the fact is that you have to focus your attention for at least a short time to actually see what is behind you and process the information. To do that enough to make looking back increase your safety IMHO you are negating it by not paying enough attention to what is going on in front of you.

A car is a different animal. Bigger mirrors that are adjusted and positioned to give easy access to the visual information. Also, you only need to actually look at them when changing lanes, passing, etc.

So... back to the original conclusion - mirrors are of little to no use on a bicycle. They certainly aren't a safety device, and for the novice - the usual users - they are most likely the opposite.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:17 PM   #47
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You cant hear bikes coming up behind you. With a mirror you will be ready to apply a burst of power to jump on their wheel as they pass you.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:19 PM   #48
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I have friends that use helmet mirrors and like them. For me, I make routes that only have right turns

J/K but in all seriousness I spent 2 years as a messenger in Boston, and have ridden regularly for 10 years since, and I've never felt I was in any situaiton where a mirror would have helped. That said, I've never used one so maybe I'm wrong. But seriously, cyclists dont generally get rear ended. They are usually T-boned, driven off the shoulder, or in some sort of head on accident. As previously mentioned, what is really going to happen if you glance in the mirror and a car is approaching that seems to be a problem? Ride off the road? Ditch? Sprint for dear life?

rob
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Old 09-02-09, 12:26 PM   #49
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I have been riding bicycles and motorcycles with mirrors for over 30 years. If I have to turn my body to look behind me, I take my eyes off the road. At higher rates of speed the danger is compounded. On a bicycle, I can see what is coming and perhaps move over more if a vehicle is passing me too closely. Defensive driving technique when using mirrors is to know the location of vehicles around you and be aware of any directions to get out of trouble. This may be especially true of motorcycles. Learning to glance in a mirror is easy without taking eyes off the road for too long versus turning to look behind. The blind spot still needs to be checked though. Obviously, when traveling at higher rates of speed it may be better to not take your eyes off the road in front of you. I guess everyone has a preference. I am just used to using a mirror. My normal bicycle/motorcycle with vehicle accidents are not rear enders, but I have come close at stops with someone slamming on their brakes and ending up along side me or passing too close not paying attention such as talking on a cell phone.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:32 PM   #50
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As previously mentioned, what is really going to happen if you glance in the mirror and a car is approaching that seems to be a problem? Ride off the road? Ditch? Sprint for dear life?
Which do you think is a better outcome: getting ass-packed at 50mph by a car you didn't know was there, or swerving off the road before you get hit?
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