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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, 04:46 AM   #1
coasting 
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mirrors are dangerous

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 can't just glimpse at the mirror briefly
it isn't always pointing the right direction so i have to change direction/turn handlebar to point it
i swerve when i look at it (turning the bar or just not looking ahead)
it only tells me there are cars in the lane way back which is useless info
cars right up close that affect the riding are close enough to hear and don't always show up in the mirror

generally it is very distracting and takes my focus away from looking where i should be looking.
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Old 09-02-09, 04:50 AM   #2
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Ditch it. Learn to glance over yer shoulder without swerving.
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Old 09-02-09, 04:52 AM   #3
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I always had the same experience with mirrors.

A long time ago, I taught myself to be able to turn my head to look behind me while holding my line. An ever-so-slight lean of the bike away from the direction I'm turning my head and voila, no swerve.

Depending on the traffic behind me, I do this as much as every few seconds, or as little as every few minutes.
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Old 09-02-09, 04:57 AM   #4
coasting 
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Ditch it. Learn to glance over yer shoulder without swerving.
that's exactly what i have always done ever since i started to ride. i had this mirror lying around which i didn't see the need for on the regular road bike but since i started to use a different bike for town riding i thought it might be useful. it isn't.
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Old 09-02-09, 04:59 AM   #5
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So be a proper Fred and get a helmet/glasses mounted mirror. Dorky is better than blind.
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Old 09-02-09, 04:59 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:03 AM   #7
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never tried helmet or glasses mounted mirror, but i am now a mirror sceptic after initial experience.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:14 AM   #8
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never tried helmet or glasses mounted mirror, but i am now a mirror sceptic after initial experience.
I tried a helmet mirror once.

Suicide on a stick, if you ask me.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:15 AM   #9
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never tried helmet or glasses mounted mirror, but i am now a mirror sceptic after initial experience.
Mirrors on handlebars are useless. I have been using the Bike Peddler, glasses mounted, mirror for three years. It looks dorky but it works. I will not ride without it. If you are making a lane change across two or three lanes of traffic, it is a life saver. I glance very quickly at the mirror and then tend to not look at it at all if I am riding straight with not plans of turning or changing lanes.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:18 AM   #10
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No, mirrors are a key safety device that every cyclist must adopt.

It's iPods that are dangerous.

Get it straight or I'll have no choice but to report you to the Fred Authorities.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:20 AM   #11
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I love the mirror on the end of my hybrid handlebar. I have no problem with quick glances and it is a significant contributor to situational awareness. I'll be looking for something similar for when I get my new bike with drop handlebars.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:29 AM   #12
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NERDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


nah, i don't mean it. I couldn't resist though!
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Old 09-02-09, 08:31 AM   #13
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No, mirrors are a key safety device that every cyclist must adopt.

It's iPods that are dangerous.

Get it straight or I'll have no choice but to report you to the Fred Authorities.
already happened. sentenced to life hard labour
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Old 09-02-09, 08:33 AM   #14
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I'm been using a bar-end mirror (Italian Road Bike Mirror) for a little over a month and I think it is a great tool. I tried the Bike Peddler first and liked it OK, but found the field of view pretty small and I had to admust my head to get a good look anyway. The IRBM is convex, so it is very easy to get a quick look at everything behind you with a quick glance down without any head movement. For me, it is a tool to get a quick assessment of my surroundings, not a replacement for turning my head and taking a look. If I want to change lanes and see a bunch of traffic in my mirror, there is no point in turning my head 10 times until it is clear. Once it clears up in the mirror, it's just a quick head turn as a final check. I also like the IRBM because it is a solid mount (vs. messing with glasses/helmet mount) and it's real glass (vs. plastic).
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Old 09-02-09, 08:35 AM   #15
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Take a look at this mirror. This is the one I use and it's great, but it will make you look like a Fred.

http://tinyurl.com/myfd44

Last edited by Carbon Unit; 09-02-09 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:36 AM   #16
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I briefly had a sunglasses mirror, but it died along with the glasses when I dropped them in the street and an obliging SUV killed them off. In general, I would say shoulder checks are more than adequate so long as you can do them without swerving, etc. That said, in heavy/fast traffic a mirror could be very useful.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:36 AM   #17
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when making a turn, the car just behind is what matters. i found i didn't always see this car in the mirror. seeing that there were cars in the lane further back was no help at all. if it was clear immediately behind i would move out anyway and those further back would just have to slow down.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:38 AM   #18
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Take a look at this mirror. This is the one I use and it's great. It will make you look like a Fred.

http://tinyurl.com/myfd44
hi fred.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:49 AM   #19
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Hi, my name is Fred, and I use a helmet mounted mirror...... well ok my name isnt really Fred, but I do use a helmet mirror. I like that a quick flick of the eye's and I have a reasonable Idea of what is going on behind me. I use it primarily to keep an I dea of what is coming from behind. That way motorists dont supprise me when they sneek up and lay on the horn, and I can have a finger ready for them. I still look before turns.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:49 AM   #20
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hi fred.
I would much rather look like a Fred and be alive than to look cool and be dead.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:57 AM   #21
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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 tried a helmet-mounted mirror and found that it was too small and difficult to see; the mirror is about was big as my thumbnail, so you never get a very good view of anything.

I just put a bar-mounted mirror on my touring bike. Seems like the way to go! The mirror is much larger, so you can see a lot more with a quick glance. Unlike the OP, I can move my head without swerving which allows me to easily change where I'm looking in the mirror. Vibration can be an issue, however. I've yet to have it get so bad that I wasn't able to see what's behind me, though. You might not know what brand/model of car is about to run you over, but you'll know that something is there...
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Old 09-02-09, 09:05 AM   #22
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I use a helmet mirror and I love it. I know I'm a fred...
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Old 09-02-09, 09:07 AM   #23
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I would much rather look like a Fred and be alive than to look cool and be dead.
looking cool isn't an option for me. fred through and through here.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:13 AM   #24
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Look in bike mirror
Car going fifty is fast
Mirror does not help
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Old 09-02-09, 09:17 AM   #25
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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 can't just glimpse at the mirror briefly
it isn't always pointing the right direction so i have to change direction/turn handlebar to point it
i swerve when i look at it (turning the bar or just not looking ahead)
it only tells me there are cars in the lane way back which is useless info
cars right up close that affect the riding are close enough to hear and don't always show up in the mirror

generally it is very distracting and takes my focus away from looking where i should be looking.
So have your removed the mirrors from your car because they are dangerous?
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