Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

Left-side helmet-mounted mirror when blind in left eye

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Old 05-09-16, 08:58 AM
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Lively or Not
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Left-side helmet-mounted mirror when blind in left eye

I need a left-side mirror to see traffic and cyclists passing on my left. I'm looking at all options including bar-mounted mirrors - so I'd like to bypass the bar-vs.-helmet mount debate.

I'd like to try a helmet-mounted mirror for the left, but am blind in my left eye. I'm pretty sure most helmet-mounted mirrors won't work for me because they don't extend far enough forward to create a useful reflection angle for my right eye. Is anyone aware of helmet mirrors with longer-than-normal forward extension?
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Old 05-10-16, 09:31 PM
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I don't think a helmet mirror will work for you. Although the mirror can be mounted on the right side, it won't show what's to your immediate left. To se your immediate left you'd need a left handlebar mirror.

To see far back I use the Bike-Eye mirror and turn my head for my immediate left. Bike-Eye - Now selling internationally as well as the UK!
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Old 06-03-16, 07:53 AM
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Ihave an RVO (Retinal Vein Occlusion) in my left eye and had to give up on my glasses mounted mirror. I'm not blind in my left eye but my vision is similar to looking through an automobile windshield while it's raining without windshield wipers.

I now use a Mirrycle mirror that mounts to my left brake hood.



I can use my right eye and see quite well. As in the photo, it's mounted on the left side brake.
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Old 06-04-16, 09:09 AM
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Safe-zone Mirror .. its big enough to be on the left, traffic side of the helmet, but able to be seen from your right eye...

EVT | Safe Zone Mirror

So the exception to your 'Most won't'
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Old 06-04-16, 04:43 PM
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The Take-A-Look eyeglass-mounted mirror comes in both short and long lengths -- I've been using the long length version (mounted on the left earpiece), which extends 4" (10cm) in front of my eyeglasses... not far enough (I just checked) to see what's behind me with my left eye closed... but another 2"-3" longer, and it would. You might consider contacting the manufacturer (a "mom-and-pop" operation, in Greeley, CO -- (970) 339-BIKE; I've spoken/dealt with them directly in the past, and they were very approachable).

Knowing what doesn't work is as important as finding what does. Good luck!
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Old 06-04-16, 05:05 PM
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I have a Take-a-look mirror, the shorter version. I always ride with it. If I'm riding the local bike share bikes without my riding glasses, I really miss the rear view.

I don't actually see all that much when my head is in a normal riding position, and if I have a jacket, then half the view is blocked by folds in the jacket. I have to hold my head just right to see straight back as I'm riding.

Instead, I turn my head slightly to sweep the view behind me. Just a slight head turn, maybe 10 or 15 degrees, pans the view from way off the left side of the road behind to way off the right. It's fast and I do it without thinking now. (Some years ago, I was walking down the hall at work, heard an odd noise behind, and instinctively turned my head slightly to scan with my non-existent mirror.)

A glasses mounted mirror gives you a narrow, but full sized view. A bar mounted mirror has to be convex to have any coverage, so everything is small, like a right side car mirror.

So, with a right side glasses mirror, you should be able to see the lane behind you with little or no head movement, and a quick head shift to see everything behind.

Field of view
I just went outside and tested my field of view. The shorter mirror should give a wider field of view, since the mirror is closer to my eye. But where I have it positioned, the outside portion is way at the edge of my vision, not as in focus and a strain to see. On the inward side, I see the edge of my ear.

The usable width is about 1.5 to 2 fists held out at arms length. Or a fist + thumb held out. Not all that wide. But very usable with small head movements.

~~~~~

Mirror usage
If I'm in the drops, my view is mostly blocked anyway, unless I lift from my normal head position. On the hoods, with some effort, I can keep continuously monitoring the rear view, but it's not easy.

I'm in the habit of checking periodically to evaluate traffic behind me. Less often on quiet roads, more in busier traffic. I occasionally get startled by cars with very quiet tires if there's lots of wind noise in my ears, and I haven't been looking back much. Even with a full view style mirror with the road always in view, the rider needs to focus attention there, just like when driving, so it's not a continuous view anyway.

I'll stay in the lane's right tire track as much as possible, for less debris on the road, and no chewed up road edges. When there are cars approaching in the opposite direction, I glance back to make sure there's nothing coming up on me from the back--I try to manage the situation where the two cars pass each other right near me. So I'll either take the lane aggressively or get way over on the shoulder (if any). But usually, no cars are close behind, so I can just keep riding.

Mirrors are so nice for dealing with left turns. I can switch lanes in between groups of cars, watch that cars are slowing correctly, and make the turn smoothly.

I sometimes lead group rides, so a mirror makes keeping track of the riders behind me easy. I can even see riders still far back on a 90 degree side road before their turn. So you should be able to keep track of riders approaching on your left, using a right side mirror, until they are just a bike length or two away.

One downside of a mirror is watching those occasional "last second" drivers. They stay on a collision course in my lane until about 2 seconds from impact, then move over to pass. Grrr. They probably zoom up on cars and brake, then tailgate too. Perhaps it's better not to see?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Supplemental bar end mirror
Perhaps your best choice would be a right side eyeglass mirror, to see clearly way back down the road and off to the sides, and a left side small bar end mirror to keep track of co-riders and nearby cars as they get closer to you.

One of these styles:

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Old 06-07-16, 05:10 PM
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In the UK if you are blind in one eye you have to have additional mirrors on your vehicle. I use a left eye Safe Zone mirror and its plenty big but I can't see through it with my right eye. What I can do is what an earlier poster does and sweep the view with my left eye so it shows me a fairly panoramic view of what's behind. Still, for a situation where a rider was entirely blind in one eye I would absolutely use a bar (or frame) mounted mirror on the blind side, along with a helmet or eyeglass mirror on the good side. And practice with it until it became natural.

Anytime, everytime, you read a negative review of a helmet or eyeglass mirror you are witnessing the opinion of someone who did not, or could not, give the arrangement a chance(s). Think about a concert pianist and what it takes to do that and then think again about the eyeglass mirror you put in the desk drawer. I'm not judging you. I did it too. I'm glad I gave it a second chance.

As I understand it, the Safe Zone mirror extends fairly easy from stock, because it uses ball lock fittings available at any hardware store. As sold it sits around 4" from your eye. Moved forward a couple of inches it might more easily be seen by the other eye. I haven't tried this yet, but I think about it every now and then because I only have about 30 degrees of view through my left eye.
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Old 07-30-16, 03:29 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions and usage tips. I tried a bar-end mirror, and it worked OK, but the plastic ball joint broke after my incessant fiddling and repeatedly putting the mirror side of the bike on the ground. I've reached out to EVT about their Safe Zone mirror to check on adjusting the length.
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Old 07-30-16, 04:09 PM
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I make a custom bracket to mount a standard 3rd Eye Original mirror. It screws onto the helmet visor. I see no reason you couldn't use the same mirror and just make a bracket that extends forward. If you are handy I'd be happy to tell you how I make mine. I see you probably don't have enough posts yet to be able to message me, but quote my message (so I get an E-mail alert) and I will message you and we can talk further.

I make my brackets by cutting and shaping 8 mil aluminum sheet, fiberglassing both sides with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin, then drilling the bracket and visor for some small screws.

Since the bracket is completely custom, you can fabricate it to put the mirror exactly where you want it.

There is also The Safe Zone mirror from Brett Flemming of Portland's Bike Gallery, It is very large, very long and the mounting to the helmet can be done many ways.

EVT | Safe Zone Mirror

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Old 10-07-16, 08:37 PM
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I want to update this thread with the final results of my search. Thanks to everyone with your suggestions. Many of the ideas posted here helped me filter through a large number of products without having to go out and buy them. Thank you! I settled on the Safe Zone mirror, and it's a definite winner for my use-case scenario. Here is my experience for anyone in the future who might have a similar need.

I emailed the manufacturer, and they sent me extra length free of charge. I mounted the mirror on the left side of my helmet and tested it at home as best I could. While standing in my garage the mirror seemed stable enough with the extra length, and I could see vaguely behind me from my right eye. I figured a test ride was in order.

After a 20+ mile ride over some rough country "paved" roads, I can say this mirror exceeded my expectations. With the extra length, I easily positioned it so I could see traffic on my left from my right eye. I had feared a mirror with so much forward reach would be functional only in a limited way - you know, one of those situations where it "works" as long as I keep my head in just the right Goldilocks position and as long the road is smooth so the mirror doesn't get bumped out of position. There was no road-induced dealignment at all-those ball and socket joints are *really* solid. Even with nearly double the normal reach, the mirror vibrated no more than I'd expect from any mirror; it didn't hamper visibility at all. The large mirror size is invaluable here because, even several inches farther away, I don't have to squint to interpret what I see. The size also allows more wiggle room for a less-than-perfect positioning on my part.

As far as the downsides, the extra length does add some weight, which I'll happily take in exchange for the added safety. The extra length makes adjustments while riding a bit more involved because there are (literally) more moving parts, and I have to reach farther forward than I would otherwise. In particular, I need to keep the ball of my hand away from arm joints I'm not intending to move. With time, though, I suspect adjustments will become second nature.

If a future reader, like me, is blind in the left eye and worried about not seeing same-direction traffic on the roads, I hope this thread is helpful. If my assessment of the Safe Zone mirror changes, I'll post any new thoughts here. For now, though, I am one happy rider.
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Old 10-07-16, 08:41 PM
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I make a custom bracket to mount a standard 3rd Eye Original mirror. It screws onto the helmet visor. I see no reason you couldn't use the same mirror and just make a bracket that extends forward. If you are handy I'd be happy to tell you how I make mine.
Ben,

Thanks for the offer to help me do a custom job, but I'm not *nearly* that handy. It sounds like a great solution, though!
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Old 06-03-18, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lively or Not View Post
If a future reader, like me, is blind in the left eye and worried about not seeing same-direction traffic on the roads, I hope this thread is helpful. If my assessment of the Safe Zone mirror changes, I'll post any new thoughts here. For now, though, I am one happy rider.
I have been blind in my left eye since birth and have not been overly limited by it. However, I find that my blindness is creating a lot of extra stress for me in trying to get more serious about cycling. I am sure a mirror would help tremendously and appreciate the review you provided in this thread - it is the only information I could find when doing a google search. I wonder if you have any other advice on adaptations for someone starting out. Besides the massive blind spot and lack of peripheral vision, the lack of depth perception also seems to affect my comfort, particularly when riding in groups. Is this something you just learn to deal with or do you have any other tips? Thank you.
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Old 06-05-18, 05:40 PM
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This is interesting the re-boot of this thread. About an hour ago I was in the pharmacy picking up my wife's prescription. The clerk after a minute said "your mirror, that's a Safe Zone mirror, I make them". I said ... you work for EVT? She said "I AM EVT". Essentially the inventor of the Safe Zone mirror is the inventor but the person who actually puts them together and packages them is this woman I met today. I don't know what their connection beyond that might be or not be. I told her I'd like to extend mine by an inch or so but I didn't want to buy 6" of lok line fittings from Amazon. She is going to get a couple of links for me. Small world innit ...
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Old 06-06-18, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Naviguessing View Post
I have been blind in my left eye since birth and have not been overly limited by it. However, I find that my blindness is creating a lot of extra stress for me in trying to get more serious about cycling. I am sure a mirror would help tremendously and appreciate the review you provided in this thread - it is the only information I could find when doing a google search. I wonder if you have any other advice on adaptations for someone starting out. Besides the massive blind spot and lack of peripheral vision, the lack of depth perception also seems to affect my comfort, particularly when riding in groups. Is this something you just learn to deal with or do you have any other tips? Thank you.
First off, I should add some nuance I left out of my original post for simplicity's sake. I have slight vision from my left eye; I see shapes and colors, but none of the vision is measurable. Like you, my vision has been this way since birth. So be aware of that difference as you read my comments. Also, a note about my cycling history may provide useful context. Because I don't have an "extra" eye to lose in an accident, I have always been very risk averse in my physical environment, including cycling. As a kid, I had a very hard time learning to ride a bike. Once I did, I loved it and rode to school throughout middle and high school. I rode casually, never in groups. After college, I didn't ride at all for 15+ years until January 2016 when I first started riding "seriously" and with a local cycling group. In June 2016, I rode across Kansas with 800 strangers, and I've been hooked ever since.

For me, what's made the most difference in my comfort level as a cyclist has been to ride as much as I can. In the beginning of my return to cycling, I did a lot of solo rides along the many country roads outside the small town where I live. I'd consciously test my visual comfort with various situations. I experimented with turning my head to the right, paying attention to when the road falls out of my peripheral vision. I started riding moderately-traveled residential roads in town specifically so that cars would pass me and I could "dial in" my comfort level with that. Then I tried riding along a one-way busier road (i.e., cars going 25-35 mph with few stop signs), again to further attune myself to being aware of passing cars. Eventually, I rode state highways with shoulders, etc. Throughout this process, I'd be paying attention to when I'd hear an overtaking vehicle compared with when I'd see it. I'd also experiment with different timings for doing a visual "check" in my mirror.

Though I didn't always see it at the time, in retrospect it's clear that this process helped me to build a new awareness of my visual and auditory senses as a cyclist. YMMV, so do whatever you're comfortable with to build confidence.

I didn't start riding with a cycling group for a month or two. Group rides definitely presented their own challenges. One strategy is to not ride in the heart of the group, but to slide back a little to observe how riders ahead manage space and communicate about space as they ride. The best thing I did, though, was to tell people riding to my left that I'm largely blind on the left and that if I start to approach them to please speak up and that if they approach me on the left to let me know they're there. People were really good about being responsive to this. Eventually, all the regulars in the group knew the drill, and I developed my own set of skills and adaptations to be able to ride comfortably.

I may have missed a couple items from your post, but I'm going to leave things here for now and post this. Just keep riding; you'll build the skills you need as you go, I suspect. Let us know how you progress!
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Old 06-06-18, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
This is interesting the re-boot of this thread. About an hour ago I was in the pharmacy picking up my wife's prescription. The clerk after a minute said "your mirror, that's a Safe Zone mirror, I make them". I said ... you work for EVT? She said "I AM EVT". Essentially the inventor of the Safe Zone mirror is the inventor but the person who actually puts them together and packages them is this woman I met today. I don't know what their connection beyond that might be or not be. I told her I'd like to extend mine by an inch or so but I didn't want to buy 6" of lok line fittings from Amazon. She is going to get a couple of links for me. Small world innit ...
That's wild! They were really great with me and just offered to send extra length. Seems like a great company.
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Old 06-09-18, 12:23 PM
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Thank you! Your advice is very helpful and encouraging. I, too, am not completely blind in that eye (coloboma), but at this point it has pretty much diminished to just light and dark. I am hopeful that starting with a couch to 50 group will give me a safe environment to learn to group ride and some friends to help keep me “left side aware”

Thanks again!
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Old 06-19-18, 03:51 PM
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the flexible piece was a common production machine shop piece ,
used to direct a stream of cutting lubricant & cooling fluid
while your CNC machines are cutting metal parts 1 after another..

an A-Ha moment and it was adapted to a new use.
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