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Considering a rearview mirror

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Considering a rearview mirror

Old 03-07-24, 05:16 PM
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Considering a rearview mirror

Riding almost all solo nowadays, after retiring last year, and going when the weather suits me.
I ride mostly low-traffic roads with a decent shoulder, with occasional busier streets mixed in.
Electric & hybrid cars, together with electric bicycles, sometimes quietly come upon me.
Wondering if you all recommend clipping a mirror to my sunglasses or get one that attaches to my handlebar.
Even a camera could work, since I mount my iPhone to the stem with the screen always on.
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Old 03-07-24, 05:41 PM
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I've used a Take-a-Look sunglass mirror for many years. It's so useful.

I have to lift my head slightly to see straight back along the road. Then a slight head turn sweeps the viewpoint from side to side as needed. So it's not a continuous monitoring mode, I have to specifically decide to look behind. That rear view is fast, easy and kind of automatic now. (some years ago, before I retired, I heard a strange noise in the hallway at work. I turned my head slightly to get a view in the mirror, without thinking. No mirror of course...)

Since the view is moveable with a slight head turn, it doesn't need to be wide angle, so I can see far back on the road. Convex handlebar mirrors are only good for objects nearby, but that's kind of useful.

It's so much better for left turns -- I can arrange to move over when there's no cars overtaking. Rough pavement at the edge of the road? ride in the middle if nobody is near. Riding on a curvy hill road--I'm out in left tire track,blinky going, checking the mirror a lot. If a car appears behind me, I can quickly get over to the right tire track, but being out in the lane gives the driver an earlier view of me.
It's also helpful when riding with other riders -- are they nearby or way behind?

I occasionally ride the local bike share bikes in the city, and don't have the mirror with me. That's really weird to have to turn my head to look back! Unsettling.

Cameras won't be helpful -- even if you can see the screen in bright sunlight, the wide field of view makes cars really tiny that are just a few seconds back. And you can't watch the screen all the time.

~~~
"Stealth" car approaches
At any reasonable speed, there's too much wind noise to reliably hear cars behind me. Some tires are noisy, some not.
The mirror doesn't solve this problem, since I'm not actively looking back all the time. I do have a habit on quiet roads to use the mirror a lot when there's a curve or small rise ahead, or a car approaching from the front -- any time there won't be an easy passing situation for a car behind me.

Radar! Some of the local riders have the Garmin Varia radar. It's astonishingly effective. Usually it's beeps are the first indication of an overtaking car, before any of the group riders notice it. It has very few false alarms too. I considered buying one, but I'm usually riding with a group of 3-8 riders,which helps with traffic. Maybe soon -- and if I rode solo very often, I'd get one!

video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmdz_6ZpcIQ#t=1s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HBNXEFRLFA#t=1s

The Varia triggers on vehicles (and usually cyclists) that are closing the gap behind me. Cars (or cyclists) that are maintaining my speed don't need or get a signal.
It works with Garmin GPS computers, and there's a free phone app too. Riders mostly just listen for the beeps, instead of monitoring the "dots" showing the progress of the approaching cars.

Daytime blinkies (front and rear) for an early "heads up!" to drivers -- there's a cyclist way down the road, get ready.
My Cygolite rear 150 lumen blinky is on the 2-flashes-a-second single, sharp flash mode. That short flash is extremely bright, even in noon sunlight. It's instantly noticeable to me when some of the other riders are way ahead, too distant to make out as "a cyclist".

This single flash mode uses very little battery. I think it's 15 hours or so, compared to a couple of hours when on continuously.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-07-24 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 03-07-24, 05:58 PM
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I've been using a handlebar mounted mirror since the mid-80's and it's a valuable tool. The anti-mirror folks will give many reasons to not use them, but they only have one valid point and that is that a mirror can distract you -- that's true. However, so do hot, scantily clad ladies, especially here in Florida

A mirror is a tool and just like a hammer, you learn not to smash your fingers



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Old 03-07-24, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
I've been using a handlebar mounted mirror since the mid-80's and it's a valuable tool. The anti-mirror folks will give many reasons to not use them, but they only have one valid point and that is that a mirror can distract you -- that's true. However, so do hot, scantily clad ladies, especially here in Florida
I've ridden across the USA 3 times and have ridden 2-3 hours a day since I retired 10 years ago and not once, I repeat, NOT ONCE, have I been distracted by a hot, scantily clad lady. Maybe I should move to Florida.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:21 PM
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I’ve installed end of drop bar mirrors, used them a few years, they are wonderful. I can see if a car is coming when I am about to pass a parked car and need the lane. All kinds of usefulness. I wonder why I spent 30 years without one.
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Old 03-07-24, 09:29 PM
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I have to wear glasses all the time and there is no way I am going to attach anything to them that might snag something and damage them. (Plus those events, even minor ones, are really hard on the nose!)

I use helmet mounted mirrors. Third Eye Originals that clamp onto the helmet shell or visor. I am not in love with the usual mirror-helmet interface and I make custom brackets for mine that attach to the visor with 2 small screws. The mirror clamp secures very positively to my brackets which outlast several helmets. Just as good vision-wise and for secure, low vibration mounting is the EVT Safety Zone mirror. Very versatile mount. Looks goofy but works very well. I've used them but cannot get used to how big it is and snag it regularly in my garage. Does it no harm but annoys me.
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Old 03-07-24, 10:58 PM
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I've used the helmet mounted mirror on my last 3 helmets. I find a touch of hot glue really steadies it so you don't have vibration. I am considering one that mounts to my glasses because I have a special pair of glasses that I only use for motion related activities such as riding, atving, snowmobiling, skiing, etc. I found anything mounted directly to the bike to create too much distortion from vibrations. But I have a feeling that any style of mirror you will adapt to it and find it hard to live without after a while.
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Old 03-07-24, 11:08 PM
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Heres a post 10wheels made a few years ago. I have been using the Glove Mirror since then. You could use that till you make up your mind which type ya want...

Does anyone mount a mirror on their bike to see behind them?

Does anyone mount a mirror on their bike to see behind them?
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Old 03-07-24, 11:24 PM
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I used take-a-look glasses mount for a number of years. I've switched to a helmet-mount, and find that works better. If the glasses get wet or foggy I can push them down and the mirror's still there. Feels naked to ride without it.
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Old 03-07-24, 11:32 PM
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Sprintech mirrors on my drop bar bikes. For the flat bar bikes I buy small motorcycle mirrors off of eBay.
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Old 03-08-24, 12:20 AM
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No question. A mirror is a fairly necessary piece of safety equipment. Why does it feel like this surprises some people? I don't want the o.p. to be disappointed though. A mirror is not really very good at informing you of cars you don't know are there! You need radar for that. But when what you need to know is exactly where the cars behind you are so you can execute a pass or avoid bike lane debris and you don't want to or cannot turn your head to directly observe conditions, that's when a mirror is worth its weight.
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Old 03-08-24, 07:30 AM
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I've been using the glasses-mounted take-a-look mirror. Just like when driving, it is habit to look back before braking or changing lanes. And I almost always see the movement of approaching cars in the mirror.

I'm intrigued by the rear-radars as a supplemental device to further alert me, but with six bikes in my commute rotation, unless it can be quickly ferried from bike to bike, or mounted on a helmet (both xmitter and receiver).
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Old 03-08-24, 09:01 AM
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Get a nice big bar mirror. Anything else is a toy. I ride highways with hundreds of trucks, many are 12+ foot wide.
BikeINN in Spain has LOTS of them. Mine is basically for a motorcycle that has a stiff 8 mm post. As long as it doesn't sag, then it is fabulous.
I did have to make a mount tho from old shifters. Also great for hanging bags. LOL.
I don't ever wear a hellmet or clown vis. Baseball cap and dyno lights always on.


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Old 03-08-24, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Heres a post 10wheels made a few years ago. I have been using the Glove Mirror since then. You could use that till you make up your mind which type ya want...

Does anyone mount a mirror on their bike to see behind them?

Does anyone mount a mirror on their bike to see behind them?
Thanks for those links, which did not pop up during my various searches.
I like the ideas put forth within my thread, as well. Right now making me lean towards a helmet mount version.
And I seriously considered the dropbar end mount, until members pointed-out the vibration factor. Never thought of that!
The ones clipped to sunglasses might work okay, but I frequently remove mine to clean during rides.
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Old 03-08-24, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Thanks for those links, which did not pop up during my various searches...
The search engine inside the forum can be complex and tedious till you get used to it. Often using a google type search can reveal more sources.

Example

bikeforums.net:mirror
or
bikeforums.net:spoke+tension
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Old 03-08-24, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Riding almost all solo nowadays, after retiring last year, and going when the weather suits me.
I ride mostly low-traffic roads with a decent shoulder, with occasional busier streets mixed in.
Electric & hybrid cars, together with electric bicycles, sometimes quietly come upon me.
Wondering if you all recommend clipping a mirror to my sunglasses or get one that attaches to my handlebar.
Even a camera could work, since I mount my iPhone to the stem with the screen always on.
Absolutely a mirror. I wouldn't drive a car on the public road without a rear-view (pretty sure it's a legal requirement in any case), so why on earth would I ride a smaller, slower, less visible and more vulnerable vehicle on the road without a rear-view?
Don't think it matters which type - I tried a helmet-mount, but I just couldn't "get my eye in". Not interested in glass-mounted for the same reason - also I don't want extra weight hanging off my specs.
I went with a SprintTech bar-end convex mirror on the left, which I used for years - would feel naked riding without it. A couple of years ago I added a Varia rear light/radar, which is a great combination with the mirror IMO. I regularly scan with the mirror anyway, but the radar lets me know when somethings coming (depending on the viz, vehicles 150-200yds back aren't always obvious in the mirror). The radar alerts me, the mirror enables me to see what it is (eg, a motorcycle vs a truck) and, more importantly, if it's giving me room. The mirror also provides a backup to the radar - I still always check my rear either directly or by mirror, before I move to the left, even if the radar says it's clear - I've had the albeit-rare occasion where the radar simply failed to register an oncoming vehicle - not sure why. After the last episode, I'm going to keep track of what the car was (the last one was a Prius - maybe the aero shape associated with small EVs is inadvertently making them.....stealth?)

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Old 03-08-24, 12:38 PM
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I don't use a mirror. There are just too many other clues from sound and visual that tell me when someone is behind me. I don't need to know what they are doing, because they are in all likelihood going to avoid me. As is their legal requirement. If one is going to intend me malice, I doubt I'd ever see that in time to take action.

I don't fault any that does use mirrors. Just putting in a viewpoint from another perspective.
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Old 03-08-24, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I don't use a mirror. There are just too many other clues from sound and visual that tell me when someone is behind me. I don't need to know what they are doing, because they are in all likelihood going to avoid me. As is their legal requirement. If one is going to intend me malice, I doubt I'd ever see that in time to take action.

I don't fault any that does use mirrors. Just putting in a viewpoint from another perspective.
I hear ya and mostly feel the exact same thing, even after fifty years and a quarter-million cycling miles.
Trusting motorists only goes so far, though. My ride yesterday proved the final straw in practicing that philosophy.
Big loud truck announcing its approach from behind, with me thinking he clearly sees me - flashing tailight and bright jersey and all.
Nope. GM Food Services did not mind passing unnecessarily on a slight uphill pitch in Monrovia, CA. Four lane divided road.
He missed the upcoming light, so this time I took the dang lane and made it swiftly by parked cars for a quarter mile.
California passed this 3-foot rule a couple years back. Unsure if any non-cyclist motorists follow that.
In fact, over the past few years, motorists became more reckless and aggressive. Sad state of affairs.
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Old 03-10-24, 01:41 AM
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I can't imagine riding without my Take a Look, which I mount to my helmet visor. Getting it positioned is a little bit of a pain, I like the idea of a little hot glue. Having it on my helmet is great, low vibration and allows me to move my head to look around a bit as needed. I've never found it to be a distraction, and the small size means that its blind spot is quite small.
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Old 03-10-24, 08:07 AM
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By all means put a rear view mirror on your bike or trike. When I hear a car behind me, I watch them like a hawk, that they are going to pass safely. It could be some loon on his smart phone driving right at you. Be prepared to dive into the ditch if you have to.
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Old 03-10-24, 07:56 PM
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I used a Take-A-Look mirror for years and then about a year ago I started using Tri-Eye cycling glasses. They have a mirror built into the lower corner of the glasses. It has a somewhat smaller field of view than a TAL mirror, but it is much less likely to get bumped or moved out of position when you're not riding. Also, it has an order of magnitude lower geek factor compared to the TAL mirror. It requires a slight head turn, but so does using the rear view mirror in my pickup.

The Tri-Eye glasses are very well made and are reasonably priced. They also come in several lens colors.

I absolutely hate riding without a mirror. I find it very hard to turn and look behind. I'm just not as flexible as I was in my youth. Plus, even if I could do that, it would be unreasonable to look as often as I can with a mirror. I check behind often just to maintain situational awareness. And of course anytime I need to move into a traffic lane.
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