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Do you use a rear view mirror?

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Do you use a rear view mirror?

Old 10-03-07, 09:42 AM
  #1  
RVH
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Do you use a rear view mirror?

Recently, I installed a rear view mirror on my road bike and have been very pleased with the ability to know what's going on behind me, cars and other cyclists. I think it is much safer than going without. I don't see a lot of people using mirrors and wonder why. Is there a perceived increased drag or is it the geek factor, or the "I'm not a serious cyclist" factor?

I won't ride without one again.

What do you think?

Bob
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Old 10-03-07, 09:56 AM
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I have been using a mirror for a long time now. Since it's easier to see behind you, you will look behind more often, a plus I think. Mine is mounted on the helmet and I can rotate my head a little and sweep a wide area behind me.

Just yesterday, I saw a guy using a very small (about 1/2" round) mirror that mounts on the outer, lower edge of sunglasses or regular glasses that is invisible to someone looking at you from a little distance.

However, when I intend to make a turn, I always physically look back as added insurance.

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Old 10-03-07, 09:59 AM
  #3  
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I think they are invaluable.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:00 AM
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Absolutely use a mirror in traffic. I prefer the Take-a-Look glasses mounted.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:05 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by RVH View Post
Recently, I installed a rear view mirror on my road bike and have been very pleased with the ability to know what's going on behind me, cars and other cyclists. I think it is much safer than going without. I don't see a lot of people using mirrors and wonder why. Is there a perceived increased drag or is it the geek factor, or the "I'm not a serious cyclist" factor?

I won't ride without one again.

What do you think?

Bob
Yes there is a percentage of cyclists who consider it geekish, but I think it is more the fact that some cyclists are mimimalists. They can achieve the same effect by simply turning their head.

I persoanally have a clip on mirror that attaches to my glasses. I don't always use it, and it's no big deal because I can listen for traffic, and look behind me before chaning lanes. The advantage of the mirror is that you can see what's coming long before you can hear it and signal well in advance before moving. I use a clip-on type because I feel the ones that attach to your bike get banged up a bit every time you lay your bike down. There is a new type of mirror that is built right into the bar ends, which makes it quite compact and not prone to damage when laying the bike down.

Without a mirror, looking back at traffic is a skill that does not take that long to master; However, it does take a little bit of planning. Select a clear section of road in front of you, center yourself on the bike so you don't drift left while looking, memorize the road just ahead of you, look around your shoulder, visually take in the whole road and return to regular riding position. The whole process takes maybe 1/2 second. A little practice and any new cyclist can do it too.

So mirrors have an advantage, but are not essential.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:07 AM
  #6  
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Yes, I like the "Take A Look" brand that fits on eyeglasses. It's very adjustable and stable--I used it to tour in a former British Commonwealth country a few years ago and it can be completely inverted for use on the right-hand side of one's specs.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:08 AM
  #7  
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No. I have a fully functioning neck and ears.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:12 AM
  #8  
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A second good use for a mirror is being able to see that other bike creeping up on you to ride your wheel and you can start to pull away.....LOL
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Old 10-03-07, 10:18 AM
  #9  
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Nope, I just do the check neck swivel
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Old 10-03-07, 10:19 AM
  #10  
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See the mirror usage poll thread.
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Old 10-03-07, 10:22 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
No. I have a fully functioning neck and ears.
As do I and many others. The mirror enhances and compliments the neck and ears.

I find the best reason to have a mirror is to know when to look back as well as when not to. Looking back can send unintended messages to other drivers.

Al
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Old 10-03-07, 10:54 AM
  #12  
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I never ride without mine. I normally use a mirror mounted to my riding glasses. I also have I can use for my helmet, but usually just stick with the eyeglass one since it seems a little less shaky. I would really hate to ride without one, especially in areas with quite a bit of traffic. Even when cars are few and far between the mirror lets you know how close someone is when passing you, and would give you the opportunity to bail if it came down to it. I consider the mirror to be a more important safety item than a helmet.
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Old 10-03-07, 11:48 AM
  #13  
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I've used one for 20+ years. Helmet-mounted. It's better than relying on your ears or looking behind you, but unless a person has tried it they won't believe it, I think.

If you check the survey, most who don't use a mirror haven't tried one.

Trying to remember way, way back to my first, I think I was hesitant because it just seemed like too much money to pay for what it was. Now, I wouldn't be without one. Inflation makes it still a bit much for someone who doesn't know, I think. If they were 2 or 3 bucks more people might give it a shot. At $15-ish, people are going to pit it against a pizza or a couple of six packs and go with something they know they'll like. . .
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Old 10-03-07, 12:39 PM
  #14  
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I've had a mirror for quite a while on my other bikes. When I got my first road bike this year, I felt paranoid for the first couple rides since I didn't yet have a mirror on it.

If all I did with it was transport it to the park/trail and then ride, I wouldn't feel like I needed a mirror. But, since I get to the park/trail by hustling through downtown DC, I just have to have one.

I'll try helmet- or glasses-mounted mirrors at some point.
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Old 10-03-07, 12:52 PM
  #15  
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I'm such a clutz. I'm sure a mirror wouldn't last a week in my commuting gear. If it was attatched to my helmet I'd break it the first time I went to wipe sweat off my forhead or at the latest when I got my destination and dropped my helmet while taking it off because my hands don't always do what I tell them to. If it was a handle bar mount it would be toast before I even got going, at least twice a week my bike falls down while I'm gearing up.

In short, if someone were to give me one, I'd use it until it broke, but I have better things to throw away my money on, like beer. So I ride slow, listen carefully, check twice at least before any turn or merge, and if worst comes to worst I stop on the right hand side and wait for traffic to clear to do my left turn or what have you.
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Old 10-03-07, 02:55 PM
  #16  
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I don't use a mirror. No reason, really; I just never have and have never had a problem. To me, it's a solution looking for a problem.

If I had to give reasons:

1) It is hard for me to use handlebar mirrors because I use toric contact lenses and I don't have good detail vision all the time, particularly if my eyes are dry and I am trying to see detail on a small, vibrating object.

2) I don't like objects sitting in front of my face which obstruct my vision. Also, the contacts make it hard to focus on detailed objects at the edge of my eye swivel (for lack of a better word). The last time I tried a glasses/helmet mounted mirror, I got eye strain almost immediately and only saw my shoulder/backpack. I stopped and took it off after a few blocks because it was getting dangerous with the mirror being less than useless as it was not only not giving me information to the rear, but it was actively preventing me from recieving information from the rear due to distraction and obstructing my vision when I turned my head.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:52 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
I don't use a mirror. No reason, really; I just never have and have never had a problem. To me, it's a solution looking for a problem.

If I had to give reasons:

1) It is hard for me to use handlebar mirrors because I use toric contact lenses and I don't have good detail vision all the time, particularly if my eyes are dry and I am trying to see detail on a small, vibrating object.
Can you use a mirror mounted on your car? Does your vision permit that use?

I have found my commute bike handlebar mirror to be quite handy, very similar to a motorcycle mirror. (I used to ride a motorcycle). I don't try to pick out details, I just look for objects... if there is something there, then it hardly pays to turn my head, but if I spot an opening (the absence of something) then I turn my head and confirm the situation before "movement."

I miss that mirror when I ride my road bike... but only briefly... as I tend to look for quieter roads when I am out on my "sportsbike..." with it, I am out to move fast and exercise hard, and dealing with traffic interferes with that goal (especially slowing and judging... doing the "trust but verify" issues of motorists). So different bikes for different rides.

But honestly, in the hustle and bustle of heavy commute traffic, that mirror is very handy.
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Old 10-03-07, 04:06 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Can you use a mirror mounted on your car? Does your vision permit that use?

I have found my commute bike handlebar mirror to be quite handy, very similar to a motorcycle mirror. (I used to ride a motorcycle). I don't try to pick out details, I just look for objects... if there is something there, then it hardly pays to turn my head, but if I spot an opening (the absence of something) then I turn my head and confirm the situation before "movement."

I miss that mirror when I ride my road bike... but only briefly... as I tend to look for quieter roads when I am out on my "sportsbike..." with it, I am out to move fast and exercise hard, and dealing with traffic interferes with that goal (especially slowing and judging... doing the "trust but verify" issues of motorists). So different bikes for different rides.

But honestly, in the hustle and bustle of heavy commute traffic, that mirror is very handy.
Mirrors on a car are very different. They are much larger and they don't vibrate. I also don't tend to use them much for things that you'd use a bike mirror for, like changing lanes. I use them to see behind me, as there is no other way and my ears are compromised. I still turn my head to change lanes and find gaps.

I have found that there is no way to verify: "trust but verify" is a catchy phrase, but it's an oxymoron. If you trust, then verification is unnecessary, and if you verify then you don't trust. I trust they won't hit me if given half a chance, as every road user must do. I change lanes when I see a gap, and create a gap if I must. Just like in a car. And I do it in a way which doesn't disturb the trust between drivers on the road.

In straight line travel, I use my ears to tell me if a car is approaching. It's nice to know, but not really necessary. If I need to know details, then I turn my head.
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Old 10-03-07, 04:53 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
Mirrors on a car are very different. They are much larger and they don't vibrate. I also don't tend to use them much for things that you'd use a bike mirror for, like changing lanes. I use them to see behind me, as there is no other way and my ears are compromised. I still turn my head to change lanes and find gaps.

I have found that there is no way to verify: "trust but verify" is a catchy phrase, but it's an oxymoron. If you trust, then verification is unnecessary, and if you verify then you don't trust. I trust they won't hit me if given half a chance, as every road user must do. I change lanes when I see a gap, and create a gap if I must. Just like in a car. And I do it in a way which doesn't disturb the trust between drivers on the road.

In straight line travel, I use my ears to tell me if a car is approaching. It's nice to know, but not really necessary. If I need to know details, then I turn my head.
pssst... I tend to agree with you RE trust but verify... I have been hit twice by motorists I "verified."

Ears don't do justice on a crowded road... the sound of too many cars makes it too hard to discern one from another, especially on a multilaned road.

Oh well, the mirror works for me... just thought I would share it.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:21 PM
  #20  
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What's interesting about the mirror survey results is that out of 233 respondents, only 16 (less than 7%) say they have tried a mirror and not found it useful.

25% have not tried one at all.

A whopping 60% (139) of all 233 respondents report it to be VERY useful. If you remove the 57 who have never tried a mirror, you're left with 233 - 57 who have, or 176. 139 out of 176 is 78%. That means 78% of those who have tried a mirror found it be very useful. 78%! That's amazing. Another 23, that's 9% of the total or 13% of those who have tried a mirror, report it to be "moderately useful".

That means 87% of those who have tried a mirror have found it to be at least moderately useful, but the vast majority have found it to be very useful.


Again, only 16 (less than 7%) say they have tried a mirror and not found it useful.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
pssst... I tend to agree with you RE trust but verify... I have been hit twice by motorists I "verified."
Oh, please, all "trust but verify" means is don't blindly trust anyone. It's an attitude and responsibility thing. If you choose to trust someone it's on you if they prove to not be trustworthy with respect to the way you are trusting them. In other words, be very careful with whom you trust, when and how much. If you can't verify effectively, then don't put yourself in a position where you don't have any outs.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:28 PM
  #22  
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I went out the door the other day without the mirror and was scared after traveling 4 blocks. I didn't realize how much trust I used put on traffic behind me to make sure they would leave me enough room. Without a mirror, you have to ignore the danger of getting hit from behind.

Needless to day, I felt very uncomfortable relying on upcoming traffic to respect my postion. Especially cars that you know were appraching very fast and not really knowing where they stood with me was too much to take. I went right back home and got my Take A Look Mirror.

I would rather ride without a helmet then leave my Take A Look Mirror home.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:34 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
What's interesting about the mirror survey results is that out of 233 respondents, only 16 (less than 7%) say they have tried a mirror and not found it useful.

25% have not tried one at all.

A whopping 60% (139) of all 233 respondents report it to be VERY useful. If you remove the 57 who have never tried a mirror, you're left with 233 - 57 who have, or 176. 139 out of 176 is 78%. That means 78% of those who have tried a mirror found it be very useful. 78%! That's amazing. Another 23, that's 9% of the total or 13% of those who have tried a mirror, report it to be "moderately useful".

That means 87% of those who have tried a mirror have found it to be at least moderately useful, but the vast majority have found it to be very useful.


Again, only 16 (less than 7%) say they have tried a mirror and not found it useful.

I think the numbers would a lot higher if people would switch to the Take A Look mirror. About four years ago, I was in the 7% who tried mirrors and not found them useful. That was until I tried this product and it changed my mind totally.

I tried a lot of mirrors and most were either ineffective, moderately useful or not useful at all! The Take A Look made me a beliver.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:40 PM
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https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071003/.../hybrids_blind
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Old 10-03-07, 05:56 PM
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Bicycles are quieter than hybrids when traveling at the same speeds.
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