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Mirrors.......helmet or handlebar?

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Mirrors.......helmet or handlebar?

Old 05-14-11, 05:15 PM
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MLKATO
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Mirrors.......helmet or handlebar?

I need to get a bike mirror. I'd like to get a bar end mirror,which I think will work well with a mountain bike. I don't think I could get used to a helmet mirror. But I guess they have their uses. What kind do you all use? I don't think I would want to go in traffic without one.
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Old 05-14-11, 07:47 PM
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CB HI
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I use both for commuting.

I prefer the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors, but I commute east in the morning and west in the evening. Having the sun in my eyes when trying to look in the mirror makes the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors useless at those certain times.
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Old 05-14-11, 08:38 PM
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i use helmet mounted mirror here, regardless of bicycle ridden, always domed and mirrored!
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Old 05-14-11, 10:01 PM
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I use handlebar mirrors. I like Mirrycle best: https://www.mirrycle.com/mirrycle_mirrors.php
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Old 05-15-11, 12:17 AM
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Helmet mirrors are less likely to be shaken out of position. Also, I find a more stable view from them. "Take A Look" is my mirror of choice.

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Old 05-15-11, 04:29 AM
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i just took my handlebar mirror out of the "spare parts" box and put it back on my bike earlier today.

i took it off because a) it never stayed where i put it and b) it usually just gave me a view of my forearm. i decided to give it another chance... we'll see how it goes.

if i could find a helmet-mount mirror that snaps on/off i might try it. otherwise it would get destroyed as soon as i toss my helmet in a pannier bag.

i haven't tried eyeglass mirrors. i do wear safety/sunglasses when riding, but not when it's raining.

i've heard good things about the "take a look" mirror, but also bad things about the square corners not being kind to faces in a crash. i'd want something round.
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Old 05-15-11, 09:44 AM
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I use a handlebar mirror on all my bikes.
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Old 05-15-11, 11:14 AM
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I don't use one. I simply turn my head to see. I see plenty of people use them here in the city but I don't find them that useful. I prefer to keep my money. I look over my shoulder and behind me a few times each block to be aware of each and every car that will pass me anyway.
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Old 05-15-11, 05:47 PM
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Handlebar. $7 from Walmart. Love it.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:31 PM
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I use a handlebar mirror. It's a bar end mirror and it stays where I aim it no matter how bumpy the ride.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MLKATO View Post
I need to get a bike mirror. I'd like to get a bar end mirror,which I think will work well with a mountain bike. I don't think I could get used to a helmet mirror. But I guess they have their uses. What kind do you all use? I don't think I would want to go in traffic without one.
Chuck Harris helmet mirror. It's convenient and you get adjusted to it quickly.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:18 AM
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Here's a review of the helmet-mounted mirror I use.

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Old 05-16-11, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Here's a review of the helmet-mounted mirror I use.

Nice pictures and discussion.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:25 AM
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I use both. I have a handlebar mirror on my city bike for day to day use and use a helmet mirror when using my road or touring bikes. I think the handlebar mirror is more convenient and requires less frequent adjustment but the convex shape on them creates a less accurate reflection. The helmet mirrors I've used seem to need constant adjustment when riding but provide more accurate images and depth perception. Pick your poison, it's still better to look over your shoulder frequently.

Marc
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Old 05-16-11, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
I use both...Pick your poison, it's still better to look over your shoulder frequently.
To each his own, and YMMV, but I see no advantage to turning around on the bike when you can maintain a riding position and still look ahead with a rearview mirror. Some hazards come up so suddenly that I appreciate the milliseconds saved by being in position to react. Jim's Law of the Road is “No matter how lightly traveled and well paved a road is, a vehicle will likely pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.”

Furthermore, regular periodic glances keep you well-appraised of the conditions behind and as stated IMO, can be more easily made without breaking the pedaling rhythm. Plus one has to markedly rotate the neck and torso further out of alignment with the path of travel to obtain the same rearward field of view that is easily seen with a simple sideward glance.

My own preference is to use both left and right Take-a-Look mirrors. The additional right-hand mirror is useful when:
-riding on the left side of a one-way street
-down the middle of a multilane road
-in a rotary
-when coming out of a curve to the right
-when a bright sun is behind you because at least one of the mirrors will be out of direct sunlight.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-17-11 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 05-16-11, 05:27 PM
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i dont use a mirror but those lightweight ones made from a bike spoke (sold by a member here) which mount to your glasses look cool.. forget the name
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Old 05-16-11, 11:14 PM
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It a handle bar mounted mirror for me. I've tried helmet/glasses mounted mirror's in the past, the take a look IMO is the best of these, however I could never get used to it.
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Old 05-18-11, 09:08 AM
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+1 for the Take-a-look, I love it. I also use a helmet-mounted mirror on one of my helmets. I've had other mirrors with plastic arms, but they always break, and cost the same.

The big advantage to helmet/glasses-mounted mirrors is that you can get a sweeping view of things behind you at any angle... very useful when you're around merge ramps. Also handy to check whether a car waiting behind you is signalling a right turn and needs for you to shuffle a little further left, or to see where your riding partners are at. I shamelessly used my Take-a-look during a race last week. Sure, I got teased for it, but it helped me create the winning break when I saw a very small gap opening behind me
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Old 05-18-11, 09:12 PM
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Some people swear by helmet/glasses mirrors. I swear at them.

I just couldn't get my eyes and brain to register them properly, so every time I wanted to see behind me, I had to look for the mirror then try to make sense of what I saw. Usually I would end up casting around trying to figure out where the unrecognizable pattern of metal and pavement is, is it in the same lane? The shoulder? The opposite lane? About the time I was able to figure that out, I would run into something in front of me because I wasn't looking forward.

I tried for months. never got any better. When I went back to riding things with handlebars, I put a mirror on the bike, yanked the contraption off the helmet, and threw it out with the cat litter.

Handlebar mirrors work great for me. I just can't use helmet mirrors. Some people find the reverse to be true. I'd advise experimenting to see what works best for you.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:57 PM
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Totall agree!

Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
Some people swear by helmet/glasses mirrors. I swear at them.

I just couldn't get my eyes and brain to register them properly, so every time I wanted to see behind me, I had to look for the mirror then try to make sense of what I saw. Usually I would end up casting around trying to figure out where the unrecognizable pattern of metal and pavement is, is it in the same lane? The shoulder? The opposite lane? About the time I was able to figure that out, I would run into something in front of me because I wasn't looking forward.

I tried for months. never got any better. When I went back to riding things with handlebars, I put a mirror on the bike, yanked the contraption off the helmet, and threw it out with the cat litter.

Handlebar mirrors work great for me. I just can't use helmet mirrors. Some people find the reverse to be true. I'd advise experimenting to see what works best for you.
I got a helmet mounted mirror right after I got my bike a few years ago and it was a waste of money. Due to my bad vision, my eyes wouldn't adjust to what I saw in the mirror due to my no line bifocals and the awful vibration, I couldn't see a thing no matter what I tried. I would have to duct tape an exentsion about 6" on the mirror so I could see anything at all. I turn my head now, but should probably get a handlebar mirror and give it a whirl, but I doubt I will.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:20 AM
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Helmet mount here. I just can't see very much on handlebar mounted mirrors.

The problem some people have with helmet mounted mirrors is convincing their brain/eyes that they aren't supposed to be focusing 4 inches away, they're supposed to focus at 200 feet. Also some people have trouble since you're only seeing out of one eye. Once you get used to that you don't even think about it anymore, and you can look behind you in a fraction of a second, faster than a handlebar mirror and much faster than turning and looking.

Also, some of us wear glasses and can't turn our heads far enough to look behind us THROUGH the glasses, so turning is actually pretty much useless.
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Old 05-21-11, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
The problem some people have with helmet mounted mirrors is convincing their brain/eyes that they aren't supposed to be focusing 4 inches away, they're supposed to focus at 200 feet. Also some people have trouble since you're only seeing out of one eye. Once you get used to that you don't even think about it anymore, and you can look behind you in a fraction of a second, faster than a handlebar mirror and much faster than turning and looking.
good points. i'll have to bear that in mind when i get a chance to try out a helmet/glass mount mirror.

might be useful to close one eye, at least at first. a long time ago i did ENG (electronic news gathering) camera work, and for anything that wasn't in the studio things were much better after i trained myself to keep both eyes open - instinctively anyone looking through a video-camera viewfinder will close the other eye.

edit: also this reminds me about one time, while i was tired and driving (in the states, steering wheel on the left) and i looked up and slightly to the right at my rear-view mirror and my brain processed it as the front of a car coming towards me from above and slightly to the right. i almost slammed on the brakes before i figured out my brain was just messing with me. that was probably not too long after getting my license.

Last edited by smasha; 05-21-11 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 05-21-11, 04:16 PM
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I have a simple Bell handlebar mirror, but I actually just took it off. It has a plastic bracket, and velcro to tighten it around your handlebar. Firstly, the end of my handlebar foam (fake leather now) has never been big enough to fit in the plastic bracket properly. Also, the velcro holds it on snugly, but is squishing the fake leather grip of my new bike and providing a weird surface to put my hand on. I took it off though, because I hate running into the darned thing while maneuvering my bike around while not riding it. It's a pain to have that extra 6 inches sticking out on one side and I've whacked myself with it as well as run it into door frames and knocked it askew.

I might try the helmet one, it seemed easy to put in. How do the glasses ones work? Would they attach to my regular glasses, or be really heavy?
For now, I'll do without my mirror.
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Old 05-21-11, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
I use both for commuting.

I prefer the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors, but I commute east in the morning and west in the evening. Having the sun in my eyes when trying to look in the mirror makes the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors useless at those certain times.
There should be a law that all workplaces be located west of all residential areas! The geometry would be interesting. <G>

With the Take-A-Look I do a small adjustment away from the sun ball and do a quick head jerk to do a mirror check.
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Old 05-22-11, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
I prefer the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors, but I commute east in the morning and west in the evening. Having the sun in my eyes when trying to look in the mirror makes the helmet/eye glass mounted mirrors useless at those certain times.
See:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My own preference is to use both left and right Take-a-Look mirrors. The additional right-hand mirror is useful when:

-when a bright sun is behind you because at least one of the mirrors will be out of direct sunlight.
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