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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-28-08, 04:00 PM   #1
nahh
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mirror- helmet or handlebar mount?

i have got to get a mirror. i wondering whether you all prefer a helmet-mounted or handlebar mounted mirror. i have flat bars.

the lbs carries both, i just have to decide which to get.
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Old 07-28-08, 04:39 PM   #2
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I have a work bench full of mirrors. I tried so many before I found what worked for me. I found the handlebar mirors not always easy to view as I would shift my handlebar position while riding. Most of the helmet mounted mirrors were either difficult to focus on or too distracting. So for a long time I just gave up and relied on hearing the cars/trucks. I always ride assuming a vehicle is approaching me from behind.

I read a post on the forum that simply said would you drive a car without rearview mirrors? This got me re-energized to find a miror.

My search ended when a friend recommended the following mirror,

I use it attached to my helmet and have been really pleased. It is out of the way but with a glance (not requiring me to move my head) I can get a read of what is approaching from behind. I am really happy I stuck with the search for a mirror, it has been well worth it. I do not have the packaging so I do not remember the name of the miror, but someone on the thread will know the name.

Good Luck
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Old 07-28-08, 04:56 PM   #3
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Since you have flat bars, I will not hesitate to recommend the Mountain Mirrycle mirror: http://www.mirrycle.com/mountainmirrycle.htm

I started out with a helmet mounted mirror, and it did OK, but when I broke it in a crash, I decided to try out a handlebar mounted model. I read a bunch of reviews before deciding on the Mirrycle, which I've been using for about a year now.

It's fantastic. For one thing, it's huge. With a helmet-mounted mirror, you're always tilting your head this way and that trying to figure out what's behind you. Not so with the Mountain Mirrycle. It gives you a big, easy to see view. It also doesn't vibrate. The arm is bulky and more than a little ugly, but it gives you a nice range of adjustments and once you've put it in place it stays there.

Now, after gushing like that, a word to road bike riders who read this: I've gone with a bar-end mirror on my road bike, and I can't say it gives me anything more than a hint as to what's behind me. Cars with headlights on I can spot pretty well, but dark-colored cars with no headlights can hide in shadows pretty well.
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Old 07-28-08, 06:05 PM   #4
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Since my wreck last year, I caution against the Take-A-Look. It's a very functional mirror, but keep in mind that it has sharp-ish edges - the pavement shoved it into my face and it left a slash that required 14 stitches. Also it has very stiff wire.

I've switched to the Cycleaware Reflex - which is essentially an equivalent mirror but addresses these problems - the mirror is on a breakaway ball mount, is surrounded by a rounded plastic shield, and is mounted on a rubber-covered, flexible wire. It's what I use and recommend now. It is ONLY for helmet mount.

I prefer helmet mount - I have very lightweight glasses and glasses mounts vibrate very badly, and also since I take the mirror off my glasses when I get there, I often would forget to put it back on. With the mirror on my helmet, I never forget it.

FWIW, I've tried a few handlebar mounted mirrors and found them all essentially useless; either way too little field of view or too convex so even large vehicles looked like pinheads. Also it's too distracting to have to move my whole head to look DOWN at the mirror to see behind me; it takes far longer than just flicking my eyes to the left for a fraction of a second, and if I want to see a wide swath, sweeping my head to the side becomes second nature; I don't even realize I'm doing it.

A few months ago I was in a store and someone dropped something glass behind me; my instinctual reaction was to glance to my (nonexistant) mirror up and to the left; I was momentarily confused before I remembered that I'd actually have to turn around if I wanted to see what happened.
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Old 07-28-08, 06:13 PM   #5
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There isn't a correct answer to this question; it's a matter of preference. Some people like helmet/glasses mirrors; I tried one and found it distracting. I bought a mirracyle and love it. So try one style, and if you don't like it, try the other.
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Old 07-28-08, 06:22 PM   #6
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thanks for the suggestions! my LBS has the mountain mirrycle, and that what i was leaning towards.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:05 PM   #7
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Red or Blue? The question has no right answer for everyone. I haven't tried the handle bar mirrors, but I also knew I was using more than one bike for commuting and I didn't want to have to buy and adjust multiple mirrors. As such, I opted for the helmet mounted mirror. On the rare occasion that I ride without my helmet (when I visit my parents and we go for a stroll on the residential side streets) I miss having the mirror, but I do like it so much that it almost forces me to wear my helmet (as if I needed reasons beyond my brains being splattered on the pavement).

So, I say check out a couple, see if you can test them. Do note though that the helmet mounted mirrors do seem to take a little getting used to and some finagling. It took me about a week to find the sweet spot for where it works well, but I love it.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:11 PM   #8
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From my experiences, bike mounted bars tended to vibrate and even absent that problem, their field of view is limited to where the bar is pointing. A glasses or helmet mount solves both issues.

Personally, I use the Take-A-Look in the warm weather months and the CycleAware on the helmet in the cold weather because the glasses fog.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:51 PM   #9
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I have tried several kinds of mirrors. My two favourites are the MirrCycle that mounts on the end of flat bars, and the Take-a-look mirror, which you can use on glasses or helmet (I use on sunglasses). I had a third eye helmet mount which I could never get into a useful position, and flimsier bar end mirrors. The MirrCycle is quite sturdy and stays in place. You may need to very occasionally tighten it with allen keys if its been bent around a lot.

MirrCycle is always on my flat-bar commuter bike, so if I don't wear my helmet or sunglasses I still have a mirror. It does make the bars a little wider which can be annoying for tight traffic or spaces between houses to roll my bike into friends backyards.

I use the Take-a-look with my drop bar bike and folding bike. I like that I have a more complete view of the road because I can turn my head to sweep it. It sometimes requires adjusting because it will have gotten a bit bent just sitting somewhere.

For $15 each (more or less) you can't lose, pick one and if you don't like it, try the other.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:21 PM   #10
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I have a handlebar mounted mirror on my bike with drops. It is mounted to a Campy record brifter (I get a lot of grief for that over in the road cycling section) and it works well.
My other bikes I use a different helmet and have a helmet mounted mirror. Not as good due to small size, but ok.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:33 PM   #11
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The Third Eye helmet mount works well for me. The biggest problem I had was getting it positioned just right. Either I was looking at my shoulder or ear, couldn't see straight behind me, or I had to move/refocus my eye an uncomfortable amount to view the image in the mirror. Once I got it right though, I could quickly and easily monitor to the rear without really diverting my attention forward.
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