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Mirrors - Pros and cons?

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Mirrors - Pros and cons?

Old 09-25-20, 08:58 AM
  #51  
AlmostTrick
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I have never used a mirror, and am curious to hear from people as to what benefits they get looking behind them? (Not saying I don't turn and look sometimes, I do). I just figure that all I'd get from it is seeing the truck actually hit me, vs. a quick and peaceful end? How does what you see change what you're doing?
It allows me to more easily and accurately monitor overtaking traffic so I can ride in what I feel is a safer manner.

I like to default to a position in the lane. Cleaner pavement, better sight lines. If someone approaches from behind, and it is safe and reasonable to share the lane, I can then drift right. If it is not safe to share the lane for any of a multitude of reasons, I'm already in it! No need to negotiate a merge or encourage a squeeze. I just hold my line and continue to monitor and verify that the driver is taking me into account... without having to continuously turn my head and look away from my direction of travel.

I'd rather not be surprised by unsafe overtaking, and frankly cannot remember a time that it has happened to me.

Also, left turns and lane changes are much easier to plan and facilitate with a mirror.

By monitoring behind in real time in the manner that only use of a proper mirror allows, I can also mitigate dangerous situations by adjusting my speed and position prior to any possible conflict situations, making things easier and safer for everyone.

No matter how one prefers to ride, I’d say it’s still going to be safer having this “driver verification” information available to you at split second notice.
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Old 09-25-20, 09:11 AM
  #52  
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Thanks - I get it. I remember sharing the road in Boston - a mirror probably would've been wonderful.

In New Mexico, there is no such thing for me as "a safer position." If there is traffic around, I will always be in the absolute most-conservative spot on the route, and usually I stick to bike lanes (which are ample here). Sad to say, my adopted home state has the nation's highest bike-fatality rate, and it's no joke: the driving culture of the state does not go well with cycling.

When I am in traffic around here, and there is no bike lane, I am always prepared to immediately go off-road. It just has to be that way if I do not want to become one of ABQ's many, many ghost bikes.

What I really wonder about are the people I see on MUP's who are constantly eyeing the other cyclists in their mirrors. Why? It's 8-11 feet wide with a double yellow stripe down the middle. "Stay right except when passing" and ... no one will be hurt (we hope). What are they thinking is behind them?
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Old 09-25-20, 09:14 AM
  #53  
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Let me add: if I were ever taking a left turn here across an intersection with traffic, there is absolutely zero chance I would ever do so without looking - nay, staring - into any and all traffic. Rely on a mirror? I'd be dead. I'm not kidding - if you've visited, you've seen our ghost bikes around town. Way, way too many.
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Old 09-25-20, 09:54 AM
  #54  
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I had a Hafny mirror on my hybrid and sold that bike a few months ago. When looking for a bar-end mirror for my new road bike, I bought a Hafny bar-end mirror and Springtech bar-end mirror, both of which had great reviews. Both were unobtrusive and easy to mount. Their sizes were virtually identical. I chose the Hafny because I thought the optics were clearer and showed a wider range. I returned the Springtech. It's been a few months now and I am still satisfied. Never wobbles out of place and itís positioned so that I barely have to move my end to see whatís coming up behind me.

Last edited by oldwinger14; 09-25-20 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 09-25-20, 10:34 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
Let me add: if I were ever taking a left turn here across an intersection with traffic, there is absolutely zero chance I would ever do so without looking - nay, staring - into any and all traffic. Rely on a mirror? I'd be dead. I'm not kidding - if you've visited, you've seen our ghost bikes around town. Way, way too many.
You can safely rely on the mirror to help you plan movements, but yeah, it's still considered wise to actually turn and look. A good double check.

Sometimes, turning and looking behind can have an undesirable effect... A driver seeing this may think you are planning to merge/turn in front of them, and then hit the brakes when you don't want them to because you were only checking... and saw a more favorable gap behind them. A head turn can be interpreted somewhat like a signal in some situations.

And seriously, I have found zero blind spots in my properly set up helmet/eyeglass mirrors. With a slight head turn I can see it all. No place for a car to hide. Every time I do turn and look, I see nothing new.

Seeing ghost bikes can be concerning, but keep in mind that we don't really know what happened, or how the cyclist was riding or paying attention. Obviously not all cyclist behavior is the same, and some take on more risk... often without even being aware of it.
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Old 09-25-20, 10:46 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I have never used a mirror, and am curious to hear from people as to what benefits they get looking behind them? (Not saying I don't turn and look sometimes, I do). I just figure that all I'd get from it is seeing the truck actually hit me, vs. a quick and peaceful end? How does what you see change what you're doing?
When I want to make a left turn, I want to know if there's a car about to go around me. I don't always hear traffic coming up behind me, so being able to see back there to know for sure before maneuvering is a good idea.
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Old 09-25-20, 12:25 PM
  #57  
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Spelger, Bought one last night I'll give it a try and let you know. THANK YOU. Dennis (grump215}
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Old 09-25-20, 02:07 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I have never used a mirror, and am curious to hear from people as to what benefits they get looking behind them?
I am able to know when a car is coming up behind me long before they ever see me, how many cars, and if they are getting over (or not). I actually follow the cars' movements to ensure my safety.
I'm actually much more confident on the road with my mirrors. Since I see the cars, I worry less, and actually, have less rage against them.

And, (I know this is nearly taboo), on much less trafficked country roads, by clearly knowing what's behind me, I'll even put in earbuds and enjoy music for the ride.
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Old 09-25-20, 04:26 PM
  #59  
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For a hand mirror, someone on this forum glued or velcroed a small rear view mirror for a car, onto the back of their left biking glove. The image is around here. I may try to find it and share.
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Old 09-25-20, 06:33 PM
  #60  
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Being a newbie I was surprised there were so many replies to my thread.
It looks like there are more people in favor of mirrors than those who don't.
There was quite an exposure to the types: bar mounted, helmet mounted and glasses mounted.
Safety seems to be the main driver especially for us older folks who find it difficult to turn our heads to look for traffic.
The type of mirror is a more personal choice and depends on the type of riding, the number of bikes, the amount traffic and the age of the rider.
I am sticking with my glasses mounted mirror because I have 4 bikes. But at 70 and when on the down bars of my road bike it may not be the best choice.
I will add a bar mirror to my road bike that I saw on this thread. Might be redundant to have 2 mirrors (glasses and/or bar mounted) but I put safety first.
Thanks for the replies. It might be time to let this thread die.

Last edited by msdumo; 09-25-20 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 09-25-20, 07:11 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
What I really wonder about are the people I see on MUP's who are constantly eyeing the other cyclists in their mirrors. Why? It's 8-11 feet wide with a double yellow stripe down the middle. "Stay right except when passing" and ... no one will be hurt (we hope). What are they thinking is behind them?
Answer: a fast-paced club ride.

Picture this: you're northbound on the MUP, on a 26er with knobbies doing about 12mph.
Going southbound toward you on the other side of the yellow stripe, 3-4 casual cyclists on cruisers, or 3-4 similarly slow riders on hybrids or MTBs.
Going northbound about 30' behind you and gaining on you, 8-9 cyclists drafting each other on carbon-fiber road bikes doing 20mph.
Is this group ride going to slow down in view of the apparent "choke point" looming just ahead of it? Hell no. They are gonna blast on through.
(Santa Ana River Trail - Southern California. I have seen this happen many times this summer.)
(Can't picture how such situations play out on the generally narrower San Gabriel River Trail.)
In such a situation, a mirror could be helpful - more helpful than an "on your left".
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Old 09-25-20, 11:05 PM
  #62  
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Sprintech bar-end mirror, one on the left side of each drop bar road bike. One bike has the "right" mirror on the left side but the reversed comma shape doesn't hinder it.

And Take-A-Look mirrors on two main helmets. No mirror on my aero helmet, although I still rely on the bar end mirrors for those occasions.

Mirrycle on one hybrid. Nothing on the other hybrid because it uses bar end shifters and I haven't decided on a handlebar mirror I want for that bike.
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Old 09-26-20, 07:57 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I have never used a mirror, and am curious to hear from people as to what benefits they get looking behind them? (Not saying I don't turn and look sometimes, I do).
Wait until you're older and have arthritis in your neck.
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Old 09-26-20, 08:14 AM
  #64  
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Well, I'm over 50 and had a C5-C6 disc bulge that was pretty harsh in my 30's. Eventally it calmed down, but I know how horrible neck pain can be. I was rock climbing a lot at the time, and couldn't look up. Think on that one.

Just to clarify, I am not anti-mirror, and I am pro-awareness. Fortunately, I am able to look around constantly, and I do. I want to know where absolutely everything on the road is. This includes road debris, small lizards, large trucks and people living out their New Mexico fantasy by riding their horse next to bike trails when they are 50 feet from a signed equestrian trail ("Just move here from California? How'd I guess?").

Albuquerque is a kick ass place to live. But riding here is not like the riding I've known in coastal areas. I won't detail it because I'm going on as it is, but we have the nation's highest DUI and cycling fatality rates, and the way the roads are built makes riding here a completely different matter. It's an unusual place - very low density, and 6 hours of 80mph driving from the next nearest big city (Denver).

I won't trust myself with a mirror. Hell, I won't trust traffic or myself in traffic, most places. I'm just not good enough to monitor a terrifying environment with a small reflective window. I can see that it would be awesome - but in my scary world, I need to know that truck is behind me with 30 seconds lead time, and move to a preposterously removed position on the shoulder.

Lest you think me alarmist, please note what I wrote above: prior to a disability, I frequently ice and rock climbed. Yes, trad leads - I don't scare easy. In the 'burbs of Boston, I used to ride Route 117, maybe some here know it. Small shoulder, irritated suburbanites driving too fast ... but I still felt a LOT safer there than on an empty state highway in (say) Madrid, NM.

I'd love to rock a mirror - but the general low level of skill and awareness of both drivers and other cyclists around here makes me go "wide screen," all the time.
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Old 09-26-20, 08:43 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
bar mirror
$5

sits on a cross pivot joint - so can turn it almost 360 degrees


nice mirror. would you happen to have an amazon link for that model? thanks
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Old 09-26-20, 09:01 AM
  #66  
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Mirrcycle bar end mirrors.
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Old 09-26-20, 09:38 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Duo View Post
nice mirror. would you happen to have an amazon link for that model? thanks
I got it from my local amazon

It's similar to these two

https://www.amazon.com/Zefal-95293-S...1043884&sr=8-8

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0859...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-26-20, 10:04 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
thanks. simple and cheap, complications i don't need.
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Old 09-26-20, 10:46 AM
  #69  
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One drawback of mirrors, not a big one but still, is if it takes you an extra second to focus on the mirror and watch something strange going on you could miss a road hazard in front of you.

While it would probably never be an issue if you're going 10 or 15 mph, at 25 mph you could be running over something that was 50 to 75 feet ahead of you when you looked in the mirror. It's not the same as glancing in a car mirror. Those are stationary, steady, and easy to see. The bike mirror, whether it's on your handlebars or moves with your head, requires extra time to check. Extra time to see what's changed in the traffic (speed, direction etc). It can make a difference.

That's the biggest reason that handlebar mirrors on a drop bar just doesn't work for me. There is no way possible for the mirror to work both for the hoods and the drop position, without shifting my whole body. Craning my head. It takes extra time compared to my sunglass mirrors. I need to shift my head and focus so that takes extra time also, but not as much.
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Old 09-26-20, 11:07 AM
  #70  
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skip the zefal one

doesn't look like you have a lot of maneuverability
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Old 09-26-20, 05:29 PM
  #71  
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I second the recommendation for the Garmin Varia Radar. I love it! The RTL510 is also sensitive enough that it will alert me to bicyclists who are coming from behind me.
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Old 09-26-20, 07:02 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Pearson100 View Post
I second the recommendation for the Garmin Varia Radar. I love it! The RTL510 is also sensitive enough that it will alert me to bicyclists who are coming from behind me.
I am very tech savvy but why spend a lot of money (>$250) and have a device that relies on battery life, electronics and sensors to warn you of a dangerous situation when an inexpensive mirror with your focused attention would probably give you better results. Technology is great but it is not the answer to everything.

Last edited by msdumo; 09-26-20 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:13 AM
  #73  
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Another vote for the Garmin Varia. Total game changer.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:28 AM
  #74  
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I'm a recreational/fitness rider and have a mirror on both of my bikes. Wouldn't leave home without one. The argument about hitting something in front while looking in the mirror probably doesn't apply to me since I average 12-15 mph on my rides. At 76, my neck isn't as flexible as it once was.
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Old 09-28-20, 11:45 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
just found this...maybe it will fit the bill for you.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DFKVB9...dDbGljaz10cnVl


-scott
I've used this same arm-mounted Amazon mirror for about a year while riding vintage road bikes. Part of my challenge with mirrors is that I also need reading glasses and if I ride w/out "cheater" reading lenses, the reflection in the mirror is out of focus, of course. I haven't tried the small helmet or glasses-mounted mirrors because bi-focal reading lenses are located at the bottom of the glasses and I presume one looks up to use helmet and glasses-mounted mirrors. Ok, back to the arm-mount mirror-- It now works ok for me, as I bought a pair of the hydrostatic-fit reading lenses and stuck them on the bottoms of my cycling glasses. Nice thing about the arm-mounted mirror, now that I can see an optically-corrected field of view, is that it can easily be positioned to accommodate your given stance or posture while riding. I tend to mount mine up near my elbow while riding road bikes. If I go to the drops, I reach over and tweak it to accommodate that angle. There can be a little vibration, but I'm guessing significantly less than any bicycle-mounted mirror, presuming you are riding a road bike w/high pressure tires. At age 60, I no longer have the flexibility and or responsiveness with vintage road bike ergonomics to glance back either over shoulder or down through the armpits as I did in 2 decades earlier. Frustrating, but hey, still on a bike and hoping for another 2 decades.
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