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getting used to the road

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getting used to the road

Old 09-06-14, 08:32 PM
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getting used to the road

Took my mountain bike for a little road trip. (19 miles round trip) To date I haven't had it out on the road, just trails. Wanted to see how I felt about dealing with traffic. I gotta say I really need some kind of rear view mirror. I found it a little unnerving hearing a car coming from behind me and not having any idea if I was about to get hammered.

Two questions.....

1. How much different is a road bike to a mountain bike when it comes to ease of travel

2. does the helmet mounted rear view mirrors work very well or should I get one on my handle bars.

Thanks
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Old 09-06-14, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432
...
Two questions.....

1. How much different is a road bike to a mountain bike when it comes to ease of travel

2. does the helmet mounted rear view mirrors work very well or should I get one on my handle bars.

Thanks
1- A mountain bike with tires utilizing a road oriented tire is a fairly popular choice for commuting and touring. Personal preferences such as handle bars, rigid or suspension forks, racks and other items are varied.

2- A helmet mounted rear view mirror is less effected by road vibration, but again it's a personal decision.

Brad
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Old 09-06-14, 09:12 PM
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2) I've tried both. I've permanently switched to a handlebar mounted mirror. No vibration problems in my inner city rides. It's a good product.

mirrycle.com: mountain mirrycle

The only problem is that when you are standing up, going uphill, you can't see what's behind you. (The angle changes)

Helmet mounted mirrors always seem to break because I eventually drop the helmet, somehow.
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Old 09-07-14, 05:51 AM
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Opinions will differ on mirrors. You need to see what works for you personally. I've never had any luck with helmet mirrors. Something about it. I see an image but I don't feel a real "perspective" regarding my place in the field of view and such. And even though the image you see is governed by the position of your head and can be dialed in where you want based on how you point your head, in practice that does not work intuitively for me. It's hard to explain. But a handlebar mirror works infinitely better.
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Old 09-07-14, 07:08 AM
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When bicycling on a road, especially a busy one, I feel uncomfortable without a mirror. I've used helmet and bike mounted mirrors, and while they take a little getting used to, I prefer helmet mirrors; however, every helmet mirror I've ever bought, and I've bought at least a dozen, has eventually broken or fallen off my helmet and gotten lost. So I switched to a handlebar mirror. Then, when I was bike camping, my bike fell over and the mirror snapped. Now I'm back to using a helmet mirror. I'm just a clumsy oaf.
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Old 09-07-14, 08:11 AM
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... after a few weeks I got used to the routine even in other countries ... I like getting away.

I rode further than 19 miles as a kid to go to the better fresh water swimming holes..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-15-14 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-15-14, 12:46 AM
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Hi, I've been using the Cycleaware helmet mirror for years. I like them once you position the mount properly on your helmet. Use a good glue because the adhesive doesn't hold. Gorilla glue works for me. Once adjusted I turn the mirror from the base so the mirror angle doesn't change. Disconnect from the base to avoid breakage during storage. If you are going on tour take a backup.
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Old 09-15-14, 05:45 AM
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I am a former mountain biker who has adapted my bike to road riding by adding "slick" tires, a rear rack, and a Mountain Mirrycle handlebar mirror as boomhauer described above. I love the stability of the MTB on the road, but I've had to get used to people twice my age flying by me on tires thin enough to slice a pizza.

Knobby tires tend to throw you around the road a little, but overall, I'd be glad to have them on some of the gravelly, sandy streets I encounter on my journeys. If you don't plan to make road riding a regular thing, you can probably leave your knobbies on. The Mountain Mirrycle mirror is one of the best purchases I've ever made.
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Old 09-15-14, 08:23 AM
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I prefer a Third Eye mirror that clamps onto my helmet visor. The model is called the Hardshell Helmet Mirror.
Third EyeŽ Mirrors


Because it is removable, I can pack my helmet in my luggage for travel without any problem.
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Old 09-15-14, 08:27 AM
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I have no opinion on mirrors, I don't use them: though obviously I wouldn't discourage anyone else from doing so. You'll find you get used to the traffic. Cycling is remarkably safe, and surprising as it may seem, by far the majoroty of the collisions that do happen come from the front - cars turning across your line or pulling out in front of you. Being rear-ended is rare.
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Old 09-15-14, 08:59 PM
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I ride with this mirror that fits on glasses: Bike Peddler Take A Look Mirror at REI.com

I don't need corrective lenses for biking - I keep reading glasses in my handlebar bag for maps, repairs, etc. I wear Smith Empire Sliders with clear lenses to protect my eyes from UV, grit, flying insects, etc. The Take A Look mirror fits on those frames just fine. It does require some sort of vertical surface on the temple piece.

I find a mirror to be invaluable when riding on the road.
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Old 09-15-14, 09:07 PM
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No help on the difference between road or mountain bikes. For me it depends on my plans, what I want to do.

On the mirrors, I like a glasses mounted mirror. Like others, bike mounted mirrors have gotten broken when my bike fell over.
I use this brand Take a Look Cyclist Mirror at BikeTiresDirect
Not sure if that's the best price or not.

I get asked about my mirror a lot, cause I customized it.

Lost one mirror, bought another to replace it, then found the first in the grass where it and the glasses they were on got run over by a mower. In a flash of creativity I soldered them together so it doubled them up. Also made them a few millimeters longer for a better field of view. This way I can see in the drops and on the hoods without adjustment and fiddling. Or, I can set them for a wider field of view, and I have set them so I can see my dog in his trailer and the road behind at the same time.
When I go out without a mirror now, I feel really strange for the first couple miles, then just adjust back to looking over the shoulder more.
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Old 09-15-14, 10:54 PM
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I use the Take A Look on my glasses. No vibration, stays very put.

Keith
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Old 09-16-14, 06:07 AM
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Getting used to the road is a big deal. I know quite a few mountain bikers with the same issue, and it's certainly valid. I don't know how to address that, but a good mirror is probably a great idea. I've also tried both, and have found a bar-mounted mirror is better for me.

As far as the bike goes, some road cyclists prefer to change hand position and straight bars can lead to chronic fatigue. The extra mass can be fatiguing, too. I used my MTB for commuting a few days a year, and those 10 mile commutes felt more like 25 miles on my road bike. But it kept me riding on a few snowy mornings.

It's funny how we view risk. I feel very comfortable cycling in traffic, preferring it to auto travel any time. But after a few years of mountain biking on single track, I thought that was too risky. I saw too many injuries. I was a member of the local rescue squad and helped extricate some nasty ones. To be fair, we had our share of road injuries and fatalities, too. But for some reason, risks on the road are perfectly acceptable to me, but risks on the trail were not. Most trail riders see it exactly opposite, and I can't argue with them. Again, it's a tough one to address.
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Old 09-16-14, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus

It's funny how we view risk. I feel very comfortable cycling in traffic, preferring it to auto travel any time. But after a few years of mountain biking on single track, I thought that was too risky. I saw too many injuries. I was a member of the local rescue squad and helped extricate some nasty ones. To be fair, we had our share of road injuries and fatalities, too. But for some reason, risks on the road are perfectly acceptable to me, but risks on the trail were not. Most trail riders see it exactly opposite, and I can't argue with them. Again, it's a tough one to address.
Yup. Very few people are able to be anything close to objective about risk. I have been riding in traffic all my life, I'm very comfortable there. I am not an experienced MTBer, that feels much more dangerous to me.

We tend to overestimate the risks involved in unfamiliar activities, and underestimate those in familiar activities. The good news is that cycling in all its variants is pretty safe.
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