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POLL: Do you use a rear-view mirror?

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway
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POLL: Do you use a rear-view mirror?

Old 10-23-05, 07:23 PM
  #1  
Inverted
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POLL: Do you use a rear-view mirror?

I picked up little $12 helmet-mounted rear-view mirror a few days ago, and today was my first time to really try it out in substantial traffic. I know I am not getting any OCP points for wearing it (probably losing them, actually) but that little piece of heaven and plastic makes life so much easier!

I remember a thread about a week back asking what the best upgrade you ever did for your bike, or your bicycling, and while clipless pedals are the consensus number 1 choice, my little mirror is making a serious push for top honors with me.

So, do you use a rear-view mirror while biking?
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Old 10-23-05, 07:29 PM
  #2  
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I wear one attached to my helmet. Makes the ride so much more enjoyable not having to look over your shoulder or having to be so dependent on your ears. Found it really keeps my concentration level higher not having to turn my head just a quick glance out of the corner of your eye.
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Old 10-23-05, 07:30 PM
  #3  
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Yes. I use one mounted to my glasses. Its awesome.
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Old 10-23-05, 07:30 PM
  #4  
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I don't use one but I'm considering it. Several of the popular routes here in Austin are on highways with wide shoulders. They have stoplights but some interchanges have exits like a freeway. Since the cars are travelling 55-65 mph, it's a little un-nerving to try to check back to see if you're clear to move across the exit. I've developed some work-arounds so I don't have to stress about it but I'm thinkin' a rearview mirror could do the trick. Sure beats gettin' smeared all over some bubba's windshield!
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Old 10-23-05, 07:32 PM
  #5  
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I use one of the bike peddler ones. It is the anthesis of OPC, but it makes riding in traffic a lot less stressful. On lonely roads I just check every little bit, and can see them coming a good distance off, in traffic it helps keep me aware of what's around me. Geeky yes, but I like it.

Steve W
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Old 10-23-05, 07:38 PM
  #6  
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I've never tried one, and really haven't given it much thought. But the question immediately made me think of the Raul Julia quote in Gumball Rally. He says something like, "First rule of Italian driving, is what's behind me is not important..." So maybe I should get one since 1) I'm not Italian and 2) I don't have an Italian bike. :-)
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Old 10-23-05, 07:44 PM
  #7  
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Yes. The type that mounts on glasses. I always look in it before going out of my line; not too crazy about turning my head back to see or looking under my arm pit like I use to, things can happen way too fast not to have the head in the same direction as the forward movement. Very weird feeling to go out on the road without it.
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Old 10-23-05, 07:52 PM
  #8  
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I've tried helmet mounts, eyeglass mounts, bar end mounts and hood mounts. I like the glasses mount, but I loose them and I don't always wear glasses. I found this one that I was able to mount on the bar just under the hood.
https://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=6700
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Old 10-23-05, 07:54 PM
  #9  
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I do - a bar end round one on my road bike. I used to think I didn't need it, but I got it and installed it for RAGBRAI - looking our for other cyclists, not cars.

Took a while to get used to, but now I'd be lost without it. I ride alone quite a bit, and it's nice to be able to glance now and again to see who's coming up behind - even before I can hear them, and know how much room they're looking to give me as they pass. It's less helpful in a group ride, as all you see is the knees of the guy behind you - but at least you know if you've pulled off the front when it's your turn.....
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Old 10-23-05, 08:10 PM
  #10  
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I use to have one on my mountain bike, and thought Iíd miss it on my road bike, but Iíve never used one on my road bike - and donít miss it at all.

As long as you hold a good line, and stay to the right, everything behind you will work out.

Even with a mirror, I always turned my head before a lane change anyway.

I now think worrying about whatís going on behind me a waste of time. Up ahead is whatís important.

PS: I took the mirror off my MTB too.
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Old 10-23-05, 08:10 PM
  #11  
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When sharing the road with the motoring public, absolutely. I didn't bother until I bought my first tandem and became responsible for the safety and well being of my wife... I now feel incredibly exposed without it.
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Old 10-23-05, 08:30 PM
  #12  
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I use this little drop mirror, not as large as some others, but keeps you looking forward and looks about a good as a mirror can.

John

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Old 10-23-05, 08:32 PM
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Mirrors really do help alot while riding. They allow you to see traffic behind you, without the need to constantly look over your shoulder. I prefer a handlebar mounted one just because they are sturdier and provide a constant view, unlike helmet ones which move with you (obviously).

If you dont cave in and buy a mirror, atleast educate yourself about safety while on bikes at https://www.goto-site.com/bicycle101/Bikesafety.htm
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Old 10-23-05, 08:42 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Inverted
I picked up little $12 helmet-mounted rear-view mirror a few days ago, and today was my first time to really try it out in substantial traffic. I know I am not getting any OCP points for wearing it (probably losing them, actually) but that little piece of heaven and plastic makes life so much easier!

I remember a thread about a week back asking what the best upgrade you ever did for your bike, or your bicycling, and while clipless pedals are the consensus number 1 choice, my little mirror is making a serious push for top honors with me.

So, do you use a rear-view mirror while biking?
I purchased several mirrors over the years and no longer use any. Here's why.

1. Illusion of safty --- The rear view mirror allows you to see the cars but you can't do much else. In other words, if a car makes a mistake at 45 mph, you're cooked regardless of having the mirror. At that speed or less, the car will be upon you within a second. In city riding, many cars look like they're coming too close. In order to save your life, you're going to have to jump off the bike. That's the problem. You really cannot determine when when to jump off the bike. Think about this next time you're riding. How close do the cars have to be before you decide to jump off the bike? You'll find out that you really can't determine when to make this emergency procedure so how effective is the mirror?

It's possible the mirror might have some use in the burbs where there is little traffic. If a truck comes up from behind, when do you jump of the bike? So do you hug the curb and hope he doesn't hit you? Do you ride in the door zone and hope he doesn't hit you? Those are your only options which happen to be the same option for those who don't have a mirror!

Where the mirror comes into play is in preventing YOU from making a mistake. If don't hold a line very well, don't like to look back when there's a double parked car in front, rarely look back over your shoulder then a rear view mirror becomes very important.

2. Distraction is dangerous --- I find those helmet mirrors to be very distracting after a while since they block some vision and reflect light into your eye. For some people, this reflection leaves you dizzy or nauseous. I think this type of distraction makes it plain dangerous and took alot of the fun from cycling. In the end, I found myself spending too much time looking behind instead of ahead. The handlebar mirror does not leave you dizzy but I've yet to find one that didn't shake all over the place. Should that handle bar mirror get hooked to a car when lane splitting, you're going over the handlebar. Why do you thing bike messengers don't use them?

3. Blind spots -- Another reason I stopped using the mirror is because of the blind spots. There were cars riding right next to me but were not seen in the mirror. I could scan for those cars but I could do the same by just turning my neck. I just have more confidence with my eyes looking behind than what's on that mirror. Cars mirrors are considerably bigger but all have blind spots. Small handlebar and helmet mirrors are a fraction of that size and have much bigger blind spots.

4. Traffic Control ---- I must have caused about a dozen cars today to slow that would have zoomed by me at speed today. I did this by turning my neck and the cars slowed down. It doesn't happen all the time but I've done it enough to know it works! Using hand signals and eye contact with turning your neck are essential but helmet mirrors keep your neck straight so the motorist sees your actions (when you make a turn) as a surprise or a wreckless maneuver.

I thing the closest rear view mirror to a perfect solution was REVUE, the built in helmet mirror. Unfortunately, it needed a tremendous amount of R&D to make a viable product.
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Old 10-23-05, 08:45 PM
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Mirrors are great. I have the helmet-mount kind but I'm thinking of switching to the glasses-mount kind because the helmet one I got is very susceptible to vibration and I'm always fiddling with it.

The Take A Look is supposed to be pretty good.
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Old 10-23-05, 08:52 PM
  #16  
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Love it. I think I'll probably always ride with a mirror. I like getting a preview of what's coming from behind. It's especially nice when I have a lot of stuff in my backpack and it is kind of hard to actually look behind myself. It's also nice when I have to stop at traffic lights, and there are punks on the corner acting like they might give me a hard time. I can keep an eye on them whilst appearing to ignore them and refusing to engage with their bullsh*t.

It makes it so much easier to plan what to do in traffic, and it's nice in no-drop group rides, I can keep an eye on things if it looks like we are starting to lose people, I holler. I'm also usually the first one to call out "car back."
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Old 10-23-05, 08:57 PM
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Wouldnt ride in traffic without one.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:00 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I purchased several mirrors over the years and no longer use any. Here's why.

1. Illusion of safty --- The rear view mirror allows you to see the cars but you can't do much else. In other words, if a car makes a mistake at 45 mph, you're cooked regardless of having the mirror. At that speed or less, the car will be upon you within a second. In city riding, many cars look like they're coming too close. In order to save your life, you're going to have to jump off the bike. That's the problem. You really cannot determine when when to jump off the bike. Think about this next time you're riding. How close do the cars have to be before you decide to jump off the bike? You'll find out that you really can't determine when to make this emergency procedure so how effective is the mirror?

It's possible the mirror might have some use in the burbs where there is little traffic. If a truck comes up from behind, when do you jump of the bike? So do you hug the curb and hope he doesn't hit you? Do you ride in the door zone and hope he doesn't hit you? Those are your only options which happen to be the same option for those who don't have a mirror!

Where the mirror comes into play is in preventing YOU from making a mistake. If don't hold a line very well, don't like to look back when there's a double parked car in front, rarely look back over your shoulder then a rear view mirror becomes very important.

2. Distraction is dangerous --- I find those helmet mirrors to be very distracting after a while since they block some vision and reflect light into your eye. For some people, this reflection leaves you dizzy or nauseous. I think this type of distraction makes it plain dangerous and took alot of the fun from cycling. In the end, I found myself spending too much time looking behind instead of ahead. The handlebar mirror does not leave you dizzy but I've yet to find one that didn't shake all over the place. Should that handle bar mirror get hooked to a car when lane splitting, you're going over the handlebar. Why do you thing bike messengers don't use them?

3. Blind spots -- Another reason I stopped using the mirror is because of the blind spots. There were cars riding right next to me but were not seen in the mirror. I could scan for those cars but I could do the same by just turning my neck. I just have more confidence with my eyes looking behind than what's on that mirror. Cars mirrors are considerably bigger but all have blind spots. Small handlebar and helmet mirrors are a fraction of that size and have much bigger blind spots.

4. Traffic Control ---- I must have caused about a dozen cars today to slow that would have zoomed by me at speed today. I did this by turning my neck and the cars slowed down. It doesn't happen all the time but I've done it enough to know it works! Using hand signals and eye contact with turning your neck are essential but helmet mirrors keep your neck straight so the motorist sees your actions (when you make a turn) as a surprise or a wreckless maneuver.

I thing the closest rear view mirror to a perfect solution was REVUE, the built in helmet mirror. Unfortunately, it needed a tremendous amount of R&D to make a viable product.
You make a mirror sound like a crutch, rather than the tool that it is. You use a mirror on a bike for the same reason you use a mirror in a cage - to extend your sense of sight and, when combined with your other senses, provide increased situational awareness. It is not a substitute for giving a look before performing an action. Indeed, your items 1 through 3, and even 4, in some cases, apply to cages and motorcycles as well, yet I don't think that would prompt anyone to quit installing mirrors on them.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by As You Like It
Very cute. So is the mirror.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:15 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by R900
I use this little drop mirror, not as large as some others, but keeps you looking forward and looks about a good as a mirror can.

John

Hey, I like that one...where'd you find it? I've always used the helmet-mounted mirror (feel a little vulnerable without it); this one looks pretty cool..

B
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Old 10-23-05, 09:17 PM
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Nope. No mirror.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:20 PM
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That is the exact mirror I use. Except I installed mine on the inside of my helmet, between the pad and the styrafoam.

Seriously, that is by far the best $12 I have ever spent. I look like an absolute tool wearing it, but today I hit some pretty heavy traffic- heavier than I've ever been in at least- and I was not the least bit nervous or anxious.

And the guy who was making it sound like a clutch- you drive, right? Are you not aware of your blind spots? Do you not check them when you change lanes? Do you not use your car mirror as an ASSIST but instead as a release of liability waiver? Same thing with bikes. Mirrors aren't the end-all-be-all to vehicular awareness, but they certainly do aid the process.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:21 PM
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What Dahon.Steve said.

Speaking of mirrors...

I was behind a roadie with a helmet mirror the other day. This guy was so busy watching his mirror, weaving around, and trying to anticipate what the people behind were going to do, it made it impossible to pass him. Had he just trashed that mirror, and held a line to the right, everything would have been fine.

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Old 10-23-05, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Very cute. So is the mirror.
+1

BTW - mirror was the single best cost benefit ratio peice of equipment I own.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:26 PM
  #25  
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I get a lot of questions about my mirror, especially from peds and people at the office who see my helmet on my desk. I think it appeals to non-cyclists to know that we have means to help ourselves be more safe than they would otherwise belive us to be.

I got to explain my mirror to a fairly large group of little kids in the neighborhood. They thought it was really, really cool. I was stopped on the corner taking pictures of the trees at the foot of the street since we're having foliage turning now, and the neighbor girls always want to see what's on my camera anyway, then they had to quiz me about my blinky lights and mirror, too. Their little Barbie bikes and Dora helmets don't have such things, you know!
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