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Just Realized Why I Prefer A Bar-Mounted Mirror!

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Just Realized Why I Prefer A Bar-Mounted Mirror!

Old 10-22-20, 04:21 PM
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Just Realized Why I Prefer A Bar-Mounted Mirror!

I almost posted this in a thread that asked about helmet-mounted mirrors, but I am not interested in starting another debate over bar-mounted vs. helmet-mounted. I think they are both good options, each one suitable for a different type of rider.

However, on my commute the other day, I realized what it is about my bar-mounted mirror that I like so much. Not only does it let me see what's going on around me; it is also a clearly visible indicator to motorists that I can see them coming up behind or beside me.

When I am driving a car behind a cyclist, I can never see if he or she is wearing a helmet mirror, so if the cyclist doesn't turn around and make eye-contact with me, I have no idea if I am visible and if it is safe to pass. When I see a bar-mounted mirror and I see the cyclist gazing in its direction, I am FAIRLY confident that the presence of my automobile is known. Helmet-mounted mirrors just don't announce themselves as boldly and blatantly.

Honestly, I think daytime lights AND mirrors (bar or helmet) should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road; but as long as they aren't, I'd like drivers to know that I am using one.

Last edited by Papa Tom; 10-22-20 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 10-22-20, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Honestly, I think daytime lights AND mirrors (bar or helmet) should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road; but as long as they aren't, I'd like drivers to know that I am using one.
I'm glad you like your handlebar mirror, but hard disagree on this. We don't need anything to increase regulatory barriers to cycling, especially for the very dubious safety benefits of rearview mirrors.
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Old 10-22-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
...Not only does it let me see what's going on around me; it is also a clearly visible indicator to motorists that I can see them coming up behind....
I use two indicators to motorists behind me, both enabled by monitoring a rear view mirror:

1. When a motorist is about 4-6 seconds behind me, I briefly turn my head left, as if I was looking back.. but it is just a very brief glimpse... lets me keep my eyes forward almost all the time

2. When the motorist is about 20 feet behind me, I give a hi sign with my left hand (hand stays on the bar).

When on a four lane road and I see a motorist in my rear view mirror move to the left lane, I’ll often raise my left hand and wave a vigorous thank you.

I think there is lot of value in actively communicating with motorists.
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Old 10-23-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
i think there is lot of value in actively communicating with motorists.
+100
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Old 10-23-20, 09:14 AM
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I have no interest in telling people what mirror is best for them. I respect handlebar mirrors. I use an eyeglass mirror. The advantage you post is real. Motorists behind me don't know I see them. I have developed a technique of turning my head back twice. I do it only to tell them I see them, as I don't turn to see.
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Old 10-23-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I almost posted this in a thread that asked about helmet-mounted mirrors, but I am not interested in starting another debate over bar-mounted vs. helmet-mounted. I think they are both good options, each one suitable for a different type of rider.

However, on my commute the other day, I realized what it is about my bar-mounted mirror that I like so much. Not only does it let me see what's going on around me; it is also a clearly visible indicator to motorists that I can see them coming up behind or beside me.

When I am driving a car behind a cyclist, I can never see if he or she is wearing a helmet mirror, so if the cyclist doesn't turn around and make eye-contact with me, I have no idea if I am visible and if it is safe to pass. When I see a bar-mounted mirror and I see the cyclist gazing in its direction, I am FAIRLY confident that the presence of my automobile is known. Helmet-mounted mirrors just don't announce themselves as boldly and blatantly.

Honestly, I think daytime lights AND mirrors (bar or helmet) should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road; but as long as they aren't, I'd like drivers to know that I am using one.
I very much like the handlebar mirrors that I use all the time and appreciate the help they give me in quickly determining traffic conditions to the rear.

I see zero advantage to me if somehow my mirror is seen by approaching motorists, and consider it highly unlikely that most, if any motorists notice it, let alone consider whether I see them or not, or consider making any driving decisions based on that unlikely observation.

I am concerned that motorists see a bicyclist in front of them and respond appropriately, and I do not think the presence or not of a bicyclist's mirror makes a bit of difference in motorists' response.

BTW, I ardently disagree with your desire to mandate that all bicyclists pay for and use YOUR preferred bicycling accessories.
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Old 10-23-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I almost posted this in a thread that asked about helmet-mounted mirrors, but I am not interested in starting another debate over bar-mounted vs. helmet-mounted. I think they are both good options, each one suitable for a different type of rider.

However, on my commute the other day, I realized what it is about my bar-mounted mirror that I like so much. Not only does it let me see what's going on around me; it is also a clearly visible indicator to motorists that I can see them coming up behind or beside me.

When I am driving a car behind a cyclist, I can never see if he or she is wearing a helmet mirror, so if the cyclist doesn't turn around and make eye-contact with me, I have no idea if I am visible and if it is safe to pass. When I see a bar-mounted mirror and I see the cyclist gazing in its direction, I am FAIRLY confident that the presence of my automobile is known. Helmet-mounted mirrors just don't announce themselves as boldly and blatantly.

Honestly, I think daytime lights AND mirrors (bar or helmet) should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road; but as long as they aren't, I'd like drivers to know that I am using one.
I like my bar mounted mirror as well. Works well, and is bigger than a helmet mounted mirror. Both work, but I prefer my bar mounted mirror.
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Old 10-23-20, 11:20 AM
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motorists are going way too fast around you to check out all of the accessories on a given bicycle?
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Old 10-23-20, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
motorists are going way too fast around you to check out all of the accessories on a given bicycle?
Yes, too fast to see or respond to any accessories, except lights and reflectors.
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Old 10-23-20, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
motorists are going way too fast around you to check out all of the accessories on a given bicycle?
Nah, not on MY commute. And even if some don't see the mirror at first, they HAVE to figure it out when they see me waving them on to pass without even turning my head. In THAT case, it wouldn't matter WHICH type of mirror I was using. But more than one driver at a traffic light has commented about my bar-end mirror, so I have a feeling it's pretty noticeable.
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Old 10-24-20, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Nah, not on MY commute. And even if some don't see the mirror at first, they HAVE to figure it out when they see me waving them on to pass without even turning my head.
Why bother waving at motorists who are approaching from the rear during your commute?
I think most drivers would wonder what the heck a bicyclist is waving about, nor give a fig, (if they did understand) that such "waving" is intended to be the bicyclist's permission to pass.

IMO, this process of using a mirror to detect approaching traffic and then waving to communicate passing instructions at motorists approaching from the rear is something that may be more useful for entertaining the bicyclist than any sort of useful communication or risk reduction measure.
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Old 10-24-20, 08:40 PM
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This is why Italian motorcycles (and sports cars) have such tiny mirrors.
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Old 10-24-20, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This is why Italian motorcycles (and sports cars) have such tiny mirrors.

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Old 10-25-20, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This is why Italian motorcycles (and sports cars) have such tiny mirrors.
It also why ALL drivers of every nationality do not normally give any kind of OK to pass signals to the vehicle drivers approaching from the rear.
It also why ALL drivers of every nationality never look for, nor would likely recognize, any kind of archaic OK to pass signals from the vehicle operator in front prior to overtaking them.

Exceptions may be made by drivers of slow wide vehicles unable to share any of the road that block forward visibility, like RVs and large trucks climbing long hilly sections of narrow rural, mountain roads, Hardly a typical bicycle commuting scenario.
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Old 10-25-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Honestly, I think daytime lights AND mirrors (bar or helmet) should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road; but as long as they aren't, I'd like drivers to know that I am using one.
Agreed 100%.

It’d be only slightly different if people took driving seriously instead of it just being one of those things like eating, pooping, or working which they casually do while doing super important things on their phone.

Lights & mirrors are not accessories just because manufacturers don’t include them as part of the package of a “complete” bike... They’re essential safety features of a vehicle intended to be used on public roads.

I definitely think that there ought to be laws which make the only way to purchase a new bike without car-like bright lights and a mirror is with a racing license and signing a manufacturer release stating that your only intended use for the unlit bike is sanctioned competition events.

Does it create a barrier of entry? Sure. So to does language and a whole lot of other things (like a vast majority of traffic law) that make societies work well.

It used to be that mirrors, headlights, and taillights were optional extras on cars. The world is a better place now that they’re required.

———

OT: I like bar end mirrors, not for the OP’s reason (I doubt many drivers are looking at my head till they feel my eyes looking for theirs), I like being able to block the mirror with my arm till I need to see it- very useful for the 9 months of the year I’m in the dark.

Last edited by hsuBM; 10-25-20 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
...especially for the very dubious safety benefits of rearview mirrors.
The benefits may seem dubious to *you*, but many cyclists don't feel safe in traffic without a mirror. I am one of these.
It should be noted that there is very little information available about the prevalence of rear-view mirror use and its relationship to cyclist safety, so your opinion can't be definitively refuted. Neither can mine be strongly supported. The League of American Bicyclists published THIS PIECE in 2014. It has its flaws, but according to the information presented, 40% of the cyclist deaths tabulated were "struck-from-behind" interactions with cars. These are the sort of events that might be expected to be made less likely by the use of rear-view mirrors, but mirror use was not addressed. More studies are needed.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:58 PM
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I don't use mirrors, but I do sometimes wave a car behind me past me. It's usually up hill, and it's usually when I see a parked car or a (yet another) blind corner coming up. I then slow down, pull to the side (well before the blind corner), and use the arm (not merely the hand) to let him know that I have noticed him and I'm not pulling out to the left in front of him so he can get past me. They often blip their horn as a thank you, but more importantly, they can see my intention and I can hear their engine rev to make the pass.
What I don't try to do is be subtle. I signal VERY clearly what I intend to do and not do.
That lift with your hand, subtle turn of the head and whatnot is not something I do. The signal I most use is the "shoosh" or the "get" so to speak, where I with my left hand (in right hand traffic) sort of push the air forward at knee level. Haha, sorry, I don't know how to explain the movement, but I think you guys may know what I mean.
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Old 10-28-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
The benefits may seem dubious to *you*, but many cyclists don't feel safe in traffic without a mirror. I am one of these.
It should be noted that there is very little information available about the prevalence of rear-view mirror use and its relationship to cyclist safety, so your opinion can't be definitively refuted. Neither can mine be strongly supported. The League of American Bicyclists published THIS PIECE in 2014. It has its flaws, but according to the information presented, 40% of the cyclist deaths tabulated were "struck-from-behind" interactions with cars. These are the sort of events that might be expected to be made less likely by the use of rear-view mirrors, but mirror use was not addressed. More studies are needed.
To be fair, in a rear view mirror (on a bike or helmet) you probably can't see that the angle of the car towards you is so acute the car will hit you before it's too late for you to do anything.
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Old 10-28-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
....The signal I most use is the "shoosh" or the "get" so to speak, where I with my left hand (in right hand traffic) sort of push the air forward at knee level. Haha, sorry, I don't know how to explain the movement, but I think you guys may know what I mean.
Yes! This is EXACTLY what I do!
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Old 10-28-20, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
To be fair, in a rear view mirror (on a bike or helmet) you probably can't see that the angle of the car towards you is so acute the car will hit you before it's too late for you to do anything.
This is not my experience. I have a good view of what's coming up behind me with a bar-end mirror on my commuter bike, and a glasses-mounted mirror on my road and mountain bikes. I'm 70 years old and have never been hit from behind.
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Old 10-28-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
This is not my experience. I have a good view of what's coming up behind me with a bar-end mirror on my commuter bike, and a glasses-mounted mirror on my road and mountain bikes. I'm 70 years old and have never been hit from behind.
I am not saying you can't see what's coming up behind you. A mirror certainly tells you that. I am questioning whether you can tell in your mirror if a car passes with more than one meter (a bit over 3ft) distance or it will hit. And if you can tell that with your mirror while the car is far enough away for you to actually react. I very much doubt you can.

Okay, and for your last point: I have a Tiger Rock in my pocket at all times. It scares tigers away, and I have never been attacked by a tiger! It's amazing how effective it is.

Seriously, though, you not having been hit by a car from behind probably has very little to do with you being able to see traffic behind you in the mirror.
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Old 10-29-20, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
I am not saying you can't see what's coming up behind you. A mirror certainly tells you that. I am questioning whether you can tell in your mirror if a car passes with more than one meter (a bit over 3ft) distance or it will hit. And if you can tell that with your mirror while the car is far enough away for you to actually react. I very much doubt you can.

Okay, and for your last point: I have a Tiger Rock in my pocket at all times. It scares tigers away, and I have never been attacked by a tiger! It's amazing how effective it is.

Seriously, though, you not having been hit by a car from behind probably has very little to do with you being able to see traffic behind you in the mirror.
Meh. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Meh. Different strokes for different folks.
Okay, then.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:28 AM
  #24  
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>> should be REQUIRED on all bikes ridden on the road;

Please, no. I've been riding on the streets and roads for fifty years, I haven't been in physical contact with a hostile car in forty, and I don't need new rules to tell me what to do.
Nor do we need more barriers for new riders.

Consider that we require mirrors and turn signals on all cars...which is a good idea... but the use thereof appears to be plenty optional.

As far as drivers seeing my mirror? You give the average driver out there too much credit. I'm happy when they see ME.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post

I think there is lot of value in actively communicating with motorists.
This.

For me, the most frustrating thing about commuting daily is the lack of communication with motorists. sometimes they’re too far or it’s too dark to make eye contact or discern their hand signals.
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