Road bike mirror question

Road bike mirrors

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15/11/2012 at 20:24

So I'm racking up the miles on my bike now and I'm loving every minute of it (except the saddle, I hate the saddle. And it hates me back !)

I'm happy with all the aches and pains that putting miles on the clock brings, but the one thing that is getting me is the crick in my neck from looking over my every minute or so.

I'm generally a confindent rider and I have alway thought I am well aware of my surroundings, but since being pranged by a VW Polo (I'm not even sure they realised they clipped me !!!) a few weeks ago I've been a little more cautious.

So now I'm looking at bike mirrors. And all the riders I know say they don't bother with them for one reason or another (they vibrate, they always get damaged etc)

So I'm after a any recommends as to some good mirrors for a road bike.

I'm considering the Bike Eye or a set of

Or both.

Are there any other recommends and does anyone have experience with mirrors ?

TheEngineer    pirate
15/11/2012 at 20:30

I prefer to use situational awareness and defensive road positioning. Other than that, if somebody is going to side-swipe you, there's not a lot you can do about it - and the time spent looking backwards won't help you when you hit a pothole or similar because you weren't looking forwards. I used to be the most nervous rider going (read: I was absolutely terrified) but time on the bike and thinking ahead helps. Moving into the middle of the road at width restrictions is a good idea too.

And if you still want mirrors... sorry I can't help!  

15/11/2012 at 20:42

I can't remember where i saw them but i have seen somewhere, basically they replace the handlebar plug that holds your bar tape in place but have a very small angled mirror. I'll have a little search for a link for them.

not quite what i was trying to describe, but the closest i could find.

Edited: 15/11/2012 at 20:50
cougie    pirate
15/11/2012 at 20:55
I can't really see the point of them. You'd not be able to judge how close a car was in a tiny mirror. All you'd know is that a car is coming but you should be aware of that anyway.

As me engineer says - focus on where you are going and your road positioning. Don't be squeezed into the side.
15/11/2012 at 21:47

I've seen cycling sunglasses with a tiny mirror at the edge of the frame. Can't remember where, or when, or how much. Just remember thinking if they were any good they'd be really cool!

15/11/2012 at 22:06

I'd echo the other comments, mirrors aren't the solution here.

15/11/2012 at 23:18

I know a guy that uses a mirror on his bike - haven't asked him why, he is past retirement age so maybe he just finds it hard to look over his shoulder.   Whatever, I can't recommend one type or another because it's not something I've considered myself but if you want one I wouldn't say it's a bad idea.   Anything that adds to your confidence on a bike is a good thing.   

16/11/2012 at 09:31
popsider wrote (see)

   Anything that adds to your confidence on a bike is a good thing.   

I'm not convinced it would. Infact I fear the opposite may be true.

That's not to mention the danger of being focussed on what's behind you (which let's face it we can't really influence) as opposed to what we are haeding towards.

16/11/2012 at 09:37

Well I assume we all have mirrors on our cars - would the same objection apply to them?  

16/11/2012 at 09:39

Part of the key to safe riding, I think, is that you have to get the car / lorry driver to make a conscious decision to 'do' something!  If that means taking an early position in the road on the approach to width restrictions, do it.  Similarly DO NOT cycle in the gutter.  Get out there so you can be seen early.  If the driver thinks he 'might' be able to squeeze past you, you're in the wrong place on the road!  It's either safe, or they need to think about indicating and overtaking you!  Don't be timid!

As what other's have said, I don't think mirrors are the answer.

16/11/2012 at 09:53

I thought his problem was a sore neck looking over his shoulder rather than poor road positioning.   I absolutely agree with the points you are making Prince but I'm not sure that they address the OPs issue.   Plenty of motorbikes have mirrors - is it really that different ?  

16/11/2012 at 10:41

popsider, out of interest why don't you have mirrors on your bike?

The OP states his shoulder is sore from continually looking over his shoulder every minute and that that is linked to a lack of confidence after being hit from behind. In my opinion, and judging by the orther responses I'm far from alone in it, mirrors will do nothing to restore that confidence.

16/11/2012 at 11:07

Why don't I have mirrors ?   Well I don't have any problem looking over my shoulder - it doesn't cause a crick in my neck - if it did then I would.   There's also the factor that it would provoke a lot of piss taking from people I ride with.   Plus there is the cost, the faff, the weight, the unaeroness, it's against UCI regs and I use my bikes for racing - but apart from those it's a good idea.   

However - if I had a problem looking over my shoulder I would fit a mirror - in an urban environment you do have to look over your shoulder quite frequently on a bike whether you are confident or not.   Now perhaps the OP does feel they have to look more often than actually makes a difference - but in that case a mirror would make it easier for relatively little outlay.   

Anyway I don't see a problem if the OP wants a mirror and nobody has actually provided a reason as to why it's a bad idea (other than the piss taking) - as I've already said you all have them in your cars so what's the difference ?  

16/11/2012 at 11:19

Who is pisstaking? Or are you saying that suggesting a better alternative is pisstaking?


16/11/2012 at 11:39

2wheels wrote (see)

Who is pisstaking?

They are hypothetical pisstakers

2wheels wrote (see)

are you saying that suggesting a better alternative is pisstaking?


I was saying that there are no good reasons not to use a mirror if you want to use one - but it might provoke piss taking from your mates.

cougie    pirate
16/11/2012 at 12:18

2wheels - if you're in a cycling club you'll know that most clubs do more pisstaking than cycling.

I can see that if you do have problems with looking behind you then a mirror makes sense. Maybe I'm doing this without noticing - but I dont think I look over my shoulder every minute ?  Sure - if you're turning or moving out you do it. Other than that - why would you ?   After all - if you're just doing it once a minute - then theres a full 58 seconds a minute that you have no idea whats going on behind you . 

16/11/2012 at 12:34

@cougie, I'm a 40 year old, 3rd generation cyclist and was barely 3 months old when I was taken to my first race - I may just have an idea of how much pisstaking goes on in cycling!

To be honest I misinterpreted popsters comments, I read it as people on this thread were taking the piss by suggesting that the OP consider that his riding and confidence were more relevent than looking for mirrors.

Edited: 16/11/2012 at 12:36
16/11/2012 at 16:21

I take your point Pops!  To be honest, and no flannel, I often look at bike advice threads where you comment because you come across as having such a wealth of knowledge!

I have seen (no idea where they come from) convex cycle helmet mirrors.  These fit onto your bike helmet and protrude to the front by an inch or so (like an insect antena).  No idea how effective they are, but I'd imagine they wouldn't bounce around/vibrate as much as handlebar mounted ones may.  Also no idea how they would be in an accident/fall where anything pointy near your head/eye isn't such a good idea!

I guess a mirror isn't, intrinsically, a bad idea.  It's just no substitute for looking over your shoulder as that movement, in itself, also gives a driver a clue you're 'about to do or consider doing something'!

Darkness    pirate
16/11/2012 at 16:59

Top amateur ironman triathlete Kevin "Rearview Mirror" Moats (recently suspended for doping) makes good use of a mirror at Kona apparently, but it doesn't win him many friends.



16/11/2012 at 17:09

with regard to the saddle comment in the OP - try another saddle? I now use a Selle SMP Trek on all my bikes....and no longer have a numb arse.


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