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  1. #1
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    Mirrors: helmet / glasses vs bar-end

    I've used a sunglasses - mount mirror before, didn't like it much but they are definitely useful. In the high traffic urban environments, and honestly during races and group rides, I think they're quite important.

    Has anybody tried both head mount and bar-end mount? Compare and contrast?

    I worry about impaling my leg on this kind but it seems good otherwise:

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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I have used the helmet mounted and the bar end types. I think the helmet mounted gives you a little better perception, probably because it is so much closer to your eye. But i've always had issues with them not staying stuck on the helmet. I have a bar end now. The approaching cars look very small in it and I had to get used to it. I do sometimes hit it with my knee when coming out of the saddle but have never hurt myself on it. They do sometimes slip out of adjustment on rough roads. A little tape cures that though.

  3. #3
    Ironbutt
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    I tried 6 or 7 different helmet mount and glasses mounted mirrors about five years ago when I decided that I wanted a mirror. I finally settled on the Cycleaware Reflex helmet mount mirror. It has a good range of adjustability, a snap-on mount so that you can remove the mirror from the helmet and replace it quickly and it stays in adjustment. The mirrors that mounted on the sunglasses were OK but always seemed to make the glasses slide down my nose or get tilted out of kilter. I wear my glasses for driving as well, and it was a pain to remove and reinstall the mirror all of the time. Iíve broken my Reflex and have gotten great customer support from Cycleaware. I tried a mirror mounted on the bar end like the one in your photo for one ride; Iím pretty tall and have long legs. The thing scraped my leg when I got out of the saddle while riding uphill. That was the end of the bar end mirror

  4. #4
    Still On Steel
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    I used to use a helmet-mount mirror, and felt much the same as you, Creaky ... wasn't crazy about it, but it was useful. Mine got to where it wouldn't hold its adjustment so I gave up on it.

    I have ridden a friend's bike with a bar-end mirror like you show. As drummerboy says the cars look tiny, although the mirror does allow you to see when one is back there and usually that's all you need. The biggest gripe I had is that the image wasn't very stable, due to vibration. I didn't experience that with my helmet-mount because one's body provides adequate "suspension" to dampen the road buzz before it reaches the mirror.

    Most of my riding is on lightly-traveled county roads, so if I were going to start using a mirror again, I'd go with the bar end because it would be adequate for those conditions. In urban traffic I'd want another helmet-mount, since it provides a clearer view and because it has more of a "heads-up" display, with less need to take my eyes off what's ahead and around me.
    Allez Rouge

  5. #5
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    A vote for helmet-mounted

    I've used both barend and helmet-mounted mirrors. I'm currently using the Cycleaware mirror with its Gumby-style flexible arm and am quite happy.

    I might ride any of 4 different bikes these days. A helmet mirror means I don't have to buy a mirror for every different bike I might ride.

    Also, helmet mirrors allow you to scan around behind you by moving your head a little bit -- letting you look someplace other than the usual place the mirror is aimed. Handlebar mirrors are harder to do that with.

    My helmet, a Bell Ghisallo, has a very curved surface where the base for the Cycleaware mirror is mounted. I seriously doubted that the adhesive tape on the base would make a solid contact with curved helmet surface, so I glued the base on with hot glue... effectively spackling a flat surface to mount the base. It's held well for a few years.

    The ball and socket mount of the Cycleaware mirror gets loose after awhile so that the mirror doesn't hold its position. A tiny scrap of paper, like the corner of a sheet of paper, pressed into the socket with the ball snugs-up the mirror just fine.

    I've not used a glasses-mounted mirror. I suspect they give better positioning and maybe have better optics, but I don't like the idea of meddling with installing and removing the mirror everytime, or even riding with glasses everytime.

  6. #6
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    I like the Take-a-look mirror mounted to my glasses. An alternative is to helmet mount it. With eyeglass/helmet mounts you get a wide field of view due to its close proximity to the eye, as well as the ability to scan behind you by slightly rotating your head. The tend to bounce/vibrate less than bike mounted mirrors.

    I have it positioned up and out to the side so it's not significantly obscuring my forward and peripheral vision.

    Downside is you have this dorky mirror sticking out that can hit on things at times. Perhaps there's a slight chance of it somehow injuring you in a crash.

  7. #7
    Minister of Silly Walks
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    I was at my LBS not long ago and they had a tiny (about the diameter of a pencil eraser) mirror that was made to stick to the inside of your sunglasses.
    That might be an option. Anyone have any experience with one of those? Sort of curious myself.
    'You're my new favorite lwnger.' -DrRoebuck

  8. #8
    More Cowbell!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I've used a sunglasses - mount mirror before, didn't like it much but they are definitely useful. In the high traffic urban environments, and honestly during races and group rides, I think they're quite important.
    I like this mirror: http://www.rei.com/product/752285/bi...-a-look-mirror

    Glasses mount style. Basic. I have also used zip ties to mount it on my helmet -- which worked well. After trying both methods, I liked on my glasses better.
    Pro rep, yo!

  9. #9
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    This bar-end mirror is quite popular in my area. I really like it because I can see cars approaching from behind when sitting upright and when riding in the drops. I first tried it on one of my bikes and now all three wear it.

    http://www.aspirevelotech.com/Mercha...ry_Code=MIRROR

  10. #10
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    Take-A-Look

    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    I like the Take-a-look mirror mounted to my glasses. An alternative is to helmet mount it. With eyeglass/helmet mounts you get a wide field of view due to its close proximity to the eye, as well as the ability to scan behind you by slightly rotating your head. The tend to bounce/vibrate less than bike mounted mirrors.

    I have it positioned up and out to the side so it's not significantly obscuring my forward and peripheral vision.

    Downside is you have this dorky mirror sticking out that can hit on things at times. Perhaps there's a slight chance of it somehow injuring you in a crash.
    I tried a couple of glass mounted mirrors and I settled with the Take-A-Look. I've been using the same mirror for 12 years. About two weeks ago I took a nasty spill after colliding with a dog that ran on the road in front of me. I went down hard on my left side. My helmet made contact with the road. The Take-A-Look collapsed, went into a straight position (like is was when you first bought it). I did received a black eye but it was from my riding glasses. The mirror was still usable, but I bought a new one anyway. The worst outcome is I fractured my left elbow. No worries from crashing with that mirror. I'm a test cash dummy.

  11. #11
    More Cowbell!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    and honestly during races and group rides, I think they're quite important.
    I like them for group rides so I know what's going on around me -- and whether there are dropped riders. During races I feel like it's cheating. Won't wear one then.
    Pro rep, yo!

  12. #12
    PIITWhat?
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    A guy I ride with uses one of these. He seems to like it. Smaller and a little more out of the way than other drop bar mirrors. Most important, it actually looks good (for a mirror).
    Last edited by Love Commander; 06-10-2011 at 10:19 AM.

  13. #13
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    I have had and used the glasses ones for 7 years (Take-a-look) and they work well, but are somewhat annoying (have to adjust every time you use them and kind of tilt your head a bit to see what you are looking for). It has lasted a good 7 years and is very durable... although...

    I got one of the ones you pictured (exactly the same) a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. So much better. I would highly recommend the bar end one. I found it has almost no vibration and is easy to view stuff in (can kind of tilt it outwards for a better panoramic view). I did knock it a few times when mounting/dismounting the bike but it was very easy to adjust with one hand (1-2 seconds tops) while riding when I noticed it was off a bit.
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  14. #14
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    I could never get the glasses mounted mirrors to stay in one place. I had a helmet mount for years, but knocked it out of place on a regular basis.

    Mirrycle makes a mirror that mounts on Shimano STI levers. I got one last year, and it's the best mirror I've used.

  15. #15
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    Over the years I've used the type that clips on to the temple of glasses, the spot that sticks to the inside of the glasses lens and a bar end similar to the one shown.

    IMO the stick on spot is definitely the best but it might depend on the curve of the lens.. Since it is close to the eye the image is much larger than in either of the others (not surprisingly the temple one is the next largest). Also, just a slight movement of the head allowed me to see whatever I wanted to regardless of my position on the bar/aerobar.

    The one that clipped to the temple was subject to more jiggle but worked well.

    The bar end works fine but the view is tiny. Using both the spot and the bar end, I found I could see (and be sure of what I was seeing) much sooner with the spot. When I used both, I found that I rarely looked in the bar end.

    Both the spot and the bar end have the advantage of being less likely to be forgotten or lost. Unless the bar end can be moved, what you see is dependent on the angle of the handlebar.

  16. #16
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    my experience is that the person with one of those or a head attachment is a liability, especially in a group ride. always checking the furgin mirror when you should be concentrating on the road ahead- the head movement causing swearvering and such all over the place
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  17. #17
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    I've used these for many years...unlike many others the mirror is flat so the distance of traffic behind you is not distorted...and it stays in adjustment quite well
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  18. #18
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    I have used every single mirror mentioned, helmet and sunglass mounted, bar end, mirrcycle, etc. I like this the best.

    http://www.bike-eye.com/
    http://www.zefal.com/zefal/produit.php?key=472

    The BikeEye gives a broader view but you cannot really mount it on the left unless you never lay your bike down for transport in the trunk of during a ride. Mine eventually broke because of this.

    I use the Zefal now exclusively mounted on the down tube. It gives adequate coverage and is small and unobtrusive. The picture shows how versatile it is because it can be mounted almost anywhere. No vibration either like the Mirrcycle which I liked fairly well except for that.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I've used a sunglasses - mount mirror before, didn't like it much but they are definitely useful. In the high traffic urban environments, and honestly during races and group rides, I think they're quite important.

    Has anybody tried both head mount and bar-end mount? Compare and contrast?

    I worry about impaling my leg on this kind but it seems good otherwise:
    I use and really like the dot mirror (Cyclaware Viewpoint) that sticks to the inside of my riding lenses. It has to be located properly and takes a little getting used to but it doesn't get out of adjustment and doesn't vibrate.

  20. #20
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    Most of the folks I ride with that use bar end mirrors like them, but they complain about them going out of adjustment while riding. I've had several glasses mounted mirrors & didn't like any of them. They made my glasses too heavy making them slide down my nose. My favorites are helmet mounted. If you have trouble getting them to stay where you want them just put a little Shoe Goo on them. They won't move a millimeter, but you can still get it off if you need to.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  21. #21
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    I hate riding with a mirror but I do it and feel handicapped without it. I use the cycleaware/heads up. It is ok but the mirror itself is plastic and is getting pretty scratched and fogged up. I don't like the helmet mounts at all, i was breaking them all the time. when i replace mine i will probably just get another, since i am used to it.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right......

  22. #22
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    I used the one you've pictured (or one very like it; the mirror shape looks slightly different) for a couple of seasons. Did the job well, but eventually came a bit floppy. Some tape around the ball joint helped that, but then it eventually got knocked off and lost along the way - I think on the car rack.

    Usta use eyeglass mounts from Third Eye, but managed to break them. Got a Take-a-look for my wife, she loves it. I went DIY for the Beer View Mirror, just because. One spoke, one bottle cap, a piece of mirror and some hot-melt... Fashionable nerdliness below.

    I've wanted to play with the Zefal Spy, but haven't yet found one where I was otherwise ordering, and I'm not going to initiate an order for just that...

    A bike mounted mirror is a bit easier to use - it's always right where you expect it to be, seeing exactly what you expect it to see. A good eyeglass mirror gives a wider view and allows you to look in different directions, but you have to wiggle your head to find the right spot sometimes. They can occasionally end up right where you want to look from left-hand front. Also, in-the-drops riders sometimes have a bit of trouble seeing past their shoulder. It can mostly be accommodated by turning the mirror out and turning your head a few more degrees, effectively putting the mirror further from center, but that makes it slightly less intuitive to use.


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  23. #23
    Loves to suffer
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    I wear prescription eyeglasses, so I use the Take-A-Look eyeglass mirror while riding my road bike. On my other bikes I have handlebar-mounted Mountain Mirrycles. They all work very well, with the Take-A-Look being the best one as my body absorbs most of the shock so there isn't a lot of vibration.

  24. #24
    A wheelist
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    Make them yourself, like I do. I've been making my own mirrors for about 35 years and I would not ride a mile without one. They work perfectly. I make them out of the mirrors from ladies' powder compacts (do they still use them?). It's very thin glass. The frame is made from an old spoke and the glass is attached with epoxy. As the mirror is very close to the glasses (and therefore the eye) it need only be very small (very small = less dorky) and mine are about 1.5 x 1cm. As they are very small they take precise alignment but once it's set it never needs adjusting and never moves.

    The mirror is 0.5cm from my glasses lens. You make whatever cantilever design frame will fit your glasses.

    Edit - poster "thedago" made me laugh with this major over-generalization - "my experience is that the person with one of those or a head attachment is a liability, especially in a group ride. always checking the furgin mirror when you should be concentrating on the road ahead- the head movement causing swearvering and such all over the place."

    Heheheheh. Swerve all over the place do I?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mirrors: helmet / glasses vs bar-end-mirror-1.jpg  
    Last edited by Mike T.; 06-11-2011 at 12:27 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Very nice!

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