Side by side comparison: Safety Equipment, mirrors
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  1. #1
    ARP
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    Side by side comparison: Safety Equipment, mirrors

    I purchased a mirror from an individual advertising Italian made bike mirrors on Ebay. Called the guy up and ordered rather than going strictly online. The mirror arrived the other day and today was the test ride and comparison. I still have my Take a Look (TAL)mounted on my helmet, so I just folded it up so it was not usable and relied on the new mirror.

    For the boards info, I have only seen a few references to the IT made mirror. It works like this; the mirror is oval shaped, encased in rubber as it's frame, with 4 rubber "tails". It fits over the bar end plug and tape, I used a velcro strap over the tails, or you can remove your tape and mount the mirror and wrap the tape over the "tails". It works sort of like a periscope, you look down from your riding position at your bar end and see the image to your rear.

    Comparison: The IT mirror has a fisheye quality to it and images in the mirror are closer than you think. Not distorted badly, just a little from the fisheye effect. You don't get that effect with take a look at all, but sometimes need to get acustomed to tilting head or single eyeing the mirror.

    Adjustability: Both are adjustable, the TAL much more adjustable plus you can swivel your head a bit to see behind you. IT is adjustable but is designed to adjust to the correct position and once there it is mounted until you change your bar tape or crash, whichever comes first.

    Buzz effect: Little to none for both mirrors. I have tried several bike mounted mirrors only to give up because the road buzz distorted the image so bad the mirror was not usable. Because of the rubber frame around the IT mirror, buzz is not transmitted to the image.

    Bottom line: I still like the TAL, the image is clearer because the mirror is very close to your eye. With the IT, I think it would take some time getting used to, the image of a vehicle approaching from behind is a little tough to pick out, but if the vehicle has daytime lamps on, you can easily see it. Some of the problems I state may be due to the fact that I had the tails secured with a velcro strap and not the bar tape and I never had it adjusted perfectly. Alot of times I heard the vehicle approaching, glanced to the mirror and within 10 seconds the vehicle would be passing me. If I wanted to tell you what type of vehicle it was, still not sure I could do that with the IT, but does that really matter? A vehicle approaching is just that. I'm sure someone will tell their story about checking the TAL mirror and seeing the kid hanging out the window with (fill in the object in hand) and avoiding the contact because they had the TAL. The mount of the IT is very clean and am fairly certain most people won't notice it at all. Cost of IT was around $26 with shipping. Ordered from Aspire Velotech Inc. Has a web site, you can view his wares.

  2. #2

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    Made the same comparison

    I too, have used the TAL mirror [sunglass attatchment] and recently installed the IT road mirror.
    TAL pros: lots of view area, ability to move mirror [by moving your head], adjustability, portability [can be used on any bike]

    TAL cons: blind spot, the Fred effect [if you worry about those things], constantly hitting mirror and having to readjust, does not fit all types of sunglasses

    IT Road Mirror pros: stealth [so far no one has ever noticed it], stays in place, no rough pavement distortion, no blind spot [as with the TAL]

    IT Road Mirror cons: need one for each bike, not the same area of view as the TAL, for best looking install you must remove and reinstall bar tape

    Conclusion: The TAL has the best overall viewing range. You are able to see whats behind you for quite a while with much detail. The IT Road Mirror looks great [especially on a high end road bike] and has enough view area to feel comfortable riding in traffic. And no blind spot up front. Overall I'm happy with the IT Road Mirror and find it usefull for my kind of riding.

  3. #3
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman
    I purchased a mirror from an individual advertising Italian made bike mirrors on Ebay. Called the guy up and ordered rather than going strictly online. The mirror arrived the other day and today was the test ride and comparison. I still have my Take a Look (TAL)mounted on my helmet, so I just folded it up so it was not usable and relied on the new mirror.

    For the boards info, I have only seen a few references to the IT made mirror. It works like this; the mirror is oval shaped, encased in rubber as it's frame, with 4 rubber "tails". It fits over the bar end plug and tape, I used a velcro strap over the tails, or you can remove your tape and mount the mirror and wrap the tape over the "tails". It works sort of like a periscope, you look down from your riding position at your bar end and see the image to your rear.

    Comparison: The IT mirror has a fisheye quality to it and images in the mirror are closer than you think. Not distorted badly, just a little from the fisheye effect. You don't get that effect with take a look at all, but sometimes need to get acustomed to tilting head or single eyeing the mirror.

    Adjustability: Both are adjustable, the TAL much more adjustable plus you can swivel your head a bit to see behind you. IT is adjustable but is designed to adjust to the correct position and once there it is mounted until you change your bar tape or crash, whichever comes first.

    Buzz effect: Little to none for both mirrors. I have tried several bike mounted mirrors only to give up because the road buzz distorted the image so bad the mirror was not usable. Because of the rubber frame around the IT mirror, buzz is not transmitted to the image.

    Bottom line: I still like the TAL, the image is clearer because the mirror is very close to your eye. With the IT, I think it would take some time getting used to, the image of a vehicle approaching from behind is a little tough to pick out, but if the vehicle has daytime lamps on, you can easily see it. Some of the problems I state may be due to the fact that I had the tails secured with a velcro strap and not the bar tape and I never had it adjusted perfectly. Alot of times I heard the vehicle approaching, glanced to the mirror and within 10 seconds the vehicle would be passing me. If I wanted to tell you what type of vehicle it was, still not sure I could do that with the IT, but does that really matter? A vehicle approaching is just that. I'm sure someone will tell their story about checking the TAL mirror and seeing the kid hanging out the window with (fill in the object in hand) and avoiding the contact because they had the TAL. The mount of the IT is very clean and am fairly certain most people won't notice it at all. Cost of IT was around $26 with shipping. Ordered from Aspire Velotech Inc. Has a web site, you can view his wares.

    Isn't your arm in the way when in the hoods and/or drops? I had a pair (right and left) of similar Swiss made mirrors and found that they were blocked part of the time. I also found that it took several seconds to go from looking forward at distance to focusing on the mirror(s) and figuring out what was behind you . With the TAL, it just a glance of a second at most.

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks for the reviews

    LG & LMH - nice information & comparisons. Thanks.

  5. #5
    ARP
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    Since I have used it once...

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    Isn't your arm in the way when in the hoods and/or drops? I had a pair (right and left) of similar Swiss made mirrors and found that they were blocked part of the time. I also found that it took several seconds to go from looking forward at distance to focusing on the mirror(s) and figuring out what was behind you . With the TAL, it just a glance of a second at most.

    TF
    With hands on hoods (for me, 99% of the time) no problem at all using the IT or TAL. In the drops, IT was somewhat blocked by my arm, OTOH, need to move head back to use the TAL. In the drops, I'm usually going fairly fast and not overly concerned with what is behind me, focused forward and on any road hazards.

  6. #6

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    Well said...........

    I agree with Lone Gunman. Both mirrors are slightly obscured while in the drops. However, both can still be used in the drops with some body movement. So far I've used the IT mirror for a couple of weeks [250 -300 miles]. I tend to look in the mirror less with the IT than the TAL. Like to hear from Lone Gunman after more saddle time.

  7. #7
    ARP
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMondHead
    I agree with Lone Gunman. Both mirrors are slightly obscured while in the drops. However, both can still be used in the drops with some body movement. So far I've used the IT mirror for a couple of weeks [250 -300 miles]. I tend to look in the mirror less with the IT than the TAL. Like to hear from Lone Gunman after more saddle time.
    I'm just going to wrap the IT in place with some old bar tape and try it as a semi pemanent mount before unwrapping the tape.

  8. #8

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    Another Thought

    After yesterdays ride, I was thinking of getting another IT mirror for the right bar end as well. Should provide full coverage when riding with a group and/ or on curving roads. Even I can barely notice the mirror while off the bike so I don't think it will affect the asthetics.

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