What's wrong with just a mirror?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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cycleruk
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby cycleruk » 12 Jun 2017, 7:43pm

Si wrote:OK, doing what one must never do....scanning a bit of the article and jumping to a view without knowing all the facts. But the author says that it works best on quiet country lane when you have virtually no traffic and are tired.....stops you getting surprised by a car suddenly going past you. But shirely, if it's a quite country lane you'll hear the car coming from miles away and you'll have plenty of time to look behind (mirror or turn of head) to see what the car is doing?

Generally yes but I have had a car inches off my back wheel without me knowing. Dead straight narrow road, but due to wind noise in helmet straps, just didn't hear her.
Could be a reason for not wearing a helmet or get a mirror. :wink:
There's no such thing as a tailwind.
It's either a headwind, or you're going well.

Ellieb
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby Ellieb » 12 Jun 2017, 10:36pm

I know a couple of people who have these. TBH I think they are aimed at TT types. If you are head down in an aero position the idea is you don't need to turn your head to get an idea of what is behind you. Don't think they were designed with touring/utility cyclists in mind.

eileithyia
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby eileithyia » 13 Jun 2017, 8:46am

I suppose could be highly useful for a deaf rider.... and or as described; windy conditions where hearing might be compromised, and what of the more modern engines... hybrid technology means car are virtually silent.

I guess it is easy to pooh pooh technological advances but without advances we could still be riding High Ordinaries or Hobby Horses :lol:
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

david7591
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby david7591 » 14 Jun 2017, 6:48pm

Mirrors are dependent on light, natural or artificial. If conditions existed where light was compromised, would radar have an advantage?

thirdcrank
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jun 2017, 7:34pm

Eating carrots is supposed to improve night vision. :wink:

Roadster
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby Roadster » 14 Jun 2017, 11:06pm

Conditions where light is compromised would include mist and fog, but personally I'd just wait until it cleared.
I simply don't understand why anyone would want to ride a bike without being able to see the way ahead: that would be as foolish as riding along unlit roads on a dark night without lights.

robj7744
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby robj7744 » 30 Oct 2018, 5:55pm

I have been using a rear view radar for a couple of years now.

The radar normally detects cars before I can hear them, especially when riding into any sort of head wind. I have counted in my head and got up to 12 seconds between the radar beeping and being able to hear the approaching car. It is especially useful for detecting electric cars which can be virtually on top of you before you hear them. I use a mirror as well, but realistically I am spending more time looking ahead than looking at the mirror, so having a device that beeps to alert me of an approaching car is useful.

I find it of most use on quiet country roads where cars are less frequent. On busy roads you always know there are lots of cars so are taking precautions all the time anyway.

The radar is also good at picking up when there are two or three cars behind you. It means I know how many cars are coming past and am not surprised by a second car after one has passed.

Obviously the radar is not going to stop an irresponsible driver from hitting you, but it is alerting you to be more careful as cars come by.

Most of my cycling is on a tandem with a blind stoker. The radar is particularly useful when turning right off a main road. If it is telling me cars are coming then I will not bother to have a look behind. When it says the road is clear I will then look and check before moving to the right. Although it seems very reliable I would never move right without a visual check first.

Having the radar means I am always cycling with a rear light on, which I think is a sensible precaution for anyone. The radar is probably a bit better than a normal rear light as it lights up more as cars get nearer, helping to draw their attention. It is also useful for cyclists in a group behind me as the changing lights alert them to an approaching car as well.

In summary I think a rear view radar is a useful safety aid, but it does not replace cycling sensibly.

slowster
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby slowster » 30 Oct 2018, 9:41pm

Generally yes but I have had a car inches off my back wheel without me knowing. Dead straight narrow road, but due to wind noise in helmet straps, just didn't hear her.
Could be a reason for not wearing a helmet or get a mirror. :wink:

I doubt it was the straps, which I would have thought were too insubstantial to be the cause of wind noise. I would have thought it much more likely to be the movement of air/wind around the bulk of the helmet itself that was the cause. If so, I've noticed that some helmets have much less bulk close to the ears, e.g. the Kask Protone, and I suspect that that might significantly reduce wind noise making it difficult to hear vehicles approaching from behind.

robj7744 wrote:The radar is also good at picking up when there are two or three cars behind you. It means I know how many cars are coming past and am not surprised by a second car after one has passed.

When a vehicle overtakes me on a country lane, I do a shoulder check to see if there is another vehicle or vehicles behind that are also about to overtake.

Peronally I agree with the OP - it's a lot of money for something which is inferior to a mirror. A mirror provides a lot more useful information. Not only can you see the type of vehicle (car, van, lorry etc.), but also by observing it in the mirror is possible to make a judgement about how it is being driven (too fast, poorly positioned etc.), including whether or not it looks likely to leave enough of a gap when overtaking, and consequently whether it poses a greater threat than usual and might require an emergency manoeuvre. My general experience is that (without a helmet to cause wind noise) I can hear vehicles behind me from a long way off on country lanes, e.g. 200m, and can then keep an eye on them in the mirror as they get closer.

kwackers
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby kwackers » 30 Oct 2018, 10:12pm

I must admit in my experience mirrors are marginal.

I've been through dozens, all vibrate to near uselessness if the road surface isn't smooth (i.e nearly all the time).
They stick out too much making it hard to filter in dense traffic, they're easily damaged, usually too small, and in reality a lot less useful than a quick look over your shoulder.

Mine usually die because I forget they're fitted and try to squeeze through a gap (those anti vehicle gates have claimed more than a few), or the bike falls over or against something or some other buffoon throws their bike against mine.

Usually when they die I don't bother for a year or so then there'll be a thread on mirrors and someone will recommend one I haven't tried so I give it a shot (currently I've got one of those things that fasten to your helmet as mentioned on a thread somewhere - so far I think it's too small to be of much use).

Might be I'd like the radar thing, but tbh I think it would really need to give me some idea of the following vehicles road positioning as well as distance.
Given my back light is a Fly 6, it did occur to me that perhaps a small display hooked up to the camera on it would be just what I need - throw in better low light and image stabilisation and it might even be perfect...

MikeF
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby MikeF » 2 Nov 2018, 9:35am

kwackers wrote:......it did occur to me that perhaps a small display hooked up to the camera on it would be just what I need - throw in better low light and image stabilisation and it might even be perfect...
That's a good idea. Marketing people - where are you?! I don't find mirrors successful in achieving their purpose.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

slowster
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby slowster » 2 Nov 2018, 10:39am

MikeF wrote:I don't find mirrors successful in achieving their purpose.

You probably need to look at them more often - in the same way that very frequent checking of rear view mirrors is a practice of advanced drivers. In other words, when cycling it's better to aim for the same constant alertness and awareness of what is happening around them that the very best drivers exhibit, rather than rely on an electronic gizmo. That sort of awareness is a skill which has to be learned and constantly practiced until it's second nature.

I don't pretend that my positional awareness is all that great, but I have found that using a mirror makes a huge difference, since I cannot/would not look over my shoulder anywhere near as frequently as I can (safely and quickly) check a mirror.

irc
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby irc » 2 Nov 2018, 7:34pm

kwackers wrote:I must admit in my experience mirrors are marginal.

I've been through dozens, all vibrate to near uselessness if the road surface isn't smooth (i.e nearly all the time).


Most mirrors are crap. Poor design and materials, especially for drop bars. Take the Blackburn Road Mirror. I've owned a couple.

http://www.blackburndesign.com/en_eu/mi ... 1dd61.html

Nice idea but on anything but smooth surfaces it suffers from vibration as the plastic arm is too lightweight and flexible.

The other issue is that the mirror adjustment is a ball and socket which goes out of adjustment really easily.

In contrast another mirror using the same mounting method of velcro to brake hood - the Rhode Gear Mirror has a metal arm and is vibration free. The mirror element is mounted in a plastic holder that swivels forward and backward. The mirror holder itself is mounted to a Black anodized aluminum arm using an easy adjustment bolt system that permits it to revolve 360. Once adjusted it stays adjusted.

Unfortunately it's long out of production.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/302614774615

Luckily I've got a couple of second hand ones.

MikeF
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby MikeF » 3 Nov 2018, 7:26pm

slowster wrote:
MikeF wrote:I don't find mirrors successful in achieving their purpose.

You probably need to look at them more often - in the same way that very frequent checking of rear view mirrors is a practice of advanced drivers. In other words, when cycling it's better to aim for the same constant alertness and awareness of what is happening around them that the very best drivers exhibit, rather than rely on an electronic gizmo. That sort of awareness is a skill which has to be learned and constantly practiced until it's second nature.

I don't pretend that my positional awareness is all that great, but I have found that using a mirror makes a huge difference, since I cannot/would not look over my shoulder anywhere near as frequently as I can (safely and quickly) check a mirror.
What I meant was that I haven't found a mirror that actually allows me to properly see what's happening behind. It's not a question of maintenance it's finding one that's suitable and fit for purpose. Sitting in a mobile armchair and looking in a mirror is far different from riding a bicycle and using one. Even finding a position for one on a cycle is a major problem, hence my suggestion that a rear view camera and a display on the handlebars might be a good solution.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

slowster
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby slowster » 3 Nov 2018, 8:19pm

MikeF wrote:What I meant was that I haven't found a mirror that actually allows me to properly see what's happening behind. It's not a question of maintenance it's finding one that's suitable and fit for purpose. Sitting in a mobile armchair and looking in a mirror is far different from riding a bicycle and using one.

I don't know what type of bike you ride or your riding position. I use B&M mirrors designed for drops (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/busch-muller-cycle-star-mirror-fits-to-handlebar-end-no-stem-for-drop-bars/). That has a 60mm diameter mirror - there is also an 80mm one which SJS also sell, but I find the 60mm large enough. I find the B&M ball and socket mount for the mirror works well, and B&M also use it for many of their other mirrors for non-drop bars. I don't know about mobile armchairs, but B&M also make mirrors for BMW's motorised bicycles.

kwackers
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby kwackers » 3 Nov 2018, 10:07pm

slowster wrote:I don't know what type of bike you ride or your riding position. I use B&M mirrors designed for drops (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/busch-muller-cycle-star-mirror-fits-to-handlebar-end-no-stem-for-drop-bars/). That has a 60mm diameter mirror - there is also an 80mm one which SJS also sell, but I find the 60mm large enough. I find the B&M ball and socket mount for the mirror works well, and B&M also use it for many of their other mirrors for non-drop bars. I don't know about mobile armchairs, but B&M also make mirrors for BMW's motorised bicycles.

I've tried that particular one.

It vibrated (not too surprising given how far from the headset the end of a drop bar is), it stuck out and got in the way when filtering (or squeezing through gates) but probably the worst thing for me was the position, it's almost at my knees (slight exaggeration) so requires one to look down meaning you can't even see the road ahead out of your peripheral vision and depending on the position of your hands I found you had to look around your arms to see it.
I actually removed it before I broke it so whilst it was a while ago I obviously didn't like it that much, usually they stop being used when they break.

Obviously you think its OK and tbh I'd love to see through other peoples mirrors the way they see through them because I read reviews, try the mirror and they're pretty much all crap and certainly not what the reviewer claims.
Perhaps I expect too much, but then some folk talk about reading number plates!
Even my motorcycle mirrors which are infinitely better wouldn't allow me to read a number plate...