What's wrong with just a mirror?

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

Postby slowster » 4 Nov 2018, 12:16pm

kwackers wrote: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.

On this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=122405 there were quite a few endorsements of that mirror from other riders. I appreciate that we are all different, and for various reasons what suits some will not suit others, but it does appear that the B&M mirror suits many of us.

With regard to your points:

- "It vibrated" - My own experience is that the ball and socket mount is very good, and even riding off road I do not find that the mirror moves as a result of vibration. There might be some variation in manufacturing tolerances, but I have a number of the mirrors, and although the ball and sockets of one or two are noticeably a bit tighter/stiffer than the others, none are loose as such and none move from their position once adjusted.

- "it stuck out and got in the way when filtering (or squeezing through gates)" - As I said, we are all different: I would not filter where the gap was so narrow that the extra ~20mm from the outside edge of the bars (I've just measured it on one of my bikes) made a significant difference to the available space to filter. In fact that 20mm projection is going to be the same or less than the amount by which your hand adds to the width of your handlebars where it grips the hoods (albeit at a different height to the mirror). Similarly, the range of drop handlebar widths varies by more than that 20mm.

NB 1 I presume it was the 60mm diameter mirror you tried? Obviously the 80mm is wider, but having tried both I find the 60mm is quite adequate, and I would say bigger is not better in this case.

NB 2 The ball is off centre on the mirror, and the socket is also off centre in the bar end plug: this allows for some variation in positioning, but I think the bar plug is supposed to be rotated such that the socket is uppermost [twelve o'clock]. Rotating the plug so that the socket is in the outermost [three o'clock] position and similarly positioning the mirror so that it extends as far outwards from the bars as it could possibly go might well result in movement as a result of vibration and would reduce the clearance for going through gaps.

- "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." - That's probably going to depend a bit on bike set up, handlebar height/shape/drop, stem length and preferred position. I can well imagine that some smaller/shorter riders and others who prefer/need a very short reach might find the mirror too close to the knees (which would also increase the angle by which the head would need to look down compared with a more stretched out position on the bike). Certainly drop bars combined with aero levers do make it difficult to locate a mirror on the bars. As to the mirror being obscured by the arm, the wide variety of hand positions offered by drops mean that the mirror will inevitably be obscured by one hand position or another. My own experience is that it's trivial to move my elbow slightly outwards when the mirror is obscured by my forearm.

At the end of the day like all mirrors it's a compromise, and I suspect that, like most compromises, it's case of getting used to it. I still find myself looking over my shoulder at times for situations when it would be much easier, quicker and safer to check the mirror, because I've simply forgotten about the mirror.

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

Postby MikeF » 4 Nov 2018, 7:00pm

slowster wrote:
kwackers wrote: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.

On this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=122405 there were quite a few endorsements of that mirror from other riders. I appreciate that we are all different, and for various reasons what suits some will not suit others, but it does appear that the B&M mirror suits many of us.

A bar end mirror maybe fine - except if you have bar end gear changers.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby Tangled Metal » 4 Nov 2018, 11:33pm

Mirrors? Well I have one on my bike but tbh don't find it useful. I have wing mirrors on my car and tbh I only started to use them after driving for 15+years. I use my internal rear view mirror a lot and shoulder check a lot but I have never found wing mirrors that helpful. I do not trust that they catch the car blind spot and on bikes I have experienced blind spots such that I tend to shoulder check even with mirrors. Good practice to shoulder check anyway with cars and bikes.

Radar? It's no more or less useful than mirrors. In fact probably better than mirrors if you trust them. Batteries an issue I guess but if you're used to rechargeable bike lights years not an issue.

It all comes down to what suits you. Radar is no more marketing than bike mirrors IMHO. Afterall what really are they both trying to do? Help you become aware of what is behind you. If you can hear cars with a radar you can hear cars with a mirror. There really isn't much more information from mirrors than from radar.

What simply isn't marketing is being aware of what is around you by regular shoulder checks. That is the only thing that is free of marketing and IMHO is the only way to be sure you know what's around you so safe your money on radar and mirrors.

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

Postby Cugel » 5 Nov 2018, 6:50am

Tangled Metal wrote:Mirrors? Well I have one on my bike but tbh don't find it useful. I have wing mirrors on my car and tbh I only started to use them after driving for 15+years. I use my internal rear view mirror a lot and shoulder check a lot but I have never found wing mirrors that helpful. I do not trust that they catch the car blind spot and on bikes I have experienced blind spots such that I tend to shoulder check even with mirrors. Good practice to shoulder check anyway with cars and bikes.

.......

It all comes down to what suits you. .......

What simply isn't marketing is being aware of what is around you by regular shoulder checks. That is the only thing that is free of marketing and IMHO is the only way to be sure you know what's around you so safe your money on radar and mirrors.


Wot a queer set of notions!

My own experience is that mirrors are necessary and, if properly arranged and used, sufficient to obtain information about what's behind and what's in the process of overtaking you. This is true of both car and bike. Perhaps you need to re-arrange your bike and wing mirrors; followed by an effort to learn to use them until it becomes habitual?

The problem with looking over the shoulder is that it takes a supple neck but, more significantly, it takes time during which you're not looking ahead. Coming up on frontal dangers takes far less time than the approach of rear dangers. The ability to merely glance in a properly-arranged mirror takes far less time than looking over your shoulder and leaves your vision looking forward, where you are more likely to notice approaching frontal dangers.

The "look over your shoulder" was a technique born when mirrors were not so good - tiny things with a flat rather than a convex field of view and probe to vibration. A modern convex mirror designed to prevent the sort of vibration that obscures vision is far better than an "over the shoulder" technique.

It seems unfortunate that the motorcycling community has given the "over the shoulder" look a great status by calling it "a life saver". It's no such thing. On two wheels an "over the shoulder" look not only means you aren't looking forward for a significant length of time but are also more prone to lose your intended line of travel. I see it all the time in the cycling club, inclusive of wobbles up the verge or into the opposite lane when turning right.

Cugel

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

Postby Scribblerian » 6 Nov 2018, 7:09pm

I keep reading about these combo rear light/camera rigs and I believe they are entirely missing the point.
What's critical is for dozy distracted drivers to see that you have a camera running that will save a permanent record if they do something dangerous, and you'll get the wide berth common sense (and the law, weedy as it is) says you deserve.
I just put a £25 rear-facing, self-powered gizmo to the right of my saddle, mounted on a white pvc pipe, and the effect is astounding.
Best of all, every number-plate is shown crisp and clear, even when passing car's headlights are on full.
I'm in Gloucestershire and the police here are just getting around to providing an online "portal" so videos of dodgy motorists can be uploaded and complaints officially made.
It's not about bikers claiming more than they deserve!
We have the right to use the roads we helped pay for, and to do so without being hurt (or worse) by selfish motorists who think the space we're taking up is theirs and only theirs.

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

Postby kwackers » 6 Nov 2018, 8:38pm

Scribblerian wrote:I keep reading about these combo rear light/camera rigs and I believe they are entirely missing the point.

Depends what your point is.

My point is it's a combined unit, I charge it up, stick it on the bike and turn it on and hey presto, back light and camera all in one.
They also have a decent record time unlike a lot of dedicated cameras.

I'd be like a pig in rolling in the brown stuff if it would run off my dynamo thus removing ALL effort by me.

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

Postby Scribblerian » 6 Nov 2018, 9:43pm

The point is that if drivers can see you have a camera, their behaviour might be positively influenced, whereas with those combo units, all they see is a light...yawwwwwn!

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

Postby kwackers » 6 Nov 2018, 10:12pm

Scribblerian wrote:The point is that if drivers can see you have a camera, their behaviour might be positively influenced, whereas with those combo units, all they see is a light...yawwwwwn!

As I said, depends what your point is.

My point isn't to have a camera stuck out on a stick.

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

Postby Cugel » 7 Nov 2018, 9:59am

Scribblerian wrote:The point is that if drivers can see you have a camera, their behaviour might be positively influenced, whereas with those combo units, all they see is a light...yawwwwwn!


I agree with your point, as prevention seems better than cure. What advantage reams of HD "footage" of the car ramming you from behind if you're dead or a paraplegic as a result?

But the concept needs improving. When cameras are ubiquitous but also free from interference by those caught doing the bad acts ..... When the legal system has incorporated such camera data as evidence along with associated vigorous prosecutions & penalties...... When the camera "footage" is immediately uploaded to a cloud server rather than an SD card in the camera..... Then it might well prevent many loony-in-a-car acts upon our vulnerable persons.

Meanwhile, I use me excellent mirrors to check for loonies to the aft, as well as those more obvious ones to the fore, as I feel the best solution of all to their evil ways is to do my utmost to anticipate and avoid them. So far so good, in nearly 60 years on a bike.

Yet if the above-mentioned technology & legal infrastructure were implemented, I would be a user toot-sweet! Who knows what the future holds, especially in the Mad-Max world of post Brexit, when Maybot has got rid of the police and courts altogether on the grounds that we all ought to be able to afford to "buy justice" from a private organisation somewhere in America; and if we can't we must be merely one of the undeserving poor, best culled by Johnnie Motorist anyway.

Cugel

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

Postby Scribblerian » 7 Nov 2018, 11:11am

It's not about prevention or cure, since both of those are about as attainable as a Brexit deal that doesn't bankrupt Britain!
I'm for improving awareness, that's all, and encouraging sloppy, selfish drivers to think for an extra beat before passing me too close. Hence the hi-viz, not hidden, rear camera.
If I'm side-swiped into a ditch or worse, there will at least be a record of the crime, since the camera I am using picks out number plates very clearly.
The front camera provides extra backup, and even if both of them are smashed, the SD cards will survive to tell the sorry tale.
Am I paranoid? I don't think so. Just realistic, having learned caution from experience.
Mirrors are great, but they tell no tales, sorry or otherwise.

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

Postby slowster » 7 Nov 2018, 12:03pm

Scribblerian wrote:It's not about prevention or cure, since both of those are about as attainable as a Brexit deal that doesn't bankrupt Britain!
I'm for improving awareness, that's all, and encouraging sloppy, selfish drivers to think for an extra beat before passing me too close. Hence the hi-viz, not hidden, rear camera.
If I'm side-swiped into a ditch or worse, there will at least be a record of the crime, since the camera I am using picks out number plates very clearly.
The front camera provides extra backup, and even if both of them are smashed, the SD cards will survive to tell the sorry tale.
Am I paranoid? I don't think so. Just realistic, having learned caution from experience.
Mirrors are great, but they tell no tales, sorry or otherwise.

You are extolling the benefits of a camera over a mirror for two reasons:

1. You believe the camera will influence the behaviour of drivers.
2. If there is an accident/near miss for which a driver is responsible, the camera will provide evidence of the driver's bad driving.

I very much doubt that the sight of a bit of plastic on the back of your bike will significantly influence many drivers. Given that bikes and cyclists do not have a uniform appearance, but instead vary widely and all sorts of types of different accessories and luggage etc. can be attached to a bike, I think it's doubtful that many drivers even will register the presence of your camera or recognise it as such, or give it much thought if they do. You say the effect is astounding, but you sound like someone who has had a recent religious conversion and now interprets everything that happens around them as evidence for their new faith. If it genuinely did have a significant effect, I suspect the camera makers would be very quick to fund proper studies that would prove it.

In reality the camera is just a passive measure which gives you absolutely no greater control over what happens to you, and which you are relying on instead to influence others, with the scant consolation that if they hit you there will be sufficient evidence to prosecute them afterwards.

You are missing the point of this thread, which is that mirrors (or a camera providing live feed to a stem mounted phone screen) provide real time information about what is happening on the road behind a rider, enabling the rider to take (better) decisions and so be safer. I can recall situations where the information gained from using the mirror has prompted me to make defensive/evasive manoeuvres and also assertive manoeuvres, in each case increasing my safety from vehicles behind me.

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

Postby Cugel » 7 Nov 2018, 12:09pm

Scribblerian wrote:It's not about prevention or cure, since both of those are about as attainable as a Brexit deal that doesn't bankrupt Britain!
I'm for improving awareness, that's all, and encouraging sloppy, selfish drivers to think for an extra beat before passing me too close. Hence the hi-viz, not hidden, rear camera.
If I'm side-swiped into a ditch or worse, there will at least be a record of the crime, since the camera I am using picks out number plates very clearly.
The front camera provides extra backup, and even if both of them are smashed, the SD cards will survive to tell the sorry tale.
Am I paranoid? I don't think so. Just realistic, having learned caution from experience.
Mirrors are great, but they tell no tales, sorry or otherwise.


But it can be about prevention. If every car-driving loon knows that his mad and aggressive acts are monitored at all times, he may well restrict his crazier impulses. Of course some won't, as they have no means to control themselves, especially when in the grip of a crazy impulse. Still, a "panoptican of the road" would bring many potential loons to a less loony state, one feels.

And of course, the panoptican still collects evidence if the loon "decides" to drive over you anyway.

But now we come to the question: "Are panopticans a good thing for a society"? The question has been discussed for some time, ever since Thomas More wrote "Utopia"; and with some vigour since the musings of Jeremy Bentham (now stuffed-in-a-glass-case Jeremy).

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Tangled Metal
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Re: What's wrong with just a mirror?

Postby Tangled Metal » 7 Nov 2018, 4:56pm

Cugel wrote:Wot a queer set of notions!

My own experience is that mirrors are necessary and, if properly arranged and used, sufficient to obtain information about what's behind and what's in the process of overtaking you. This is true of both car and bike. Perhaps you need to re-arrange your bike and wing mirrors; followed by an effort to learn to use them until it becomes habitual?

The problem with looking over the shoulder is that it takes a supple neck but, more significantly, it takes time during which you're not looking ahead. Coming up on frontal dangers takes far less time than the approach of rear dangers. The ability to merely glance in a properly-arranged mirror takes far less time than looking over your shoulder and leaves your vision looking forward, where you are more likely to notice approaching frontal dangers.

The "look over your shoulder" was a technique born when mirrors were not so good - tiny things with a flat rather than a convex field of view and probe to vibration. A modern convex mirror designed to prevent the sort of vibration that obscures vision is far better than an "over the shoulder" technique.

It seems unfortunate that the motorcycling community has given the "over the shoulder" look a great status by calling it "a life saver". It's no such thing. On two wheels an "over the shoulder" look not only means you aren't looking forward for a significant length of time but are also more prone to lose your intended line of travel. I see it all the time in the cycling club, inclusive of wobbles up the verge or into the opposite lane when turning right.

Cugel

Really. Well you know better. Personally I take my approach from the police advanced driving instructor who used to take me and my fellow members of the local road safety association. I joined it because 6 weeks after passing my test at 17 years and 4 months I felt the test wasn't enough. I got taught based on the police 7 point driving system (basic police driving that is). He also got us to do a commentary of hazards. What he taught me that you should always know what is behind you through use of rear view mirror. He was also a big fan of looking round instead of using just the side mirrors. He once got one of our group to list the hazards he could see in his rear view mirror when parked up. Then he got the guy to look round and repeat. The second list was longer. A good few years back but that was in a car with large wing mirrors like today's cars.

To this day I drive using rear view mirrors and shoulder checking on slower speed moves such as turning at junctions. I do now use side mirrors but tbh mostly I'm already aware of what is there because I've observed it move into that region in the rear view mirror. A more important mirror.

BTW if looking over your shoulder takes so long that it affects safety perhaps you're doing something wrong. Are you too close to the car ahead? Do you have done health issue that's causing difficulties in turning? If so are you fit to drive?

As for cycling mirrors they're often small. I've not seen one that's safe to rely on. YMMV of course. I'll stick to what works for me.

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

Postby Cugel » 7 Nov 2018, 6:45pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
Cugel wrote:Wot a queer set of notions!

My own experience is that mirrors are necessary and, if properly arranged and used, sufficient to obtain information about what's behind and what's in the process of overtaking you. This is true of both car and bike. Perhaps you need to re-arrange your bike and wing mirrors; followed by an effort to learn to use them until it becomes habitual?

The problem with looking over the shoulder is that it takes a supple neck but, more significantly, it takes time during which you're not looking ahead. Coming up on frontal dangers takes far less time than the approach of rear dangers. The ability to merely glance in a properly-arranged mirror takes far less time than looking over your shoulder and leaves your vision looking forward, where you are more likely to notice approaching frontal dangers.

The "look over your shoulder" was a technique born when mirrors were not so good - tiny things with a flat rather than a convex field of view and probe to vibration. A modern convex mirror designed to prevent the sort of vibration that obscures vision is far better than an "over the shoulder" technique.

It seems unfortunate that the motorcycling community has given the "over the shoulder" look a great status by calling it "a life saver". It's no such thing. On two wheels an "over the shoulder" look not only means you aren't looking forward for a significant length of time but are also more prone to lose your intended line of travel. I see it all the time in the cycling club, inclusive of wobbles up the verge or into the opposite lane when turning right.

Cugel

Really. Well you know better. Personally I take my approach from the police advanced driving instructor who used to take me and my fellow members of the local road safety association. I joined it because 6 weeks after passing my test at 17 years and 4 months I felt the test wasn't enough. I got taught based on the police 7 point driving system (basic police driving that is). He also got us to do a commentary of hazards. What he taught me that you should always know what is behind you through use of rear view mirror. He was also a big fan of looking round instead of using just the side mirrors. He once got one of our group to list the hazards he could see in his rear view mirror when parked up. Then he got the guy to look round and repeat. The second list was longer. A good few years back but that was in a car with large wing mirrors like today's cars.

To this day I drive using rear view mirrors and shoulder checking on slower speed moves such as turning at junctions. I do now use side mirrors but tbh mostly I'm already aware of what is there because I've observed it move into that region in the rear view mirror. A more important mirror.

BTW if looking over your shoulder takes so long that it affects safety perhaps you're doing something wrong. Are you too close to the car ahead? Do you have done health issue that's causing difficulties in turning? If so are you fit to drive?

As for cycling mirrors they're often small. I've not seen one that's safe to rely on. YMMV of course. I'll stick to what works for me.


You may have a point about "what works for me" .... assuming it does. Hopefully you won't be spending so long looking over your shoulder for things that somehow don't reflect In your mirror (vampire-cars?) that you ride into the fast-changing items in front. If your mirrors are insufficient for the purpose of seeing behind, perhaps you need some better ones?

Things change. At one time there were no indicators on cars so we had to use our arms out of the window. Does anyone do that now? Very rarely as indicators are rather better now. (Well, until very recently, when fashion seemed to interfere with their function).

But there are some situations when a look behind is advantageous. For example If I'm stopped in the middle of the road when turning right, I look behind as the mirror and bars are generally at the wrong angle as I stand waiting one foot down. Being stopped, even a long look behind won't give me time to ride into something in front.

****
Do you look behind on all occasions when you use the mirror (in car or bike) on the grounds that your mirrors are inadequate?

For example, when changing lanes on a motorway, turning left where there's a so-called gutter cycling lane; changing lanes in a one-way system? Personally I find my mirrors able to perform this function very well (especially if I use them well in advance of the manoeuvre as well as during it)and would be very wary of taking my eyes of the road ahead for even a split second with a look over the shoulder. People ahead on motorways do silly things all the time and things are going very fast; the car in front at a junction may stop very suddenly; if I am changing lanes so might the car just ahead and in the other lane. The look behind may well be the window when that happens, eating up my otherwise adequate reaction-time and space.

Cugel

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

Postby Postboxer » 7 Nov 2018, 7:12pm

Different bikes and different riders will have different characteristics, maybe just different tyres and tyre pressures will produce vastly different vibrations in the handlebars and mirrors. I've always found cycle mirrors vibrate a lot and maybe as I ride in different positions, the mirror isn't always in the right position for me, currently using a bar end mirror on drop handlebars, but it's quite low and not far enough out, the view is obscured by me and the pannier when it's there. If I remember correctly I used to have one like this,

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories ... drop-bars/

which may have been better but can't really remember, was a long time ago, maybe I should invest in a new one, it did make one brake hood wider than the other though.