Mirror, mirror....

I have fairly positive thoughts about this article in yesterday's Guardian:
http://www.guardian....eme-paris-velib
But I feel slightly bemused about this quote from it:
The lack of mirrors is a minor grumble, but understandable given how easily they might snap off (tip: carry your own clip-on mirrors).
Has anyone actually fitted a mirror to their bike, or made use of one? Whatever happened to glancing behind FFS?
 

sunnyjim

Senior Member
Location
Edinburgh
‘The scheme, vigorously promoted by London's mayor Boris Johnson, will eventually see 6,000 bikes ‘



‘The Vélib' is virtually the same bike as the London one, ‘



‘To date, we've had 9,000 bikes stolen’



Umm- did Boris get a good deal on these from a foreign sounding bloke down the pub…?
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Has anyone actually fitted a mirror to their bike, or made use of one? Whatever happened to glancing behind FFS?

Yes - it's a great help - it means I only actually need to twist around to look over my shoulder when I'm fairly sure the road is clear (same principle as a motorcyclist with mirrors and the 'lifesaver' glance before pulling out).

They are especially useful for novices, for whom a proper, head-turning look over the shoulder can induce dangerous wobbles (particularly if there IS a vehicle there that they were not expecting). The only downside I can see to fitting them to the London bikes would be that novices might rely on the mirrors and not realise that the over-the-shoulder look is also essential.
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
Used mine a lot when I 1st got into cyclng,When I changed to the road bike I didn't fit a mirror straight away and got used to not having one,have since put on a Bike-eye mirror but don't use it anywhere near as much now,sometimes I forget it's there.
They are useful though for checking when it's clear to turn right/pull out,but always have a glance too.
 
OP
OP
6

661-Pete

Guest
I wouldn't knock the hire scheme too much - arguments like "I wouldn't touch one of those bikes myself" don't wash, for some people it may be the only way they ever get into the saddle! And it's just conceivable that one day I might find myself stuck in London, sans bike, and need to get to somewhere in a hurry. It may be the best way...

My main objection to hire bikes is not that they're heavy (I've ridden with full panniers often enough!), but that it's always an uncomfortable experience. Even if saddle adjustment is possible, the bike will seldom be the right size and you won't be able to do much about handlebar position. And as often as not the brakes are not perfect. And what if the "fairies" visit?

As for mirrors: well I stand corrected, evidently they are very useful for some. My first thoughts were, relying on a mirror without glancing behind is surely dangerous. At any rate I have never used one myself. I must have another look at Cyclecraft, see what Franklin has to say...
 

Jezston

Über Member
Location
London
I was thinking of buying one myself once but the chap in the shop actually persuaded me not to bother, saying they shake around too much to be useful, and you should be looking behind you rather than relying on a mirror. Any truth to that?
 

numbnuts

Legendary Member
I was thinking of buying one myself once but the chap in the shop actually persuaded me not to bother, saying they shake around too much to be useful, and you should be looking behind you rather than relying on a mirror. Any truth to that?
Ok they do shake a bit, but not that much, but you get use to it after a few days you will wonder how you managed without it
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
If you can look round, but can't do it without wobbling or riding perfectly straight, then I'd suggest your bike skills need serious practice. Might be best to spend some time in a park riding a chalk line whilst looking back.
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
I was thinking of buying one myself once but the chap in the shop actually persuaded me not to bother, saying they shake around too much to be useful, and you should be looking behind you rather than relying on a mirror. Any truth to that?
I think it depends on how they're mounted... I've seen some that are attached using a velcro strap, so I'd guess they move around a lot! My mirror fits into the actual handlebar tube and expands to tighten. There isn't much of an arm on it so movement is limited, although there is some vibration. Is far from perfect, but it does give some indication of whats going on behind you, and as long as its used in conjunction with the normal over shoulder checks then I can't see how it'd be a bad thing.
 

Simba

Specialized Allez 24 Rider
I use Topeak Bar n mirror bar ends, the mirrors on them dont shake at all and you can see everything. Main reason I got mirrors is because I have a weakness in my neck and cant keep looking behind me every 5 seconds. I still look over my shoulder on roundabouts and right turns though.
 

BenM

Senior Member
Location
Guildford
I find my neck is way to stiff to look back over my shoulder effectively when riding the Orca - on the upwrong it is OK cos I can move my whole upper body.

I have therefore fitted a bar end mirror to the Orca and life is much easier now!

B.
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
Anyone got any experience of the mirrors that clip onto a bike helmet? i would think that vibration would be less...but no idea.
I tried one a while back, but didn't get on with it, I found I had a blind spot where the mirror was so spend more time moving my head to see! I'm sure its something that you'd get used to, but it wasn't for me.
 
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