Bicycle Mirrors

For most of my cycling life, I never bothered with mirrors. I had a go with one when I was a thirteen year old – bought from Halfords maybe – using my pocket money. It was clamped onto the handlebars of my Hurcules but was really a waste of time. A novelty at best, but rather useless as it was flat glass and as it vibrated, the rear view was blurred.

It didn't stay on my bike for long, and that was it. No mirrors for me – until only a few years ago ...........

This is a little story.

In the early part of 2008, I happened to have found this and gave it some thought about them, eventually buying one. The mirror wasn't expensive, but the shipping from the US made it a bit dear! Anyway, I didn't actually mind as the idea appealed to me. Have a good look and read at the link, the idea is fantastic.


This is the only decent photograph I have of the mirror, sorry it's not enough detail.

The mirror glass was beautifully ground with excellent optical quality. The unit has a rubber set of "legs" that you sit over the end of your dropped bars and tape it into position with gaffa tape. The next bit isn't too easy!

You then go for a ride – without wrapping your bar tape on – and stop and start and by using trial and error, adjust the aim of the mirror by removing and reapplying the gaffa tape. The rubber legs allow for quite a wide range of adjustment. Eventually, when you're happy, you tape up your bars properly and Hey Presto!

In use it was fantastic and I was delighted! The mirror – though small – gave excellent rear view and was great in traffic for a quick check. Mirrors never take the place of a good look, but as a quick check they are great – and this little mirror was perfect. Advantages were: small and discreet, solid and knock-proof, good optics. Disadvantage was that every now and again I would catch my knee on it getting on or off the bike.

However, another disadvantage reared its ugly head ....

By the autumn of the same year, the glass fell out! I never saw it go, I just looked down and the glass had gone! I emailed the folks in US and they sent me a new glass free of charge complete with instructions for gluing in position. I duly followed their instruction and was happy again.

Eighteen months later, the glass came out again! I emailed them in US and again received a new glass but warned that that was it. No more freebies. I fitted the new glass again and this time used Araldite instead of the recommended impact adhesive. Again, I was happy. How long for, I wondered!

Twelve months later, the glass fell out again. That was it. Forget it! However, I loved having a mirror so looked round for a substitute .....

I bought one of these as they looked good value and designed for dropped bars. I fitted it and went out for a ride. My immediate thoughts were good ones but very soon I was very disappointed. No matter how hard I screwed in the clamp bolt, the mirror would move over about 15mph or even less in windy conditions.

I took it off and tried modifying the clamp arrangements, but no matter what I did, the problem remained. I took the mirror off in disgust.

I still wanted a mirror, so went in search again of something which would suit me and went for one of these and had my fingers crossed very firmly!

It fitted easily, and as the adjustment ball-joint wasn't part of the securing, it was properly and solidly made. It's easy to knock the mirror off aim when leaning the bike or getting on or off, but it's so simple to put it back on aim.

I'm very happy with this mirror. I even prefer it to the Italian one – and that's saying something! It's solidly made, easy to use, good optics, not too big and in the way, easily aim-able and easily adjusted.

Highly recommended!

Regards to all,
Mick

9 comments on “Bicycle Mirrors”

  1. Ken wrote:

    Thanks muchly for the useful info. Good blogging! :-)

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Yes, thanks Mick. I'm going to try one (or two – Sandra likes a bike mirror).

  3. Mick F wrote:

    Great!
    I really do like this mirror. Good quality and secure – it never moves even one iota in use and at any speed. The Cateye one was terrible, cheap and nasty and a dead loss. I've kept it because the mirror itself is a good little mirror with hundreds of other uses!

    The Italian mirror was wonderful – expensive – but wonderful. It was very difficult to get the aim correct, but when it was done, that was it. The mirror falling out ruined the experience.

    I reckon the design was wrong. The glass was just stuck onto the rubber unit, and had it been fitted behind a lip that would "mechanically" secure it there, the glue would have been belt and braces. Had it been like that, I'd have still had it. By having a solid piece of glass just stuck with glue to a flexible bit of soft rubber, you're asking for trouble. Sad, but I really liked it.

    The B+M one I have now is better in all respects bar one: it gets knocked off line when you touch it or lean your bike up. Small problem I grant you.

    Patrick, if you get one – or two – let us know how you get on.

    Regards to all,
    Mick.

  4. Hilary wrote:

    I've often thought it would be handy to have a mirror. I did have a tiny thing that fitted onto the arm of sunglasses but it was so fiddly to set it right that I gave up on it. I also have one that fixes on the side of your helmet but that is still in the packet as I can't figure out how to fit it so that it would be any use!

    That B&M one does seem to be the way to go, I'm just not keen on it protruding from the handlebar – I always lean my bike up on that side.

  5. Patrick wrote:

    Will report back (bought one).

  6. Chris wrote:

    On one of my bikes the bar end cap is missing. It's an 1980s Dura Ace model (cut at an unusual angle) and the end caps are not easy to come by. I wonder if it is calling out for a mirror instead:

    Raleigh Road Ace Shimano 600 stem with Dura Ace handlebars

  7. ted edwards wrote:

    Only just seen this Mick F but the funny thing is I needing a mirror opted for this one and I have found it like you to be good although because of my thighs I have to ensure that these are out the way when I want to check behind me.

  8. Mick F wrote:

    I agree.
    My thighs/legs don't get in the way, but I can see that it could be a problem.

    There's a Bike-Eye mirror that fits to your head tube that is supposed to be directed between your legs, but I doubt it would be any good for me – even with my skinny legs!

    Perhaps you need a mirror that fits above your handlebars. I know that some are produced that clamp onto your RH brake lever hood – or others that clamp to your handlebars themselves.

    Regards,
    Mick.

  9. Pen wrote:

    Using a mirror makes a big difference to me because I am deaf and don't hear if a car comes up behind me. I'm posting this on your site because I wouldn't have thought of trying one until a friend suggested it. She had noticed how lethal I was without one!

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