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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got my bike and want to get out and start riding.
what safety tips can you more experienced riders offer a rank noob?

i am considering a helmet mirror.
live in a rural area - road conditions are decent and sketchier in some spots. Traffic moves anywhere from 50-100 kms hour(100 should be 70 but people speed).

in my google searches if I type in cyclist one of the top suggestions after typing cyclist is "killed". So obviously this is an issue at hand for everyone.

I suppose group rides would be a good option but I don't think I can hang with a group unless they are beginners as well.
thoughts?
 

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some roadie snobs might shun you for a mirror....

100 kph is about 62 mph for us yanks.

I usually wear a bright colored (usually yellow) jersey.

I always have a blinking headlight & rear tail light combo
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ted - I guess riding with a crossbow you are a little less vulnerable...

all the things you list I have - but those only help others see you and not the other way around. What is up with the experienced guys dissing the mirror? I read a thread on another forum where it was being dissed big time..
any downside to a mirror? Are they just being roadie snobs as you put it and picking on the poor nkotb?
thx
 

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Are they just being roadie snobs as you put it and picking on the poor nkotb?
thx
as a noob, you probably want to avoid throwing the 'snob' word around until you actually know something about the sport.

as far as using a mirror, it's called 'personal preference'...

many of us simply see no advantage to them.
 

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Thanks Ted - I guess riding with a crossbow you are a little less vulnerable...

all the things you list I have - but those only help others see you and not the other way around. What is up with the experienced guys dissing the mirror? I read a thread on another forum where it was being dissed big time..
any downside to a mirror? Are they just being roadie snobs as you put it and picking on the poor nkotb?
thx
probably extra weight. I tried a helmet mirror... never really liked it.


cars don't usually sneak up on me... because I can hear them coming. A mirror may be useful if you're making a left turn.
 

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Many of us find mirrors, either helmet- or bike-mounted, to be very useful. Do a search on the forum and you can find lots of lengthy threads on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
as a noob, you probably want to avoid throwing the 'snob' word around until you actually know something about the sport.

as far as using a mirror, it's called 'personal preference'...

many of us simply see no advantage to them.
i used the term snob because I was replying to tednugent and that was the term he used in his reply to me.
No need to get bent out of shape and take an aggressive tone. I was asking for some advice - that's it - you're welcome to contribute - have you git anything useful to add?

I get it there is an "us" and them mentality at play here. You want to punish those beneath you who you deem not worthy. Chill man - life is short.

i am in my 40's and out of shape and looking to get into riding as a fun means to do so.
Dont need to be schooled on how to refer to the cool crowd nor on personal preference.

It never fails that on any message board about any topic at all there is a range from the truly helpful to the asinine.
 

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I'd prefer a bar-end mirror to a helmet mirror. I don't want anything that can shatter, or that's mounted on a thin piece of metal, that close to my eyes in a crash. More importantly, anything in my peripheral vision can distract me. With a bar end mirror, you have to look down, and it's out of your field of vision when you're in the normal riding position.

I'm not a no-mirror nazi. If they help you, use one. They do help when you want to take the lane for a left turn. The other use that I would have for one is when I'm doing one of those large charity rides, where you're thrown into the mix with riders who don't have group ride experience. Last year, some noob decided that it was a good idea to try to pass me on the right, on a wet road, when cornering, and I didn't see her. She managed to eat the curb and crash. But since I would have a mirror mounted on my left bar end, I don't think it would have helped in that situation.

Whatever you decide on, never rely entirely on your mirror when moving left. ALWAYS turn your head and look. Don't rely on riders ahead of you moving left, and their yelling "clear" at intersections, too. :D
 

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I have mirrors on all my bikes, hybrid, etc, really makes me feel better (thats all that matters ..)
For my road bikes I switched this Year ( based on info right here) to this sunglass mirror
I was sceptical at first, but man that is a sweet mirror once set up it does what it needs to do, alert a hearing impaired person ( me) that someone is coming along, I also turn my head when I am about to cross the road to make sure, hand on hip method.

Good luck.

Take-A-Look Eyeglass Mirror
Model # (MI2001)
$16.95
 

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I find helmet mirrors distracting. I like to watch the road in front of me, keep a straight line, and use my ears to keep me apprised of approaching cars.

One counter-intuitive safety tip: Don't be afraid to "take the lane" if you need to. (E.g. when the road is too narrow or there's no safe shoulder.) If you ride too far at the edge of a narrow road, cars will be encouraged to try to share the lane and squeeze around you even if there's not really room. Taking the lane makes them slow down and wait for an opening before passing you. When I first started riding I didn't understand this and got hit by a car that was in a rush to squeeze by me on a narrow road.
 

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I have a glasses mount mirror and as long as it is set up right, it is awesome, finding the sweet spot is a pain but once you get it, it is all good. I took it off for a short tri at the WE and I really missed it. It does affect my peripheral vision of the left eye though.
 

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The topic of mirrors always seems to lead to a donnybrook, I don't for the life of me know why. Yes, they are considered freddy. I, conveniently, don't give a damn about that and ride with a take a look mirror on my sunglasses virtually all the time. On those rare occasions when I ride without it (while wearing a time trial helmet, for instance) I feel naked.

I have a strong preference for an eyeglass mounted mirror, because it brings the image close to your eye, so it's larger and easier to see details in, and there is less vibration than a bar mounted mirror. Also, precisely because you don't have to look down to your bars to use it, it's much faster to use. A check on your six takes a split second. You can bend the wire of the TAL mirror to put the mirror wherever you want in your field of vision so it's not obstructing your view to the front, and you can easily pan from side to side by turning your head slightly, which is either impossible or difficult with a bar mounted mirror, depending on the model. I've taken a number of falls, and I think the threat to your eyes is a nonissue--the mount connects to the temple of your glasses well behind your eye, and it's no more likely to damage your eye in a crash than the temple of the glasses themselves.

Nothing about the wearing of a mirror prevents you from turning or ducking your head to look back, of course. I do all three, but I have to take my eye off the road ahead much less when I'm using a mirror and I know much more about what's going on behind me. Without a mirror I have a general idea of who is where and what they're doing, where the cars are in relation to other riders and so on. With the mirror, I know who is behind me, which kit they're in, what bike they're on, what they had for breakfast and whether they got laid that morning.
 

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I'm a beginner also and quite afraid of getting myself killed by cars or my own lapse in judgement.

One thing I do is research my area to find routes that are dedicated to cycling where I don't need to worry about cars. This will give me enough time to get my cycling skills, strength and endurance up to snuff.

Second thing is joining some group rides. I have found there are quite a few that are beginner friendly where they travel at a leisurely pace. In a group ride, you won't be as worried about the route your taking and cars are usually more mindful when they see a group of riders.

The helmet mirrors are an individual preference. I haven't used them myself yet, but I can see how they can be useful. I find that my bike moves to where my head moves. If I shoulder check, I have a tendency to drift in that direction. Just as mirrors on a car... I still wouldn't trust it completely and still would shoulder check even if I had it.

There are always risk in anything that we do. We just have to minimize and manage the risk. Wear bright clothes, install front and rear lights, put on a helmet and make sure the bike is in good working order and choose routes that your familiar and comfortable with.
 

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What is up with the experienced guys dissing the mirror? I read a thread on another forum where it was being dissed big time..
any downside to a mirror? Are they just being roadie snobs as you put it and picking on the poor
I'm more experienced than (probably) anyone on this site and I don't diss mirrors. In fact I use one (and have for many decades) and even make them (for myself; not others). There are no downsides to mirrors that I've found - no more than car or motorcycle mirrors anyway. I've read many peoples' opinions of downsides over many years and not one of them makes sense to me. I'm a roadie and I'm not a mirror snob and I'm as hard-core roadie as they come (ex racer, current hard trainer, anti bike-geek) - ok I am a mirror snob - I would not wear one of those large geeky looking ones. I mine are very small and most people don't have clue what mine is.

If you do a Search on this site for mirror info you will find much talk. You'll even find my link to my site that shows my home-made mirrors.
 

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+1 on the mirror. I have a bar end mirror on my commuter bike and it definitely comes in handy making lane changes at speed in heavy traffic.

Be as visible as possible. On my commuter I have blinking head/tail lights, pieces of glow tape on the fenders and frame, reflective strips on my tires, neon green bar tape and I usually wear orange or hi-vis yellow. Sure, it looks ridiculous, but I really couldn't care less. My commute isn't a beauty contest, and if one of those items keeps me from getting t-boned by an old lady in a Buick, I'm cool with looking ridiculous.

I'll likely still get hit sooner or later, but they won't be able to say they couldn't see me...

But (aside from the helmet) perhaps the best safety tip is to make sure your bike is properly maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm more experienced than (probably) anyone on this site and I don't diss mirrors. In fact I use one (and have for many decades) and even make them (for myself; not others). There are no downsides to mirrors that I've found - no more than car or motorcycle mirrors anyway. I've read many peoples' opinions of downsides over many years and not one of them makes sense to me. I'm a roadie and I'm not a mirror snob and I'm as hard-core roadie as they come (ex racer, current hard trainer, anti bike-geek) - ok I am a mirror snob - I would not wear one of those large geeky looking ones. I mine are very small and most people don't have clue what mine is.

If you do a Search on this site for mirror info you will find much talk. You'll even find my link to my site that shows my home-made mirrors.
Hi mike,
I actually did a search and was reading your old posts and checked your site after having done a search on mirrors - thx for chiming in. Your mirrors look cool and have given me the idea to look into purchasing or at least trying a more discreet type of mirror - simply for the fact that it would likely be less distracting/create less blockage. Thx for weighing in.
 

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I don't wear headphones while biking

I wear bright colored clothing

I signal whether or not I think a car is behind me

I obey traffic signs and signals

I apply the defensive driving experience from 40 years of motorcycling
 
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