Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Bike Mirror

I Got A New Bike Mirror And It’s Awesome

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I’m not sure if you remember, but my bike mirror broke last season.

I was never a mirror user, until I actually tried one. After talking to a few folks and listening to some opinions, I decided to get a the kind that attached to my glasses, instead of my helmet or bike. I chose the Third Eye mirror which was available at my local bike shop. Overall, I was pretty happy with it.

There were only two things that disappointed me about it. The first was it’s limited positioning. I’m sure it was user error, but I could not get the Third Eye positioned right on my glasses to keep the mirror from creating a blind spot when I was actually scanning for oncoming traffic. My solve for that was to mount the mirror on the right side so that my left side scanning would be obstruction free. The other disappointment was that it only lasted a year before breaking.

After it broke, I began shopping around for a better solution – with no promising results. My goal was to find something more durable, not very expensive and not look so geeky. That led me to look into making my own, as suggested by my friend, Mike. The problem with making my own is that I never have the right parts or tools and it always ends up costing me more in time and resources – plus, it never comes out right. For now, it’ll just be one of those projects that I’ll complete later.

So, I’ve been mirror-less until a few weeks ago, when a man named Patrick McMahon, who runs the Etsy store, ReBcycle, contacted me. He stated that he might have what I’m looking for and provided a link to his store that offered mirrors that were very similar to the DIY project that I was looking into. The only difference was that his were already made.

I looked at his options, which were all nice, but I really wanted one made from the bottle cap of one of my favorite beers, Left Hand Milk Stout. We exchanged messages, and I found out that not only was he nice, but also very accommodating. He did have LHMS bottle caps available, as well as one that was older, and a bit more rare, than what they are currently using. Of course, I chose that one.

Within a few days, he had it made and shipped to me – a custom, hand-crafted, made-to-order mirror that cost the same as his other mirrors. Also, compared to other standard, retail mirrors or anything that I could have made on my own, it was pretty reasonable.

When I got the mirror, I was really impressed as to how well it was packed. The product, itself, is well-made and much more durable than it’s plastic predecessor. Being mostly all metal – both bottle cap and bicycle spoke attachment – I can already tell this is going to last longer. What really impressed me about the Beer-View Mirror is how well it fit my glasses. ReBcycle offers both long and short attachments, and I opted for short. Not only does the short attachment fit firmly on my glasses frames, it keeps the mirror far enough out to prevent that scanning blind spot. I am really impressed with this new mirror, and it was well worth it.

If you are thinking about getting a mirror for safer riding, I recommend that you take a look at ReBcycle.

Artisan Bike Mirror From Etsy - Left Hand Milk Stout

Left Hand Milk Stout Bike Mirror From Etsy

Written by dickdavid

February 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm

My Mirror Is Broken

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Broken Mirror

Well, it’s been just over a year since I got my bike mirror and it’s already broken. Other than this unexpected death, I was quite happy with this mirror. It was small and – as far as bike mirrors go – pretty discrete. The interesting thing is that I never realized how much I used it until my ride home yesterday. Although I did not use it for lane change scans, I did use it to gauge the amount of traffic behind me – which was apparently quite often.

I plan on replacing this with something built a little better. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Written by dickdavid

July 24, 2013 at 5:23 am

Rear View Mirror

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Rear View Mirror

Now that I’m commuting by bike more, I’ve found myself becoming a bike gadget geek – especially with safety gear. The irony is that I told myself I would never be one of ‘those’ types of cyclist. For me, riding a bike wasn’t supposed to be that complicated – just get on the bike and go. I didn’t need special clothes or equipment, just my helmet and a destination.

Lately, I’ve been discovering that the reason people use bike gear is because it makes cycling better, especially when it comes to safety. In addition to the skills that I’ve learned from TS 101 and Cycling Savvy, my goal while commuting is to stay visible. Along with my front and back lights, I’ve started wearing a bright orange vest. Maybe it’s psychological, but I really feel that drivers notice me more. It certainly doesn’t hurt.

This last week, I’ve added a new accessory for safety – the rear view mirror. Talk about nerding out, but this thing just screams GEEK! I don’t care. By far, this is one of the best accessories that I’ve added to my bike commute. Sure I can scan, but I prefer to do that when I’m ready to turn or change lanes. Also, my body isn’t as flexible as it used to be. The mirror gives me a quick and effortless read on what’s behind me.

It isn’t just about more visibility with my surroundings. The rear view mirror also gives me a better piece of mind on the road. Part of my stress while riding has always been the uncertainty of what’s behind me. Yes, I’m still in a mode where I’m concerned about minimizing my obstruction of the traffic around me. Because of that, I found myself pushing harder on certain routes and tiring out faster. With the rear view mirror, I’m realizing that most of the traffic behind me, isn’t behind me. This gives me the mental freedom to ride at a manageable pace, conserving my energy for when I actually need it.

I opted for an inexpensive Third Eye mirror that attaches to my sunglasses. It’s pretty lightweight and barely noticeable. Placement can be a bit tricky. When done wrong, it actually creates a blind spot while scanning. Pushing the mirror further away from the lens gives me enough of a gap to fix that. I’m also going to try it mounted on the right side, since I usually scan to the left.

Geeky? Sure. But when I’m riding and folks SEE me and say “LOOK at the nerd on the bike with the flashing lights, bright orange vest and the mirror on his glasses.” – I’m going to think, mission accomplished.

Written by dickdavid

July 3, 2012 at 7:38 am