Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • What do we think about bar end mirrors?
  • PJay
    Free Member

    I’m generally okay cycling in traffic but (like everyone I suspect) I’ve had some scary moments. I’ve seen some folks’ bikes fitted with bar end mirrors and was wondering whether they’d be a useful safety addition and they’re certainly cheaper than Varia radar.

    I appreciate that they probably don’t look cool, but do folk use them and find them useful? If so what sort of size do you need for one to be effective? Busch and Müller do some 80mm monsters that look like dinner plates (and probably go bigger), Cateye have a small 45mm one.

    Equally there’s not much point if all I’m going to see is my knee.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    I have a small one (zefal) on the road bike (and a Varia – paranoid, moi ?) and used a bit bigger one on the drop bar commutah

    IF you’re also paranoid, I’d recommend something the zefal, tbh – big enough to see what’s coming and even on a regular width drop bar it sees past my knee

    littledave
    Free Member

    I also use bar end mirrors on both flat and drop bars. Large ones for commuting are best.

    A mirror does not replace an over shoulder check before you manoeuvre but I find them useful for general Situational awareness.

    1
    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    A mirror does not replace an over shoulder check before you manoeuvre

    In case there are any Vampires trying to overtake ?

    1
    Northwind
    Full Member

    Never liked them on a pushbike tbh, we’ve got so much freedom of movement and uninterrupted field of vision to look around anyway, but also bikes are pretty vibratey. Had some on the motorbike though and that was fantastic.

    2
    thepurist
    Full Member

    I stuck one of these on when I used to commute (rhs obvs) and found it useful enough that I’ve not bothered to take it off. Doesn’t wobble or need knee gymnastics to get a view

    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/left-sprintech-racing-road-mirror-black/

    gravedigger
    Free Member

    If you get some mke sure that they’ve also got the extra lens for covering your blindspot…

    irc
    Full Member

    For flat bars the cheap Decathlon one works fine.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/100-bike-rear-view-mirror/_/R-p-512

    For drops my bar ends hold my gear shifters. I use Rhode Gear mirrors which fit over the brake hoods.

    IMG_20240421_192135

    longdog
    Free Member

    Seen a few with the mirror on a stalk that attach to your helmet too, which apparently are quite good. My wife used to have a big one on the handle bars that she liked , but it was a bit ungainly and  constantly getting knocked until it eventually broke.

    I’d been thinking about something too, but due to me struggling to hear cars coming up behind on back roads. I do loads of checks usually , but you can bet when I haven’t ones there stalking me!  Combination of being half deaf, wind noise and stealth quiet cars nowadays.

    Edit: hers was a similar size to that  up there ^^ but got knocked storing the bike and leaning it on things when out.

    2
    scotroutes
    Full Member

    FWIW the Varia I have is excellent. I was a skeptic, but managed to blag one cheap (thinking I’d try it and possibly sell it on for no/little loss) and became a complete convert.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Seen a few with the mirror on a stalk that attach to your helmet too, which apparently are quite good

    Had one of these. It was great for a few years but then the socket joint got slack and then it was useless.

    They are exceedingly fiddly to set up correctly. Anyone that tells you there are only 3 dimensions ( + time) has clearly never used one of these 😉

    One memorable day I thought I had set it up right, but hadn’t.

    gecko76
    Full Member

    I used to use one that clipped to the helmet and really liked how it added to your general sense of what’s going on around you. It was really awkward when you took the helmet off, in a shop for example, and after the second one snapped I didn’t bother replacing it. Might do now though as close passes are never fun.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Great on the tandem pre varia. Mainly for watching the kids. I also have a wrist one for the recumbent as bar ones rattled too much. I like the varia RTL more.

    damascus
    Free Member

    I had some on my touring bike that hid away in the bars until you needed them. Then you pulled them out. They were OK, a bit small, too narrow. Never at the right angle and probably too low.

    In the end they were more useful for shaving. Eventually they snapped off and I binned them. 

    I think the picture in @irc post is the one if go for if I was going to try them again.

    2
    belugabob
    Free Member

    “A mirror does not replace an over shoulder check before you manoeuvre”

    “In case there are any Vampires trying to overtake ?”

    Or a rampaging T-Rex…

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Looking over the shoulder is easy enough on a bike IMO when manoeuvring

    Mirrors won’t stop the car from behind wiping you out. By the time you see it’s going to wipe you out it will be too late

    2
    duncancallum
    Full Member

    The varia is a great peice of kit

    1
    TiRed
    Full Member

    The varia is a great piece of kit

    said by almost everyone who’s ever used one – including all those who were skeptical. I’d replace mine in a heartbeat. “So good we bought the company!” (Said Garmin).

    It’s one of those thing you thought wasn’t necessary but serves as a real and active safety device. It detects vehicles approaching from about 140m and modulates its light output to attract the driver’s attention. The rear facing camera version (which is a bit of a lump) also turns on the camera. My Fly6 is always on, and the battery life suffers as a consequence.

    I was skeptical in 2022, so tried just the radar in a Black Friday sale. Three rides in I replaced it with the rear light. It’s been on every road ride ever since.

    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    +1 for Varia, it’s a great piece of kit.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Personal experience of bike mounted mirrors is they dont give a wide enough angle, and at night just reflect headlights, so its like looking at the surface of the sun.

    Turning to looks gives a clearer picture.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    What TiRed said about Varia. If mine got (eg) stolen I’d buy another one immediately.

    natrix
    Free Member

    I had one that attached to the hoods (like IRC picture), it was great for commuting, especially right hand turns on a busy road. On an 8 mile commute I mostly used it for just one particular manouvere, but it made so much difference for that one turn that it was well worth it.

    chrispoffer
    Full Member

    I love a mirror, gives me so much more confidence on the road. Don’t know if I’d ever bother with a teeny tiny bar end job, certainly I wouldn’t lash out a load of money for rear facing radar. I like a big stupid looking mirror that clamps to the bars of mine. Easy to take off if I’m going off road, is perfect for nipping around the estates / to the shops with it on.

    Part of the reason I find it so useful is that my right eye vision is a bit poor and I find I’m looking past the lens of my specs when looking over my shoulder. So big stupid mirror + shoulder checks makes me so much more aware of cars behind, almost feels like having a superpower in comparison with no mirror.

    nickingsley
    Full Member

    Interested in the Varia with a light,  though not sure I understand the value of being told I’m about to get hit 😬

    Also I cannot get my head round why the daytime runtime is so much longer than in night mode 🤔

    What do/could be used to attach to a Blackburn EX-1 rack?

    Mounting on the seat tube/saddle rails will be obscured on my Genesis DayOne by stuff.

    Cheers

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    Interested in the Varia with a light, though not sure I understand the value of being told I’m about to get hit 😬

    It also tells the driver that you’re about to get hit by changing the way it flashes

    Also I cannot get my head round why the daytime runtime is so much longer than in night mode 🤔

    No idea – is day mode flashing and night mode continuous ?

    I find mine fantastic for quietish roads and too much for town riding (beeps “all” the time and I lose track of what’s where so have to look back so much that it becomes redundant – it also can only show so many following cars on the display, so again I don’t rely on it in heavy traffic).  I guess the “don’t kill me” flashing still works OK, though again it might be “lost” a bit in heavy traffic

    Regardless, just get one. You can likely recoup virtually all your outlay if you don’t get on with it

    nickingsley
    Full Member

    Cheers @scardypants.

    Think the RTL515 is £135 direct from Garmin with the STW discount. Just need to work out how to fix to the Blackburn EX-1 rack🤔

    PJay
    Free Member

    I’d like a Varia myself, but they’re a bit pricey (I went for the CatEye 45mm mirror in the end).

    As far as pannier rack mounts go, a quick search threw up this – https://www.magcad-designs.com/products/magcad-garmin-varia-pannier-rack-mount I don’t know if it’s any good. If not I’m pretty sure that there’ll be something out there.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’d like a Varia myself, but they’re a bit pricey

    Yeah, I was unconvinced but managed to bag one at £85 from a sale in a bike shop. I thought I could try it and then sell it on if I didn’t change my mind. I did and hence still use it.

    nickingsley
    Full Member

    @PJay, looks good but the Blackburn rack must have been pre-Euro standard as has no fixing bolt holes.

    #Scotroutes, a sale would be ideal as £85 is very good.

    nickingsley
    Full Member

    @scotroutes, would you use on RTTS?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    @nickingsley – I’ll definitely be fitting it, though I don’t expect to make it to Cramond without recharging the battery at some point. I’ll maybe take a small powerbank and top it up a bit at Moffat and the Crook Inn. I’ll be taking another light too.

    TBH, there’s a whole other thread to be had about the relative safety of riding after dark. Personally – and I realise I may be in a minority on this – I always feel safer riding in the dark. Not only can I make myself really visible, with lights and reflactives, following vehicles are easy to spot due to their headlamp beams.

    fossy
    Full Member

    Ears and over shoulder looks here. Don’t need a rear view mirror.

    Compact heat seeking missiles would be more useful.

    bensales
    Free Member

    Varia user here, and echo everyone else’s comments.

    Looking over the shoulder is easy enough on a bike IMO when manoeuvring

    Not always for everyone. I’ve done some damage to my neck which means I can’t turn my head as much, to do a proper look behind means I need to remove a hand from the bars and turn my body. I mitigate this by using the motorcyclist trick of looking under the arm, rather than over the shoulder, but the Varia just means I’m already aware of what’s there and can plan my looks better.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    Surely they just get caught in hedges and drag through nettles?

    felltop
    Full Member

    I have one of the Spintec mirrors on a road bike, and find it really useful riding on single track roads. Makes it easy to keep an eye on traffic approaching from behind, and time arrival at a passing place to allow them to overtake, without me having to stop. Before I had the mirror, I seemed to spend half my time looking over my shoulder.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    My mate lost his hearing on one side and stopping road riding as a consequence. I’ve given up trying to convince him to get a Varia. He is though as tight as a gnats chuff.

    PJay
    Free Member

    Just a little PSA, but Sigma Sports appear to have the basic Varia for £90 at the moment (not sure if you need to pay for postage on top).

    https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Garmin/Varia-Rear-View-Radar-RVR315/Q332?s=1

    mrauer
    Full Member

    https://www.zefal.com/en/mirrors/674-spy-15.html

    Can be bit tricky to position so you can see back, but depending on the handlebar type you are rocking, can be great and unobtrusive. When riding long stretches on the road, invaluable. It is pretty small, and can be installed on the fork or several spots on the handlebars. Just enough to give you an idea of whats coming up behind you.

    A mirror saved my life once when a truck decided to pass me without any space or shoulder, just as a hill was coming up. I would have been crushed between railing and the truck, saw the situation in the mirror and rode into a ditch, off the road just as the railing started.

    PJay
    Free Member
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