Didn't know that one could be so passionate about a mirror, did you? Well-- I've been through a number of mirrors and THIS is the one I took on my summer tour (across the U.S.) and this is the one I will put on every bike that needs a mirror.
Initially I ended up with this mirror because it was pretty much the only one that would work with drop handlebars with bar-end shifters. I also liked how the mirror extended away from the bike. I've found that mirrors that are too close to the bike make me squirm on my bike in order to see what I want to see-- and what I get to see isn't that much in the first place, because the mirror is tryin' to be all small-like so that I don't ram into it with my knees.. which I manage to do anyway. That said, I've met people who swear by the road bar-end mirror (see photo, right).
I've also tried one of those super sexy mirrors that you stick to your helmet. In all fairness, I did not gi
ve it much of a chance before tearing it off my head. It's like-- if you were watching tv, and it's your favorite program-- but there is this GIANT BEETLE crawling all over it! AHH!! GET OFF! GO AWAY! I'M TRYING TO WATCH 30 ROCK! Except the tv program is your bike ride, of course. That said, I know people
who swear by this little guy too (see photo, left). I just don't like tilting my head all funny like that gold robot guy from Star Wars, changing my focus and well, looking geeky.
I can't say that I've ever tried the mirror-inside-the-sunglass thing-- but I've pretty much ruled it out, as I don't always wear my sunglasses (or the same lenses, anyway) on my bike. And again-- bug on the tv screen. No, thank you.
And recently, I've even tried this guy on my road bike with STI shifters (common modern shifter; the shifting is integrated into the
brake lever unit, instead of being on the bar-end like on my touring bike). Initially, I was pretty stoked-- because I thought I'd be able to take the mirror on and off fairly easily for s
witching between commuter and race mode. While that bit may have been true-- what I hadn't anticipated is that the mirror rattles like mad! AHHH! Maybe it's because it's on a bike with 23mm tires (skinny!) running at least 100psi (hard!). But that's my set up on that bike-- so this mirror became a dud. Drats!
So back to the best mirror in the world. Great things about the mirror:
- It's big enough to actually see something.
- It mounts away from the bike, so all you have to do is glance (not squirm or tilt your head) to see what you want to see.
- It is mountable on top of bar tape, so it does not rattle and make your view blurry.
- It is always there-- doesn't rely on wearing a certain helmet or pair of sunglasses.
- Compatible with just about any bike set up.
- This summer, while on tour, we did find that we had to continually retighten the clamp as it would slowly loosen and move around. However, I've had it for several months on fresh bar tape (not two layers of bar tape like this summer) and have never had to reset it.
- I have my mirror mounted at the very end of my bar. It doesn't really get in my way and I like the view it gives me. My touring buddy ended up moving hers further up the bar and liked the view better and didn't find that it got in her way too badly. So play around with your mounting spot.
- You can buy this mirror online at Adventure Cycling's online store, or
- Buy it at Gregg's Cycle in Seattle, Bellevue or Lynnwood, WA. (I work at the Bellevue location.)