These days, a rear view mirror is almost just as important as wearing a helmet when cycling. Whether you're commuting to work through busy traffic, riding with a group or simply having an afternoon solo ride on the weekend, having a Rear View Mirror that actually works is vital. We have tested the 4 most popular bicycle mirrors on the market to find out exactly how well each of them work. After testing the handlebar mirror, the eyeglass mirror, the handlebar mirror and the wearable RearViz Mirror on the same road conditions we have found a clear winner. Here's some snaps from our journey to let you see the results for yourselves...
The RearViz Mirror is a rear view mirror that you wear on your arm with a velcro strap. The base of the mirror actually rotates 360° and pivots back and forth so you can pretty much get it into the exact position that works for you to give you the widest rearward view. If you think about it, when you ride the widest part out on your body is your arm right? So the idea behind this mounting style is that you will get the widest rearward view of what's coming up behind you when you strap the mirror to the furthest point of your body and bike. When i first tried the RearViz, to my surprise the product is really lightweight and after wearing for hours on end, I forgot it was even on my arm. Although it can take a bit of getting used to having a foreign object on your arm, once you get it into the correct position it's quite easy to see that this is by far the safest mirror on the market for cyclists. The BEST feature of this wearable design is that as the mirror is mounted directly on your arm, all of the vibration and distorted view from the road that you would usually get with other mirrors is eliminated! So no matter what rode i ride on, whether it be my city commutes or off track adventures, i can always get a really clear rearward view.
It has a really large, convex mirror which gives you an extremely clear view of the traffic coming up behind you. Another point of difference with this mirror is that as it is not being worn near your face or eyes and is not made of glass, if you happen to fall of your bike, the RearViz will just snap shut, protecting both you and your mirror! The thing i love about the RearViz Mirror is that you aren't restricted to mounting it on your bike (which already has enough gadgets on it!) or anywhere near your face (which is just plain annoying). Having a mirror mounted on my arm gave me a lot more freedom as within a few minutes i was simply using my peripheral vision to keep a clear eye on the cars behind me.
This Eye Glass Mirror is a small rear view mirror that you can attach to your sunglasses. Its small mirror can be positioned to face the rider's desired view of the road behind them. Although at a first glance and feel this mirror appears to be lightweight and very small, the tiny mirror makes it quite difficult to get a clear rear view of what's coming up behind you. Aside from this, i believe the whole idea behind having a mirror on your helmet is flawed. Not only do you increase the risk of having glass or sharp plastic lodged into your eye or face if you fall off your bike but the annoyance of riding with an object constantly in your vision makes it difficult to get used to. To add a final comment, as the mirror is designed to be attached to sunglasses,
NOTE! If you love your sunglasses then this mirror might not be the best choice for you... Unless you love big scratch marks on them!
The Handlebar Mirror is quite self explanatory. This mirror mounts directly to the side of your handlebar so riders can get a view of what's coming up behind them. As this style has quite a wide, clear mirror when you're riding on flat ground it actually works well. However, as soon as you go over a bumpy road or gravel, it tends to shutter and shake giving you a distorted view of what's coming up behind you. Now when the sole purpose of a rear view mirror is to get a clear view of what's approaching behind your bicycle, then to have a shaky mirror that depends on the road you are traveling on kind of defeats the purpose! The other defining negative about this styled rear view mirror is the location of which it is mounted. Overall, this styled mirror is definitely a better and safer alternative to the EyeGlass or Helmet Mirror but it still doesn't work as well as you would hope.
You can either mount it to the end of your handlebar, leaving your hands with very little room to grip the bar or you can mount it to the inside of your handlebar which gives you more of a view of your hand or your self rather than the oncoming traffic behind you.
The Helmet-Mounted Mirror is another popular option that cyclists around the world use as their rear view mirror. After trying it out, I found that it was very similar to the Eye Glass Mirror as to be honest, I was not a fan. Although this mounting style is a bit more user-friendly than the eyeglass mirror because you are not restricted to wearing sunglasses every time you ride, it was still very annoying to use. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm not a fan of having something constantly bopping around the front of my face, distracting me when i ride. Maybe if cyclists rode with their head straight for the entirety of their rides without moving, this mounting style would work better. However, I found that every time i moved my head (even the slightest tilt) the mirror would move with it, which was not only distracting but made the mirror ineffective as i lost my rearward view. Don't get me wrong, i could definitely see behind me when cycling on the straight but this mirror is another restrictive piece of safety gear as again, i was forced to change the way i usually ride just to suit the mirror. Most products are designed to suit the rider, not for the rider to suit the product... Anyway, here's a few snaps we got of the Helmet Mirror to show you what it looks like and how it works.
Even if this mirror did work really well, the idea of having something sticking out from your helmet isn't the most attractive look. To keep the dorky look consistent with the rest of your cycling get-up you may as well tie some magpie repellent Zip Ties to your helmet!