Riding a bike is one of the best ways to enjoy some downtime outdoors, get exercise, and have fun. However, it is equally important to invest in accessories and gear to ensure a safer ride and increase rider visibility.
Road bikes are a popular choice of transit which quickly get people where they need to go or work well as a daily commuter bike. If you are planning on using a working bike for frequent trips, you should consider getting a quality bicycle mirror.
You already invest a lot of money into a quality bike, eat, tires, and handlebar set-up for your riding comfort. Outfitting your bike with the best bike mirror for road bikes isn’t a matter of aesthetics and tricking out your bike with accessories, it’s a matter of saving your life.
Speeding alongside cars, buses, and trucks, cyclists have to make split-second decisions about whether to change lanes, speed up, or pull over if needed. The best bike mirror for road bikes can help keep cyclists more abreast about their surroundings and help them make sound decisions about their behavior.
Having to turn your head over your shoulder for a short moment takes a cyclist’s eyes off of the path in front of them, which could result in an accident. The best bike mirror for road bikes can help a rider more easily read traffic behind them, in addition to using common sense and peripheral vision.
No one likes the idea of getting hit by an opened door of an unsuspecting vehicle or regretting not putting a valuable accessory on their bike. A bike mirror is an excellent option for riders who feel that a helmet mirror is too cumbersome, but want to increase their safety options and awareness.
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About Road Bikes
Road bikes were built to handle zooming along on smooth paved roadways, and are typically equipped with drop bars.
Most cyclists choose to ride a road bike for commuting, racing, touring, or long-distance rides. Compared to a mountain bike, road bikes are lighter, may have fewer gears to deal with, and feel more responsive to a rider. When riding a road bike, most cyclists are bent over their vehicle at the waist, which allows the drop bars to help relieve any pressure on the hands.
Some cyclists choose to switch out the drop bars for a flat bar, or a bar with risers for personal comfort and aesthetics.
Overall, it is essential to set up a bike so that it is comfortable to ride, offers some leverage, and assists with balance and the rider’s center of gravity.
Before considering making any changes to a bike’s handlebar, be aware of certain factors that can impact the ride.
The type of handlebars that are on your bike may affect how you mount a mirror for increased visibility of traffic and your surroundings. Ideally, when you are riding, your arms should be shoulder-width apart. Road bike riders lean forward while pedaling, while mountain bike cyclists stay in a more upright position.
Mirrors, Safety, and Visibility While Riding
Image by Juliano Ferreira via Pexels.
In addition to wearing safety gear like a helmet with preferably reflective strips or taping, and outfitting a bike with a light for improved nighttime visibility, there are other safety measures cyclists can take.
Using a bike mirror helps improve a cyclists awareness of what’s around them to their left, right, and behind. Increasing rider visibility via wearing protective clothing with cushioning in bright colors, gloves, and proper footwear is practical.
Unfortunately, because of eye tracking and natural perception, many motorists may fail to recognize bicycle riders sharing the road. Even if a cyclist has equipped their bike with a mirror, they should make an effort for eye contact with drivers, follow the rules of the road, and be mindful about how much space lies between you and other vehicles.
Cyclists can get squeezed off of the roads or into a precarious situation if not cautious. Some riders may feel that a mirror mounted on a bike is better because it is similar to a car or motorcycle.
Other riders may feel that a bike mirror offers a wider angle of visibility, compared to using a helmet mounted mirror. There may be concern about shaky mirrors for helmet mounted types or handlebar mounted mirrors.
Even when a mirror is used, it still pays for a rider to turn around in the direction of traffic to make eye contact or gesture with motorists.
Overall, most bike mirrors are made tough to handle minor crashes and provide a more accurate of what’s on the road.
When it comes to mirrors for bikes, there are three different types.
For the sake of this review, we focused on handlebar mirrors. Some riders feel that other types of mirrors can prove distracting, interfere with communication, or may be more challenging to use if nearsighted.
Handlebar mirrors offer some of the following benefits, which may prove useful to avid riders.
There are some drawbacks to using a handlebar mounted mirror. It can make navigating tight squeezes more difficult, the mirror could get knocked off its position, and what you see is limited to the mirror’s placement.
How We Choose Our Ratings
We compiled our list of top bike mirrors after surveying comments from cyclists who take biking seriously, people who used their road bike for daily commuting, and enthusiasts for specific brands. We considered how well a bike mirror is constructed, whether it is suited for right or left side use, and durability.
The array of bike mirrors chosen should fit various budgets, road bike and handlebar types, and not disappoint. We only wanted bike mirrors that had high-quality ratings and a good brand reputation.
Top 8 Bike Mirrors for Road Bikes
There are plenty of bike mirrors to choose from in the marketplace, and it’s nice to have an alternative to a helmet mirror. Check out these top mirrors for various must-have features that stand out among the competition, ranging from aesthetically pleasing design, construction materials, and viewing angles.
Selle Italia Eyelink B00CDPDIOA
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This bike mirror is indeed a looker, as it is made from carbon composite, and uses a panoramic glass. The price tag on this beautiful mirror is not cheap, but it will potentially give your bicycle a minor upscale update.
It is easy to mount this bike mirror to one’s handlebars, and a Velcro strap helps keep it secure. This mirror provides plenty of viewing space and angles the mirror, and is mounted in front of you, so no need to worry about arms getting in the way.
Some riders complain about light vibration, especially if riding over rougher terrain.
You might have to get another Velcro strap to hold the mirror in place and prevent slipping, but it’s tough enough to handle a few spills without suffering degradation of quality.
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Serious riders may appreciate equipping their road bike with this end mirror from Hafny. The mirror fits in the inside of handlebars with a diameter of 17 to 21 mm and offers 360-degree adjustability.
Cyclists can mount this mirror on the left or right side of their handlebars, and the convex surface provides a clearer view when on the road. The stainless steel lens is more eco-friendly than glass, doesn’t break easily, and is recyclable.
This is a very budget-friendly option for riders who use their bike often and are not trying to break themselves for accessories and safety items.
The way this mirror is positioned on your bike, you won’t have to crane your neck to get a good view. It might take some getting used to having to cut into your grips to slip this mirror in, but it improves the riding experience.
You will want to measure your handlebars before purchasing this mirror carefully. Quality-wise, you get some substantial value for the price, as this mirror is built with a durable frame made from high-impact nylon and fiber.
Spintech Drop Bar Mirror, Pair
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If you have a drop bar set-up, and one mirror is not enough, check out Spintech for a pair of mirrors to enhance visibility while cycling.
These bike mirrors do not offer the widest view, but they look futuristic and sleek when paired with racing bars or drop bars. The design of the mirror is conducive to aerodynamics when riding and make a bike look good.
To make mounting these mirrors easier, it’s suggested to use a little water or a bit of soapy water to lubricate them for fitting. Riders will have to adjust to looking down at the mirrors to get a view of what’s happening around them, but for some cyclists, they may feel they don’t get enough mirror space.
Sometimes a rider’s arm may block the mirror, or a bump in the road may shift the mirror’s position. Overall, these mirrors stay put and are aesthetically pleasing.
Alloet 1 Pair Bicycle Handlebar Mirror
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This pair of bicycle mirrors doesn’t only help riders see more in traffic behind them or at their sides, but it includes reflective properties on the rear of improved cyclist visibility.
It is easy to adjust the position on these bicycle mirrors, which come with a large lens for a wider view and are lightweight. Your handlebars aren’t liable to feel overly weighed down, and with a pair of mirrors, you can readily see on your right or left.
These mirrors may feel akin to a motorcycle’s mirrors and may require adjusting if you hit a bump in the road.
Zefal Spy Bicycle Mirror
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This budget-friendly bike mirror option easily fits anywhere on your bike, slipping onto your handlebars with an adjustable mount.
This mirror fits somewhere in the middle for visibility, as there are mirrors that are considerably larger or smaller in size. If you are looking for something not too obtrusive, but still provides an adjustable mirror for easy viewing, this may be a good fit.
Riders should be careful about where they mount this mirror and how they angle it, as they may find they need to move their bars to get a clearer look at their environment and objects.
Venzo Bicycle Bike Handlebar Stainless Steel Lens Left Mirror
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Cyclists may appreciate this bicycle mirror for being designed with anti-glare glass for enhanced viewing. The lens is made of highly polished stainless steel with a quality finish, and the mirror rotates up to a 360-degree adjustment.
The handlebar clamp comes with a pivot joint that swings up to 45-degrees for easy adjusting, and the high-impact nylon arm improves the rear view when riding.
TOPCABIN 1 Pair Bicycle Mirror Bicycle Rear View Mirror Blindsight Multi Angle Adjustable
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Improve your view of what’s around you while riding your bike, after you outfit your cycle with a pair of these skull hand mirrors with extra-long handles.
These mirrors fit best on handlebars that measure 21 to 25 mm and are built with aluminum alloy and stainless steel for durability.
Make sure to fasten the screws occasionally to reduce loose fittings, and enjoy adjusting these mirrors up to 360-degrees for a clear rear view. These mirrors come in a variety of colors so you can show off your colorful personality.
Mirrycle MTB Bar End Mountain Bicycle Mirror
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Grab a single or a pair of this bike mirror, which provide a wide-view with a convex mirror.
Easily pivot this mirror into the direction you want to see, using the three-inches of the viewing area. This round bike mirror slips into the inside of handlebars with an interior space measuring 13.75 to 22.5 in diameter.
A wrench is included to help mount the mirror. The downsides are that the glass surface may scratch after a fall or two, and the instructions could be clearer.
Know in-depth about your riding style, your comfort level, your bike design and choice of handlebars before selecting a mirror. Some types of mirrors are explicitly made for racing bikes or drop handlebars, whereas other mirrors are more suited for straight bars with or without risers.
Finding the perfect mirror is about trial-and-error, discovering a sweet spot for visibility and placement, and enhancing cyclist safety and visibility according to personal preference.
Some mirrors will be mounted on the outside of your bike’s handlebars, while others fit neatly inside. Understand how much surface area a mirror will offer you while riding, and be able to view objects without strain or continuously adjusting.
Enjoy riding with more confidence and increased awareness of objects and your surroundings, when you choose to outfit a quality mirror on your bike. Always remember to wear your helmet when you ride, and bike safe!
Featured image by Brett Sayles via Pexels.com