I mentioned in the comments section of an earlier post that I tried a helmet mirror in the past and didn’t really like it. I’ll admit though, the one I tried was old and the Velcro that attached it was worn out. The result of that loose connection was that the mirror vibrated slightly and it was that movement in my peripheral vision that really bothered me. So really I should give mirrors another chance, right? I know quite a few cyclists who would never consider wearing a helmet mirror, but I also know quite a few cyclists who swear by them. It seems like a lot of cyclists have pretty strong opinions about them. The late Sheldon Brown was a fan of helmet mounted mirrors, so that alone is reason enough for me to give them another try.
Tony, a designer at Third Eye Mirrors, was nice enough to send me a selection of their products, so I am going to try each one and see what I think. Currently, I have the bar end mirror that you see here mounted on my fixed gear commuter bike (sorry for the poor photo quality, it was dark and wet this morning when I took this shot). Anyway, installation of the mirror was a cinch. I just removed the bar end plug, inserted the mirror, and twisted it clockwise to tighten. As the bolt inside compressed the rubber grommets, they expanded to make the connection nice and secure. Once I got the angle of the mirror right with my drop bars, I tightened the screw at that connection and that was it. I have only been riding with this mirror since late last week, but I like it so far. It is there when I want to glance at it and otherwise is out of my way. I have only ridden once with it on a very busy road with peak traffic, but I can say that it is nice to be able see what is happening behind me at a glance. I plan to ride with this one for a while before I try the helmet mounted mirror, the eyeglass mounted mirror, and finally the tiny on-lens mirror that goes inside a pair of glasses. Once I get to them all, I will share my thoughts on each.
In addition to the mirrors, Tony also sent me a few of their ChainWatchers. I already installed one on my cyclocross bike, which has a compact crankset with a standard Ultegra 9 speed front derailleur. In muddy conditions I have occasionally dropped the chain on a downshift in the front even with the derailleur adjustment dialed in. I am looking forward to seeing if the ChainWatcher corrects that problem. It seems like a nice, simple little device, so stay tuned for my thoughts on it as well after I have used it for a while.