For a little while now I’ve been riding around with a new accessory and I think it’s worth sharing because it makes me feel a lot safter than wearing a helmet.
I’m not saying it makes me safer (I’m not wading into the dark world of injury and fatality statistics today) but having a mirror gives me a confidence when I’m riding that I don’t think I could get anywhere else.
I’ve tried a few different mirrors, both mounted on my glasses and my bike, and the Bike Peddler Take-A-Look Eyeglass Mirror has become my far-and-away favorite for a few reasons.
First, I prefer having an eyeglass mirror because I can use it on any bike I own. When I still owned a road bike with drop bars I had a mirror on my bar end which worked pretty well but I was always trying to figure out where to mount a mirror on other bikes, like my Brompton.
Some people have told me they find having a mirror in front of their face distracting but I found it faded from my awareness after using it a couple times. The only time I notice it’s there is when I look directly at it to see what’s behind me.
I also really enjoy how clear the mirror is on the Take-A-Look. I’ve heard it described as “optically accurate” which is a fancy way of saying “it’s a good mirror.” Other mirrors for bicycling I’ve seen have had small deviations in the surface or use a flimsy plastic mirror which leads to distortions in what you see behind you.
The Take-A-Look’s mirror is also superior to other eyeglass mirrors I’ve found because it’s oriented to give you the widest field of vision. Other mirrors I’ve found are small and round or mounted as a vertical oval. Having the Take-A-Look oriented as a horizontal rectangle lets you see the entire road behind you without the need to move your head much, if at all.
The mirror is also adjustable in all three axes, giving you freedom to adjust it however you need no matter what glasses you switch the mirror between.
The Bike Peddler Take-A-Look Eyeglass Mirror attaches to almost any pair of glasses with three rubber-covered tongs. You can bend and adjust the tons so they fit snugly on the earpiece of your glasses.
I should point out that this mirror does not work with eyeglasses with the thin, flexible earpieces that can be bent and still retain their shape. The flexible earpiece warp too much for the tongs to have a good grip. More common plastic-frame glasses and stiff, traditional metal framed glasses all work perfectly.
The mirror makes me feel safer because I can keep a constant eye on traffic coming up behind me. Whether it’s other bicycles, motor vehicles, or people walking I can know where they’re coming from and if I should adjust my position on the road before the pass.
When I’m turning or merging, the mirror gives me a good idea of whether or not I should turn around and have a better look. Most times I’m changing lanes or crossing other traffic I do look back directly with my eyes, but the mirror allows me to do it once when I need to instead of constantly turning my head, taking my eyes off what’s in front of me.
This little accessory, available for under $15 in most shops I’ve seen it for sale, is so helpful it’s a no-brainer for me. I’m so used to using it now that I find myself glancing at the spot in the air where the mirror would be when I’m not on my bike.