I wrote in a previous post how I appreciate mirrors on my bikes, even if fashion-wise they are the cycling world’s equivalent of the pocket protector. Fortunately, however, for my road bikes I have found an excellent solution that is both highly functional without offending my sense of style, and for my recumbent I have come up with one as well. Never mind that it was actually designed for an outside car mirror, and requires a little bit of modification. It only costs $2.49, is readily available at AutoZone and maybe other auto parts stores, and just requires drilling two holes and securing with a zip tie.
Below is a photo of my setup when I recently rode over to Walden and back on the ‘bent. (A write-up about that ride is coming soon.) A better placement would have been to secure the mirror about three inches lower so that it is actually below my left hand when I ride. When it’s above, the my arm and shoulder obscured my vision behind me, whereas when I placed my hand above (as on the shifter), I could see everything behind me.
The mirror is AutoZone part number YH-3503. It is especially useful (dare I say essential) on the recumbent since in the aerodynamic position I lay in, it is virtually impossible to turn my head enough to look behind unless I due a high-effort stomach crunch to sit up a bit.
The main drawback of it is that due to its convex glass, objects in the mirror are actually much closer than they appear. That is the tradeoff for having a nice wide angle.
Still, I think it is a nice-enough solution that I plan on buying another one to mount on my mountain bike as well, which I sometimes use for commuting into town. Once I do, I’ll be sure to post a report and a photo.
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