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Archive for April, 2011

Handlebar Mounted Bike Mirrors

There are many different types of bicycle mirrors. Some prefer mirrors that mount on the rider’s helmet while others prefer bike mirrors that mount on the bike in some way. There are even some riders who despise bike mirrors completely. Whatever camp you are in, here are some advantages and disadvantages to handlebar mounted mirrors.

There are various types of handlebar mounted bike mirrors. They can be mounted on the bar ends, clamp onto the handlebars or even stow into the bar ends when not in use. Depending on whether you have straight bars or drop handlebars as to which type of mirror works best. One of the most interesting types of bike mirrors for drop handlebars is a mirror that is not much bigger than the diameter of the bars which mount on the end of the drops and allows the rider to look straight down to see the traffic behind him.


  • Always on the bike
  • A stationary position in relationship to the handlebars


  • Of┬ánecessity, they must be larger than mirrors mounted closer to the rider’s eyes
  • Easy to steal
  • Easy to break in a fall
  • Constantly moving in relationship to the rider’s line of sight

Unlike glasses or helmet mounted mirrors, handlebar mounted mirrors are always on the bike. The rider does not have to remember to grab the mirror before heading out the door for a ride. The bike mirrors are connected to the handlebars; therefore, it is easy to temporarily twist the bars to get a different viewing angle.

However, because the mirrors are further away from the rider, they must be larger to get the same field of view that glasses and helmet mounted mirrors offer. The need to move the handlebars to get a better viewing angle can be dangerous or impossible in certain situations.

The most important thing about having a mirror on your bike is actually using it. Being aware of the cars, and other cyclists, around you will help keep you safe on the road.

Locking Your Bike

I came across an article on how to lock up a bike. The author has some good explanation and pictures. I encourage you to go read the whole page. But here are the highlights.

how to lock a bike

What needs to be locked?

  • Front tire
  • Rear tire
  • Frame
  • Seat

You can do some of these with the same chain or U-lock, but you will need at least 2 locks/chains to secure everything. Also the more locks the thief has to break the more likely you are going to encourage them to move on to the next bike and leave yours alone.

The wheels and the frame should be locked to each other and an immovable object such as a bike rack or solid pole. Even if your bike does not have quick release wheels, you must lock both of them. You can remove one of the wheels and lock it to the other wheel and frame if necessary.

Keep your chain as short as possible. The more slack there is, the easier it is for a thief to break it with a metal pole. This is even more important with a U-lock.