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Mirrors should be compulsory not bells

shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
edited October 2009 in Campaign
As it says.

I can never see the point of a tinkly little non directional bell being compulosry on a new bike.

I've got a voice and 'excuse me please, coming through on the left' or in rare emergency situations 'get out of the f***ing way' is far more effective than a feeble little ting ting ting ting.

I've not got eyes in the back of my head though and have had an accident due to having been looking backwards ready to turn right when a car emergency stopped in front of me.

I've ridden with morrors on my bike ever since, small and unobtrusive ones Zefal Dooback and Zefal Spy ones, depending on the type of handlebar. that don't rattle about anf give a distorted or vibrated to bits reflection.

they don't weight a lot or get in the way and they don't replace a quick look round right before a manouvre but have made me feel a lot safer and far more aware of my surroundings 360 degrees because I'm not losing sight of the cars, potential pedestrian stepping out in front of me nor the crud and potholes coming up whilst craning my head all the way round to check stuff behind me.

Posts

  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Well, they shouldn't be compulsory, cos just like bells most people rip would them off and bin them. Furthermore lets say there's 50p worth of stuff being binned each time, wouldn't it be better for all those 50ps to go to charity rather than to end up in landfill?

    How many bikes get sold in the UK each year?? That money could do some good. Plus how many people get killed cos they didn't have a bell?? cos I think that no matter how frantically I pinged one I couldn't alert an oncoming car to my presence. And... perhaps people who don't have bells constantly ride flat out into pedestrians and think 'I must get a bell, Im hurting a lot of people everytime I go out'.

    To be serious I do agree though that in cities these things can be useful, but if you go out cycling in cities you should be intelligent enough to buy any gear that you think you need. Compulsory supply is daft cos of the enormous wastage.
  • I can never see the point of a tinkly little non directional bell being compulosry on a new bike.
    Get one of these Megahorns. I have used one for cycling in traffic for the last 5 years and it is excellent. A bit scary for pedestrians if used too close - makes them jump, but as an advance warning fine. The battery lasts for well over a year, but the rubber strap supplied with the unit is useless - it deteriorates very quickly. I have replaced the strap with a woman's elasticated hairband and they come in various sizes - you can buy a set for a few pounds at any accessory fashion shop.

    They also do a mini Buddy Megahorn, but that's a waste of time.
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Mirrors are bad IMO.

    Much better to look/glance behind as when drivers see you doing this they usually slow down to give you room. Ok this does not always happen but it keeps the driver behind you alert.


    I have too had the issue of looking behind and the car in front of me suddenly slowing/stopping. Thankfully no accident.
  • If you can't look over your shoulder safely, then you need to practice it :roll:
    In fact I suspect about 60% of cyclists can't look over their should and ride in a straight line.
    Well worth practising if you want to stay safe.

  • they don't weight a lot or get in the way and they don't replace a quick look round right before a manouvre but have made me feel a lot safer and far more aware of my surroundings 360 degrees because I'm not losing sight of the cars, potential pedestrian stepping out in front of me nor the crud and potholes coming up whilst craning my head all the way round to check stuff behind me.

    ahem. :roll:
  • sirmysirmy Posts: 67
    Wouldn't be without my little Blackburn mirror, it makes life so much easier. With a mirror I I have a far better idea of what's behind me and I check it far more often
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I completely disagree, once you introduce reliance on mirrors, you introduce blind spots to cyclists, a mirror shows a tiny little spot of what's behind whereas with your own 2 eyes you can see much more. Cyclists are very easily able to throw a glance over the shoulder to ascertain what's going behind, bikes have no bulky framework like a car and cycle helmets do not obstruct peripheral vision as do motorbike helmets. Looking over your shoulder has the added advantage of letting whatever is approaching from behind know that you are aware they're there. Also looking in a little mirror also requires you to refocus on the mirror and then back onto the road ahead, ok this happens very quickly but I would prefer not to.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • berlinerberliner Posts: 340
    One's right ear should be compulsory.
    It comes 3rd after eyes and brakes
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    berliner wrote:
    One's right ear should be compulsory.
    It comes 3rd after eyes and brakes

    Rules out the deaf then!
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • ok maybe I should have worded it better I was more complaining about the bell - why and who keeps them on? they are a total waste of bar space - if there has to be a compulsory 'safety feature' sold on a new bike I think that mirrors are more worthy than bells.

    I should add tho that I do look behind before making a manouver -particularly turning acoss traffic and have a very well attuned right ear, but I also have permanantly damaged vertibrae that nearly stopped me riding bikes altogether. A decent quality mirror (or in my case two - no blind spot that is not covered by my peripheral vision) are a godsend in reducing the wear and tear on my neck and the pain that this can cause by allowing me to do the routine rearward checks just to keep tabs on what might be coming up without screwing my head round any more than I need to do to be sure of being safe.

    Flicking my eyes to a mirror and then back to the road is far less of a distraction and requires far less refocussing and gives one hell of a lot less of a forward blind spot than looking completly in the opposite direction and then back again.

    however there are 99 complete [email protected] mirrors out there for every one decent one that gives a full and vibration free image - it takes time and a lot of money down the drain or arguments for refunds, to actually find the one that suits your own riding style and handlebar choice.
    Can I hazard a guess that those slating mirrors have only used one or two, if any, before deciding they are useless? It took me a good half dozen or so before I found the ideal flat bar one for me and the same again for moustache bars as the flat bar one's ratchet system wasn't up to that much curvature. but in my case needs must - I either don't ride at all, I ride distracted by unnecceasary pain or I ride with mirrors.

    I never found one on drop bar bikes that was of any use whatsoever and nowhere near as good as a peek under the right arm or a proper turn of the head. Flat or moustache bar bikes have a far more upright and forward facing gait so even with a perfetly fit and healthy neck I'd still have a mirror simply for the physical position I take up on the bike.

    but each to their own. maybe if I was a mute my opinion of bells might change too :wink:
  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    I am getting a mirror fitted to my bike on the basis of having no periefral vision in my right eye, so even if I do look over my right shoulder I don't actually see much.

    as for being compulsory, no I wouldn't say that. it should be choice

    I would however say that selling a bike with a set of lights is far more valuable than bells or mirrors
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    I've got a voice and 'excuse me please, coming through on the left' or in rare emergency situations 'get out of the f***ing way' is far more effective than a feeble little ting ting ting ting.

    I've not got eyes in the back of my head though and have had an accident due to having been looking backwards ready to turn right when a car emergency stopped in front of me.

    I've got a neck, as you have a voice, therefore don't need eye's in the back of my head to see behind me.
    As for running into the back of a car whist looking behind you, (obviously I wasn't there but) I'd suggest you were either too close to the car in front, or spent too long looking behind you and not where you were going.

    Not a flame, just my thoughts :)
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • MattC59 wrote:
    I've got a voice and 'excuse me please, coming through on the left' or in rare emergency situations 'get out of the f***ing way is far more effective than a feeble little ting ting ting ting.

    I've not got eyes in the back of my head though and have had an accident due to having been looking backwards ready to turn right when a car emergency stopped in front of me.

    I've got a neck, as you have a voice, therefore don't need eye's in the back of my head to see behind me.
    As for running into the back of a car whist looking behind you, (obviously I wasn't there but) I'd suggest you were either too close to the car in front, or spent too long looking behind you and not where you were going.

    Not a flame, just my thoughts :)

    fair points, no flame taken. :)

    My neck has sustained hefty damage that makes too much unnecessary turning it a very painful experience.

    I take your point on looking back but it was an emergency stop situation on a busy road in rush hour, I'd taken a central position ready to dash for a right filter lane and was keeping pace and close distance with the cars as a courtesy to the fact that its an aggravating stretch of road at the best of times and me p**sing people off by leaving big gaps and pottering along wouldn't bode well for the next days commute amongst the same people.

    A van just heaved through a give way line into a space that wasn't there right into the path of the car in front of me and unfortunately she went 30 - 0 and veered right in a matter of feet just as I was looking back judging where the best gap was coming to slot out into the RH filter lane, one of those things TBH and one of those glances I use my mirror for now before the actual look round to make that manoeuvre.
    With several more years experience under my belt, now I might be a bit less concerned with upsetting my motorised commuters than I was then and have taken position at a pace and distance that suited me more than them.

    I think I didn't do justice to my bells are pointless thinking when I posted this thread initially but as with the crash, I live and learn.

    and has also been mentioned Lights might be better than both if there has to be a compulsory safety feature

    so all round there a few lessons learned on the art of the campaign post :wink:
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,558
    volvicspar wrote:
    If you can't look over your shoulder safely, then you need to practice it :roll:
    In fact I suspect about 60% of cyclists can't look over their should and ride in a straight line.
    Well worth practising if you want to stay safe.

    Too many people not wearing heaphones and relying on their hearing :P
  • Compulsory mirrors on bikes would lead to a significant increase in accidents involving bikers of the fairer sex. FACT. :lol:
    Bald is Beautiful
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