The science of rider awareness is similar to that of an automobile.
An automobile has a rearview mirror, side mirrors, and in more cases, backup cameras that let drivers know more about their surroundings.
With a shift of the eyes and the head, most drivers can become aware of their rearward surroundings without those devices blocking their forward view.
On a bicycle, it is more important to be informed about rearward surroundings, and it is advantageous to be able to accomplish this with the same type of movement.
There have been devices to assist riders with this, however, their design has discouraged more wide usage.
Mirrors mounted on the bicycle was one solution.
This makes some sense as mirrors are mounted on vehicles.
The disadvantages of their use reduces the number of riders using them. It requires an often awkward mounting system to the handlebars, and it alters the ‘look’ of a bicycle.
There have been some improvements to these designs, but inherently, they need to be relatively large and mounted outwardly to see around the rider.
This makes for much incidental re-adjustment when the bicycle is handled or stored. Usage requires more movement of the head/eyes and a momentary refocusing.
Whether crucial or inconsequential, the time/effort required to view rearward is increased and may be discouraging.
Finally, they may vibrate with the road surface and require constant re-adjustment.
Mirrors on eyewear was another solution.
Eyeglass mounted mirrors was a noble idea, however, the one mounting system in existence pinches the arm of the eyewear, altering its fit on the riders head, plus, it adds weight to the eyewear causing the eyewear to list to one side. One design affixes a small mirror to the inside of the riders’ eyewear. This idea is limited to riders who have short eyelashes and can wear their eyewear like readers.
Then, the solution to these ideas were to mount a mirror to the helmet.
This was the final idea, and there are many designs in existence. They vary in size and composition, but they are all quirky, and have some inherent design characteristics.
The size of most of them cause two issues.
- The first is a relatively large forward viewing blind spot.
- Even though it is all about safety, what is in front of the rider is often more important than what is behind the rider.
- Obstacles may suddenly change position in front of the rider, and that is very important.
- Secondly, it causes a ‘preoccupation’ with a rearward view, as a third of a rider’s field of view is obstructed with a rear view.
Additionally, depending on their construction, have certain characteristics.
- Some mirrors vibrate with rough road surfaces or even head winds.
- Some are really specialized on what type of helmet they mount. Some have very limited adjustment.
- Others, sad to say, are just bulky and ugly.
The Clearview Micro Mirror
The Clearview Micro mirror endeavors to limit the disadvantages of the above mentioned products.
It will not alter the look of a bicycle, and overall, it is meant to be the least obtrusive mirror on the market.
After prototyping, the present incarnation of the mirror works well with most eyewear as it does not mount to eyewear.
The small design keeps it unaffected environmentally, but most of all, its ability to be mounted in various ways allows the rider to control the amount of blind spot and the size of rear view image.
Cycling safety just became cool!