Review: Cycleaware’s Roadie Mirror

Full disclosure: I’ve resisted cycling mirrors for a long time…I’ve never really felt the need for such a device. If I wanted to see what’s going on behind me, a quick turn of the head has satisfied my curiosity. Even when I drive a car, I rarely use the mirrors (other than to check out who’s behind me at stoplights). Chalk it up to years of racing coaches who drilled into us that a quick glance back while holding a line was all we ever needed…coupled with driving instructors who insisted that nothing took the place of a glance back to check out the “blind spots” invisible to mirrors.

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I received Cycleaware’s Roadie Mirror for review — how was I going to remain objective and give this device a fair shake? Well, the jury’s still out on that, but here goes anyway:


The Roadie mirror is quite simple…one rubber plug that replaces the left-side handlebar plug on traditional road drop bars and a mirror assembly that fits into the plug. Installation is a breeze (30 seconds max), and the ball-and-socket design allows for quick adjustment and a vibration-free view.


The mirror assembly is solid but lightweight…made out of good firm plastic. The mirror itself is acrylic and is convex-shaped to allow a fairly wide view of the road behind the rider. The whole assembly seems fairly aerodynamic.

How did it work? Well…it certainly offers a pretty wide view of the things going on behind me, but I found that because of the convex shape, I was unable to determine distances of objects behind me and really had to analyze the view in order to make sense of it. I resorted to looking at the mirror and then turning my head to get a better understanding of the goings-on behind me. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a mirror, doesn’t it?

I also found the location of the mirror to be fairly awkward. At the base of the drops, it’s in an area I just don’t look at while I’m riding, so I had to consciously remind myself to look down into that zone. More seasoned mirror users may not have that same problem…


Finally, I often struck the mirror with my knee or leg when dismounting my bike, knocking it out of alignment. This is a pretty small gripe because the ball and socket arrangement offers very easy readjustment…fiddling with it for a few seconds put everything back in its place.

Verdict? Well, I’m still not a mirror convert — but I can’t blame that entirely on Cycleaware’s mirror. The mirror itself is a clever, well-made product — fairly unobtrusive and easy to adjust. For me, undoing decades of conditioning is the real sticking point…perhaps with a little more road time I will “see the light” and find mirrors like this more useful.

Cycleaware has a wide range of other safety accessories on their site. It’s worth a look. For me, I’m going to keep plugging away with the concept of mirrors on my bike and may give others a try to see what all the fuss is about…


  1. bikedate July 27, 2009 9:58 pm 

    they take practice… but i can’t ride without one. i have something like this (maybe the same brand, can’t recall) and while these drop bar types are the hardest to use, i still find it’s better than nothing. just to get the general idea of what is going on back there, and then when it’s time to make a move i check over the shoulder.

    keep trying, you might learn to love it.

  2. Tinker July 28, 2009 2:52 am 

    I learned to use a mirror through 35 years of Motorcycling. The Mirrcycle MTB bar end mirrors look more usable to me. There is another style from Mirrcycle (the Original) that might work without changes, and Rivendell stocks some German mirror that looks quite effective. If you try them first let us know!

  3. Mike Myers July 28, 2009 4:10 am 

    Thanks for the review, Jack. I thought the position might make it difficult to use the Cycleaware mirror. I use a helmet mirror, the one Bell made for the Metro helmet. While it’s not as round and big as some mirrors, the fact that it folds out of the way sealed the deal for me. I’m never without my mirror.

  4. Ghost Rider July 28, 2009 4:27 am 

    I’ve got a mirror that mounts to eyeglasses to review in a couple of weeks, too. I’m willing to keep trying to see if a mirror is for me!

  5. ksteinhoff July 28, 2009 5:54 am 


    It’s just what you get used to. I’d live up my left pedal before giving up my Chuck Harris helmet-mounted mirror.

    I’ve gotten so used to it that I find myself looking for it when I’m walking down the hall and want to check out something (someone?) behind me.

    I still do the head check to be sure (something that became second nature after serving as jury foreman in a case where a woman wiped out a motorcyclist with a bad lane change), but it’s just to confirm what I’ve been watching in the mirror.

    I never cared much for bar-mounted mirrors. They don’t contain enough information for my taste.

  6. Iron Man July 28, 2009 6:07 am 

    I have a similar style mirror from Sprintech. I love the thing. It’s less obtrusive than other mirror choices and more stylish in my opinion (most folks don’t even realize I have a mirror). It’s even aerodynamic. At first I was like Jack and thought it was hard to read what was behind me, but I got used to it. I see approaching traffic just fine with just a few glances, but still use a turn of the head from time to time in heavier traffic. Which isn’t all bad as turning the head is a helpful visual clue to drivers that you are about to do something and are being diligent to check traffic. I don’t think any mirror is intended to take away the need to turn your head—Driver’s Ed taught me as much. It’s still a good practice. I was never much of a mirror guy until I got one, now I feel naked without it.

  7. Ghost Rider July 28, 2009 6:17 am 


    the eyeglass mirror I’m going to review next is very similar to the Chuck Harris one…minimalist and very DIY-looking (but not made of recycled materials like the Harris).

    Iron Man — I’ll keep trying the Cycleaware mirror…perhaps I’ll get used to it!

  8. db July 28, 2009 6:59 am 

    I’ve been looking at those road bar-end mirrors for awhile, but just haven’t pulled the trigger. Thanks for the review.

  9. Dean Peddle July 28, 2009 7:33 am 

    Hey Jack…nice review. I’m a little surprised about you comment of not being a mirror person. I put on a mirror last year (helmet) and now can’t live without it. And coming from a racing background also I take the opposite approach and enjoy using in some good fast group rides…especially when I attack off the front…then I don’t have to glance my head. Once I started using it I actually wished I had one when I raced and can’t understand why nobody does. Car racers use mirrors…..why don’t bikers ?

    Anyways…my question is the view from different handlebar positions. Do you need to be in the drops to get a good view or can you get a good view up on the tops or hoods.

  10. Ghost Rider July 28, 2009 9:36 am 

    The view doesn’t change much whether you’re on the tops or in the drops…and you can always grab the mirror and tweak it a bit if needed.

  11. Elizabeth July 28, 2009 11:47 am 

    Let me know if you want another review of the mirror… The last one I had mounted to the drop-bars in the same way, but it had an “arm” that made it extend out and finally my bike fell and the mirror snapped off. I’ve been mirror-less for a few years now and wondered how these newer models work.

  12. Iron Man July 28, 2009 1:10 pm 

    Sitting up riding no handed will cause you to lose sight of the road, but then again you probably wouldn’t be riding like that in traffic anyway. Getting into an extremely aero position (forearms resting on the tops) will also cause you to lose your view of what’s behind you. Everything between the two extremes is well in view.

  13. Quinn July 29, 2009 9:10 am 

    am I the only one that dislike/can’t use a mirror?
    I find bar end mirrors Really annoying when parking a bike, and I stopped using helmet mounted mirrors when a bird or something reflected in the mirror, distracted me Almost getting me run over.

  14. Ken Sturrock July 29, 2009 12:09 pm 

    Love my helmet mounted mirror, but it took me three tries to find one that worked for me.

  15. brucew August 2, 2009 7:15 am 

    I never quite figured out eyeglass-mounted mirrors. Bar-end ones like the Cycle Aware are in the wrong place and I hit my knee on them in low-speed maneuvers. The ones that velcro on to the bars are always in the way.

    I found happiness with the Mirrycle Road Mirror for STI. It’s in exactly the right place, yet always out of the way, and I can see what I need to see.

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