Everything You Need to Know About Bike Mirrors

When it comes to safety on the road, a mirror on a bike should be on top of any bike rider’s list.

Do you use your bike for your everyday use, like home to work and vice versa, a trip to the grocery store, and more like me?

Then you know, looking over your shoulder constantly for incoming traffic can be gruesome.

Looking over your shoulder from time to time can be very distracting. It can be dangerous at times as you would not see the obstruction that may lie ahead.

A good quality bike mirror helps immensely in keeping track of approaching traffic and allows you to avoid any obstructions and danger.

A set or just even a single mirror can be an excellent accessory for your bike.

It does not take a huge space and saves your neck some unnecessary twists and turns.

It may come off as a surprise to many cyclists around, but bike mirrors do not have to be big and bulky. They can be small and slick.

Bike with a Mirror (Source: Pixabay.com)

If we have done our job and compelled you for your safety and overall biking experience, you should know the following things before going out and picking out a pair of bike mirrors.

  1. Types of mirrors used in bikes
  2. Advantages of using mirrors
  3. Disadvantages of using mirrors
  4. Things to consider before buying a mirror
  5. Best mirrors on the market

I know it can sound like a lot, but it is not.

If you keep the things we learn here in mind while going out to buy a set of mirrors for your bike, you should be able to find the best one for you.

Why Do All Bikes Not Have Mirrors?

Not all bikes come with a set of mirrors equipped.

Manufacturers do not include a set of mirrors in bikes to save themselves some money and help bike shops make some more.

Another reason manufacturers do not include mirrors is that not all bike riders like to have a mirror attached.

Talking about myself, I was not too fond of mirrors attached to my bike. I felt like it was a set of unnecessary accessories for a bike.

And the fact that it adds a little weight to the bike did not help my cause.

Mainly in North America, bikes are mostly sold without the addition of external accessories that a rider might need to ride under different conditions.

External accessories like racks, a bell, a pump, and of course, mirrors are sold separately.

The assumption being, if a rider likes external accessories, they can get one separately.

On the contrary, if you look in Europe (especially Germany), they sell bikes more often with external accessories like racks, a bell, and mirrors.

Because people there use bikes more frequently for commuting around Europe, they come fully equipped for safety and convenience reasons.

Should Bikes Have Mirrors?

Now, if you ask me, I believe this is a matter of personal preference.

I think a bike should come equipped with a set of mirrors, or at the least, have a pair. Mirrors are incredibly useful on a busy road.

I believe mirrors in bikes are often taken for granted. A millisecond glimpse of looking in the mirror is very convenient than turning your head back and forth.

Having a good pair of mirrors on the bike helps you keep your eye on the road.

As mentioned earlier, a slight glimpse into the mirror can help you keep your head straight and avoid any unnecessary collisions.

Not just for turns, though, mirrors can help you constantly monitor the traffic behind your bike.

While riding a bike, you can nod off to the side to let a vehicle pass you. Moving slightly to the side can help you ride smoothly and avoid unwanted honking from the vehicle behind.

I strongly recommend that a bike have a good set of mirrors equipped to them.

It can not only help you ride smoothly and prevent you from straying into traffic, but the inexpensive accessory can keep you out of harm’s way.

Do You Need Two Mirrors On A Bike?

The answer to the question, again, is subjective.

In most European countries, bikes only have a left-sided mirror to see other vehicles and bikes approaching from behind.

While in the United States, bikes and vehicles are driven on the right side of the road. So, most of the American riders are accustomed to having only a right-side mirror.

Now, if you would like to be extra cautious and want to be aware of all your surroundings, you should get a good pair of mirrors.

The mirror will help you keep aware of your surroundings and save your neck some turning back.

I would always recommend a rider getting a pair of mirrors. It makes a rider's life very easy and convenient.

Types of Mirrors Used In Bikes

There are three types of mirrors used in bikes. Let us check them out in more detail below:

1. Handlebar or Bar End Mounted Mirrors

Although all bike mirrors have the same purpose and function the same, the way they are attached to a bike makes them different.

Handlebar mirrors consist of a stand and would look like the mirrors you would find on a scooter. Bar end mirrors are most likely found on the end of the handlebars.

Handlebar mirrors are directly installed on the bike’s handlebars or the frame.

A Handlebar Bike Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)

As a rider, you can take a quick, easy glance down at the mirrors to see behind you without taking your eyes off of the road in front.

Some quick pros and cons of handlebar or bar end mounted mirrors are as follows.


  • It is easier to use for most bike riders as they do not give your headaches like other types of mirrors.
  • They are slightly heavier, which helps in their longevity.
  • It comes in various sizes for easy viewing.


  • This type of mirror can be easily knocked off of your bike or out of its intended position.
  • Outward extending models of such mirrors can make your bike wider, allowing you to squeeze into tight places.
  • Unlike helmet mounted or glasses mounted mirrors, you would have to adjust your viewing angle.
  • The things that you see behind depend on which position your handlebars are pointed, unlike other types of mirrors.

2. Helmet Mounted Mirrors

Like the name sounds, helmet mirrors mount into your bike helmets.

The mirror clips or clamps onto your helmet, making it easier for you to have a look back anytime with just a slight movement of your eyes.

Helmet mirrors usually pack an extendable or adjustable pole to help the bike rider place the mirror exactly as their preference.

These mirrors are easily attached to any style of bike helmets for more convenient and versatile use.

Some quick pros and cons of helmet mounted mirrors are as follows.


  • It helps you see behind you from all angles as they are attached to your helmet.
  • Lightweight, affordable, and versatile.
  • Easy to mount.


  • Such mirrors are attached with adhesives that could wear out and loosen up.
  • A rider would have to be extra cautious as they cannot just stuff the helmet into a bag or toss it around. The mirrors might break accidentally.
  • These mirrors are often attached with a ball-and-socket joint that could break easily. If the joint wears out, the mirrors could flop around.

3. Sunglass or Eyeglass (Glasses) Mounted Mirrors

Generally small and lightweight mirrors, sunglass mirrors mount onto your eyeglass or sunglass. The lightweight of the mirrors ensures your head does not weigh down.

Such glasses are very easy and convenient as they let you constantly see what is coming up or going on behind you without too much to do.

Sunglass or eyeglass mirrors are incredibly adjustable. If the mirrors impede your vision, you can just slightly move them from the left or right side of your face.

Some quick pros and cons of helmet mounted mirrors are as follows.


  • Easily attachable, detachable, and adjustable.
  • Some models can be mounted to helmet visors.
  • It gives you an excuse to wear glasses even if you usually do not. This would allow keeping dust, debris, and other things out of your eyes. It also helps prevent UV damage to the eyes, should you choose to wear sunglasses instead of normal ones.


  • It can sometimes give you migraine headaches because of looking at them from odd angles.
  • Some bike riders find them hard to use.
  • Very flimsy and easy to knock out of position.

Advantages of Using Mirrors

There are several advantages of using mirrors on a bike. Let us get to know some in detail.

Mirrors Help You Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Mirrors are an excellent tool for keeping an eye on things.

On bikes, they let you watch everywhere, just like a driver would in a car. They act like blind spots and lets you see what is behind you while you have a total concentration of what lies ahead.

If you are riding forward and see a distraction on the side behind, you can take a quick look instead of keeping turning your head back and get distracted. 

Keeping your head turned back can have some severe repercussions.

While riding on a smooth road, not all riders and drivers are fully concentrating.

If you see a raging car following you, you can just turn your bike to the side. Such a small glimpse and turn may prevent you from meeting an accident.

Swift And Efficient Turns

Mirrors are not only helpful in keeping your surroundings in mind, but they are also very efficient in turns. Not just turns, they can play a big hand in bypassing other vehicles or bikes as well.

Riding on the road can have many distractions—a crowd of people, a group of slow cyclists, and many more.

A slight and quick glimpse on the side mirror can help you bypass such distractions while being safe. It also enables you to keep an eye on incoming traffic before making a turn.

Make You Feel Safer

Having a good pair of bike mirrors is excellent for safety.

If you use your bike every day for every purpose like me, you know riding in heavy traffic can be dangerous.

In such a case, having the ability to look behind without actually turning your head is very helpful and helps you focus straight.

Mirrors also make new riders feel safe. As a new rider, you have a number of insecurities to look back and forth and check if a car or anything is behind you.

It can be very annoying and can help you feel very insecure and unsafe.

Mirrors help boost a new rider’s confidence as a quick peek can help them not see any obstruction behind, keep eyes on the road ahead, and ride much more smoothly.

Read More about 7 ways to be safe while cycling at city road

Make you More Stable

It can come off as a surprise to most, but having side mirrors makes you more stable.

Having a pair of mirrors helps you not moving around so much.

Looking at the mirrors saves your torso and neck from rotating and moving around a lot. Such slight movements can carry some serious weight and make you unstable.

Wonder why early riders fall from their bikes a lot?

Well, this is one of the reasons. Movements of the neck and torso will destabilize you on your bike and simply knock you out from your hands.

Avoid Pains

Like we already covered before, riding a bike without mirrors can cause your body some pain.

Having a good pair of side mirrors relieves your neck of turning back and forth constantly to check up on the following traffic. Neck pains are generally joint amongst riders that do not have mirrors.

Having a mirror also helps you stabilize and keep your torso in balance. A quick peek of the mirror can help reduce your back pain, and you do not have to turn frequently.

Improve Vision

Bikes require a lot of attention and focus. If you ride around busy intersections or highways, you have to worry about a lot of things.

I know it sounds repetitive, but mirrors enhance your knowledge of the surroundings. You have a clear picture of what is in front and behind of you.

Biking with mirrors is as if you were driving around in a smaller, compact car without any doors, sound system, windows, or A/C.

Disadvantages of Using Mirrors

Now we are not just saying a pair of bike mirrors are good. There are some disadvantages to having bike mirrors too.


Some types of mirrors can easily knock you off of your bike, or it requires a lot of adjusting.

Consider this scenario, you have been riding your bike for some years, and you decide to get a mirror. To check on your mirrors frequently, you would require to move your hand often.

Not all types of mirrors require you to move your arm, but under-the-bar models require you to. Moving your arm to see can be infuriating to a smooth rider such as yourself.

Size Does Matter Here

Adding a pair of glasses can make your bike wider. Getting into or squeezing through tight spaces can be a challenge if you have a couple of mirrors.

Bike mirrors should not be too wide nor too narrow. A rider should be able to look at a mirror and have a clear vision behind them.


Mirrors can elevate your distraction level as you would want to look at any minor distraction behind you. 

Distractions can take the concentration of a biker off of their mind and can lead to some accidents.

If there is a bunch of cute pups playing in a park behind you, you can be distracted to see them playing and not know what lies ahead.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mirror

Now before you latch out and go out to pick a set of mirrors after reading out the article so far, there are some things a good rider should keep in mind.

There are many designs and other factors to consider before buying a bike mirror. The mirror should suit your individual need. Let us know about them.

1. Size Of The Mirror

Bike mirrors come in different sizes. A rider should select the set that gives them the best view of their back and in front.

Now people might think big is always better; this is not the case.

The main job of the mirror is to provide a clear vision. Mirrors should help a rider have a clear visual of the road and do not reflect the sun in their eyes.

An oversized mirror is not preferable. Large-sized mirrors can result in unwanted glare and take a lot of space at the front of your bike.

A mirror small in diameter can be sufficient and ideal to stay safe while riding.

Picking out a small mirror does not mean getting the smallest mirror available. Mirrors that are too small would not leave the room required to have a clear vision.

2. Adjustability

A good quality set of mirrors should be able to be adjusted easily.

Efficiently adjustable mirrors help make quick and efficient changes as you ride your bike. A rider should be able to adjust their mirrors on their journey quickly.

However, you should keep in mind that if the mirrors are loosely adjustable, the mirrors are prone to vibration and can vibrate out of position depending on the quality of the road you are riding on.

A good quality mirror should have an excellent grip, firm, and adjustable easily without much work. They should be sturdy.

3. Compatibility

A good bike mirror should be readily available for all styles of rides like road, hybrid, gravel, etc.

A lot of bar end and handlebar options have a range of diameters they can fit.

As different bikes’ handlebars can come in different sizes, it is worth measuring the inside diameter of your bar ends and external diameters around the top of the handlebars.

4. Construction

Most of the bike mirrors come with a layer of plastic to protect the glass of the mirror. Plastic is cheaper for manufacturers, and as a result, more affordable to the buyers.

We recommend a rider find bike mirrors with a protective case made out of aluminum or plexiglass.

Now, these materials will take slightly more money out of your pocket. But if you are willing to make the tradeoff for a more durable, crack, and break-resistant product, you cannot go wrong with this.

If you are looking for a more premium model, they come with stainless steel surrounded. They might cost you more than the aluminum or plexiglass ones.

5. Pricing

If you are looking to get a set of bike mirrors for about $10 – $20, they will be generally smaller and not the sleekest looking.

While they get the job done, their design is not the sturdiest or the strongest. They are usually made out of plastic or aluminum to cut the cost of the mirrors.

If you are looking for a better set of bike mirrors, it would cost you $20 and up. 

Mirrors under the price range are modern and pretty decent in terms of design.

Mirrors can come in different shapes and sizes here, from circular to rectangular, and they can be adjusted more easily.

We have already talked about durability; mirrors under the price range are highly durable, wobble-free, and consist of anti-glare coating. Some can also feature stainless steel.

Best 5 Mirrors Available

Now that we have learned a lot about mirrors today, I thought I would throw in some recommendations for the best mirrors available on Amazon.

The mirrors have been selected based on their types. Please note that they are in no order whatsoever.

Let’s check them out.

1. Hafny Bar End Bike Mirror

If you are looking for the best and highly durable mirror on Amazon, you cannot go wrong if you choose this pick. The Hafny Bar End Bike Mirror is not the cheapest, but it is definitely worth the pick.

The Hafny Bar End mirror offers you years of maintenance-free service no matter how rough and tough you ride.

This bomb of a mirror is worth every adventure, be it commuting to work and home or another action-packed tour to the nearest hill.

Hafny Bar End Bike Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)

2. Mirrycle MTB Bar End Mountain Bicycle Mirror

The Mirrycle MTB Bar End Mountain Bicycle Mirror offers a high-quality convex lens attached by a pivot to an adjustable arm mount.

This mirror provides a wide selection of viewing angles. You can be fit the mirror to any size of handlebars or bar ends using their foolproof and easy-to-use clamps.

Mirrycle MTB Bar End Mountain Bicycle Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)

3. Bike Peddler Take A Look Cycling Eyeglass Bike Mirror

Bike Peddler Take A Look Cycling Eyeglass Bike Mirror is the latest helmet or eyeglass-mounted mirror to hit the market.

This mirror looks very high-tech with stainless steel 3-pivot system. It allows for plenty of adjustment to give the rider a wide availability of viewing angles.

The mirror can be mounted on either side of the helmet or glasses.

The mirror is made from durable, lightweight, frameless acrylic that offers bikers uninterrupted vision.
Bike Peddler Take A Look Cycling Eyeglass Bike Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)

4. Venzo Bicycle Handlebar Anti-Glare Mirror

Venzo Bicycle Handlebar Anti-Glare Mirror is a mid-range bike mirror that packs a lot of punch.

The mirror comes with a nicely finished polished stainless steel lens with an anti-reflective coat. The anti-reflective coat keeps the glare away from your eyes on sunny days.

The mirror has a solid nylon fiber arm mount that is very easily mountable to the many different handlebar types of the bike.

Venzo Bicycle Handlebar Anti-Glare Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)

5. Third Eye Bar End Bicycle Mirror

The Third Eye Bar End Bicycle is a budget mirror. The mirror is the best value for money with its uncluttered design, durability, and low price.

Although not as sleek as some other expensive models, the Third Eye Bar End Bicycle Mirror makes up sturdiness and functionality.

This mirror is for you if you put safety and reliability over design and appearance.

Third Eye Bar End Bicycle Mirror (Source: Amazon.com)


Thank you for sticking with us through this long journey.

Now that you have some good understanding of mirrors on a bike, go out and get yourself a good safety accessory.

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