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Seeing Clearly: The Importance of Mirrors for Recumbent Trike Riders' Safety

Welcome back to another Utah Trikes article. One of the most important things to do when riding a trike is to be aware of your surroundings and the best way to do that is with a mirror. In this article weíre going to talk about the importance of mirrors, what our favorite mirror is, and how to install it onto your trike. Letís get into it!

Now I know what youíre thinking, could mirrors possibly be that important, but keep reading and weíll shed some light on how mirrors can benefit your life. An important thing to keep in mind is that one of the main benefits of mirrors is the added safety that they can add to your ride. Safety is no laughing matter and itís important to make it a priority.

One more note to keep in mind before we get into the benefits of mirrors. In some places it can also be illegal to not have mirrors on your bike, trike or whatever type of cycling equipment you have that rides on the road. We recommend checking with the laws in your local area so that you can make sure that youíre safe and protected when youíre out riding.

Mirror Benefits

One of the first benefits of mirrors we want to cover is probably one of the most important ones and it's how mirrors let you see whatís behind you. Due to recumbent trikes being closer to the ground it can be harder for larger vehicles to see them. Due to this itís super important to be able to recognize whatís going on behind you so you can stay safe. Mirrors make this possible by helping you be able to see vehicles that may be coming up behind you.

Mirrors can help keep you safe when youíre riding on the road or in an unfamiliar or possibly unsafe area. We know that not everyone who has a trike will ride on the road but having a mirror can still be a good idea to keep you safe and aware of your surroundings when in an area that isnít super familiar with you.

Mirrors also make it so you donít have to turn your head to look behind you and then risk running into an obstacle on the road in front of you. Mirrors make it so you can easily look to see whatís going on behind you without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

Changing lanes can also become easier and safer if you have mirrors. Mirrors allow you to easily change lanes without having to check over your shoulder and see if someone is in the lane youíre trying to move into. This makes it so that you can seamlessly change lanes without having to pause.

What mirror should I get?

We offer a wider variety of mirrors at Utah Trikes some of the brands that we have available are zefal, 3rd eye, cycle aware, hp, and mirrycle. With so many mirrors in so many styles it can be hard to know which ones are right for you and your trike. So, we thought we would make a helpful guide to help you know which mirrors we offer, what trikes they work best for, and which one is our favorite.

Zefal offers a variety of mirrors, one of them is the zefal spin mirror. The zefal spin mirror is a Retractable handle-bar-end-mirror. The Zefal Spin mirror is a small and sleek mirror option for those that want a minimalist look. Ideal for mounting on the lower portion of the handlebar with the ICE mirror mounts.

3rd eye mirrors are designed to offer a wide angle of view by making the Bar End Mirror convex. The 3rd Eye Handlebar mirror is made of real glass that will not scratch or discolor. It mounts into all handlebar ends and is held super secure so that it won't vibrate out. It has a 3-inch diameter and weighs 3 ounces.

CycleAware is another unique mirror brand that we carry. One of the mirrors that they have available is the Cycleaware Wingman bar end mirror. The wingman bar end mirror is a teardrop shape and is perfect for any trike with horizontal handlebars or our UTCustom Super Mounts. The long mirror size allows for a wider field of view. Adjustable and stable. Easy on/off. Not recommended for Catrike mirror mounts.

Hp offers a variety of mirrors that work great with their trikes. All of the different mirrors they offer are functionally the same, but work for different types of trikes. They have an extra large field of vision so you can see everything going on around you. They have mirrors available for both their suspension and non suspension trikes so theyíre sure to have some thatíll work for you!

Out of all of the mirrors that offer our favorite and the ones we would have to recommend would be the mirrycle mirrors. The Mirrycle Mirror is our most popular mirror. It is a 3Ē round, convex glass mirror which is adjustable to any viewing angle. The Mirrycle Mirror is a no nonsense option, but everything it does it does the best. This brand is the most trusted brand by Catrike and as such can be found as the standard mirror on all Catrike models. The Mirrycle is the perfect mirror being able to see everything and also have it not be in the way. It may not cover quite as much surface area when you compare it to hp but itís an all around solid mirror and we recommend it.

Mirrycle mirrors will fit inside handlebars with a diameter of 13.75mm-22.5mm or .54 inches to .875 inches. This will work for any Catrike and every other trike that we offer here at Utah Trikes.

Install

When installing a Mirrycle mirror you will need to cut off the end of your handlebar grip or remove the handlebar plug. Whichever applies.

The Mirrycle mirror comes with two sizes of wedges. Begin with the larger wedge first to ensure the tightest fit. If it is too bulky then you will need to use the smaller wedge.

Here are Mirrycleís installation instructions.

1. Cut out the end of, or remove, the plug in the end of the left handlebar grip. To cut, use a fairly sharp knife and poke through the end of the handlebar grip then cut around the inside of the handlebar. If you live in a country where you drive on the left side of the road, cut a hole in the end of the right grip.

2. The Mirrycle comes with two sizes of wedges. Use the larger of the two wedges unless it wonít fit inside your handlebar. Assemble the appropriate wedge to the mirror base using the long bolt and the barrel nut. Put the long bolt through the mirror base and wedge and then screw it into the barrel nut. Pull the wedge onto the barrel nut to secure it.

3. Place the mirror base at the end of your handlebar. Push it in so it is snug up against the end of the handlebar grip. Position the mirror base so that the top of it tilts far forward (about halfway between straight up and parallel to the ground. If you have bar ends, position the mirror base so that the top tilts further down and out of the way of the bar end. Use the hex wrench that is included to tighten the bolt until the mirror base is secure in the end of the handlebar.

4. Attach the mirror arm to the mirror base. Put three small washers on a cap screw and insert it into the hole in the elbow end of the mirror arm. Now put a big washer on the cap screw and screw it into the mirror base and tighten it using the hex wrench. The cap screws are an extremely tight fit when screwed into the brass inserts. Keep the hex wrench pushed into the head of the cap screw while turning it. Donít worry about breaking any of the parts.

5. Attach the mirror holder to the mirror arm. Put one small washer on a cap screw and insert it into the countersunk hole in the mirror holder bracket. Put a big washer on the cap screw and screw it into the mirror arm and tighten it using the hex wrench included. As stated in #4 above, the cap screw fit into the brass insert is extremely tight.

6. Take a ride on your bike on a quiet street and adjust the mirror to get a good idea of what your view will be.

Tips

The installation of these mirrors is very simple and can be done in a matter of minutes. One thing that has been noted by some of our customers is that over time, especially after riding on jarring or bumpy surfaces these mirrors can become loose.

A work around that has been brought to our attention is using Loctite to hold it in place. However, and this is a BIG however. HOWEVER, when using Loctite you will cease having the ability for the mirror to be adjusted as it will be fixed in place. So if you are using this workaround make sure the mirror is angled the way you want as you will not be able to make adjustments without breaking the seal that the loctite has created and your mirror will be loose again.

We hope this article was able to shed some light on why you would need a mirror and on what mirror we and our customers recommend. Like we mentioned at the beginning of this article you can never be too careful when it comes to your safety and being aware of your surroundings. Nothing beats a mirror when it comes to seeing what's going on around you in spots you may not normally be able to see. Thank you all for reading. Make sure to comment on this article and let us know if you have a mirror on your trike and if it makes a difference on your rides.





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