The Take-A-Look mirror is often called the best rear view mirror for cyclists and after using it for 3 years, we’d have to agree.
We call this mirror our lifesaver because it provided a constant view of what was happening behind us. When a car was approaching too quickly or about to pass too closely, the Take-A-Look mirror ($13.90 from CycloCamping or $16.95 from REI) gave us the vital extra few seconds we needed to react and either get out of the way or signal our presence to the car driver.
For such a valuable tool, the Take-A-Look mirror is very simple. An acrylic, square mirror sits on the end of a wire. That’s it. There are no fancy mounting systems to deal with. You just slip it over the arms of your sunglasses or onto your helmet. We always used it on our helmets.
Watch this video where we explain the mirror, or scroll down to read the rest of the review.
The mirror can pivot in all directions, and the wire that allows the mirror to attach to your glasses or helmet also swivels, helping to ensure a secure fit. That said, once you find the perfect position for your mirror, most cyclists like to fix it in place with a bit of tape or a zip tie and this makes double-sure that it doesn’t fall off unnoticed while you’re riding.
Adjusting The Mirror
Getting the mirror in the right position can be a bit tricky the first time around so give yourself at least a couple days to play around with it and find the sweet spot. Try not to get frustrated. The convenience of being able to see what’s going on behind you with a simple glance upwards is priceless and definitely worth the time it takes to figure the mirror out.
We got so used to having our Take-A-Look mirrors and using them that we found ourselves trying to look behind ourselves using the mirror while walking down the street. Our eyes would roll up and slightly to the left…. and then we remembered we didn’t have our helmets on!
One tip for finding that perfect position: get someone hold your bike steady while you hop on the bike and then fine-tune the mirror’s angle. Just being in the riding position helps you to get a feel for where the mirror needs to be. When you get the mirror where you want it, a little bit of duct tape will keep it in place long term. The only time you need to readjust it is if you change helmets or go cycling in a country that drives on the other side of the road.
Aside from the safety factor, there are 3 things we really appreciate about this mirror:
1. It’s indestructible – We can’t tell you how many times we dropped our helmets or banged them against something. Often the mirror took the brunt of the collision. Despite this, there’s not even a scratch on it after 3 years of heavy use. The metal is also still in fine shape.
2. It’s a conversation starter – A helmet-mounted rear view mirror is still a novelty in most of the world. We aren’t exaggerating when we say 100s of people asked us where we got it and how they could find one too. These questions were often the opener to some of our most memorable encounters on the road.
3. No vibrations – We’ve seen handlebar mounted mirrors that vibrate so badly, it’s hard to properly see anything in them. We never had that problem with the Take-A-Look mirror.
It’s hard for us to think of any bad points about this mirror, other than the slightly difficult initial adjustment. Once you have it set up though, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.