A bike mirror is relatively small but one of the most essential accessories you can invest in your bike. It will provide safety and serve as your third eye to successfully navigate any challenges on the road. It comes in different types, but the most popular is the bike mirror helmet and handlebar mirror.
But what are the differences between the two? These two mirrors are often debated among cyclists, arguing which is better bike mirror or helmet mirror?. But this article will compare bike mirror helmet vs handlebar in terms of their features and other factors to help bikers select the best mirror to use when on the road.
|Features||Bike Mirror Helmet||Handlebar Mirror|
|Shape and Size||Small and Flat||Bigger and Slightly Convex|
|View Quality||Will Give a Smaller Field of View||Will Give a Large Field of View|
|Maintenance||Requires Extra Attention||Easy Maintenance|
|Comfort||Reduce Comfort||More Comfortable|
Shape and Size
The first noticeable difference between these two bike mirrors are their shapes and sizes. You will notice that handlebar mirrors are generally bigger than bike mirror helmets. It is also available in various shapes and sizes, but most come in slightly convex designs.
This type of design will result in a wider field of view which is beneficial to the biker. Handlebar mirrors are installed on the bike’s handlebar, which means it is a must for you to find the right location in the handlebar that will give proper adjustment and proper image on the road while you are biking.
On the other hand, the smaller helmet mirror usually comes in a flatter design, resulting in a narrower field of view for the biker. The upside with this mirror is it gives the biker the chance to glance back just by focusing and seeing the mirror.
But the downside of the helmet error is in its location, which is usually at the eye’s level. It can sometimes block an object from a natural view. This situation only means that you need to move your head to see the object at a different angle. There is a learning curve to getting used to using this mirror on the road.
You can also tell the difference between these two mirrors by the quality of view they give to the biker. As mentioned earlier, handlebar mirrors are larger than helmet mirrors, which offers a larger field of view to the biker.
This large view is also beneficial and very convenient to the biker since there are only two ways you can change what you see in the mirror. One is to move the handlebar and the other is to let your body move fully for you to move your head entirely relative to the mirror.
However, the convex design can also give some inaccuracy to the image shown in the mirror. The reason behind it is that any object which appears in a convex mirror appears far and smaller compared to its actual size and distance.
Meanwhile, the smaller size of the helmet mirror will give the biker a narrower field of view. You will see lesser things in the mirror than in the bigger and broader handlebar mirror. But the flat design will make the biker spot objects at a distance and the ability to give the biker the actual distance or anyone behind.
However, a helmet mirror will provide you with a unique advantage of scanning what is behind your head by simply moving your head. It may have a smaller field of view, but it can give you the option to see what is behind your head from different angles by moving your head.
Lastly, the helmet mirror, I should say, is better compared to the handlebar mirror when it comes to road vibration. Since the helmet is attached to the head, the vibration will only be absorbed by the biker and not the mirror, which means it has a clearer image.
I can say that the maintenance of the handlebar mirrors is easier compared to the helmet mirror. For one, handlebar mirrors are only mounted in one particular place on the bike. So, you can leave the mirror in the handlebar even into the next ride.
I also like that handlebar mirrors can be adjusted easily anywhere on the handlebar. Since it is attached with bolts, the inconvenience is lesser to the biker. You can easily position it anywhere on the handlebar to find the perfect angle for you.
The handlebar mirror will require a little bit of attention once it is installed at the end of the handlebar, especially when maneuvering between cars or even getting into tight spaces. It will be better to install the mirror, not at the farthest end of the handlebar.
On the other hand, the helmet mirror will need you to do extra maintenance and attention. The biker will need to be extra careful, especially in taking off the helmet mirror. As a form of maintenance, it will be better for the biker to take it off and put it away once it reaches the destination.
You can also compare these two mirrors by the comfort it brings to the biker. Since handlebar mirrors are installed in the handlebar and far away from your head, they will not disturb the natural view of your eyes. This comfortability cannot be said with the helmet mirror.
A helmet mirror tends to bother your front view, especially if you are not familiar with using it. This type of mirror is also very close to the eye, which means you need a lot of effort to focus on the object of the mirror.
The odd look of the helmet mirror also somehow reduced the comfort it brings to the biker. It can be uncomfortable for bikers to see other people always asking questions about the uniqueness of the design of the mirror.
Comparing bike mirror helmet vs handlebar is needed for you to understand which is better between the two mirrors. Both of the mirrors come with advantages and disadvantages for a biker. All you have to do is look for the right mirror which fits your needs and requirements on the road.