Bike Eye is a visibility aid that now comes in a second version, making it a suitable option for all kinds of bikes. However, the concept still relies on a clear, uninterrupted field of vision along the top tube so kitchen sink tourists and anyone else who uses large panniers and/or a big saddlebag will still need to look elsewhere.
You can fit it in under a minute using the supplied cable ties, and the softer plastics now used ensure a seamless, sculpted fit around most head tubes. They also insulate against road shock (one of our gripes with the original design) while the newly integrated nut and bolt make for easier alignment than previously. The mirror itself is unchanged, working to the same principle as a car rear view mirror, there is now though a new 10mm wider version available too. The flat glass plate won’t tarnish or peel and it provides better perception of approaching vehicle speed/ proximity than a convex design. When correctly set up it works by giving you a view between and under your legs - optimum viewing point is when your leg is at the top of the pedal stroke.
Setting the mirror in double-sided foam tape safeguards against splinter injuries in the event of a nasty spill. Both versions of the Bike Eye are beautifully simple to use, demanding the slightest split-second glance to see what's going on behind. The performance of the two different versions is neck-and-neck until we come to trailer and tag-along tugging. The original will suit those with the carefully laden low-slung slung BOB Yak genre whereas the bigger surface area wins hands down when habitually hauling box types.
A quick glance from my right eye was sufficient for most conditions so it's a boon for those with compromised mobility in the neck or shoulders. Twenty litre panniers on the rear rack had negligible interference with the line of sight so the Bike Eye shouldn't be rejected out of hand for commuting or weekend touring, but 40 litre models did obscure the view. However, whatever the context, Bike Eye should never substitute for regular over-the shoulder/ lifesaver checks, especially in congested traffic.
Design tweaks make the new version a great improvement over the original; a very clever concept.
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Make and model: Bike Eye bike mirror
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Bike-Eye® gives a rear view through the correctly angled mirror under the riders leg, along the line of the frame, therefore it's important a clear unrestricted viewing pathway must be maintained".
Works very well in most contexts aside from heavily laden touring and/or commuting with expedition type panniers.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, as a visibility aid for trailer tugging
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Generally, yes.
Age: 37 Height: 1.81m Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)