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MessengerMirror, a Cheap Eyeglass Cycling Mirror

Bruce left a comment on my review of bicycle mirrors: A shameless plug – I couldn’t find a mirror I liked or could afford, so I made my own. Please take a look… messengermirror.com

He and I exchanged some email, I went to his website and he sent me a mirror to review.

MessengerMirror

First reaction to the MessengerMirror

Holy cow, this came in a regular business envelope with part of a Wild Bunch fruit punch box as a stiffener. No wonder he can sell it for $4.99 plus .88 postage.

Second reaction to the MessengerMirror

This ain’t gonna work. This thing looks really Mickey Mouse. (OK, Mickey has been around a long time, so maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)

I wear wire rim glasses. I’ve never been able to get a Chuck Harris eyeglass mirror to work with them.

I wasn’t happy when I installed the mirror the way Bruce’s instructions show it on the bottom right. It didn’t give me a tight fit.

Bruce sent me a picture that another user had taken where he ran the glasses frame through in the opposite order. I tried that and it held the mirror much better.

MessengerMirror cycling mirror from sideHow did the MessengerMirror perform?

Not too badly. With a little adjustment, I could see behind me. I was a little more aware of the mirror frame in my peripheral vision than I liked, but that might go away with practice.

The mirror vibrated more than my Chuck Harris mirror, which is made from a bike spoke and is rigid. The mirror itself tended to “drift” from the initial left-right adustment. I could actually see it moving until it got to a place where it was happy. After a few adjustments, it must have figured out who was boss and decided to stay put.

It would work better on wider framed glasses

There was more movement than I liked. There was sort of a bounce to the mirror, which tugged on my glasses. I kept wanting to push up my glasses to compensate for it. In fairness, there’s not a whole lot for the mirror to grab on to with my skinny wire glasses.

Would I use or recommend the MessengerMirror

I’m going to give it a qualified endorsement. If you’ve always wanted to try a head-mounted mirror, but didn’t want to spend in excess of 20 bucks, this is a good introduction. If you like the MessengerMirror, then you’ve saved some money. If you like the concept, but don’t like the hardware, then go with a Harris or equivalent.

Chuck Harris Mirror on helmetI don’t think I like the concept of an eyeglass mirror since I wear the same glasses on and off the bike. I’d rather have a helmet mirror that stays in the same place instead of having to be put on and taken off.

And, I’ve got to be brutally honest here, the thing looks dorky even by MY standards. The piece that holds it to your glasses looks like something I’d rig up, and that’s not a compliment. Still, you have to keep saying to yourself, I can’t see it, it works and it cost $4.99 plus .88 postage.

Will it fit on a helmet?

I eyeballed it to see if I could make if fit on my helmet, which might erase some of my objections to the mirror. I’m going to let some glasses-wearing friends try it out first, then I might experiment with helmet mounting.

Bruce’s MessengerMirror video

Here’s a video that appears on the MessengerMirror website. It does a good job of telling you how to adjust it.

6 comments to MessengerMirror, a Cheap Eyeglass Cycling Mirror

  • Mark S

    I think this is good mirror from what I can see on your site and on his demo. It certainly was designed to be worn with sunglasses and not the thin frames that you have.

    I used the Chuck Harris mirror for a while (yes, the one you sent me) and while it was certainly strong, I thought that it weighed too much (not actual weight, so no cheap shots about how I measure each gram on my bike. I do, but not in this case.) and I never felt all that comfortable with it. I did stick the Chuck Harris mirror on my helmet, but the part of the mirror that had to wrap around the helmet always seemed to push uncomfortably into my head.

    I’ll order one of these from Bruce and give it a try because it is cheap enough that if I don’t like it I’m not out much and because I like the small profile of the design. While some might say the mirror is too small, I would answer that I only need to see that a car is about to hit me and not have to be able to see who is also in the backseat of the car.

    Thanks for the heads up on the new mirror!

  • Mark,

    I didn’t really have a problem with the small size of the mirror. It presents a clear picture of what’s coming up behind you, particularly when you get in the habit of doing a “head sweep.”

    I think you’ll like it. And, if you don’t, you’re still only out five bucks and change.

    As far as the Harris mirror being uncomfortable, I had that problem until I found just the right spot to mount it where it didn’t stick out past the foam.

  • First, I appreciate the review though the qualified Mickey Mouse bit wasn’t appreciated. Maybe I need to lighten up.

    The ever-present ‘dorky’ in the cycling world is growing thin with me… this is a (safety) TOOL.

    Please don’t buy it because its just the cost of a Value Meal, buy it because it lets you see cars behind you, some of which are not obeying the 3-foot law.

  • I forgot to say THANKS to you, Ken, for providing the venue for this discussion to happen.

    If anyone here buys a MessengerMirror, please don’t bend it up as much as he did.

  • Bruce has a right be sensitive to my criticisms: he’s the guy who invented it, sells it and gave me a free one to try.

    I think it does a wonderful job even without the “for its price qualifier.”

    But, I stand behind my comment that it looks “dorky” in the sense that it screams high school nerd holding his glasses together with duct tape. (Written with tongue in cheek, I think.)

    I feel totally qualified to judge dorky.

    I AM dorky.

    I wear a helmet mirror; I wear a Slow Moving Vehicle triangle on the back of my Camelbak; I have no less than three taillights; I have generator headlights AND a be-seen headlight; I carry enough tools and first aid supplies to be able to do brain surgery on you AND your bike on the side of the road.

    I do whatever it takes to make me more visible on the road. If I fail, then my goal is to make Wife Lila into Rich Widow Lila. I want her lawyer to be able to introduce a picture of me in my normal riding mode and ask the defendant, “And you’re client didn’t see THIS?”

    Of all the safety equipment I own, I rate the mirror as my most valuable piece. After all, the lights and reflectors count on the driver to be able to (a) see me, (b) comprehend me, (c) avoid me.

    The mirror puts me in control. With it, I can judge whether a, b or c is happening. If not, I can bail.

    p.s. Bruce, sorry for bending the mirror up so much. I was trying to get it working as quickly as possible, so I may have taken some liberties with it that caused some of the problems I described.

  • Phil O'Rourke

    great stuff guys

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