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Reflecting on Reflection – The EVT Safe Zone Mirror

by Josh Lipton

I’ve been riding bicycles for a long time without ever having used a helmet mounted mirror, 33 years to be exact. And I know plenty of cyclists with far more miles under the belt who scoff at the idea of attaching a shiny piece of metal to their brain bucket as a matter of principle.

But recently, I pledged to myself to become more conscious of all of the things that I can do to be as safe as I can be on my bike. My three year old daughter and three- month old son have been a big part of my inspiration for this.

Reflecting on Reflection

Frustration

So as a part of this effort, I decided to give the whole helmet mounted mirror thing that old college try.

To begin my experiment in rearward awareness I ordered the best looking helmet mirror that I could find from our distributor QBP. As soon as my Dimension Helmet Mount Mirror arrived, I peeled off the sticky tape and stuck it on my helmet and went on my marry way.

Now I have to admit that having now found a mirror that works for me, I realize that even the best of mirrors takes some time to get used to. But with that said, the barrier for entry to this finicky device is made even higher if that device is, to be blunt, a piece of junk.

So here is my review within a review of the Dimension Mirror: #1. It was very difficult to adjust into position. #2. Once in position, it would come out of position with the slightest bump. #3. Even in position, the mirror did not provide a very worthwhile rear view. Not liking this first mirror I tried several others from QBP, also with similar lackluster results.

Redemption

At Interbike last Fall, I was on the lookout for interesting tools for our new tools department that we are experimenting with at BikeShopHub.com. The Efficient Velo Tools booth was displaying an intriguing lineup of high-end specialty tools for bicycle repair shops. After inquiring into the nature of their market and informing the booth babe (a surly gentleman in bike mechanics garb) what BikeShopHub.com is all about, he lead me off the scent towards their consumer product (I am guessing designed primarily to entertain lookie lous like me at trade shows).

EVT mirror on my dirty helmet

Behold the EVT Safe Zone Mirror. Right away this mirror looked different from other mirrors I’d seen simply because of the sizable diameter of the mirror, 2 and 3/8″ to be exact.

The other feature that stands out is the ingenious use of linkable nozzle pieces normally utilized for aiming spraying coolant while machining. The helmet mount and the mirror have been molded to engage with these linkable nozzles. The seven articulating plastic joints become the infinitely adjustable arm for the mirror to perch from. Efficient Velo Tool’s inspiration for their mirror design in fact came while machining their bicycle tools.

Having been disappointed by my first foray into the land of helmet mirrors, it took me a bit more time to get around to mounting the EVT mirror to my helmet. The safety monkey was gripped tight to my back and got the better off me within a month or so. Mounting relies on running zip ties through the helmet and through slots on the long curved mount.

Zip ties do the trick

Immediately, I had the sense that this was going to be a very different experience. I was able to tweak the mirror into a somewhat useable right away and I was off.

I’d like to say first and foremost that these mirrors actually work. They are both stiff yet adjustable so you can move the mirror into position and it stays. Second off, not only do these mirrors work, they work very, very well. They actually hold their position and they are truly adjustable for any configuration.

Huh, It Works

So I finally had an effective helmet mounted mirror. With something that actually works as intended, the question became, do I actually like the thing?

I found that getting used to having a mirror took some rewiring of my brain. With the new found ability to see behind me, I was constantly glancing into my mirror to the degree that I felt like I was loosing some of my concentration on the road ahead. And when I wasn’t glancing into the mirror, its presence in my field of vision was irritating.

For the first month or so, the mirror caused me to feel slightly distracted and disoriented. I decided to stop trying to get used to it by using it obsessively and to just get used to it being in my field of vision. That was the ticket, after another month, I’d grown used to the mirror and was occasionally using it to my benefit.

Basically, the helmet mirror has become a useful tool for certain situations. I most commonly use the mirror when the road ahead has something troublesome and I want to know what to understand what is going on behind me. For example if there is someone parked in the bike lane, and I need to go into the main traffic lane, glancing in the mirror gives me piece of mind. On the occasion that I find myself riding in highly trafficked areas especially if the bike lane is narrow, those are the few times that I really find myself constantly glancing into the mirror.

While I use the EVT Safe Zone Mirror to inform me of traffic’s whereabouts, I don’t rely on it when making a left turn. Just like in a car, I always check my blind spots with a look back.

An unexpected experience with the mirror is using it with a sunrise or sunset at my back. In these circumstances, glancing into the glaring sun render the mirror useless. I consider myself to be fortunate in having a westward ride into work, eastward on the way home. With the sun at my back, I generally don’t even wear my sunglasses. But depending on what time I ride in and ride home and the time of year, the sun in my mirror can render it useless.

I think my favorite part about the mirror though is the fashion statement aspect. Be bold, be daring, never look back… except whenever you need to with ease.

Helmet mirror mug shot. Verdict is guilty of promoting BikeShopHub.com

 
BOB Trailer x 2

10 Responses to “Reflecting on Reflection – The EVT Safe Zone Mirror”

  1. plh says:

    I have been happily using the Take-a-Look glasses mounted mirror for years. It is inexpensive and easy to use. I tried various helmet mounted mirrors and was never happy, but this one looks like it may be worth looking into. Leaving it attached to the helmet could be easier than taking the Take-a-look on and off my glasses all the time, although that is a snap.

  2. Steve C. says:

    Dang, that thing is enormous! I think that thing would seriously get on my nerves. I much prefer having my mirror on my handlebar instead, thus keeping my field of vision unobstructed. I suppose, though, if it works well for you, then more power to ya.

  3. Jack says:

    I hope it’s just the camera angle…….but that’s a big mirror. The Take A Look model is pretty nice. Not mounted to the helmet, mounts to my glasses.

    Good luck with that one.

  4. Bill S. says:

    I’ve been using the EVT for three years now. I wouldn’t ride on the road without it. Big? yeah, so you can actually see what’s sneaking up on you.

    Does it get in the way? Nope, not for me anyway. Oh, and this mirror is glass, not some weird plastic. You can see far better with this mirror than most others I’ve examined.

  5. Lori K says:

    Because of my fear of riding alone, cars and safety, I only cycle with a friend or my cycling group.
    I’ve struggled for years with looking behind me as I cycle. I’ve thought about a bike mounted mirror vs. a helmet mounted mirror.
    The helmet mounted mirror looks nice, but is it big? Does it get in the way?
    I’m really considering a bike mounted mirror on my handlebars.
    I’d like to hear more reviews on this specific mirror.

  6. Charles G says:

    I ride in Washington DC. Like Bill, I’ve had my EVT for about 3 years. Before it I had a smaller mirror. It was nice, but the EVT size is just right. For me it’s now hard to ride without one and feel safe. The EVT is attached to my helmet. It’s size lets me clearly see the vehicles that are approaching and how close they are to me. Helmet-mounted the mirror is always in the right place at all times.

  7. Izzy says:

    I have to say, I used an EVT Safe Zone on my tour down the West Coast, and I’m convinced it saved my life on several occasions. I would recommend this 5 times over, if only for the impressive quality they built it with.

    I actually had a different, smaller mirror before hand on the mirror, but it was too small and moved around a ton. On the trip, I often wanted to know what kind of truck/RV was approaching me and the aggressiveness with which someone behind me was driving. This can be helpful in more urban places, too.

    This is my first time commenting on this website, and it’s because I feel goddamn inspired to–this is one of the bast purchases I’ve ever made.

  8. Jill says:

    I am a new bike-commuter and would like to have a rear-view mirror. Not sure I would like the one on the helmet. Can anyone recommend a handlebar mounted one?

  9. Ed N says:

    A helmet mirror, especially one this big, should not be mounted so that you can look behind you without turning your head. Adjust the mirror so that using it requires you to turn your head about as much as using the side mirror of a car. That way it is farther out of your normal vision, and high beam headlights don’t nail you.

  10. Thanks for your review Josh, and sorry it took me a year to find it! I’m with EVT LLC, makers of the Safe Zone Mirror. Here’s some details: The mirror is 2 1/2″ in diameter. It is the biggest helmet mirror on the planet, for sure. The image is distortion-free due to the flat reflector. It is high-end plastic, not glass, but the image quality is just as good. You can read the details of the world behind you, including seeing if a driver is on the phone or not. The weight is minimal due to the super-secure attachment system and the fact that it stays put where you adjust it. We prefer a Safe Zone helmet mirror to a handlebar mirror because it’s vibration-free, has a larger field of vision, and can be aimed in a split second. That said, if a bar mount works for you, please use it with our sincere support! We promote mirror usage in general. The Safe Zone is nothing more than our attempt to get more people to use mirrors. ANY mirror that works is a great solution! Find it and use it. That’s all we ask. Thanks, -Andy, EVT LLC

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