Cars have mirrors; motorcycles have mirrors—why not bicycles?
It’s gotten to the point that many cyclists don’t know bicycle mirrors exist. If they do, many don’t think they look good.
Others think they’re tools utilized by the overly cautious—but everyone on the road should be cautious.
If you want to stay safe on the streets, here are my picks for the best bike mirror for road bikes:
Before we get into the detailed reviews, you should know the different types and what to look for in a mirror.
Types of Bicycle Mirror
My favorite is a handlebar mirror, with the bar end as a close second, but check out their details to see which you prefer.
Handlebar mirrors leave nothing up to question. They either fit around or attach to your handlebars. I prefer the latter, as it’s more secure.
This type is usually an upright mirror and is typically the most adjustable. Their main issue is that if they’re short, your hand or arm may block your view.
End Bar Mirrors
End bar mirrors are similar to handlebar mirrors, except they’re more like car mirrors. They usually lie horizontally, protruding from the ends of the handlebars.
I find these are more difficult to block, depending on your cycling position. Although, they usually lack a taller, more flexible arm. They’ll pivot, though, so you can change your viewing angle.
Helmet or Visor Mirrors
As the name suggests, these mirrors mount to your helmet or visor. Their main advantage is that you can’t block them.
On top of this, you only need one, compared to handlebar mirrors, that you either have to move from bike to bike or buy separate products.
I often find this type of mirror distracting, though, as it’s always in my peripheral vision. If you find this easy to ignore, then these mirrors are better suited to you than to me!
Features in Road Bike Mirrors
When shopping for a road bike mirror, there are certain things you want to be aware of.
Rest assured, each mirror I’ve included hits the correct mark. But, how do you know which is the ultimate best for you?
Not all mirrors and handlebars make a match. So, you should always look for universally compatible mirrors.
This won’t matter for helmet-mounted mirrors. But for everything else, inspect your bicycle after you pick your mirror. If you see no way to mount your selection, consider the helmet option.
Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes. Below, I’ve listed some that are tall, square, small and round.
I prefer the large, non-circular mirrors. I can see more before adjusting. But, the small and round kind are more subtle and rarely get in the way.
It largely comes down to preference. But, my advice is that the busier your route, the larger you should go. Motorists are unpredictable and can appear out of nowhere.
The arm length holding the mirror matters, but only on the ones that stand up.
Helmet-mounted mirrors are mostly made equal, and handlebar-end mirrors typically stick a standard distance straight out or just below the handlebar.
To choose, consider your cycling position. If you have large hands, they may block a mirror with little-to-no arm. If you cycle with your forearms slightly raised, it may block some of a relatively short-armed mirror.
I prefer a long arm in handlebar mirrors so the mirror is more level with my chest. It doesn’t take great effort to look down, and I know I won’t block it.
I like a 360-degree view of my surroundings. This is why my preference is a highly-adjustable mirror on each handlebar.
The general rule to remember is that the more adjustable the mirror, the more you can see.
Some mirrors will only tilt, letting you view various angles behind you. Others will also swivel, letting you see more to one side.
I like mirrors with multiple adjustment points. I want to adjust the height, tilt and swivel of my mirror.
Consider how you like to adjust and check behind you, and buy accordingly. There’s a vast array below, from those that tilt and swivel to a mirror with a very bendy arm.
Also consider whether adjusting your mirror mid-ride is important to you. If it is, consider something small, so you can keep your hand resting against the handlebar as you adjust.
The sun can be a cyclist’s worst enemy. If your mirror picks up glare from the sun, it becomes almost useless.
Consider a mirror that blocks glare. Some of the mirrors below do—but others don’t, which are the more budget-friendly ones.
It may seem odd, but not all mirrors are made equal. Don’t expect to see what you see in your bathroom mirror—you need to see a large, looming object, not individual blades of grass.
Although some cyclists, like myself, prefer the hyper-detailed view. There’s a mirror in my picks you’ll love if that’s the case.
Primary or Secondary
I like a mirror on both sides, of the same size. Others prefer one large and one small. When shopping for mirrors, consider which use they’re best for.
Every mirror below can be used on its own. But, some are more suited to pairing with a larger counterpart.
My views purely come from a safety standpoint. Am I sometimes too safety-conscious and paranoid? Absolutely. But it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Reviews of the Best Bike Mirror for Road Bikes
We’re starting with what I think is the best, and safest, bicycle mirror. Slip it onto any handlebar, and you’re ready to go.
Of note is that the body is sturdy but has enough flex to adjust easily. This lets you see an array of angles behind you. In addition, it ensures it never gets in the way of your handles on the handlebars. And it’s highly durable, surviving impact easily. Although, impact does move it out of position easily!
However, its main standout feature is the lens. Not all bicycle mirrors have reflections as clear as day, but this Hadny handlebar bike mirror does. To my mind, this is safer than seeing the basics. It helps you see small animals or distant vehicles speeding behind you.
On top of that, the lenses are anti-glare. So, even as the sun rises or sets behind you, the visuals remain clear.
Lastly, the lenses are eco-friendly—made from recyclable nylon fiber.
But, it’s more than just the lens that’s excellent here. The back of the mirror also has reflectors, so people can see you coming too—especially at night. I feel there’s never enough reflectors, which gives these mirrors a bonus.
- Durable frame that can survive impact.
- Easy to install.
- Clear lens with high detail and no warping.
- Incredibly flexible.
- Moves easily upon impact, including with potholes, according to customers.
For a chic and polished look, the Venzo mirror can’t do much wrong. It’s an excellent handlebar mirror with a long arm, letting you see far behind you.
Unfortunately, the arm isn’t flexible. You’re stuck with a mostly fixed view, but the lens rotates.
Even so, the view is clear in the anti-glare stainless steel lenses. You should face no trouble from a peeking sun, nor from impact—stainless steel shouldn’t shatter as easily as plastic or glass.
And, the lens will fold inwards upon direct impact, adding a further layer of protection. This helps you store the bicycle in narrow spaces without removing the mirrors. I feel this adds tons of convenience; however, don’t be too rough when handling it as some customers found the hinges to be weak.
- Durable stainless steel.
- Long arms.
- Anti-glare lenses.
- Inflexible arm.
- Weak hinges.
If you’re looking for an affordable mirror, here’s one to consider. I think the durability is worth way more than the price, though.
The mirror is small, but the steel lens is unlikely to shatter, with the frame being just as robust.
And, the frame is as flexible as it is sturdy. You can twist it every which way, providing a customized view and making up for its size. This makes it highly suitable for all types of handlebars, despite its short stature.
I must admit, this isn’t too extraordinary, though. It’s something for going back to basics, staying inexpensive. I feel it’s best utilized as a secondary mirror you can adjust as you go. Meanwhile, a larger, static mirror could be your main.
Also, it tends to vibrate a lot when in motion. There’s another reason to use a more stable main mirror and this one as a secondary.
- Small, so easy to store.
- Complete rotation.
- Durable lens and frame.
- It’s a little too small to be a main mirror.
- Vibrates harshly as you cycle.
Here is, in my opinion, the best mirror for road bikes for people who dislike handlebar mirrors. Eyeglass/helmet visor-mounted mirrors are harder to adjust while cycling but should never gain obstruction from your hands or arms.
The lightweight “Take a Look” mirror mounts to a visor or your helmet. It has a three-pivot system, so you can utilize many angles and easily adjust once you pause for a moment—or are comfortable steering with one hand.
In addition, its frame is durable, and the lens is very clear. It’s not HD or anti-glare by any means but should give you an unobstructed view behind you.
The best element isn’t in the lens or frame, though. In my opinion, it’s how well this will stay in place. It clamps in multiple places, so if one area becomes loose, it stays mostly secure. If you get paranoid and fidgety about attachments like this, it should set your mind at ease.
- Adjustable thanks to the pivot system.
- Durable stainless steel frame.
- Lightweight, frameless mirror.
- You only need one, regardless of your bicycle fleet.
- Grips/attaches in multiple places.
- The reflection isn’t HD.
- Lens isn’t anti-glare.
- You can’t adjust it easily while cycling.
The Third Eye mirror is another budget pick, and one I feel is best as a secondary mirror.
Its clutter-free design can go unnoticed on your bicycle, and its function is almost as uncluttered. It’s not a mirror you can bend and stretch, though, like some others I’ve reviewed.
It also doesn’t have a sleek look but is classic, almost bland, which I like. On top of this, it’s sturdy, durable and functional, which I love.
I also like how there aren’t too many moving parts that can break. The lens will tilt, and the whole piece will turn easily. This makes it great for quick adjustments to pick up areas your main mirror can’t.
But, it also works well on its own if you prefer a mirror you can constantly move, or as a small, set lens.
When pairing it with a larger main mirror, I’d choose something fully flat or convex. Customers say the Third Eye is a balance between the two. If you’re used to either-or reflection, this display may take some getting used to.
- Easy to mount.
- Small and discrete.
- Classic, basic look for the old-fashioned cyclist.
- Works well as a secondary mirror.
- It’s neither flat nor convex, which takes some getting used to.
- A little bland for flashy bicycles/cyclists.
Best Bike Mirror for Road Bikes Conclusion
For me, the best bike mirror for road bikes has to be the Hafny Handlebar Bike Mirror. The HD reflection is something I feel every bicycle mirror should have, but sadly they don’t.
I also love the anti-glare element, as I frequently have issues with the sun when cycling.
Lastly, the adjustability tops it off. I like a mirror that can show me everything there is to see, without so much as turning my head. It’s unfortunate how easily it can move position from bump, but someone handy with tools should find no problem tightening up the hinges and joints.