Blackburn Helmet Mirror  £9.99

5/10

Good concept but easily misaligned and too sensitive to vibration

Weight 9g   Contact  www.madison.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   November 4, 2010  

Blackburn Helmet Mirror

Blackburn’s helmet mirror is a great idea but its susceptibility to vibration and misalignment can be extremely frustrating – especially at night.

The component parts are to Blackburn’s usual high standards. Flat glass is used to provide the most accurate reflection and it won’t fade or tarnish with age. This is set into an articulated body that's made from durable, high-quality plastics. This attaches to your helmet via a double-sided adhesive pad, and Blackburn have thoughtfully included a spare should you get the positioning wrong or need to swap between lids.

Initial alignment takes patience but turning your head about 20° and glancing in the mirror gives an uninterrupted view of conditions behind. Claimed to be a universal fit, in practice compatibility isn’t an exact science and is best with MTB-inspired commuter helmets.

There’s a definite knack to getting the best from this mirror, and I had a few outings along quiet rural lanes before I was confident about hitting the town with a laden trailer in tow. However, it wasn’t long before a quick glance was enough to see what was going on behind.

However, poorly surfaced roads caused it to blur uselessly, especially at night, reducing a procession of cars to a glimmering jumble of headlamps. Particular care was needed when removing the helmet at rest stops to prevent misalignment, although this in endemic to the breed in my experience.

Verdict

Good concept but easily misaligned and too sensitive to vibration

road.cc test report

Make and model: Blackburn Helmet 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?

"Lightweight helmet mirror for use in traffic or whilst training in a pack on the road

Fully adjustable mirror for a custom fit

Easy to install and adjust"

Broadly true, although it depends on the type of helmet you're using.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

No-quibble lifetime warranty

High grade plastic/toughened glass construction.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
6/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Blackburn's helmet mirror is convenient for those seeking an unclutterd look to their bieg. However, vibration and easy misalignment were my major gripes.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good quality materials and low weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Badly affected by vibation and too easily misaligned

Did you enjoy using the product? I had mixed feelings.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not really.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

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,

 

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I see a chap with one of these on my way to work sometimes - very unnerving to follow him, as he *never* looks around...

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
5th November 2010 - 9:37

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I ride with one of these! And wouldn't go back. They're great if you wear glasses.

When I lost mine (leaving the helmet attached to the bike on a ferry to Ireland - the baggage handlers were gentle with the bike but must have knocked the mirror off), I bought another right away.

As a short-sighted glasses-wearer, I find it difficult to look round. Because I get a clear image through the middle of my glasses lenses - but a distorted one though the edges. So I can't turn my head and look out of the corner of my eyes like everyone else; i have to turn even more and look through the centre of the glasses. With this, you can "sweep" everything behind you with a small head movement.

There's even a hole for allen-key adjustment - you can stiffen it up if vibration is knocking it out of alignment.

I agree it suits commuter/mtb helmets - I've just recently moved mine to a new helmet. Tried installing it on the peak / visor - but this amplifies vibration, so I'll go back to mounting it on the shell.

John - I've learned to look round anyway, occasionally, as a signal to drivers, even with the mirror. Keeps me safe.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [580 posts]
8th November 2010 - 11:51

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The Take-A-Look mirror possibly suffers from less vibration - it mounts on one's glasses. Generally only available from the manufacturer (a bike shop) in the US, tho' both RH and LH versions are available. Only seem to be available in the UK (correct handed version, too) via an enterprising soul on a certain internet auction site. I bought one (the T-A-L) some months back - makes lane-crossing a lot less fraught on a relatively low recumbent where looking very far back's not easy. (Wouldn't bother on a DF, tho')

posted by JonD [177 posts]
10th November 2010 - 14:31

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