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Unlike most mirrors, the Rearviz Classic won't get snapped off or stolen because you wear it on your arm. That's the good news. The bad news is that if you move your arm from its one optimal position, the mirror ends up pointing at the sky - or your own shoulder and ear.
The Rearviz is a 43mm diameter convex mirror that flips open like a makeup mirror. The mirror sits on a curved mount that you strap to yourself with a Velcro arm band. This strap comes in a choice of lengths. The test mirror's was nominally 245mm ('small'), but in fact there were two straps in the box: one 240mm, one 340mm. Each of the straps has a little pocket in it to hold a plastic tag (24x35mm) on which you can write your in-case-of-emergency details.
The mirror has a firm hinge and, when not snapped shut, can be left open at the acute or obtuse angle of your choice. The mirror itself can be rotated in its mount. So whatever angle your arm is at, and whether you fit it to your wrist, forearm or upper arm, you should be able to find one position in which it shows the road behind you.
And it will be one position: when you move your arm, you lose your rear view. I set it up so that I could see behind me when my hands were on the brake hoods and I was sitting on the saddle. I didn't find it especially useful like that: my right elbow is not in my eyeline when riding, so I had to dip my head down and to the right to see in the mirror. I do that anyway – just further – when I glance behind. Still, I did sometimes see cars behind me sooner than I otherwise would have.
When I moved my hands to the drops, I found myself looking at sky and tree branches. When I got out of the saddle, I looked at sky. When I moved my hands to a transverse position on the bar tops, I looked at my shoulder and the side of my own head.
Initially, I tried faffing with the mirror to get a better view in its new position. That was distracting, however, so I wouldn't recommend doing so in traffic. And in any case, as soon as I moved my hands again, the mirror was no longer pointing the right way.
Overall, the Rearviz was the least useful cycling mirror I've tried. My previous least favourite was the frame-mounted BikeEye, which mostly showed my right leg or my saddlebag, irrespective of how I adjusted it; it ended up in the bin. Above that I'd rank Topeak's Bar 'n' Mirror, which was like squinting through a letterbox but which was occasionally useful. Next, Blackburn's dentist-like helmet mirror: its image was tiny and vibrated a lot but was always in your field of view.
My favourite mirrors have been simple Blackburns and Zefals that fix to flat handlebars. Such mirrors are great when cycling with children, as you can keen an eye on your passenger(s), and they're also good at showing the road behind. But they are vulnerable: I've broken – or had broken – all I've used. So now I don't cycle with any kind of mirror. I wouldn't mind trying the Cycle Aware Bar End Roadie Mirror.
As for the Rearviz, I suppose it is nicely made. If you cycle with your arms locked into one position, it might work for you. I don't; it didn't.
The price of £24 is approximate. It's $39.99 Australian dollars from the rearviz.com website, which is $24 at current exchange rates, plus shipping. It may get sold directly in the UK for 2014.
Mirror, mirror, on my arm: Why am I looking at the sky?
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Make and model: Rearviz Classic
Size tested: Small armband Purple
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?
Large convex mirror ensures greater rear view vision
No vibration from road surface, as it is worn on the arm
Can be used for all types of cycling & handlebar positions
Can be worn on either left or right arm
High optical quality lens
Rotatable convex mirror, stays in position for each use, and closes when not in use
Adjustable Velcro armband in 4 different sizes
Very high quality perforated armband for enhanced breathability and comfort, that can be worn against bare skin for many hours at a time
RearViz CLASSIC holds 'In Case of Emergency' details
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
43mm convex mirror.
It's actually really well made.
I move my hands around when I cycle, so it was basically useless for much of the time.
For me, it's a waste of money. I cannot imagine a situation in which I'd choose to use it. Your mileage may vary.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Some of the time, adequate. Some of the time, useless. So I've split the difference between a rating of 5 and 1.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's been put together well and is unlikely to break any time soon.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Looking at the sky or myself instead of the road behind. Distracting.
Did you enjoy using the product? No.
Would you consider buying the product? .No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Every cycle mirror I've used has been better than this, and some of those have been no great shakes.
Age: 42 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track (with front brake)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,