The bike eye is a surprisingly effective awareness aid that is likely to challenge preconceptions held about mirrors. Weighing a mere 60g, the Bike Eye is closest in principle to a car’s interior mirror. It attaches with zip ties to the head tube, giving you a view down the length of the bike and directly behind you.
The mirror itself is glass, which is mounted with double-sided foam tape. it gives an accurate view of conditions and tape means it's unlikely to splinter and injure you in a spill. Fitting is very simple but the Bike Eye is reliant upon an uninterrupted view from the inside leg and along the line of the frame. Therefore, variables such frame (and pannier) size and head tube length will determine its effectiveness. Compatibility is a bit hit and miss on bikes using down-tube shifters and you're probably better off with more traditional designs for touring or heavily laden commuting.
The mirror is designed to work by the rider swinging their thigh outward whilst simultaneously looking into the mirror- this quickly becomes second nature and offers a very clear view of conditions behind. Frame mounting means vibration’s kept to a minimum, even through rutted bridle paths, so long as the nylon bolt is kept tight.
I found it a boon with both tag-along and trailer meaning I could alter course or time manoeuvres more effectively. It's no substitute for periodic glances over the shoulder but it could definitely prove useful to riders with more limited neck or shoulder movement and those regularly time trailing on busy A roads.
The bike-eye certainly changed my perception of mirrors and is more versatile than most. A sibling better suited to the demands of laden touring is also in the pipeline.
Mirrors have an image problem but the inobtrusive design and build quality mean it's better than most on bikes that aren't heavily laden.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bike Eye 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?
The Bike Eye is an awareness aid aimed at(but not exclusively) more performance orientated cyclists.
Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?
Designed along the same lines as a car's interior mirror it is made from a mixture of toughened glass and ABS plastics to keep the weight low whilst employing the frame as a mounting point largely eliminates annoying vibration.
Works very effectively and quickly becomes second nature. Large saddle-bags and panniers will obscure the mirror.
Very lightweight, yet a lot of thought has clearly gone into construction and build quality.
Can improve rider comfort and safety if used properly but I would be wary of becoming too reliant upon it-especially in heavy traffic.
Competitively priced given the design and technologies employed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works very effectively in most contexts.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, solid build quality and inobtrusive design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
About the tester
Age: 35 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,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)