Cost: $29 (free shipping - U.S. Only)
Weight: 17 grams
How obtained: sample from company
RBR sponsor: no
Tested: 4 hours in traffic and on backroads
When we both worked for Bicycling Magazine years ago, Ed Pavelka wrote a bicycle mirror buyer's guide, having logged countless hours testing mirrors while training for what would become the senior team Race Across America record ride.
One of the points he made has stuck with me, and this HubBub helmet mirror reminded me of it. The thing that he said about mirrors could be the best reason to have one. It might surprise you, because, it's not really about safety at all.
Mirrors let you "own the road"
No, what he said is that the best reason to ride with a mirror is that it lets you stop hugging the shoulder, worrying a car is about to pass. Because, with rear-view vision, you can almost effortlessly look behind you (when you get used to the mirror). And most of the time, nobody is back there. Meaning, you can stop worrying and ride right down the middle of the road a lot of the time!
Stopping stressing on rides and enjoying the smoother and safer part of roads is a huge win-win. And riding with this HubBub mirror is a nice change for me.
Light and built to hold up
The HubBub weighs only 17 grams, so you won't feel it on your lid. And it's made of tough bent steel wire That's vinyl-coated where it grips the helmet to stay securely in place. You simply press it onto the helmet. You can bend the clamping parts for a tighter fit if needed. It also works with visors and without, too.
It's a strong wire frame, so, once it's shaped to your helmet and required position, it won't change, unlike more fragile mirrors that need adjusting every time you lay down your helmet and knock them out of position.
Note, though, that if you're not used to having a helmet mirror sticking out, you can absent-mindedly smack it into things while walking around with your helmet on. Or you might knock it off trying to shoo away a bug. don't ask me how I know!
Like having an onboard back-up camera
The HubBub mirror is 7-sided and 1.75 inches (45mm) wide, a shape and size that offers an excellent field of view. We recently bought our first car with a back-up camera and we love it. This helmet mirror is kind of like that car camera, because it adds a little movie just above your left eye (or right, if you live in a drive-on-the-left-side country). All you have to do is glance at it to watch what's going on behind you, and see if you have the all-clear to take the road.
It also works the other way. You might hear a loud vehicle approaching. Without a mirror, you could be afraid to either try to sneak a peek behind you to see what's about to pass or move into the lane to force them to pass safely. That's taking a chance if you aren't certain they have time to swing out around you.
With "always-on" rear-view vision, everything's different. You can see what's back there, and if it's a threat. And if there's no time to do anything to avoid a potential hazardous pass, you can get out of there. I've ridden up driveways or off the road and onto lawns rather than get buzzed by a construction truck pulling a trailer wider than the road, for example.
Covered by a 5-year guarantee
Along with its sturdy steel frame, the mirror is housed in and attached to the steel wire in a tough plastic holder. The holder pivots on the end of the wire so that you can easily fine-tune the angle of the mirror, if needed.
Just like car mirrors, bicycle models require a bit of fussing around before you get the optimum view. I think the HubBub mirror could come with better directions. While I watched their YouTube instructions, I couldn't get mine adjusted as easily as they demonstrated. I had to bend the wire pretty substantially to get the view just right. This Wasn't too hard because I've adjusted so many other mirrors. But, if this is your first mirror, you might find it harder to figure out.
The mirror easily handled the rough treatment. And the fact that it comes with a 5-year guarantee, and also that they tell you how to bend it safely, gave me the confidence to bend away.
A great rear view from all riding positions
Once it's adjusted, the HubBub gives you a full view behind whether you're riding the tops, hoods or drops, and even if you're standing to climb. Smaller mirrors can require dropping a shoulder or turning your head to move the mirror into position for the right view, but the HubBub is large enough so that I don't need to do that.
Overall, this is a fine-quality, fully adjustable mirror offering an excellent view at a nice price. If you've been thinking of getting a mirror or would like to stop worrying and start owning the road, the HubBub mirror is a great choice. Watch their video to learn more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZL6XQAjQN8.
Jim Langley is RBR's Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He's the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his "cycling aficionado" website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim's streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim's full bio.