Having a rear view mirror on your bike is not a necessity like have a saddle or handlebars, it even has a certain un-cool factor that says “I am not a racer” since you will never see a Tour de France rider or World Cup mountain bike racer checking out the competition behind them with a mirror. There is however a lot to be said for a good mirror in terms of general awareness, piece of mind and the wellbeing of your neck. The Corky mirror by Thebeam serves as a good rear view mirror while preserving the sleek aesthetics of a race bike and also folding away neatly when not in use.
Designed to fit into the end of a dropbar the Corky takes up very little space, doesn’t weight much at 16 grams and is easy to install although it probably will require re-wrapping your handlebar tape. The mirror can be rotated 360 degrees, angled in any direction and snapped back into the end of the bar to be completely out of the way when you don’t need it. The mirror itself is small with a 45mm diameter and requires some practice to use effectively. Being able to glance down at this small disc and read the road behind you is not easy, but the more you use it the better you will get. Keeping it clean improves its effectiveness as well. Thebeam claims its sight range for cars is 100 meters but that would seem to be in ideal conditions i.e. a straight road with a bright or shiny car.
The Corky has proven durable over 2+ years of constant use. It has survived a crash which cracked the handlebar insert without affecting its performance and at one point the expansion bolt that holds it in place rattled loose without the unit falling off the bike. That being said, the very first time I used the Corky I somehow managed to dislodge the mirror from its handlebar mount. I was carrying my fully loaded adventure bike down a steep rocky slope at the end of long day and didn’t even notice bumping into it. I scoured to rock plié I had climbed down and couldn’t find the mirror. I quickly blamed its loss on gnomes and if you think gnomes wouldn’t steal anything then you clearly don’t know anything about gnomes. They seemed to have had their fun with it that night while I slept and placed it in a position where I could find it when I searched again in the mornings light. Reattaching the mirror required my mini pliers and a good deal of effort which made the question of how I dislodged it even more of a mystery. It has never happened again since. There are replacement mirror available if the gnomes are not so generous.
The Corky is great mirror for people who probably don’t want a mirror on their bike but could use one occasionally anyway. It comes in six different colors and there is another version for flat or riser bars too.
- Price $25
- Weight 16 grams
- Colors: gray, black, red, lawn green, white and blue
- Designed in France
- Made in Korea