Cycling - DIY rear-view mirror project
A rear-view mirror is a handy addition to any bike, but some of the store-bought ones are bulky and/or expensive. This DIY project will only cost you a couple of bucks, and it's very effective.
Convex wide angle mirror
Drill or small flat-bladed jeweller's screwdriver (Either will do, but they need to make a hole a fraction larger than the thickness of the coat hangar wire.)
These instructions are for a right-hand mirror (for 95% of the planet where we drive on the left.) If your country drives on the right, reverse the images and fit the mirror to the LEFT side of your handlebars.
First you'll need one of those little stick-on wide angle mirrors with the curved glass and the black plastic case. They often come in a pack of two, and they're very cheap:
What you need to do is place the mirror on a hard surface and drill down through the fat part, being very careful not to hit the glass (marked with dotted lines):
Make sure you go right through both sides. I suggest using a breadboard or scrap wood underneath to avoid drilling into your leg, computer desk, etc.
Next you need a wire coat hangar. Chop off about 12" (30cm or so) and bend it in half, using pliers to get a fairly tight U-bend. Now thread the ends through the holes in the mirror:
Now take the cap out the end of the handlebars, drill two small holes in the face, feed the end of the wires through and bend the ends of the wire closer together to hold the mirror in place. Replace the cap and bend the protruding wire until the mirror is right where you want it. (Keep the protruding wire as short as possible to minimise vibration.)
If your bike doesn't have end caps on the handlebars you can pick them up at your local bike shop. If it has moulded grips you can just push the wires right through without drilling holes - but I recommend putting some wiggles in the wire first so it doesn't come straight out again.)
With drop-bars (road bikes), the mirror should extend sideways a little to clear your legs and give you a better view. This setup works pretty well.