I have had a "third eye" type bike mirror on my helmet for years. However, recently I have learned of some genetic predisposition to certain types of skin cancer which affect the skin on the face/head and have become more cautious about how I approach the sun. As a result, I have taken to wearing a protective "sun drape" but I wound up having to modify it because even with my helmet and the drape, part of my face is still exposed to the sun at times.

Anyway, the consequence of this is that when my face is fully protected from the sun the protective drape sticks out a bit and I can no longer see the third-eye mirror. I'm not okay with using sunscreen instead, so I have been experimenting with other ways of mounting the mirror, but have not been able to find any that work - for instance, mounting the mirror on the side of the helmet away from the sun results in my not being able to see the important part of the road due to my back being in the way, and all the mirrors I have tried that attach to the bike I can't see when I'm hunched over the bike for speed and in most need of a quick check of the traffic behind me.

One idea I had was perhaps a strip mirror under the top of my helmet's visor might work, but I haven't seen anything like that.

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from https://www.coolibar.com/unisex-trailhead-hat-drape-upf-50.html

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    Hard to know what to suggest from the description, but check the related: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/14965/… as a starting point for ideas. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 16:28
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    A vague suggestion would be to replace your current setup for a larger, further-from-the-head mirror, this with a similar field of view. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 17:02
  • Would an eyeglass mounted mirror put it in a better place to make it more visible?
    – Johnny
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 17:27
  • I assume the close vote is because this question is similar to the linked question, but I'm comfortable with this being left open as a more specific variation. (And my answer to this question wouldn't apply to the linked question in any case.) Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 17:39
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    @Michael your link was not working any more, so I've found something that matches the description. Is this close enough ?
    – Criggie
    Commented May 16, 2021 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


I have a balaclava that's somewhat loose, and gives me the same problems. I assume the fabric of the sun drape is both interfering with the mirror as well as cutting out a bit of your peripheral vision? If this is the case, then we have the same problem. You have, essentially, three choices:

  • What works for me is to simply pull the clava tighter against my head. This pulls the fabric out of my peripheral vision and allows unobstructed view of my "third eye" mirror. This may not be completely optimal for you, as it may expose a little more skin outside of your eyes, but it's a very slight difference.

  • Another option is to simply get a better-fitting sun drape. Just as tighter clavas don't cause this problem with me, I assume it will work for you too.

  • A third choice is to simply use another kind of mirror. A helmet-mounted mirror with a longer arm or a bar-mounted mirror may work. You'll find more about other styles of mirrors in this question about mirror options, helpfully linked to in the comments above.

  • Yes, the fabric is interfering with the mirror, but I can't pull the fabric tighter without sacrificing the protectivity it provides. I realize it is only a few more square inches exposed to the sun if I pull it back, but the skin issue I had was actually very near there, to the point that I actually asked the dermatologist if UV reflection from the mirror could have caused it (they thought it was just coincidence.)
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 20:23
  • Is a better-fitting sun drape an option? Or can you tailor the one you hava? (If you have a picture of you in the sun drape, seeing that might help.) Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 21:29
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    I can tailor the one I have. In fact, I have already had to do so, because as it came it wouldn't cover both my nose and my neck, so I had to extend it at the bottom. I'll try to get a picture later when I'm near both a camera and the drape.
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 21:42
  • I adapted your recommendation to pull the drape tighter with the realization that I could remount the mirror further out on the helmet visor. This has the same effect, and despite the smaller view of the road it still seems to be sufficient. Thanks!
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 5:34

This is complicated. The farther from the eye a mirror is, the larger it must be to provide an adequate field of view. This is one of the (several) reasons that bar-mounted mirrors are often unsatisfactory.

Assuming you stick with helmet-mounted, you do want to get the largest mirror you can find, and one with a relatively long arm, so you can get it as far out to the left as possible. But I find that even without any helmet covering, this doesn't quite allow me to see around the helmet.

What I do is aim the mirror so that, when I'm looking straight ahead, the mirror gives me a view of the left shoulder of the road. Then, when I want to observe traffic behind me, I turn my head slightly to the left. This give me a view behind, and the turning of the head adds sufficient leftward extension to the mirror to allow me to clearly see past the helmet.

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