How to save $190 on an Owl 360 Rearview Camera

When I was a kid, I wore one of the iconic white Bell helmets of the era, with a little mirror hanging off the front so that I could see what was behind me without turning my head.

This is not me. No photos of me in the helmet survive. I hope.

This is not me. No photos of me in the helmet survive. I hope.

It worked exceptionally well, and I even wore the mirror at my first-ever bike race, the Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon in Grants, New Mexico. The mirror probably cost me $10 and I won more than that in prizes.

I mention this because the people at Owl have introduced what they think is a better system — you attach a camera to the back of your seatpost and a screen to your handlebars and a cable connecting them.

The Owl camera comes with a cord that is, bizarrely, over 78" long. That's 6.5 feet. What kinds of bikes do they think they're going to be outfitting?

The Owl camera comes with a cord that is, bizarrely, over 78″ long. That’s 6.5 feet. What kinds of bikes do they think they’re going to be outfitting?

The company doesn’t disclose how much this setup weighs, but whatever it is, it’s too much. The price, $200 at Hammacher Schlemmer, similarly misses the mark.

I think the kinds of people who buy Brooks saddles are the last who would consider a gadget like this.

I think the kinds of people who buy Brooks saddles are the last who would consider a gadget like this.

My counsel? If you want to see what’s behind you, turn your head, or buy a mirror for $10.