Riding to and from work. Other cycling primarily for transportation. Carrying stuff. Picking a bike. Related issues.

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61
votes
16answers
11k views

How to clean up at work after a commute?

I would like to bicycle commute to work, but we don't have showers or any place I can change. How can I clean up and carry clothing? My office is business casual, but I need to look neat and ...
51
votes
10answers
32k views

Why do cyclists prefer messenger bags over backpacks?

Ok, I know form sometimes follows function - and things can be even more funnily irrational when fashion and trends come into play - but what's the lure of the cyclist's messenger bag? I see them ...
41
votes
5answers
2k views

Periodic Maintenance Task for Bike Commuters

What are the periodic maintenance tasks (weekly, monthly, annual, every X miles) that anyone who relies on a bike for transportation (typically in urban/semi-urban environments) should be performing? ...
39
votes
25answers
5k views

How can I make my bike (and myself) visible at night?

By winter I will be commuting on my bike at night. How can I make my bike as visible as possible to all car drivers?
39
votes
8answers
3k views

What advanced cycling skills are useful for a commuter or city rider?

I'm a commuter; I mostly ride around the city to get to work, go shopping, visit friends, and stop by the pub. I have basic cycling skills down; proper mounting and dismounting, signaling turns, ...
38
votes
17answers
6k views

How to ride to work without sweating?

I'm planning on commuting by bicycle to work in hot Montreal, though this question is probably relevant to anyone who bikes to work in a city with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees ...
34
votes
7answers
6k views

Are slick tires worth it for commuting?

I commute to work on a Marin San Rafael on roads over a mix of flat to steep roads. My bike came with "700 x 35c with Puncture Protection" semi-slick tires: In the bike shed at work I noticed ...
29
votes
8answers
762 views

How can I be visible in the dark when I'm signalling a turn?

My bike and I are fairly visible at night--white light in front, red light in the back, bright yellow fenders, reflective tabs and a light on my helmet. I use hand signals to alert motorists when I'm ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

What bike+equipment for a long daily urban commute?

In the (distant) past I commuted 6 km (more than half an hour) each way, on a cheap bike with big knobbly tyres. Soon I'll have a new commute: 18 km each way, daily. That's much further than I've ...
26
votes
9answers
5k views

How to move a bicycle by bicycle

I need to move two bicycles from work to home. The route is 5 miles long and car free. My only means of transport is to ride one of the bicycles so my question is this: What is the safest way to get ...
26
votes
8answers
932 views

About 20-30 people bike to where I work. What equipment/supplies should we have on hand?

I work in San Francisco, and I'd estimate about 20-30 people bike to where I work. We mostly have a mix of road bikes and hybrids with a couple commuter bikes and mountain bikes too. Currently, the ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Is it considered rude to draft other random cyclists?

On my commute to work, if there a cyclist in front of me, is it rude to catch up and draft? To effectively draft I would usually need to be within a foot of their back wheel. There are two ...
24
votes
10answers
7k views

For a long (25mile each way) commute, what kind of bike should I look at?

I'd really like to be able to commute to work. It's a long way though - 25 miles away. Too far for every day, but maybe I can cycle it once or twice a week. I tried it on my old mountain bike a ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

What headset/radio products exist for bike-to-bike communication?

I commute to work by bike, sometimes I share the journey with a co-worker. The problem is because of the wind and distance between the bikes, it's very hard to hear what the other person says. It ...
21
votes
2answers
617 views

How to wash a bike properly?

I use my bicycle in a typical urban commute setting. No extreme MTB, but it still accumulates some dust and grime. How should I wash my bicycle?
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Best practices for commuting with rack & panniers

I've been starting to commute by bike more (about 6 miles each way) and decided to upgrade from my cheap, old mountain bike to something more suitable. I just bought a used 2009 Kona Jake off ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I interpret the intent of and respond to cars behind me honking?

Two days in a row on my commute home I've had vehicles behind me start honking at me. (Note: I'm in Canada, and drive on the right.) The first time I was riding on a four-lane road, with a left ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Why Do I Need a Better/Lighter Road Bicycle to Train For 'Fitness'?

I'm about to purchase a bicycle in the very near future and have been shopping around at different bike shops to see what I like and what they offer. My primary goal here is to commute to work. It's ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Practical cleaning routine for a commuter bike

I regularly (almost daily) ride my bike, often in bad weather. I mostly ride on roads, but sometimes through parks, forest etc. on unpaved surfaces. My bike is usually rather dirty, at least the lower ...
17
votes
10answers
3k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Equipping a commuter bike

My commute is a bit over 5 miles each way through the city. It's not that long a commute; in traffic, it takes about 35 minutes door to door, and I'm never far from public transit that I could use in ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I change a road bike into a commuter bike?

I have a road bike that I commute to work on, just a 9km trip each way. I also have some tightness in my lower back, especially since I usually sit in front of a computer screen. My wife wants me to ...
16
votes
3answers
290 views

Submitting road data to Google

I have really enjoyed Google Maps cycling directions but find it lacking a lot where I live. I really want to update the maps with new/better information but I don't know the what, how, or where. ...
16
votes
2answers
707 views

Passing cars on the right, and later merging into their lane

My commute takes me along a fairly busy road, with 4 lanes of traffic and parked cars along most of it. There are no bike lanes, but in some places, it's wide enough that I can easily pass traffic on ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How much motor do I need for my electric-assist bike?

I take my twins to preschool by car, and I'd like to switch to doing it by bike. There's a hill, and we're heavy, and I'm not in great shape, so it's hard. I've done it a few times, but I always ...
16
votes
1answer
937 views

Relative efficiency of different commute bike setups

My interest is in long distance commuting (e.g. more than 50 km a day) and the relative efficiencies of different commute bike setups (e.g. drop bars vs flat bars, fenders vs no fenders, panniers vs ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

Is it possible to ride 18km everyday for a beginner?

I decided to ride to my university which is 9km away from my home and it is placed on a foothill. I guess the route is 5degrees uphill steep. I have ridden short routes before but not as long as 18 ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Avoiding being wiped out after work commute?

I work ~15 miles from home and have made the decision to make the commute via bike. This is for a couple reasons. First of which being I don't actually have my license yet, second being that taking ...
15
votes
11answers
524 views

Listening to audio without obstructing ears

I'm looking for a way to listen to my audiobooks while commuting without obstructing my ears. One (rather expensive) option appears to be the Tunebug Shake (a Bluetooth ...
15
votes
1answer
361 views

How to prevent breathing issues during extreme cold

Yesterday I rode to work in -2°F / -19°C temps. When I got to my destination (only about 3.5 miles), my lungs felt terrible. My voice was hoarse and I was coughing a lot. All this despite the fact ...
14
votes
5answers
376 views

When accompanying children on roads - ahead, beside or behind?

When accompanying children (in my case roughly in the 5 to 9 range) on a moderately busy (by rural standards) road on our commute to their school I'm sometimes ahead, sometimes beside (at least the ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

How to keep the pants from getting dirty

If it is wet, not necessarily pouring rain, it is easy to get the bottom of the pants and the shoes dirty. My tires have protective platesfenders, yet it is not enough. If there a way to avoid that?
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it possible to fit a chain guard to a bike with derailleur gears?

I've been slowly going through the process of converting my old hardtail mountain bike into a commuting bike. One of the things that I'd like to do is to fit a chain guard so that I can ride the bike ...
13
votes
10answers
11k views

Looking for Techniques for Riding Uphill on a Single Speed

I commute on a Single Speed (SS) bike about 13mi round trip. Going home is not a problem as the gradients are low and I can climb them. However, going in to work the gradients are much steeper and I ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How should I approach hills?

I've been biking to work 2-3 times/week this summer and I enjoy it for the most part. My big problem is that my ride is mostly downhill on the way in to work and mostly uphill on the way home. These ...
13
votes
8answers
810 views

Sunglasses for commuting?

I've recently started commuting via bike to work (6.5mi each way), and am looking for advice on gear... specifically sunglasses (which I find useful to prevent dust in eyes and to help block the ample ...
13
votes
6answers
18k views

How often should I grease and repack my hubs and bottom bracket?

I am commuting 7 miles a day (round trip) in all weather in New England (temperate, moderately wet climate, cold winters). Overall I am putting about 1000 miles per year on my commuter bike, a 2009 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

I keep breaking my road frames - why?

I've gone through four frames in the last decade or so, all from different manufacturers, all steel but both lugged and welded. Every one of them has eventually developed a crack, been repaired and ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I look for in choosing wheels for a road bike?

I have a commuting/touring bike and my riding is a good bit of commuting mixed with weekend rides of up to 50 miles. In my lame knowledge, I'll assume that lighter wheels can be had when you spend ...
13
votes
3answers
10k views

When and how tight should you adjust your clipless pedals?

So I'm new to clipless pedals. I got some Shimano ones, with Specialized MTB shoes. They are an SPD clipless pedal, and the shop adjusted them as loose as they go to unclip from them. Myq questions ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it legal to pass a car on the right when that car is turning?

So I've been poring over the bikes SE, and as a recreational biker and an automobile commuter, I'm naturally most interested in topics addressing how bikes interact with automotive traffic. In one ...
12
votes
10answers
7k views

Which puncture-resistant tires?

I commute on city streets and have had two punctures in 5 months: first a roofing nail, second a small shard of glass. Punctures are a nuisance. I've read some people recommend Schwalbe "Marathon" ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a polite way to take the centre of the road without antagonizing motorists?

The city I live in isn't especially well designed for cycling. There are some streets with parallel parking on the sides, and in this situation it's safer to ride in the middle of the lane as to ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

need cycling eyewear, but fogging is a big problem

I'm commuting in temperatures ranging from -10 to -25C without windchill factored in. I have a typical pair of interchangeable lens wrap around cycling glasses. I find that they, without fail, ...
11
votes
6answers
443 views

How do you decide your route to commute to work?

I'm seriously considering bicycling to work, and I'd like some advice on the way to choose a route. Specifically, I have these two options: Go on a path with only 2 cross streets, but a road that is ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How close do I have to be for effective drafting (while commuting)?

I commute and want to draft another bike, but still have room to stop when someone opens a car door in front of the rider in front of me. At what distance does drafting significantly reduce drag? Are ...
11
votes
6answers
874 views

Protocol for slipstreaming another cyclist?

I have a nice 12 km commute where lots of different bicyclers travel. The entire stretch is only for pedestrians&bicycles, no cars to worry about. I ride a regular old 5-speed bike (not a ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How many effective gears do I have on a 21 speed bike?

I have a 21 speed bike (a hybrid commuting bike). But AFAIK, this does not mean that I have 21 different gear ratios. Is there any way to calculate the different gear ratios?
11
votes
8answers
14k views

How do I clean chain grease off my clothes?

I commute to work, and often wear my khakis on the ride in. As such, my clothes often get chain grease on them. What products or cleaning strategies do you know that work to remove chain grease from ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Best chain lubricant for commuter/utility bikes?

What's the best chain lubricant for a bike used for riding in normal(ish) clothes, year-round? I've been using Tri-Flow, but that tends to leave black greasy/dirty stains on pants, shoes, etc. I've ...