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

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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 ...
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 ...
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?
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? ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
2answers
749 views

purchasing a bike

I live in Queens, NYC. I am thinking of buying a bike for casual ride probably during weekends and sometime for commuting to the city. Can anyone recommend which and what type of bike should I buy ...
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" ...
21
votes
2answers
616 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?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Summer rain jacket recommendations

I'm commuting an hour each way each day in summer now and it rains sometimes. I have a GoreTex jacket which I bought 10 years ago for walking in. With additional inner warm clothes I wear it in ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
588 views

How to make the most out of daily commute?

I have heard that bicycling is a great form of cardio exercise. I bike to and from work everyday and the whole way everything is flat. I am not sure what the best way is to make the most out of the ...
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I prevent cars from passing me too closely?

Recently, a driver buzzed by me, leaving just a couple of inches between my handlebars and his car. It was very scary. In general, how can I prevent cars from passing me too closely? Please cite ...
6
votes
8answers
692 views

What can I wear in the cold weather to be able to bike to work (where I don't have a shower)

I've already read the answers to this question and learned a lot! But my question is a bit different, I bike to work almost everyday, not a long ride, a few miles, a bit hilly a bit road side... ...
1
vote
2answers
779 views

Bike recommendation for daily commute

I am a 6ft, 172 pound being. Just moved to boston and now that the weather is better, I am looking for a bike which I can use for my daily office commute (around 3ish mile one way). I am willing 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. ...
13
votes
8answers
807 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

Upgrading straight handlebars to drop handlebars

I have a two-and-a-half year old Giant FCR 3 (with a road-bike-like frame and thin tires; it's somewhere in the loosely-defined "hybrid" range) that I use to commute to work, twenty-five miles ...
3
votes
1answer
539 views

Will a road brake lever work with a v-brake?

I'm planning on changing my commuter handlebar to a drop handlebar. As the diameters are different, I need to know if the new brake lever will work with the existing v-brakes. (My intention is to ...
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
936 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
760 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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
348 views

Left Turn Across Major Intersection

I'm new at biking, and have seen many examples of left-turn situations, but none that quite match this one. Simply, what is the proper / best way to complete the turn pictured below, or is it smarter ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the most effective exercises to improve stamina and speed on my cycle to/from work?

I have just turned 40 and despite running many marathons in my younger days I'm finding it hard to get fitter again after too many years at a desk. I have a reasonable racing bike which I use for my ...
4
votes
7answers
5k views

What type of shoes should a commuter/road biker use?

I have a hybrid bike that I use for commuting (8k round trip to work). Currently, I wear low-backed converse shoes when biking. I've been biking for about 5 months. After the first 2 months, I ...
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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
360 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 ...
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
442 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
539 views

Prescription eye glasses and shoulder checks

I've never had prescription glasses but might like some. My left eye doesn't focus easily (I ride on the right side of the road, in Canada). If I look over my left shoulder, I can see behind me only ...
5
votes
3answers
418 views

Hybrid electric bikes, how do they work?

I'm about to move further away from work, so my 5.5 mile commute is going up to 12 miles (24 there and back). I'm not interested in using an elecrtic bike because I can't be bothered to pedal.. I ...
4
votes
7answers
824 views

Bicycle for 2 x 30mins commute

I plan to use my bicycle 5 days a week to get to work and back, approximately 30 minutes(~6 miles /10 km) one way, mostly good/ok roads but with some bumps here and there. Should I care about cx ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

biking with lower back pain

I have regular lower back pain (mostly mild, with severe episodes during which I generally stay home; there's nothing wrong with my spine, I just sit at a computer too much). I just started biking to ...
2
votes
2answers
722 views

How to tell if a bike is good before purchasing?

Say there's no sales person in a bike shop and you are just looking for bikes. The criteria would be a good bike to ride to work on side-walks(paved or smooth) and the occasional off-road on the ...
2
votes
10answers
4k views

Good backpack for carrying groceries [closed]

So, I need to be able to carry 3-4 days worth of groceries for one person, about a mile from the store to home. I'm not too keen on the idea of panniers or anything else that mounts to the frame. 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
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
8answers
474 views

Long Distance (~30mi) Bag Use

I do realize this question is asked a lot and I have looked around but I find my self still struggling with it, for that I apologize. Recently I decided to commute to work and so I bought a Giant ...
8
votes
1answer
927 views

How often should I strip my bike down?

How often should I give my bike a full service? Strip the bottom bracket, clean and grease it. Strip the groupset and freewheel. And what products (or type of) should be used for each process? It's ...