Riding safely, safety equipment, and safe places to ride.

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10
votes
6answers
16k views

Carbon bikes make me nervous. Can you ease the tension?

Is it only me, or do Carbon bikes make others nervous! I realize that carbon fibre is strong, but for some reason, having a bike that isn't made out of metal seems like asking for trouble. My main ...
10
votes
13answers
13k views

What is considered the maximum safe downhill speed on a road bike?

I've heard between 30-40mph, but I am pretty sure I have hit 45 and felt safe and in solid control of my bike. If you look down and see you are above XXmph, you decide it is time to put on the ...
4
votes
7answers
646 views

How would the “pros” bike this commute?

I've been putting up some pounds and have a bike gathering dust at home =D I normally commute by bus or carpool, but would like an opinion from some more seasoned bikers on how you'd tackle this ...
1
vote
1answer
277 views

Would an original Abloy padlock and [toughened] chain make a good bike lock?

Why are bike locks so fancy, so specialised? Would a small padlock, e.g. original Abloy make a good bike lock when connected to a chain? http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abloy (first image) Are ...
3
votes
3answers
527 views

How practical is an unicycle on uneven surfaces?

From my experience riding a bicycle the fact that a bicycle has two wheels makes it rather easy to ride over minor obstacles like minor cracks in the road. Segway also looks promising in this aspect ...
3
votes
6answers
743 views

Does exercising solely through cycling cause injuries?

I get most of my exercise through cycling. Does cycling without cross-training cause injuries? If so, are there specific injuries to which cyclists are susceptible (knee, hip, etc.), and is it ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Recovering confidence after a fall

One month has passed since I fell on a mountain bike trip. The accident wasn't critical, it just left a huge scratch. The accident happened during a fast descent when my front tire hit a little crack. ...
5
votes
3answers
959 views

Safety of fixies

I am feeling minimalist and hipster, considering buying a fixie. I have never ridden a fixie and cannot gauge the safety of fixies (an important issue for me). I am only considering fixies with both ...
6
votes
2answers
324 views
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Silencing a rattling u-lock

I'm not sure if they're all like this, but my u-lock is a bit loose between the two pieces, the U and the bar. The provided mount snaps very very tightly onto the U, leaving the bar to fend for ...
45
votes
21answers
6k views

Is listening to music dangerous while cycling? [closed]

This wouldn't apply to riding technical trails or anything challenging, but are there any reasons to eschew the tunes while riding? Noise canceling earbuds would probably be hazardous to myself and ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Are runners or pedestrians allowed to use the bike lane?

This morning on my commute I encountered a runner in the bike lane I was riding in. This irked me because: The bike lane was on a busy street, with three lanes of motor vehicle traffic in each ...
6
votes
4answers
562 views

If a lane is going to expand should the left lane be taken prior to the expansion?

This is US law and roads. Drive on right side. Speed Limit is 45mph (72kmh) And as @Benedikt Bauer pointed out solid white lines are not supposed to be crossed. In the morning though there is very ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there such a thing as frame failure?

Several general questions have been asked regarding how long a bike or bike frame will "last", and the gist of answers seems to be that a bike can last quite a while of the replaceable components are ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What should I consider when buying a respirator?

I'm using my bicycle to ride from home to work and back. Now I face a problem that the air is not so clean: dust, car exhaust etc. So I'm thinking of buying a respirator (i.e., an anti-pollution ...
21
votes
11answers
776 views

Safety guidelines for cycling in traffic

Please post your safety tips for cycling/commuting that should help you get to your destination place in one piece. I came across a nice printed guideline a few years ago when working as courier, it ...
39
votes
25answers
6k 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?
15
votes
11answers
2k views

Should I get a reflective jacket/coat, or more lighting and reflective strips for the bike?

What with daylight saving time ending and it now being pitch black by the time I finish work, I'm not exactly trusting of just a couple small lights on my bike being enough to make me visible to ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Sun protective clothing interfering with bike mirror

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Sunglasses anti-fog solutions safe for cycling

I wear full sun protection when I ride, including sunglasses and a tube wrap around the lower half of my face. The issue I have is that in cool weather the wrap tends to channel air from my lungs up ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

What are my options for cycling mirrors?

What options are available in terms of types of cycling mirrors? Where all can I mount them and what are the advantages and disadvantages to each?
17
votes
8answers
13k views

Safety vests: Yellow vs. Orange?

What are the factors that should affect whether my visibility will be higher with a "high visibility Yellow" vs. a "high visibility Orange" vest or jacket? It seems too simplistic to simply say ...
4
votes
13answers
13k views

Do the benefits of clipless pedals out weigh any danger they may pose the rider?

As a newbie rider, I was asked by many experienced riders and bike shop experts if I was using clipless pedals yet? The implication was you are not really a serious rider until you are clipless, sort ...
6
votes
1answer
755 views

For road riding, are mountain bikes safer than road bikes?

My son (age 15) and I have ridden a couple of thousand miles in the past few years--road riding. We like mountain climbs and descents. He was on a comfort bike until a month ago, when he acquired his ...
-4
votes
3answers
568 views

If I attached a “pointy” pool noodle to my bike, would it make me safer even from sadistic drivers?

A few sources suggest that mounting a foam pool noodle on the back of your bike can help stop drivers from passing too closely. Such noodles are available at my dollar store, unlike spring-loaded bike ...
-5
votes
3answers
730 views

Do Mandatory Bike Lights at Point of Sale Save Lives? [closed]

In France and Germany there are laws so that new bicycles have to come with lights. Presumably the French and Germans thought that this would be a good idea for road safety and there must be some ...
4
votes
12answers
2k views

Best type of headphones while riding

I'm starting to commute on my bike soon and was looking for suggestions or advice on what type of headphones I should use to listen to music while riding? I am aware of the dangers of listening to ...
11
votes
6answers
947 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

Is having your hands “on the hoods” of drop handlebars safe for braking?

I've never had a bike with drop handlebars, but may get one for commuting in busy London (likely a single-speed with mechanical disc brakes). This would mean riding with my hands mostly on the hoods, ...
2
votes
4answers
178 views

Safe and proper (or vice versa) left turn in traffic

I'm new to commuting in traffic, and I realized immediately that the left turn (US traffic rules, right turn in UK) in an intersection with a traffic light is just dangerous. My basic questions are: ...
34
votes
9answers
6k views

Why don't cyclists wear all-encompassing motorcycle-style helmets?

It is possible to get a helmet that covers your entire head and face, and in theory would protect you against more kinds of falls. In particular, Why don't bicyclists wear them, and why do ...
3
votes
4answers
661 views

How to determine if a decline is too steep for safety?

I often find myself confronted by a steep and bumpy bit of hill on the trail, or one or two steps on the path, and end up with three possible results: A) ride down with no trouble (usually) B) step ...
32
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a helmet-mounted light affect the safe functionality of the helmet?

I am currently testing a bunch of lights for my (slowly) upcoming head lights review. Several of the lights can be mounted to a helmet using a mounting strap, like this: I'm wondering if having a ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Are anti-pollution masks effective?

In Toronto when the temperature goes above 30 degrees Celcius (90 degrees Farenheit), for a few days and without wind, there is smog. I find the smog irritates and makes it difficult to breathe in ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

What is considered a good “safe biking distance” to bike to work?

I'm curious about what is the maximum distance you can live from work so that it's a reasonable biking distance. I am interested in biking about 30 minutes to work. It would be about 5 miles away. I ...
0
votes
1answer
281 views

Are New York pedestrians allowed to use bike lanes? [duplicate]

In NYC, some street bike lanes (specifically, one on 8th avenue in midtown) are typically full of walking pedestrians. Is this legal? (e.g. are the pedestrians doing it actually jaywalking or ...
2
votes
3answers
260 views

Safe saddles for men's health

As a continuation to Why is it important to have good saddles? I would like to know: Are there non-expensive saddles that are safe for men's health that you can advise. A slightly different question, ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

Thunderstorm Safety

I commute 5 miles each way to work. I live in a climate where the weather can change from decent to torrential rain and thundering within 5 minutes (i.e. the first mile of my commute). This ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Hydraulic disk brake stops working when hot; back to normal after cooling - is this expected?

I have experienced a strange failure of my brake. I was descending a steep smooth road, using only my front brake (my rear brake was broken; it was an unplanned bail from a route). I tried keeping ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I really need to replace my helmet every 2-3 years if it hasn't been in a crash?

OK, I know from the top answer here: When or how often should I replace my bike helmet?, that I should buy a new helmet every 2-3 years, even if it hasn't been in a crash and shows no signs of damage. ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What hand signals work best for cyclists in the US?

I am looking for some guidance on what hand signals and strategies to keep me alive on the roads.
10
votes
3answers
827 views

What are the pros and cons of sunscreen vs. protective clothing?

I have decided that, lack of sunburn aside, I need to get back to being pretty serious about UV protection. I've been sloppy about it for a few years, and would like to not continue inviting skin ...
7
votes
6answers
364 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
952 views

What to do if you are about to get doored?

I was talking to a bike messenger the other day, and he said something that surprised me: If you see a car door swing open in front of you and you can't avoid it, pull your hands off the handlebars ...
4
votes
4answers
404 views

Is there legal recourse to drivers passing too close?

I'm a daily commuter on my road bike. I commute into Manchester NH. Over the years drivers seem to have gotten better and better at passing me safely. I attribute this to the following: Me learning ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
909 views

Do helmets really lose their quality with time even if kept in package?

A friend of mine, who works as a sales manager in a good bike shop advised me to never buy a helmet that is older than couple of years, and the best thing to do is to buy the current model line, when ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

If I report intentional dangerous driving to police, will it have any effect?

Today I was riding ~3 feet out from parked cars (dooring is the most common way to get killed) and this pickup truck comes up behind me and just lays on its horn for an entire block. The driver was ...
6
votes
1answer
366 views

Is there a significant difference between the new all-mountain/trail and classic cross country helmets?

There is a new niche of "all mountain" helmets, like Fox Flux, POC Trabec, 661 Recon etc. They feature closed, rounded backward design, and claim to protect the brainstem better. I ride all-mountain ...