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

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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 ...
56
votes
12answers
2k views

Is pollution a problem in urban cycling?

I usually ride a bicycle in Barcelona. I'm concerned about pollution and I take an anti-pollution mask. Of course, some people scream because they confuse me with Hannibal Lecter but currently that's ...
1
vote
2answers
160 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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
4k 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
11k 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
8k views

Using a ski helmet for winter biking

I am cuirious if anyone uses a skiing helmet for winter biking? Would this be safe? Are skiing helmets designed to protect you from the same kind of acidents that you would have on a bike? I am ...
4
votes
13answers
11k 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
641 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
509 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
705 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
1k 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
880 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
4k 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
5k 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
544 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 ...
31
votes
2answers
846 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
267 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
251 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
208 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
273 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
1k 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
779 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
352 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
909 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
352 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
866 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
315 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Should the bike or the rider take the jolt from a bump, and how?

The last part of my commute to work has some significant bumps in the road which are really quite jarring, since I'm on a road bike that, of course, has no shocks (but has a carbon fork). Most of the ...
6
votes
2answers
728 views

How do you ride on a road that doesn't have a bicycle lane?

I live in Washington State and here the law states cyclists have the choice to ride on the sidewalks, bicycle lane, or on the road with other traffic. I usually just ride to school and back, which is ...
34
votes
14answers
6k views

Safest way to slow down a bike quickly if both sets of brakes fail

This may sound like a crazy question, however today in the wet my rear brakes decided to stop working effectively. It has been pouring rain here which makes the problem more apparent. I managed to ...
4
votes
2answers
292 views

Is there a resource that lists certifications for all available helmets?

Is there a reference on on-line source of information on what certifications have been awarded to all helmets currently available on the market? For example I'm specifically trying to determine what ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Bicycling and a Right Turn Only Lane?

When commuting with a bike I usually stick to the right lane (I am based in the USA). When approaching a right turn only lane while biking, should I stay in the turn lane and signal to the car behind ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Would a military helmet make a safe alternative to a bicycle helmet?

I am in need of a new bicycle helmet and have been exploring some alternative options. One possibility I am considering is visiting my local Army Surplus store and getting a helmet there. I only use ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to eat properly when cycling in extreme heat?

In the US, we're in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures are topping 100 degrees F and up in some areas. When touring, how should one's eating and drinking before and during a ride be changed to ...
7
votes
3answers
819 views

Fixed gear Biking, how to ride properly?

I Have been riding bikes since I've been 6 years old, and I don't mean riding up and down the street - I mean touring with my sisters for 10-20 Km. Later on, I really got into Downhill. Over time I ...
10
votes
6answers
722 views

My wife has Cerebral Palsy (CP) so can’t balance on a normal bike, what are the options so she can go cycling with me?

My wife has Cerebral Palsy (CP) so can’t balance on a normal bike, what are the options so she can go cycling with me? We don't own a van, the size of any "bike" is important as it will have to fit ...
1
vote
4answers
299 views

Thinking of quitting due to dangerous driving [closed]

I used to cycle a lot, and decided to try taking it back up after last year's Olympics. But it feels like almost every time I try to go out for a ride I nearly get taken out by someone passing far ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the braking (stopping) distance for bicycles?

A vehicle driver must keep enough braking distance (aka stopping distance) between him/her and a vehicle in front in order to avoid collision. It depends on the driving speed. What is the braking ...
6
votes
2answers
279 views

How to get back on the road again?

I am from Mumbai, India. And as some of you might be knowing, it is a pretty crazy traffic on roads here. Many times, it so happens that trucks, cars etc. may force you to get off the road while you ...
44
votes
9answers
3k views

Protocol for downhill cyclist overtaking a car?

Last weekend, I was driving (yes in a car, something I rarely do) down a fairly steep and very curvy mountain road (thus with very poor sight lines/visibility ahead) when I noticed a cyclist in my ...
0
votes
1answer
196 views

Cycling fast - and brakes don't work - what to do? [duplicate]

I hope this doesn't occur to any of us, but it can. What must the cyclist do when he/she is cycling (too) fast and needs to stop or slow down immediately, but neither the front and rear brakes work ...
6
votes
2answers
826 views

How much of the saddle rail is suiteable to use

Is it possible to safely set the seat to the max to get the saddle as far forward as it will go. Or should it only be clamped within the marked range 0 to 3.5? I have marked the points in red. The ...