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

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12
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1answer
2k views

Are pedal overlap bikes normal?

I received a GMC Denali road bike today, and it doesn't look like the pictures displayed online. The problem is that the front tire overlaps pedal, and I found it very dangerous. So my question ...
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 ...
12
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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
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, ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to cycle towards the centre of the lane on blind corners?

Some context: I live near a very congested main road, and everyone goes through the villages whenever it is blocked. If I am cycling, I have a continuous stream of cars passing me, even if they can't ...
12
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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 ...
12
votes
7answers
364 views

Is it good practice to wave following cars through when safe?

When I am being followed by a car that is unable to safely overtake, I would normally take the lane and adopt primary position as recommended, making an obvious move to secondary position once it is ...
12
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5answers
10k views

What are the risks of untrued wheels?

I understand that wheels should be trued for efficiency. Are there any safety risks (or risk of damaging the bike) in using untrued wheels? Are the risks different between wheels untrued left-right ...
11
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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
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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 ...
11
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8answers
851 views

When should cyclists use pedestrian facilities?

I generally try to ride in traffic as a vehicle, following the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, taking the lane, etc. In many urban areas, you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk ...
11
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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 ...
11
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6answers
5k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

What's the safest way to turn left from a right-side bike lane?

(United States road configuration and customs here. Sorry, those of you who drive on the left!) On my trip home, I use a bike lane near the right side of a very busy one-way arterial street; there is ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to ride on an unevenly bulging tyre?

Most of the tyre looks fine, true and straight but the section photographed shows bulging. The rim itself is true, is this safe to ride on?
11
votes
6answers
544 views

Can I jump from small heights on my bicycle?

I have recently bought a Merida Matts 40-D bicycle. I didn't buy it for extreme sports, rather for a recreational cycling, etc, but as I'm only 22 years old, it's too tempting to jump down from small ...
11
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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.
11
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7answers
416 views

Hand signaling while decelerating

I'm nervous about hand signalling (taking a hand off the handle bar) while I'm decelerating: I'm worried that my body being pushed forward will act on the one remaining hand and change the angle of ...
11
votes
5answers
566 views

Most favoriable collision with a car? How should I act before collision, supposing enough time?

Suppose a car is going to collide with you. What can you do to minimise the consequences? By collision I mean that it may be intentional or an accident. Anyway I am looking for tips on how to act in ...
11
votes
2answers
239 views

What should I look for when purchasing a helmet?

I dont actually own a cycling helmet, but I'm thinking its probably a good idea to get one! I want to buy one from the internet (mainly because its cheaper than stores), but what do I need to look ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Do liners or other hats worn inside a helmet compromise safety?

Is there any data or official (e.g. standards-based) information on the effects of wearing a liner, bandana, or other hat under a helmet? Like many riders, I wear "headsweats" in the summer for sun ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Are bicycle helmets repairable or disposable?

Suppose I wear a bicycle helmet, and I fall hard and my helmet cracks. Do I buy a new helmet or can I try repair the old one with some glue?
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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 ...
10
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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
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 ...
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6answers
744 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
680 views

How do you know if you can trust your LBS?

I've visited a lot of bike shops in my time. There have been great ones, and scary ones. One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to have the best intentions. I've never had one deliberately rip ...
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votes
6answers
1k views

How many fingers on the brake lever?

I have seen people stop with one finger, two fingers or the whole hands on the levers. Is there a recommended number of fingers on the brake levers when stopping/anticipating an emergency stop? Do ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Do stickers or paint compromise a helmet?

Would sticking stickers on a helmet or painting them etc make a helmet less useful in a crash? Not knowing the science of helmets but perhaps stickers in the wrong place might make it not behave how ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What do you do when a bus stops in front of you?

When a double decker bus stops in front of you, what do you do? Is it safe to attempt to overtake the bus?
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
565 views

Does helmet padding contribute to the safety of a helmet?

Does the padding inside of a bicycle helmet contribute to the overall security of the helmet? I.e. do they cushion a crash in some way, or are they just there for comfort?
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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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

What hand signals are there for communicating with others when cycling in a group?

Recently I took a hit from behind. Fortunately it was just my friend's bike rather than one of those large-boxes-for-one-person. I was partly to blame because I failed to indicate that we were slowing ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Child seat: how to keep the child's head from falling forward?

When my child falls asleep in the child seat, his head falls forward. How can I keep his head back? The child seat is a modern type with a back that can be tilted back to prevent that. It works, but ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the recommended type of tire for riding on wet pavement?

I am commuting in rainy Seattle, and the rain has started. Right now I have Continental Gatorskin tires on my commuter, but yesterday I noticed I was braking to stop the wheels and skidding quite a ...
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
343 views

Should I be concerned about new helmet laws?

In Australia there was recently a change to to bicycle helmet standards as outlined in AS/NZS 2063:2008. Basically, helmets complying to the 1996 version of the standard will soon become illegal to ...
9
votes
4answers
250 views

Supervising a beginner in traffic

Let's say you persuade some significant other to ride with you in the city. You both have good bikes, they are inexperienced, and you are (I am) used to commuting, including in traffic. How do you ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I make myself and bike more visible during the day?

How can I make myself more visible during the day? Maybe something to put on my helmet (so it's easy to remember).
9
votes
1answer
321 views

What is the proper technique for crossing railroad tracks?

I cross railroads as perpendicularly as is possible, but that's all I know to do. Safety is a priority, speed not so much. Specifically: Is there an optimum speed? Should you pedal through them ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I tell a bike is safe after a crash?

I was recently in an accident where a car pulled out on me. I hit the car around the front wheel and me and the bike went over the bonnet and landed on the road, the other side of the car. I was ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
502 views

How do treads affect traction?

I've read that treads don't affect traction very much. This is why NASCAR cars have smooth tires. But, the road is not clean. They say you can't hydroplane on a bike, but what about a thin patch of ...
9
votes
1answer
222 views

Water safety during touring?

This question raised a new sub-problem of which I was not at all aware of. I carry a heater to boil the water before I drink it but I am unsure whether it removes all dirt from water. Please, note ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Is standing up and pedaling on multi-gear bicycles a bad idea

After reading While pedaling standing up, bike crank gives in as if shifting, what is causing this? , I was thinking "one should probably not be standing up to pedal under normal circumstances". Is ...
8
votes
7answers
725 views

As recumbents are low to the ground and hard to see, how to you use one safely on a normal road?

My wife thinks that she can't use a recumbent on the roads, as a car driver will not be able to see it. What’s the solution?
8
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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. ...
8
votes
7answers
502 views

Do any bike sharing schemes provide a way to rent or share helmets along with the bikes?

Do any bike sharing schemes provide a way to rent or share helmets along with the bikes, either in a kiosk or through an arrangement with local businesses? None of the schemes that I've used (London, ...
8
votes
6answers
556 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 ...