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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

14
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
10answers
988 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Why should I use a mirror?

In a comment to an answer about helmet replacement mention was made of a mirror and perhaps suggesting that a helmet was merely a good place to mount a mirror. I, hopefully humorously, suggested that ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I use lights in foggy conditions?

Today it was foggy, visibility was only slightly reduced, I already wear a high-vis on my bike but I am wondering if it is still worth me using my lights or is that overkill?
14
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
659 views

What to do after an accident?

This morning I almost witnessed an accident. I was a couple of hundred metres behind the incident but arrived at the scene when a pedestrian was picking a bike from the middle of the road, a ...
14
votes
4answers
515 views

Determining if a road is safe to bike on

How do you determine which roads are safe to ride on and which should be avoided? What traffic patterns do you feel comfortable riding in, and which ones set off alarms? What sorts of intersections do ...
13
votes
7answers
30k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Is complaining to companies about bad driving like howling at the moon?

On my commute in this morning I found myself in another situation where I was in conflict with another road user. (Briefly, a truck and I arrived at a roundabout at a roughly similar time, but I was ...
13
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
496 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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?
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the safest and most courteous way to ride on a two-lane road?

There is a one-mile two-lane road close to my home with no bike lane, but with a large sidewalk. I ride this road every day, and it got me curious what I should be doing. The speed limit is 35 and the ...
12
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
3k 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
5answers
5k views

Are 22mm tires too thin for commuting?

I recently switched from a mountain bike to a road bike with 22mm tires for commuting. I noticed right away that I could not do the things like hop over curbs with this new bike. I also got flats. ...
12
votes
6answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
4k 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
5answers
2k views

What are the risks of fenders/mudguards?

I've seen fender/mudguard descriptions that mention things like breakaway stays and discussions about the relative safety of metal vs plastic fenders, but I'm not getting what the concerns are. Can ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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?
12
votes
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
votes
4answers
3k 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.
12
votes
6answers
687 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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).
12
votes
3answers
314 views

What is the best way to approach train tracks?

I commute on my bike through an industrial area and cross many train tracks. They very in degrees: most are perpendicular to the road, but some have a very low angle. This question is two part: ...
12
votes
2answers
294 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
13answers
23k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
1k 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
7answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Pizza box rear light

I work as a delivery man on a bicycle, so I often ride my bike after dark with a black pizza box attached. My rear light attaches to my seatpost, and is completely useless when the pizza box is there. ...
11
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
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?
11
votes
7answers
484 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
851 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
6answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
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?
10
votes
6answers
962 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
839 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
298 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
6k 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
votes
7answers
2k 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
4answers
409 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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
4answers
4k views

Enhancing brake force with steel rims in wet conditions?

I currently own an old racing bike, that still has ripped steel rims and a side pull caliper brake. The braking power is acceptable when the street is dry, but as soon as it gets wet (even morning ...
10
votes
6answers
9k views

What are the advantages of filling tires with Nitrogen instead of air?

I am completely new to riding bikes and know that are usually filled with air but nowadays some people fill them with Nitrogen instead. I don't know why they prefer to fill their tires with nitrogen ...