28
votes
5answers
5k views

Perfectly setting up gears - how?

Every time I have my bike serviced, the bike shop sets up the gears on a stand in their workshop. The gears change perfectly on the stand, but when the bike is on the road, the rear derailleur doesn't ...
28
votes
4answers
19k views

How do I know when to replace my tires?

The treads on my road bike's 28C tires are almost completely gone—they only persist along the shoulders of the tire. Do the treads matter? What is a good indicator of when the tire as a whole needs ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do bikes have their drivetrains on the right?

Every bicycle I have seen in my life has its gears and chain on the right side? Why is this? The only thing I could find regarding this question is this forum topic, which speculates about things such ...
27
votes
11answers
2k views

Alternatives to buying a repair stand?

I'd like to buy a repair stand, but I can never seem to convince myself to drop the $100 minimum it seems I'd need to spend. Has anybody had any success building a stand themselves, or is it worth it ...
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 ...
27
votes
8answers
5k views

How long should a road tyre hold its pressure?

How long should a road tyre be able to maintain a pressure of around 100psi, and what factors are likely to reduce this time? Background: My tyre pressures are consistently dropping to around 60psi ...
27
votes
9answers
6k views

How to do a track stand?

I want to be able to do a track stand. I can almost come to a halt on my bike without taking my shoes out the cleats - but not quite. In theory, on a fixed wheel it should be easier, but I can't ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I determine the correct position for my bicycle seat?

I have been suffering from IT band problems on my outer knee, which I'm pretty sure were caused by raising my seat height too much. I raised the seat on the advice of a friend who said that a higher ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

How to get a bike from one city to another in the U.S

I need to mail a bike from Portland, Oregon to Austin, Texas. I know that you can get free bike boxes from many bike stores, but how do you pack a bike to ship by mail or to check as baggage on a ...
26
votes
12answers
24k views

Triple vs Double chainring?

I'm bike shopping for my first road bike, and I've asked for a lot of advice from my father who was a serious cyclist once upon a time. After showing him one prospective bike, he dismissed it with a ...
26
votes
8answers
923 views

About 20-30 people bike to where I work. What equipment/supplies should we have on hand?

I work in San Francisco, and I'd estimate about 20-30 people bike to where I work. We mostly have a mix of road bikes and hybrids with a couple commuter bikes and mountain bikes too. Currently, the ...
26
votes
6answers
17k views

Why is carbon fiber inherently weak? Or is it?

This question got me to thinking: If it were possible for me to use a carbon frame, I would, but the expense and my riding style keep me using steel and aluminum. (I like hauling stuff on racks and ...
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 ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

What's the efficiency of hub gears compared to derailleurs?

What's the efficiency of hub gears compared to derailleurs. I know that hub gears are not as efficient, a part from being heavier, how much will I loose in performance if I use hub gear?
26
votes
5answers
1k views

Intersection detection doesn't notice me, what should I do?

I have just come to the USA (Bay Area) and got a bicycle to commute to my university. Being new to this place I kept wondering why sometimes I have to wait for a long time for a green light to make a ...
26
votes
5answers
13k views

How do I make my brakes stop squealing?

I am having a very loud squeaking voice in the brakes of the rear tyre. I don't know what the problem is, but I am sure it has nothing to do with rain, because it happens all the time even if it is ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the effects of completely filling tires with water instead of air?

As absurd as it sounds, I was curious as to how a bike would handle with the front tire filled with water. I wonder if steep hill climbs would be easier (particularly for a mountain bike): 1) to ...
26
votes
7answers
16k views

Is it really going to damage a bike to wash it with a hose?

I was chatting to the guys at my LBS the other day about how they get my bike so clean when I take it in for a service. They said they use compressed air to clean it. They warned I shouldn't use any ...
25
votes
15answers
16k views

Toddler bike seat vs. bike trailer?

Our 2.2 year old toddler seems very interested in a random, abandoned bike seat we found, so we're considering some method of letting him ride with us. But I am not sure whether to get ... A bike ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is it easier to follow a cyclist up-hill

Watching the Tour de France on TV I notice that the riders like to ride close behind other riders when going up a steep hill. I understand that rider can benefit from a slipstream on the flat ...
25
votes
15answers
3k views

Locking your bike in public areas

I recently saw a small clip about how to securely lock your bike. I was wondering what are your tips for minimizing the chances of getting your bike stolen. ...
25
votes
2answers
14k views

What's the difference between All-Mountain, Cross Country, Freeride, Downhill bikes?

I'm somewhat new to the world of mountain bikes and I'm seeing various terms to describe different bikes. What is the difference between all-mountain, cross country, freeride, and downhill? Are they ...
25
votes
7answers
33k views

Which way do I orient my bike tire's tread direction? and why?

I have a mountain bike tire that has stamped on the side something like: <----------front rear-------------> Which seems like a pretty clear indication that the tire should be oriented in one ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are tubeless tyres popular in mountain biking?

I've noticed that a lot of people use or promote tubeless tyres for mountain biking. Why is this? It seems a lot of hassle to get a special rim conversion kit and goop to put in the tyre. As far as I ...
24
votes
14answers
4k views

I wish to get fit, therefore should I have a heavy bike?

A lot of people seem take up cycling to get fit, and they'll talk about how light their bikes are. However, as I understand it, a heavy bike uses more energy to pedal it. Should someone that wished ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Why are both Schrader and Presta valves still used on tubes?

It is standard for road bikes to adopt Presta, whereas nearly all else use Schrader. I personally think Schrader are better: I've had less Schrader valves break on me than Presta No problems if ...
24
votes
10answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
16k views

Why don't brakes come with 'Safety Levers' any more?

It used to be very common to see bikes with dual pull brake levers (if that's even the right name) as shown below. However now it seems almost impossible to find brakes like this. Even finding a ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

Broken glass on the bicycle path, what to do?

Often I find myself driving with my racing bike on the dedicated bicycle lane in my city. The problem with these bicycle lanes is that there is a lot of broken glass (once every few kilometers). ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

What should I look for in clipless pedals and shoes?

I am just thinking about investing in some clip-in pedals (and presumably shoes). I want to use them mostly on my older road bike but in the future I might want to move them over onto my mountain ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

Runny nose while biking

Now that the weather's cold, my nose gets plugged up after about a mile and inevitably some runs down my throat and I have to pull over and spit. I feel like stopping all the time is probably ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

What headset/radio products exist for bike-to-bike communication?

I commute to work by bike, sometimes I share the journey with a co-worker. The problem is because of the wind and distance between the bikes, it's very hard to hear what the other person says. It ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons of panniers vs messenger bags?

I was shopping for new panniers and thought it might be worth it to also check out messenger bags as an alternative. What are the basic pros and cons of each? I started out using just a regular back ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Are there any scientific studies proving the benefits of clipless pedal systems?

Have there been done any scientific studies that proves that clipless pedals actually improve pedaling efficiency etc. over flat pedals? Clipless pedal enthusiasts are quick to say that you must use ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

What should I look for in a good pair of cycling shorts?

I don't currently own a pair of cycling shorts. I just wear a pair of running shorts underneath some running leggings. I'm thinking of getting my first pair of cycling shorts, but as there are so many ...
23
votes
5answers
11k views

How often should I lube my chain?

I ride less than 200 miles a week, and I'm at about the 200 mile mark on my new road bike. Most of my riding is done on the road in an urban city, so there is a lot of odd, unnatural debris. My LBS ...
23
votes
6answers
566 views

What is a good camera arrangement for city riding?

I would like to have continuous camera coverage while commuting on city streets, in order to have evidence in any collision. I have been experimenting with an ATC3K mounted on the pannier rack, ...
23
votes
3answers
663 views

Formula for Homemade sports drinks

I am interested in home-made sports drinks. I have used "Hammer Nutrition" products, but I could probably put it together myself, just by using the key ingredients. Anyhow, has anyone done this? And, ...
22
votes
13answers
40k views

Different kinds of Handlebars

What different kinds of bike handle bars are there? All kinds welcome, the common and the nameless. If possible include the pros and cons of the bar One bar per post
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do the front and rear brakes work independently?

Why do bicycles have two individual brake levers that work independently to brake each wheel? I've always used my right brake lever because it is more comfortable to do so and I haven't noticed any ...
22
votes
11answers
11k views

Is it safe to ride a racing road bike in very wet weather?

I'm used to riding on a MTB, but since I've got a new road bike, I'm quite paranoid about the slick tyres. How good are they in wet weather? I'm scared of braking too hard, or even just turning!!
22
votes
4answers
26k views

What are the pros and cons of internal gears?

I've had my hybrid 24-speed for a bit over 3 years now, and just last weekend, when looking for a bike for my wife, discovered internal gears. Suffice to say it blew my mind when I saw 7-speed ...
22
votes
11answers
30k views

Why would one ever buy a 12-25 cassette when an 11-25 is available?

I was looking at purchasing some Sram Rival components. Looking at the available cassettes, there is a big variety of sizes available: 11-23: 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23 11-25: ...
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. ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

What's stopping you from pedalling backwards?

On the BMX bike I have, pedalling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Getting over a downhill phobia

I've been riding seriously/regularly for about a year now, although like the majority of the worlds population I've been on a bike since I was a kid. When I was first starting out I had no real ...
22
votes
1answer
499 views

'safety dot' on rims

My Araya GP-710 rims have a sticker that says 'safety dot' with arrows that point to little dimples in the rim -what are they for ? Dimple not visible in pic, but are on the rim
22
votes
5answers
1k views

Can you shift both the front and back gears simultanously?

Is it advisable to shift both the front and back gear simultaneously? Can this cause any damage?
22
votes
4answers
625 views

Basic toolkit for bicycle maintenance

What should be in the basic toolkit for someone that wants to maintain their own bicycle? I'm looking for something for your average day to day maintenance and tools that I will get the most use out ...
22
votes
9answers
25k views

What is the best breakfast right before cycling?

Sometimes I feel I will faint when I am cycling in the morning. I usually don't have this problem after lunch. My breakfast is rich in carbohydrates, but maybe I'm eating too much or missing some ...

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