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
4answers
13k views

How are the categories for climbs decided?

In cycle racing, there are five grades or categories for climbs - Category 4, 3, 2, 1 & Hors (Above Category or HC). How do they decide what is category 1 and what makes it so hard it is a HC?
22
votes
2answers
4k 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
4k 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
528 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
11answers
2k views

What type of brakes is least subject to failure in the winter?

There is a lot of snow in the winter where I live. Different kinds of snow; soft, sticky, wet, etc. And ice too. It can get pretty cold: -25 °C (-15 °F). We drop salt, sand and gravel on our roads. ...
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
663 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
27k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Does the chain direction make a difference?

Recently, I helped a friend install a new chain on her road bike, and for the first time read the instructions for installing one. It seems to claim that there's a forward direction, and that it ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Are Z-shaped cranks a good idea?

I've stumbled across this kickstarter project, which promotes an original shape for cranks: They claim a wider arc of useful push during rotation. While their main point is rendered moot by ...
21
votes
16answers
76k views

Converting a MTB to a Road Bike

I just bought a new MTB and am planning to change my previous MTB into a Road Bike. How do I do it? What kind of parts do I need to change or add or remove? I am not looking to for a full ...
21
votes
10answers
1k views

What to wear when it's cold?

If I put on heavy clothes it will be very hot inside them after the warm-up. If I wear only a T-shirt I'll freeze. What's the solution? I ride around 20 km in a hilly city, with temperatures between ...
21
votes
14answers
11k views

When should I not use my front brake?

I have only been riding for a short time and I remember when I was a child there was a belief that if you used your front brakes going downhill that you would fly over your handlebars. However, my ...
21
votes
10answers
5k views

Do glueless tube patches work as well as glue ones?

Quite a few years ago I tried some glueless patches for repairing my punctured tubes while out on the road, and found that they rarely stayed on for very long. I know that technology has advanced a ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a way to hop up onto a parallel curb?

The scenario: you're riding in a curb-adjacent, paint-only bike lane. You happen to look over your shoulder (or in your mirror) and see a vehicle approaching from behind, either fully in the bike ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Are bananas still a good food to carry when cycling?

I am very much an old school cyclist and I always carry a banana with me when I go on rides longer than an hour. In the past I have found them ideal - they easily fit in my jersey pockets, the ...
21
votes
4answers
329 views

Do I have to simply wait for google maps to add cycling directions to my area? Or can I help?

Related to this question about submitting road data to google maps. I'm curious to know if there is any way to get Google started on cycling data in my city. There are a lot of cyclists in my city, ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

what makes a good entry level road bike?

I've been riding a mountain bike for years, but I prefer to go longer distances on paved ground, so I think a road bike would be better. When I ask what is a good bike, I don't need brands/models - ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
21
votes
8answers
8k views

Why is the front brake lever on the right if you 'drive' on the left and vice-versa?

I live in the UK and I expect my front brake lever to be operated by my right hand. However, I recently went on a friend's bike that had the brakes 'back to front', which would be the 'right way ...
21
votes
2answers
632 views

How to wash a bike properly?

I use my bicycle in a typical urban commute setting. No extreme MTB, but it still accumulates some dust and grime. How should I wash my bicycle?
20
votes
11answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
11answers
767 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
6k views

How to achieve an always clean chain

My chain and cogs always look very dirty as the oil attracts dirt. It is a constant problem as you can't fully avoid stains on your trousers and hands. Also, that looks ugly and I believe it wears the ...
20
votes
11answers
15k views

Are there advantages of dedicated bike computer instead of smartphone apps?

I do a lot of road biking. I have a basic Catseye onboard computer for my speed and odometer. But I also use my iPhone to track and record my biking. I've tried a variety of iPhone apps, the best ones ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Arguments for/against bike lanes?

What are the arguments for and against bike lanes? Can anyone summarize the best reasons they're good for and bad for cyclists and automobile drivers? For example, Are there some environments ...
20
votes
8answers
33k views

How often should I change road bike tyres?

My road bike has now done 500 miles, but unlike cars, I've no idea how often the tyres should be changed. It's used on normal road conditions. The brow of the tyre is now smooth. How do I know if my ...
20
votes
12answers
8k views

What is a good iPhone app for bikers?

There are tons that are out there for recording routes, and such. There's also the physical mounting. Is the iPhone actually good/useful for bikers?
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Best practices for commuting with rack & panniers

I've been starting to commute by bike more (about 6 miles each way) and decided to upgrade from my cheap, old mountain bike to something more suitable. I just bought a used 2009 Kona Jake off ...
20
votes
5answers
397 views

What are some good tips for riding in a large group?

One of the popular bike routes near me has a few groups that ride together on Saturday and Sunday. The groups get as big as 30 to 40 riders and they move fast (25 to 35 mph). I have occasionally ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I teach my capable 20-something friend to ride a bike?

My friend, let's call him Jack, does not know how to ride a bicycle. Jack is a fully capable 27-year-old man. His father was incarcerated during a block of his upbringing, leaving him without a skill ...
20
votes
5answers
38k views

How do I separate disc brake pads after accidentally pulling the front brake while the wheel is off?

The title says it all really. I've taken the front wheel off my mountain bike to get it in my car. When I get it out and try and put the front wheel back on the space between the brake pads isn't wide ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I improve my pedal stroke?

I know a part of biking endurance and speed come from having a perfect pedal stroke. What should I do to improve my pedal stroke?
20
votes
7answers
936 views

What are important items for a touring first-aid kit?

When riding long distances, either solo or with groups of people, it is obviously necessary to carry a first-aid kit in case of a crash or other injury. What are the most important items to pack, ...
20
votes
4answers
108k views

How can I tell which size chain my bike uses?

After learning how to break a chain and reattach it, and also how to add and remove a master link, I find that I can now do much more in the way of maintenance at home. I'll no longer need to bring my ...
20
votes
4answers
9k views

How can you recognise a quality steel frame?

I'm looking to buy/build a road bike and I would like it to: last 100 years have a low environmental cost As I'm not interested in shedding grams (a diet would be more helpful for me), I'm leaning ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Which states or countries have stop-sign-as-yield laws for bicyclists (Idaho stop law)?

In Idaho (PDF), bicyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs (essentially; see the actual law for details). This seems like a very reasonable approach, balancing ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Spokes keep breaking - bad hub or bad build?

Background information A bit of background information (I'll try keep it brief): Last year I bought an old but unused bike, 5 speeds with internal gearing. Apparently the shop bought a lot of bikes ...
19
votes
8answers
15k views

What pressure should I run my Mountain Bike tires at?

Should I run my mountain bike at the suggested PSI/Bar on the tire/rim? Or should I run it a bit lower? Or is it more about conditions? Should I run lower if I am running on softer terrain?
19
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the hand gesture for “I'm sorry”?

I usually signal "turn left" and "turn right" and "pass me by, take point". However, there is one more situation that happens to me often and I do not know a widely accepted gesture to convey my ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How should a bicycle helmet fit?

I see enough folks wearing helmets in such a manner that they might as well not be. What is the proper way to fit & wear a bicycle helmet?
19
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I prevent my pants from getting caught into the bike gears

I have the unfortunate habit of always getting my jean pants stuck in my gears and end up with a nice rip on the seams. I've used those velcro braces to keep the bottom of my pants leg close to my ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

Theft deterrents (in addition to locking up a bike)

Besides locking a bike up properly, are there other deterrents against theft (such as engraving) that make a bicycle less attractive to a potential bike thief? UPDATE It was stolen. :-(
19
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I interpret the intent of and respond to cars behind me honking?

Two days in a row on my commute home I've had vehicles behind me start honking at me. (Note: I'm in Canada, and drive on the right.) The first time I was riding on a four-lane road, with a left ...
19
votes
6answers
492 views

Do cyclists warrant special consideration under traffic laws?

I recently saw a YouTube channel where a motorist with an agenda has taken it upon himself to film cyclists as they break traffic laws. Most (perhaps not all) of the actions I observed would be what I ...
19
votes
7answers
30k views

How can I check tire pressure without a pressure gauge?

I would like to tell if my tires are correctly inflated, in this case road tires, but I do not have a pressure gauge. Is there a handy heuristic for checking the pressure? Could I do it, for example, ...
19
votes
6answers
17k views

Am I too heavy for my road bike tires?

I am wondering if bike tires have a weight limit. I have to admit, I am a large guy at 6'3" 250lb (190 cm, 113,5 kg), and I have always had issues with my road bike's tires getting pinch flats. I ...
19
votes
12answers
36k views

Is it better to have a slightly big or slightly small bike?

I'm planning to buy a Scott Speedster S30 (This is my first road bike) and I'm looking at the size chart. I'm around 177 cm tall, and this fits exactly in between the M and L section. Just wondering, ...
19
votes
5answers
10k views

Pros/Cons of Bar-Ends?

I've always heard "never use barends" and they're banned equipment for some of the local clubs/group rides. A number of people on-line swear by them though. What's up with that!? :-) Why would I ...

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