27
votes
7answers
26k 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 ...
26
votes
15answers
34k 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
7k 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 fewer Schrader valves break on me than Presta No problems if ...
26
votes
7answers
2k 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
6answers
26k 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
8answers
974 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
11answers
3k 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
5answers
8k 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 ...
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
10answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Carrying Pizza on a Bicycle

I have a rear rack. However, I don't really have a good way to carry pizza. Cables? Any big enough bags? I can avoid leaning too much, I'll slow on the turns if I have to.. Edit: Delivery? Not ...
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 ...
25
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 ...
25
votes
3answers
7k views

Cycling uphill on a road - sitting or standing on pedals?

When cycling uphill on a road, what are the pros and cons of cycling while standing up on pedal versus sitting on saddle?
24
votes
14answers
5k 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
12answers
91k views

What pressure should I run my Road Bike tyres at?

There's a question for mountain bike tyres but I can't seem to find anything on here for road bikes. At the moment I'm running at around 90psi. Is that too much? too little? Also, am I more likely to ...
24
votes
13answers
70k 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
24
votes
10answers
10k 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
5k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
3k 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
13answers
81k views

Creaking from cranks/spindle. How to fix?

Recently the cranks on my bike started to creak. I checked with my usual "bike-bible" Park Tool. They recommended dis-assemble, lubricate, re-assemble. So I did that. Remove cranks. Remove spindle. ...
24
votes
6answers
2k 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?
24
votes
5answers
16k 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
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 ...
23
votes
12answers
12k views

Using a ski helmet for winter biking

I am curious 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 accidents that you would have on a bike? My ...
23
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
23
votes
9answers
44k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
56k 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: ...
23
votes
4answers
16k 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?
23
votes
4answers
2k 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
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 - ...
23
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
638 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
721 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, ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Recommendation for panniers used off the bike a lot

I'm looking for panniers. I mostly just potter around town, and am not planning any cycle touring so my main criteria is that the panniers should be easy to carry around off the bike. Built in ...
23
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
22
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 ...
22
votes
11answers
5k views

What's the purpose of cycling gloves?

I haven't cycled for many years already and long ago when I was cycling I didn't pay much attention to equipment. Now I see that many cyclists wear a certain kind of gloves - that only cover the palm ...
22
votes
16answers
93k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
23k 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?
22
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
13k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
47k views

How do on-road mountain bike speeds translate to road bike speeds?

When cycling on roads on my mountain bike, I generally get around 10-12 miles per hour on a flat surface. What sort of speeds can I expect to get on a road bike?
22
votes
2answers
2k 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
5k 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
558 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
3k 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. ...

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