24
votes
7answers
3k 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
2answers
6k views

Why does pedalling backwards not move my bike backwards?

On the BMX bike I have, pedaling backwards moves the chain but doesn't drive the wheels of the bike backwards like you would expect it to. Why is this?
24
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 ...
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
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
12k views

How do self-adjusting hydraulic disc brakes work?

I have Avid Elixir brakes on my mountain bike. They are the only part of the bike that's a total black box to me. I understand the principle behind disc brakes, and I understand the principle behind ...
24
votes
6answers
656 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
11answers
7k 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 ...
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
14answers
15k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
67k 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
7answers
3k 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 ...
23
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. ...
23
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?
23
votes
5answers
59k 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 ...
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
10answers
33k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
745 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
3k 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
9k 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
2answers
2k views

What is the optimal cadence?

I have heard that one ought to turn the pedals at 90rpm. However, I do so much slower, especially while standing, and would like to understand the argument behind this number (or any other number). ...
22
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
24k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
11k 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
8answers
56k 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
7answers
24k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
26k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
153k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
5k 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
588 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
7answers
1k 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, ...
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. ...
22
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
759 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
2answers
748 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?
21
votes
14answers
4k views

How to climb a hill as a beginner

I'm a complete beginner cycling and I've recently started 3 times a week commuting on a hybrid 8 miles to work and 8 miles back. On the way there is a 5% gradient hill about half a mile long which is ...
21
votes
11answers
800 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

Does drafting cause resistance to the lead rider?

I know that when riding close to another cyclist, I expend less energy to go the same speed. But does the Conservation of Energy "law" mean that the lead cyclist is going to expend more energy to ...
21
votes
9answers
16k views

In which orientation should a front wheel be installed?

A front wheel with a quick release mechanism can be installed in two orientations: the lever on the left, or the lever on the right. Does it matter in which orientation it's installed? If so, would ...
21
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
16k views

How much do components really matter for a non-competitive rider?

I do not ride competitively, but plan on doing some longer distance rides (+30 miles). I've read that better components are lighter, run more smoothly, and last longer. Out of those three categories, ...
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
10answers
8k 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
6answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Is there such thing as an automatic transmission for bikes?

Has anyone ever designed or manufactured an automatic transmission (or automatic shifter?) for cycling? I imagine such a device would automatically change the gearing to allow the rider to maintain ...
21
votes
13answers
57k 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, ...
21
votes
11answers
492 views

Safely overtaking pedestrians

When riding on bike paths or mixed-use paths, there are usually pedestrians walking along them as well. Pedestrians tend to be somewhat unpredictable; they may suddenly turn around or step to the ...

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