23
votes
8answers
13k views

New chain is pre-lubricated, should I clean it before use?

My new chain is totally coated in lube. I would never ride a bike with a chain like this normally. All that goop is just going to collect flotsam from the road and wear out the chain. Should I clean ...
23
votes
14answers
18k 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
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 ...
23
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
6k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
23
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
59k 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, ...
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
12answers
5k 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. ...
23
votes
4answers
368 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, ...
23
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
810 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
6k views

How bad is road salt for my bike?

I took my mountain bike out yesterday in the snow. Did some hills around town, riding through slush and puddles, and all sort of dirt/mush/ice/snow. I gave the bike a pretty good wipe-down after the ...
23
votes
3answers
806 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
2answers
858 views

How to wash a bike properly? [duplicate]

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?
22
votes
7answers
3k 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
8answers
12k views

Does the plastic cap on a Presta valve serve any purpose once fitted to a rim?

I can see the use of the valve cap on a Presta valve when the tube is still packaged (it obviously stops the valve puncturing the tube), but does it do anything except look pretty (or not) once you've ...
22
votes
8answers
35k views

Front suspension or full suspension mountain bike

I'm considering buying a mountain bike and have narrowed it down to two models (make and model aren't important for this question). One model is a full suspension bike (front and back), the other is ...
22
votes
11answers
9k views

What are the differences (and their practical implications) between a 29" mountain bike and a cyclocross bicycle?

I am considering the purchase of a bicycle for riding off road, and have heard a lot of buzz about 29" mountain bikes. However, I am not particularly interested in technical riding - although I would ...
22
votes
5answers
20k 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, ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

It it impolite to “informally” join or draft a group of cyclists?

On a recent Sunday ride on a country road, I was slowly overtaken by a group of (5) guys on carbon-fiber road bikes. They were "proper" road cyclists, if you know what I mean. When they passed me, I ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Lessons from downhill crash

I was taking my usual morning ride before dawn on an 'adventure' road bike. It is a very steep hill with bends (Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex, England). I was descending and noticed (too late) some ...
22
votes
11answers
581 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
462 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
660 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
605 views

Discouraging motorists from stopping at an intersection when they have the right-of-way

Where I live, bicycles are widely accepted in traffic; motorists are on balance considerate and careful around us. But on an almost daily basis, I run into motorists who are too "polite" at ...
22
votes
1answer
12k views

Road bike carbon fiber frame life span

I have read in several places that the carbon fiber has a shorter life span than the aluminium, and i was wondering just what would it be. I am not referring to accident related failures of the ...
22
votes
3answers
13k views

What exercise should I do in the gym to assist with hill-climbing?

I have a few events coming up this year which have a fair amount of climbing (one is over a hundred miles with about 6500ft of ascent - that's an average of just over 1% for the entire distance). ...
21
votes
27answers
28k views

What is a simple mnemonic for remembering the thread direction when removing pedals?

Given that pedal threads are different on the left and right pedals: the right side pedal has a right-hand thread (removes counterclockwise, installs clockwise); the left side pedal has a left-hand ...
21
votes
13answers
140k views

Can I use a cyclocross bike for regular road-biking purposes?

I want to race cyclocross, and I also want to ride some longer rides out on the road. Can I buy a cyclocross bike and use it for both cyclocross and some serious road rides (I'm talking century type ...
21
votes
9answers
21k 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
6answers
5k views

Least worn tyre: front or back?

Where should I put the least worn tyre? on the front or the back? This is for XC MTB. Thanks in advance.
21
votes
8answers
9k views

How to carry a concealed firearm on a bike?

For those of you that happen to cycle through rough neighborhoods and are able to do concealed carry of firearms... Wondering what you wear to conceal them that works well while cycling. Obviously ...
21
votes
12answers
12k 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?
21
votes
7answers
16k views

How many miles of riding require the same effort as one mile of running?

A co-worker and myself are having a friendly bike / run contest. What is a good ratio for miles ridden vs. miles run? I know it depends on pace. But I'm curious what a generally accepted range of ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Equipping a commuter bike

My commute is a bit over 5 miles each way through the city. It's not that long a commute; in traffic, it takes about 35 minutes door to door, and I'm never far from public transit that I could use in ...
21
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Is there a difference in having tires filled with CO₂ vs air?

When you fill your tire with a CO₂ cartridge you are obviously putting CO₂ into it. When you use a pump you are putting air into it. Are there significant temperature variations that may lead to poor ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

Why can't Yellow Jersey change hands on last day of Tour De France?

I've often read / seen on TV that the race is won by the end of the penultimate day. For example, this article in the Guardian describes this year's (2011) eventual winner as the champion elect in an ...
21
votes
2answers
20k views

Is it really OK to hang a bicycle by the wheel from a hook?

Does it not distort the wheel to have the weight of the bike hanging from just that one spot? Is it OK for any kind of wheel? I have nicer race-type wheels on mine. [Edited to connect with Any ...
21
votes
10answers
7k views

need cycling eyewear, but fogging is a big problem

I'm commuting in temperatures ranging from -10 to -25C without windchill factored in. I have a typical pair of interchangeable lens wrap around cycling glasses. I find that they, without fail, ...
21
votes
5answers
16k views

How do I reduce slack in the chain of a single-speed bicycle?

I have a single speed bicycle that has some slack in the chain and threatens to come off. How can I reduce this slack?
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Is fluorescent clothing effective?

I read recently that fluorescent clothing was not effective at all at night. If this is the case, how effective is it during the day, and should I stop buying tops that are fluorescent to use on my ...
21
votes
2answers
25k views

What is the difference between folding bead and wire bead tires?

I'm shopping online for some new tires, and see that some models are sorted by folding and wire beads? What exactly does this mean, and do I need a special rim to support them?
20
votes
13answers
23k views

How can you speed a road-bike up?

So, I have an 80's raleigh bike, reassembled from spare parts. I'm wondering what the best way to get more speed out of the bike is. Wheels? Gears? Lighter gear? Different pedals? I'm rather fond ...
20
votes
9answers
23k views

Safety vests: Yellow vs. Orange?

What are the factors that should affect whether my visibility will be higher with a "high visibility Yellow" vs. a "high visibility Orange" vest or jacket? It seems too simplistic to simply say ...
20
votes
2answers
6k views

Why don't Tour de France riders always ride their TT bikes?

When the tour riders are doing time trials, they ride their super aerodynamic, aggressively positioned bikes for maximum efficiency. However, on normal stages, there are many cyclists who could also ...
20
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
4k 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?
20
votes
12answers
36k views

Commuting: How to carry office clothing so it doesn't get crushed?

I have the bike, I have the best route; but now I want to know, how do I transport my clothing in each day? I typically wear suit pants and a business shirt, but not a suit jacket. Am I better off ...

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