19
votes
2answers
1k 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). ...
19
votes
13answers
99k 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 ...
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
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
10answers
4k views

How much does bike price correspond with maintenance needs?

In this question (with this answer) I asked about a commuter bike, which is to be ridden 40 km every weekday, in the city. And apparently for this scenario I can choose either of two possible kinds of ...
19
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
60k views

How to get a very tight tire back on the rim?

I needed to change the tube as a consequence of a flat tire and I am in the situation that it's just impossible to put the tire back on the rim. In almost ten years of experience with road bikes and ...
19
votes
6answers
506 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
37k 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
4k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
451 views

Why do left pedals have inverted thread?

We all know right pedals are screwed regularly in the cranks. Whereas left ones are screwed in the other direction. Why is it like this and not the other way around? Here is how I see things: under ...
19
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
461 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 ...
19
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Practical cleaning routine for a commuter bike

I regularly (almost daily) ride my bike, often in bad weather. I mostly ride on roads, but sometimes through parks, forest etc. on unpaved surfaces. My bike is usually rather dirty, at least the lower ...
19
votes
2answers
5k views

How to store bikes inside a house or unit with limited internal space?

Between my girlfriend and myself, we have 5 bikes of which 3 would ideally be stored inside (the two road bikes and my duallie). However, my house is a relatively small terrace house which doesn't ...
19
votes
2answers
648 views

Selecting the right crank length

What is the best way to determine the correct crank length for my height and more specifically my leg length?
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Why Do I Need a Better/Lighter Road Bicycle to Train For 'Fitness'?

I'm about to purchase a bicycle in the very near future and have been shopping around at different bike shops to see what I like and what they offer. My primary goal here is to commute to work. It's ...
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
10k views

How to store bicycles outside during winter

Okay. I have a bike which I would like to store for around six moths. Winter temperatures can be as low as -30 C. The problem is that I do not have an indoor storage space, so it is going to reside on ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Lock my bicycle on busy or quiet places?

When I lock my bicycle I try to lock it on quiet spots, usually on street racks situated on secondary streets. I think it will be less visible so it will attract less looks. On the other hand, if a ...
18
votes
8answers
7k views

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

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 ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

What are some alternatives to fruitlessly ringing my bell at a motorist?

I doubt that motor-vehicle drivers can hear the "ding" sound that a bicycle bell makes. What are some better alternatives?
18
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Bicycling and a Right Turn Only Lane?

When commuting with a bike I usually stick to the right lane (I am based in the USA). When approaching a right turn only lane while biking, should I stay in the turn lane and signal to the car behind ...
18
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is a tandem harder to ride uphill than a single rider bike?

With equal power to weight ratio, why is a tandem bike harder to ride uphill? I have friends whose Cannondale tandem bike weighs the same as their single rider bikes combined. But they find it easier ...
18
votes
6answers
912 views

How deep does snow have to be before it becomes unrideable?

I was going to go for an off road ride in the snow this weekend but I chickened out. Partly because it was cold but mainly because I have no experience riding in snow and wasn't sure whether I would ...
18
votes
11answers
413 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 ...
18
votes
11answers
10k views

SPD shoes that look like normal shoes

We all know that SPD shoes can be worn off the bike (that is why they were designed), however there are not many SPD shoes that you would want to wear off-bike. There are even fewer (if any) SPD shoes ...
18
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
10answers
21k views

What are the benefits of 700c23 tires?

23s come on almost all new road bikes, and tire selection is much better for 23s than other tire sizes at most shops. The benefits of 25s and 28s are a better ride, more traction, and are more flat ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I cycle up steep rocky ground?

When mountain biking with my friends, we sometimes end up tackling a severe up hill over rocky ground. I usually find I end up putting a foot down first. I'm not sure what's going wrong. Sometimes my ...
18
votes
3answers
10k views

Is it really OK to hang a bicycle by the rear 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.
18
votes
6answers
9k views

Can your rims wear down from too much braking?

I have a question about rims based on information in another question. The person asking states that he doesn't want his rims wearing down. Is this really a problem? Assuming you don't wear the ...
18
votes
5answers
10k 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?
18
votes
1answer
4k views

How Strong is my road bike?

Background: I have spent most of my time riding mountain bikes but I have recently started riding road sometimes too. I really like the position the road bike puts you in and the fact that you have ...
17
votes
12answers
20k 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 ...
17
votes
20answers
780 views

Bike sharing services and systems

What are some bike sharing services out there? I know that there have been some in Europe. Here's wikipedia's entry. This is one that I heard of recently in NYC. ...
17
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it bad etiquette to ride road bike through a small residential area?

Is it considered bad etiquette to ride a road bike through a small residential area? Not talking about a cheap bike and riding on the sidewalk but a nicer road bike at a decent pace. I don't want to ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Why the penny-farthing?

The penny-farthing was the standard until the diamond-frame "safety bike" was "invented" and revolutionalized the world of bikes. It seems to me strange to have to "invent" to put the same size of ...
17
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
12k 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, ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

Padded saddle VS padded shorts

Why do cyclists use padded shorts instead of padded saddle? It seems like putting padding on the saddle would be more optimal. Doubly so for triathlon.
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are battery-powered lights so popular?

Both on this site and "in real life", battery-powered lights appear to be at least as popular as generator-powered lights. I have always been slightly confused by this. To me, a generator-powered ...
17
votes
9answers
993 views

Where to find good bicycle maintenance info?

If there is a good book what would it be? I'm pretty sure I can find stuff on YouTube (any particular user?). Any blogs out there?
17
votes
3answers
27k views

Hydraulic Vs. Mechanical disc brakes

What is the difference between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes? Are hydraulics more reliable? Or more powerful? All I know (I'm an amateur and a new user) is that hydraulics seem to get more ...
17
votes
4answers
671 views

How to descend mountain roads?

What skills and techniques are required to descending at high speeds while maintaining control of the bicycle? How does this change when the roads are wet or have gravel in them?

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