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
9answers
46k views

What is a reasonable speed for long distances on a bike?

I am curious what a reasonable speed to travel on a bike is. Speed will obviously vary based on the conditions in which you are riding. I am planning on taking the GPS out with me this weekend to ...
22
votes
8answers
32k 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
820 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
11k 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
7answers
11k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
18k 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
7answers
54k 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, ...
22
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 ...
22
votes
7answers
27k 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
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
11answers
534 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
454 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
615 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
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 ...
21
votes
27answers
25k 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
130k 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
11answers
8k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
19k 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
4k 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
8k 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
15k 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
9answers
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 ...
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
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 ...
21
votes
7answers
582 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 ...
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
3answers
12k 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). ...
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
21k 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
6answers
566 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
1k 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?
20
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
766 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?
20
votes
12answers
5k views

How can I charge my phone while cycling?

I have an HTC Hero, which is a great phone, but the battery life is pretty poor if I'm using the GPS and music player on it as well. The phone uses a mini-USB connection for charging, and I have a ...
20
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
20
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
14k 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?
20
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
20
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
22k 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
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
1k 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?

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