19
votes
5answers
4k views

Is my stopping dangerous when Idaho Stop is de facto but not legal?

I've been bike commuting in the East Bay Area of California (5mi/day, plus public transport) for a few weeks now. I recently attended an in-class safety course, where I learned the fine for not ...
19
votes
10answers
14k 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 ...
19
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?
19
votes
10answers
44k views

Homemade bicycle degreaser liquids

Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade bicycle degreaser solution? I'd like to make my own degreaser solution instead of buying one. I have read about using lemon juice and various types of alcohols ...
19
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Winter maintenance before putting bike in winter storage?

What kind of maintenance should I do before putting my bike into storage for the winter? Are there any special considerations for storing it? Does temperature matter? If it's hanging on the wall ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Touring load weight distribution

What's the best way to load a touring bike, to increase stability and balance? Assuming a standard two-rack-and-panniers setup, where should I put most of my weight? I have a camping load, about 50 ...
19
votes
2answers
507 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
2answers
2k views

How do I lubricate my chain?

I know I should lubricate my chain regularly. I got some lube at my LBS; how should I apply it? Do I just drip some on one spot, and turn the pedals around a few times to spread it out? Drip it all ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Is it possible to fit a chain guard to a bike with derailleur gears?

I've been slowly going through the process of converting my old hardtail mountain bike into a commuting bike. One of the things that I'd like to do is to fit a chain guard so that I can ride the bike ...
19
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 ...
18
votes
15answers
9k views

Why do we rarely see recumbents and almost never see velomobiles?

Recumbent bicycles are more efficient than ordinary upright bicycles, and velomobiles are even more efficient. Then why do we see them so rarely on the road? Is it because they are expensive, or are ...
18
votes
20answers
867 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. ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What to do when a snake is in front of you?

I was coming out of a corner and saw something on the road about 10 meters up but only from about 5 meters I realised it's a snake trying to cross the path. I panicked but didn't really do anything. ...
18
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 ...
18
votes
8answers
10k views

Could I bike 9 mile a day home from work starting with no current exercise?

I am thinking of getting a bike and biking it home from work on a mountain bike its 9 miles and reasonably flat, I'm not the fittest guy so I'm wondering if I would struggle??
18
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
6k 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
10answers
34k views

What to use to clean your chain (and cogs)?

I've just tried cleaning my chain and cogs with some really hot water and washing-up liquid. I also used a toothbrush, j-cloth and a non-scratch scourer. After over an hour of some serious elbow ...
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
12answers
31k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
14k views

How do bicycle power meters work?

What exactly are they measuring? How do they measure it? What are the implications of the different approaches on accuracy / speed of getting a good measure? It would be helpful if someone could ...
18
votes
9answers
49k views

How much of a difference do Toe Pedal Clips make in comparison to Platform Pedals?

I am a novice cyclist, using my bike to travel to work with a round trip of about 15 miles in moderate to heavy traffic. I have been thinking about upgrading my bikes platform pedals to a set of ...
18
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
13k 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.
18
votes
7answers
2k 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
4k views

Does it make you safer to use lights during the day?

My bike light, the Cygolite Metro 360, has a "Daylighting" mode which flashes very brightly and is intended to be used during the day. Similarly, many tail lights have flashing modes. Obviously one ...
18
votes
6answers
1k 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
12k 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
4answers
12k views

Can someone give me a short description and comparison of the different road cycling pedal / shoe systems?

I am looking at buying a pedal/shoe system as the clips and straps I am using are hurting my feet again. It's been a long time since I have bought a road pedal / shoe system, and I have forgotten the ...
18
votes
5answers
72k views

Can I use a gas station pump on a bike tire?

Someone pointed out that it may be risky, and it might not have the right kind of nozzle, but I don't have a bike pump at the moment. Does anyone else ever do this?
18
votes
10answers
29k 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
3k 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
13answers
56k views

Is it better to get an entry-level carbon bike or a similarly priced aluminum bike?

I am going to buy my first proper road bike, and I have been comparing entry-level carbon frames with top-level aluminum frames in the same series (Giant Defy). What are the benefits of carbon vs. ...
18
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
12k 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
2answers
4k views

How much motor do I need for my electric-assist bike?

I take my twins to preschool by car, and I'd like to switch to doing it by bike. There's a hill, and we're heavy, and I'm not in great shape, so it's hard. I've done it a few times, but I always ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Finding good pants for winter biking

Winter is soon upon us here, and I'm gearing up for the season. I currently have a pair of rain over-pants which I use during the other 3 seasons, but honestly I really dislike them. They're baggy, ...
17
votes
11answers
853 views

Urban Cycling Safety Innovations

Portland, Oregon is one of several U.S. cities with a progressive bicycling culture. A couple of innovations the city has implemented are "bike boxes" and "sharrows". Bike boxes are road markings ...
17
votes
10answers
19k views

Looking for Techniques for Riding Uphill on a Single Speed

I commute on a Single Speed (SS) bike about 13mi round trip. Going home is not a problem as the gradients are low and I can climb them. However, going in to work the gradients are much steeper and I ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

What tools on a multi-tool do I actually need?

I feel like there are almost as many bike multi-tools out there as there are bikers. In a single trip to REI, I found nine different bike tools each ranging from only four to over thirty individual ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Which kind of tube valve is the best?

What kind of valve is the best one, a Presta valve (6mm) or a Schrader valve (8mm). Which has the best reliability, which one is easiest to fix a flat on?
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Cross Training routines for longer rides

I am trying to build up to longer rides (75 - 100 miles). I usually only have time for one long ride a week. I can squeeze in one or two shorter rides of 20 miles or so. How can I build mileage under ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

What does “modulate” mean when referring to brakes?

Often in a review of brakes, or an article talking about braking the author will use the term "modulate." E.g. "The brake modulates well" or "Modulate your front brake." What exactly does this term ...
17
votes
9answers
2k views

Why are so many technical aspects of cycling so subjective? [closed]

I come from an Engineering background and I have a strong interest in science. It has always struck me as odd how so much of cycling is so very subjective. As an example, though this is by no means ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

What is a “road” bike? Don't they all ride on a road?

Trying to learn about bicycles. I have heard the term "road" bike a lot. What is the difference between a "road" bike and a regular bike?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

short, fat, first time cyclist

I'm short 5'2" (1.57 m) and 247 lb (112 kg). I've been working to lose weight and have come down 5 st (30 kg) so far. Now I really want to ramp up my exercise and was looking at cycling as an option. ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

How do I change a road bike into a commuter bike?

I have a road bike that I commute to work on, just a 9km trip each way. I also have some tightness in my lower back, especially since I usually sit in front of a computer screen. My wife wants me to ...
17
votes
6answers
31k views

How do I efficiently shift gears on a road bike with downtube shifters?

I have bought a vintage Campagnolo road bike, so the shifters are on the down tube. I own a mountain bike and i am used to changing gears on that one, but don't know the proper technique to change on ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

How to lubricate cables?

What is the best way to lubricate gear and brake cables in their tubular housings? Up until now, I've used CRC/WD-40 with an extension tube and attempted to squirt the lubricant into the tube ...

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