All Questions

107
votes
20answers
87k views

Why ride a fixed-gear bike?

I must confess, I don't know much about bikes. Until fairly recently, a bike was just that thing that I rode to work each day. I've been slowly learning more about bikes but I still have some newbie ...
87
votes
56answers
14k views

Terminology index - a list of bike part names and cycling concepts

This question and its answers list the names of bike parts and cycling concepts. Some Rules Make sure you only put one term per answer! Try to include an image if applicable Include sources that ...
68
votes
30answers
13k views

How do I deal with a dog chasing me when I'm touring?

Once I was riding my road bike down a rural road. I heard barking over my shoulder and saw two dobermans running toward me. I can't think of a time in my life that I felt more endangered. I reacted ...
66
votes
13answers
12k views

Why don't road bikes have disc brakes?

Window shopping for road bikes, can't see many that have disc brakes, any reason for this?
62
votes
16answers
12k views

How to clean up at work after a commute?

I would like to bicycle commute to work, but we don't have showers or any place I can change. How can I clean up and carry clothing? My office is business casual, but I need to look neat and ...
57
votes
12answers
2k views

Is pollution a problem in urban cycling?

I usually ride a bicycle in Barcelona. I'm concerned about pollution and I take an anti-pollution mask. Of course, some people scream because they confuse me with Hannibal Lecter but currently that's ...
51
votes
12answers
35k views

Why do cyclists prefer messenger bags over backpacks?

Ok, I know form sometimes follows function - and things can be even more funnily irrational when fashion and trends come into play - but what's the lure of the cyclist's messenger bag? I see them ...
51
votes
5answers
6k views

Safety data: Which is safer, head/tail lights which blink or emit a steady beam?

My head and tail lights can be set to blink or emit a steady beam of light. I usually set my rear (red) light to blink, because I believe it makes me more visible at night. My friend argues that it ...
45
votes
21answers
6k views

Is listening to music dangerous while cycling? [closed]

This wouldn't apply to riding technical trails or anything challenging, but are there any reasons to eschew the tunes while riding? Noise canceling earbuds would probably be hazardous to myself and ...
44
votes
24answers
32k views

Why aren't Tour de France riders going any faster?

I was having a look at the average speeds of the winner of the Tour de France over the years on this page. To help things along I put the data into LibreOffice and produced a plot: I put on the ...
44
votes
9answers
3k views

Protocol for downhill cyclist overtaking a car?

Last weekend, I was driving (yes in a car, something I rarely do) down a fairly steep and very curvy mountain road (thus with very poor sight lines/visibility ahead) when I noticed a cyclist in my ...
43
votes
8answers
4k views

When or how often should I replace my bike helmet?

I’ve fallen a couple times, but no serious damage is visible on the helmet except for a couple divots here and there. Should I consistently be replacing my helmet after a certain amount of time? ...
42
votes
9answers
7k views

Why is it safer to bike with traffic, instead of facing oncoming cars?

There has been an ongoing debate in my area's local newspaper, regarding biking with vs. against the flow of traffic. A recent incident in which a cyclist was hit from behind, and later died of his ...
41
votes
20answers
1k views

What is the best method to teach a young child to ride?

My daughter is just about ready to start to ride a proper bike. I am loathe to get her a bike with training wheels/stabilisers, as just about every kid I see with them just relies on them and doesn't ...
41
votes
5answers
2k views

Periodic Maintenance Task for Bike Commuters

What are the periodic maintenance tasks (weekly, monthly, annual, every X miles) that anyone who relies on a bike for transportation (typically in urban/semi-urban environments) should be performing? ...
40
votes
17answers
7k views

How to ride to work without sweating?

I'm planning on commuting by bicycle to work in hot Montreal, though this question is probably relevant to anyone who bikes to work in a city with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees ...
40
votes
9answers
4k views

What advanced cycling skills are useful for a commuter or city rider?

I'm a commuter; I mostly ride around the city to get to work, go shopping, visit friends, and stop by the pub. I have basic cycling skills down; proper mounting and dismounting, signaling turns, ...
40
votes
4answers
12k views

Can I use WD-40 on my bike?

Is WD-40 really bad to apply on bikes? I was told so but still see people doing that. Also I saw WD-40 launching their new products of bike lubricant and degreaser. Did anybody try those?
39
votes
25answers
5k views

How can I make my bike (and myself) visible at night?

By winter I will be commuting on my bike at night. How can I make my bike as visible as possible to all car drivers?
39
votes
14answers
10k views

Bicycling apps for Android [closed]

I have an Android smartphone, with GPS, accelerometer, 3G internet connection, and other features that seem useful for bicycling. Are there any good bicycling apps on Android? One app per answer ...
39
votes
7answers
23k views

Can I ride home with a broken spoke?

I noticed a wobble in my back wheel while commuting in this morning. Broken spoke. Is this a problem that I should take care of before my 7 mile commute home, or can I pick up a spoke and repair it at ...
38
votes
16answers
6k views

Can you be ticketed for breaking the speed limit on a bike?

Given that bikes aren't required to have a speed indicator, can you be arrested or ticketed for breaking the speed limit on a bike?
36
votes
14answers
2k views

Ride with someone who is less trained

Barbie and Ken both love to ride the bike. Ken is a strong guy who likes to ride 60km as fast as possible, enjoys of getting to the edge of his strength. Barbie is more relaxed, likes to enjoy the ...
35
votes
12answers
9k views

What type of tires can prevent goatheads?

We have a lot of goatheads1 in our area, and they have a tendency to do something like this to bike tires: Unfortunately, I ride a road bike (specifically a Kona Dew), so I have much smaller, ...
34
votes
13answers
19k views

What are advantages and disadvantages of CO2 inflators over frame pumps?

I have a frame pump that I've used on the road when replacing flats, but I always see CO2 inflators advertised at bike shops. Are they worthwhile for the potential weight savings?
34
votes
13answers
2k views

How do I gear up a bike for winter riding?

I live in NYC and would like to ride to work during the winter as well. What should one do to a mountain bike? a road bike? If you can also show products that you actually use that would be great.
34
votes
9answers
5k views

Why don't cyclists wear all-encompassing motorcycle-style helmets?

It is possible to get a helmet that covers your entire head and face, and in theory would protect you against more kinds of falls. In particular, Why don't bicyclists wear them, and why do ...
34
votes
14answers
6k views

Safest way to slow down a bike quickly if both sets of brakes fail

This may sound like a crazy question, however today in the wet my rear brakes decided to stop working effectively. It has been pouring rain here which makes the problem more apparent. I managed to ...
34
votes
17answers
59k views

Why ride a single-speed bike?

A question came up recently about why people ride fixed-gear bikes. I think you can't reasonably answer that question without first understanding why people ride single-speed bikes. So, why do they ...
34
votes
7answers
6k views

Are slick tires worth it for commuting?

I commute to work on a Marin San Rafael on roads over a mix of flat to steep roads. My bike came with "700 x 35c with Puncture Protection" semi-slick tires: In the bike shed at work I noticed ...
34
votes
5answers
5k views

Should I change both tires when I need to change one?

I know that it's a best practice in a car to change all 4 tires if you change 1, although in practice, it's only done if 3 need to be changed. Does the same thing hold true of a bike?
34
votes
13answers
20k views

What is the practical advantage of disk brakes over rim brakes?

Disk brakes are becomming more popular on bikes now, and I was just wondering what the advantage is of this type of brake over the older rim brakes.
34
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the real difference between cheap and expensive helmets?

Is there any real difference between the cheap and expensive cycling helmets? Is it really worth buying a helmet at say 3 or 4 times the price of a cheap helmet? Will that helmet really give you 3 or ...
34
votes
11answers
26k views

Can I use a Presta tube in a Schrader rim?

I keep losing pressure in my tires, and among other things, I'm looking at the valves in the tubes. It's an old mountain bike with 26 inch tires. Can I use Presta tubes on rims drilled for Schrader ...
33
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the proper etiquette for overtaking a horse?

What are the general rules when encountering a mounted rider (on a horse) on a trail? I understand if we are approaching each other I would dismount, move to the side of the trail and allow them to ...
32
votes
16answers
15k views

Do skilled cyclists really “use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time”?

Sheldon Brown's Braking and Turning Your Bicycle page states that: Skilled cyclists use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time and "Generally I advise against using both brakes at ...
32
votes
8answers
7k views

What cadence should I aim for?

I recently got a cyclocomputer that measures cadence and I'm not sure what a good speed is or what benefit I would get by altering my natural cadence. On good, level tarmac, I find myself doing about ...
32
votes
7answers
32k views

How to store a bike outside and still avoid rapid decay?

I've got insufficient space to store my bike inside. I fear however that it will rust away within a few years. My question is twofold: A) Will this be a problem? B) What can I do to prevent this ...
32
votes
12answers
7k views

What are the disadvantages of “puncture proof” (or puncture resistant) tires?

Some people refer to tires that are more resistant to punctures as "puncture proof" tires. For example: Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tyre Even though these tires are not really puncture proof, ...
31
votes
7answers
5k views

What clothing is best for wet weather/cycling in the rain?

I tried wearing a raincoat to keep out the rain, but find I get hot and sweaty inside. So my question is, what clothing do you find works best for you when cycling in wet weather? Thanks.
31
votes
8answers
3k views

Best bike lock

I recently lost the keys to my lock and had to borrow a bolt cutter to free my bike. It was a bit of an eye opener to realise a) just how easy it was for the bolt cutters to cut through my D Lock ...
31
votes
4answers
2k views

Building from scratch VS buying new

What are the pros and cons about building a bike from scratch VS buying it new?
31
votes
2answers
934 views

Does a helmet-mounted light affect the safe functionality of the helmet?

I am currently testing a bunch of lights for my (slowly) upcoming head lights review. Several of the lights can be mounted to a helmet using a mounting strap, like this: I'm wondering if having a ...
30
votes
10answers
2k views

Why do cyclists shave their legs?

Why do cyclists shave their legs? Is it because of wind resistance?
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Tactics for riding in strong winds

I happen to live in a windy climate. I often find myself riding against strong headwinds and sudden gusts seemingly coming from all directions at once. What are your tactics for riding in such ...
30
votes
6answers
38k views

At what time of year can I buy a bicycle for the best price?

Is there a month when new models come out and dealers discount stock like with cars? Do they raise prices in the spring and lower them in the winter?
30
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do bikes have their drivetrains on the right?

Every bicycle I have seen in my life has its gears and chain on the right side? Why is this? The only thing I could find regarding this question is this forum topic, which speculates about things such ...
29
votes
7answers
4k views

Why should I wear bicycle clothes made of spandex?

What's the reason for wearing biking clothes made of Spandex (Lycra)? They sure look pretty strange.
29
votes
10answers
2k views

Are there any bicycle computers that will log ride data?

I'm looking to get a computer for my bicycle to give me some more information when I go on rides. I have seen and used several that belong to friends, and while they seem invaluable, the one feature ...
29
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the effects of completely filling tires with water instead of air?

As absurd as it sounds, I was curious as to how a bike would handle with the front tire filled with water. I wonder if steep hill climbs would be easier (particularly for a mountain bike): 1) to ...

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