Questions tagged [commuter]

Riding to and from work. Other cycling primarily for transportation. Carrying stuff. Picking a bike. Related issues.

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102
votes
20answers
44k 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 ...
87
votes
14answers
89k 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 ...
82
votes
9answers
12k views

How to pass a bicycle while driving a car

I understand this is more of a driving question, but I'm curious to know the answer from the bicycling community and perhaps gain insight into how to act both as a bicyclist and driver. The other day ...
74
votes
20answers
24k 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 ...
64
votes
11answers
8k 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, ...
57
votes
5answers
5k 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? ...
53
votes
29answers
12k 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?
53
votes
13answers
14k views

How to commute to work on your bike and dress up

I have a question regarding commuting to work on a bike. I recently moved to a new location because of a new job. The drive to work is roughly 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic (no freeway or ...
48
votes
8answers
29k 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 another ...
46
votes
38answers
8k views

What do you wish someone had told you before your first commute?

Four times a year I teach a workshop called "Be a Bike Commuter" for the local university's community education program. It's mostly based on my experience and information from the League of American ...
46
votes
13answers
12k views

Is commuting 10 km on an empty stomach harmful?

I recently moved to a new place and I started taking my bike to work. It is a ride of 10-15km, depending on how fancy I feel about taking detours. I wake up at 7:45, and 15 minutes later I am already ...
45
votes
11answers
2k views

About 20-30 people bike to where I work. What equipment/supplies should we have on hand?

I work in San Francisco, and I'd estimate about 20-30 people bike to where I work. We mostly have a mix of road bikes and hybrids with a couple commuter bikes and mountain bikes too. Currently, the ...
42
votes
12answers
5k views

Is it considered rude to draft other random cyclists?

On my commute to work, if there a cyclist in front of me, is it rude to catch up and draft? To effectively draft I would usually need to be within a foot of their back wheel. There are two ...
38
votes
11answers
21k views

How to move a bicycle by bicycle

I need to move two bicycles from work to home. The route is 5 miles long and car free. My only means of transport is to ride one of the bicycles so my question is this: What is the safest way to get ...
35
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I be visible in the dark when I'm signalling a turn?

My bike and I are fairly visible at night--white light in front, red light in the back, bright yellow fenders, reflective tabs and a light on my helmet. I use hand signals to alert motorists when I'm ...
32
votes
9answers
26k views

What headset/radio products exist for bike-to-bike communication?

I commute to work by bike, sometimes I share the journey with a co-worker. The problem is because of the wind and distance between the bikes, it's very hard to hear what the other person says. It ...
30
votes
12answers
20k views

For a long (25mile each way) commute, what kind of bike should I look at?

I'd really like to be able to commute to work. It's a long way though - 25 miles away. Too far for every day, but maybe I can cycle it once or twice a week. I tried it on my old mountain bike a ...
30
votes
11answers
14k 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 ...
29
votes
11answers
12k 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, ...
28
votes
6answers
11k views

What bike+equipment for a long daily urban commute?

In the (distant) past I commuted 6 km (more than half an hour) each way, on a cheap bike with big knobbly tyres. Soon I'll have a new commute: 18 km each way, daily. That's much further than I've ...
27
votes
8answers
4k views

How to give away lights to cyclists without lights?

My objective is simple enough... I want people to be safe when out riding. Too often on my way to work I often see cyclists in the dark and rain without lights. When I see them I try and offer them ...
26
votes
9answers
4k views

How much cheaper is cycling than driving?

How much does a rider spend, on average and totally, with the bicycle per unit-distance? And with the car per unit-distance? Are there any official or academical data?
26
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
110k views

Upgrading straight handlebars to drop handlebars

I have a two-and-a-half year old Giant FCR 3 (with a road-bike-like frame and thin tires; it's somewhere in the loosely-defined "hybrid" range) that I use to commute to work, twenty-five miles round-...
25
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Equipping a commuter bike for a 5 mile city commute

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 ...
24
votes
2answers
2k 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?
23
votes
14answers
11k views

Should I drive or bike to work? [closed]

I'm going to start a job next summer as a sailing instructor. I've volunteered before and biked the 3.6 mi (5.8 km) commute a few times a day on a mountain bike I found trashed a year prior. ...
23
votes
8answers
6k views

I keep breaking my road frames - why?

I've gone through four five frames in the last decade or so, all from different manufacturers, all steel but both lugged and welded both steel and aluminium. Every one of them has eventually developed ...
23
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
47k views

Is it possible to ride 18km everyday for a beginner?

I decided to ride to my university which is 9km away from my home and it is placed on a foothill. I guess the route is 5degrees uphill steep. I have ridden short routes before but not as long as 18 ...
21
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
633 views

When accompanying children on roads - ahead, beside or behind?

When accompanying children (in my case roughly in the 5 to 9 range) on a moderately busy (by rural standards) road on our commute to their school I'm sometimes ahead, sometimes beside (at least the ...
21
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Passing cars on the right, and later merging into their lane

My commute takes me along a fairly busy road, with 4 lanes of traffic and parked cars along most of it. There are no bike lanes, but in some places, it's wide enough that I can easily pass traffic on ...
21
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
12answers
104k views

How much of a difference will I notice going from a Mountain bike to a road bike?

I have a Mountain bike with 1.95 tyres on it. Most of the cycle path I take into work is fairly well paved/asphalted, I'm not going over any dirt tracks or anything like that although there is the odd ...
20
votes
8answers
8k views

At what point does a road become too busy/fast to ride on safely?

Upfront, I'm willing to admit that I have some nervousness when it comes to commuting by bike that I need to get over. However, I want to know if all of that nervousness is unfounded, or if some of it ...
20
votes
7answers
6k views

How close do I have to be for effective drafting (while commuting)?

I commute and want to draft another bike, but still have room to stop when someone opens a car door in front of the rider in front of me. At what distance does drafting significantly reduce drag? Are ...
20
votes
12answers
45k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
8k views

How should I approach hills?

I've been biking to work 2-3 times/week this summer and I enjoy it for the most part. My big problem is that my ride is mostly downhill on the way in to work and mostly uphill on the way home. These ...
19
votes
8answers
51k 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??
19
votes
6answers
8k views

Avoiding being wiped out after work commute?

I work ~15 miles from home and have made the decision to make the commute via bike. This is for a couple reasons. First of which being I don't actually have my license yet, second being that taking ...
19
votes
6answers
72k views

How often should I grease and repack my hubs and bottom bracket?

I am commuting 7 miles a day (round trip) in all weather in New England (temperate, moderately wet climate, cold winters). Overall I am putting about 1000 miles per year on my commuter bike, a 2009 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Relative efficiency of different commute bike setups

My interest is in long distance commuting (e.g. more than 50 km a day) and the relative efficiencies of different commute bike setups (e.g. drop bars vs flat bars, fenders vs no fenders, panniers vs ...
19
votes
3answers
78k views

Leave a bicycle in the rain for a day - is it safe?

I use my bike (gt avalanche 1.0) to commute to work. Now it's autumn and so rain can happen just every day. So the questions are: is leaving my bike outside harmful? Should take the seatpost with me ...
18
votes
3answers
440 views

Submitting road data to Google

I have really enjoyed Google Maps cycling directions but find it lacking a lot where I live. I really want to update the maps with new/better information but I don't know the what, how, or where. ...
17
votes
11answers
736 views

Listening to audio without obstructing ears

I'm looking for a way to listen to my audiobooks while commuting without obstructing my ears. One (rather expensive) option appears to be the Tunebug Shake (a Bluetooth turn-your-helmet-into-a-...

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