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Questions tagged [safety]

Riding safely, safety equipment, and safe places to ride.

31
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
38
votes
15answers
9k views

Best ways to avoid getting hit by cars?

When riding through city traffic, what are the best ways to increase the chance you are seen, given a bit of space, and are not touched by any vehicles?
56
votes
21answers
10k 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 ...
19
votes
34answers
16k views

What are the reasons for and against wearing a bicycle helmet?

This is a tricky question to ask correctly. One attempt has already been closed as subjective and argumentative. There is no one correct answer, for sure. However, there are interesting reasons that I ...
56
votes
15answers
26k 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 ...
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?
91
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
49
votes
17answers
9k views

How to get over anger at inconsiderate drivers

Fortunately, I have very few strongly negative interactions with cars (most people generally seem to respect the way I ride), but those that do stick with me for a while. The scenario is almost ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Bicycle designed for one-arm usage?

I badly fractured my shoulder in a car accident and have limited mobility in my right arm after the repair. Is there a way for me to safely bicycle on city streets with one arm? Can I modify my ...
33
votes
12answers
31k views

Using a ski helmet for winter biking

I am curious if anyone uses a skiing helmet for winter biking? Would this be safe? Are skiing helmets designed to protect you from the same kind of accidents that you would have on a bike? My ...
61
votes
8answers
7k 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? ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the features that I should seek in cycling glasses?

I am seeking eye protection for cycling. I don't know if I should buy glasses or goggles.
10
votes
6answers
16k views

What are the advantages of filling tires with Nitrogen instead of air?

I am completely new to riding bikes and know that are usually filled with air but nowadays some people fill them with Nitrogen instead. I don't know why they prefer to fill their tires with nitrogen ...
77
votes
13answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
20k views

New Chain causing skipping on cassette - will this work itself out or is it unsafe?

I just installed a new chain on my 2002 Trek 2200 Road Bike. The old chain was a Shimano 9 speed that I installed 18 months and about 5000 miles ago. It had stretched modestly and was full of winter ...
70
votes
10answers
22k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the recommended type of tire for riding on wet pavement?

I am commuting in rainy Seattle, and the rain has started. Right now I have Continental Gatorskin tires on my commuter, but yesterday I noticed I was braking to stop the wheels and skidding quite a ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I really need to replace my helmet every 2-3 years if it hasn't been in a crash?

OK, I know from the top answer here: When or how often should I replace my bike helmet?, that I should buy a new helmet every 2-3 years, even if it hasn't been in a crash and shows no signs of damage. ...
22
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
13k views

Would a military helmet make a safe alternative to a bicycle helmet?

I am in need of a new bicycle helmet and have been exploring some alternative options. One possibility I am considering is visiting my local Army Surplus store and getting a helmet there. I only use ...
18
votes
11answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
278 views

Water safety during touring?

This question raised a new sub-problem of which I was not at all aware of. I carry a heater to boil the water before I drink it but I am unsure whether it removes all dirt from water. Please, note ...
8
votes
13answers
45k views

Do the benefits of clipless pedals out weigh any danger they may pose the rider?

As a newbie rider, I was asked by many experienced riders and bike shop experts if I was using clipless pedals yet? The implication was you are not really a serious rider until you are clipless, sort ...
27
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a way to hop up onto a parallel curb?

The scenario: you're riding in a curb-adjacent, paint-only bike lane. You happen to look over your shoulder (or in your mirror) and see a vehicle approaching from behind, either fully in the bike lane,...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Enhancing brake force with steel rims in wet conditions?

I currently own an old racing bike, that still has ripped steel rims and a side pull caliper brake. The braking power is acceptable when the street is dry, but as soon as it gets wet (even morning dew)...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Recovering confidence after a fall

One month has passed since I fell on a mountain bike trip. The accident wasn't critical, it just left a huge scratch. The accident happened during a fast descent when my front tire hit a little crack. ...
10
votes
7answers
14k views

How to keep glasses dry in the rain?

Today in the middle of my ride it started raining and I could barely see due to the amount of rain on my glasses. This is basically what I could see I have jokingly talked about using Rain-X on my ...
4
votes
4answers
362 views

Safety check for a used bike

I'm a poor student and I bought a used bike. I don't have experience with bikes and I want to make sure that the bike is safe for me because actually I found the bike in a garbage container and the ...
106
votes
31answers
47k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Night cycling: Is it worth using electroluminescent wire?

It's currently winter in the UK, so for my commete to and from work I need lights and reflective surfaces for safety. I've read about local people losing their lives cycling, so I don want to make ...
49
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
31k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
46
votes
14answers
20k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
7k views

Are anti-pollution masks effective?

In Toronto when the temperature goes above 30 degrees Celcius (90 degrees Farenheit), for a few days and without wind, there is smog. I find the smog irritates and makes it difficult to breathe in ...
26
votes
11answers
35k views

What's the safest way to turn left from a right-side bike lane?

(United States road configuration and customs here. Sorry, those of you who drive on the left!) On my trip home, I use a bike lane near the right side of a very busy one-way arterial street; there is ...
22
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I prevent cars from passing me too closely?

Recently, a driver buzzed by me, leaving just a couple of inches between my handlebars and his car. It was very scary. In general, how can I prevent cars from passing me too closely? Please cite ...
29
votes
7answers
936 views

What is a good camera arrangement for city riding?

I would like to have continuous camera coverage while commuting on city streets, in order to have evidence in any collision. I have been experimenting with an ATC3K mounted on the pannier rack, ...
24
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
23k views

What are my options for cycling mirrors?

What options are available in terms of types of cycling mirrors? Where all can I mount them and what are the advantages and disadvantages to each?
22
votes
8answers
2k 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?
21
votes
5answers
44k views

What are the risks of untrued wheels?

I understand that wheels should be trued for efficiency. Are there any safety risks (or risk of damaging the bike) in using untrued wheels? Are the risks different between wheels untrued left-right ...
20
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
13answers
3k views

Why should I use a mirror?

In a comment to an answer about helmet replacement mention was made of a mirror and perhaps suggesting that a helmet was merely a good place to mount a mirror. I, hopefully humorously, suggested that ...
13
votes
7answers
821 views

Hand signaling while decelerating

I'm nervous about hand signalling (taking a hand off the handle bar) while I'm decelerating: I'm worried that my body being pushed forward will act on the one remaining hand and change the angle of ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What should I consider when buying a respirator?

I'm using my bicycle to ride from home to work and back. Now I face a problem that the air is not so clean: dust, car exhaust etc. So I'm thinking of buying a respirator (i.e., an anti-pollution mask)...
11
votes
7answers
16k views

Are runners or pedestrians allowed to use the bike lane?

This morning on my commute I encountered a runner in the bike lane I was riding in. This irked me because: The bike lane was on a busy street, with three lanes of motor vehicle traffic in each ...
5
votes
3answers
583 views

Front wheel oscillation

I'm not sure if oscillation is the right way to describe this, but when I'm riding at speed (say around 35-40 km/h) and take one hand off of the bars, the bars shimmy or oscillate – kind of like they ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What hand signals work best for cyclists in the US?

I am looking for some guidance on what hand signals and strategies to keep me alive on the roads.