Questions tagged [safety]

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

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5
votes
3answers
656 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
3answers
6k views

If I report intentional dangerous driving to police, will it have any effect?

Today I was riding ~3 feet out from parked cars (dooring is the most common way to get killed) and this pickup truck comes up behind me and just lays on its horn for an entire block. The driver was ...
14
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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.
10
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6answers
2k views

Is it generally the case that bikes are allowed to use the “full lane”?

Many blogs and other sources of information on cycling advocate "riding like a car" or "taking the lane" as a way to increase safety and visibility when riding on a road. But such advice presupposes ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Different tyre width (front and back)

Out of necessity, I had to put an 1.26" (32mm) rear tyre on my bike where the front tyre is only 1.1" (28mm) wide (and the bike came with 1.1" tyres when I bought it). Are there any advantages or ...
6
votes
1answer
481 views

How does the risk of a cyclist colliding with a vehicle vary with the speed difference?

In a recent answer I asserted Statistics show that the probability of a collision rises rapidly after the speed difference between two road users exceeds 20 kph (12 mph). So choose paths without ...
24
votes
11answers
1k 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 side....
21
votes
13answers
2k views

How can I look unsafe to a car driver but be safe

This research seems to show car drivers give you more space if they think you are more likely to do something unpredictable. It claims that where a cycle helmet often results in drivers giving you ...
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

Is it legal to pass a car on the right when that car is turning?

So I've been poring over the bikes SE, and as a recreational biker and an automobile commuter, I'm naturally most interested in topics addressing how bikes interact with automotive traffic. In one ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Babies on Bakfietsen: How young is too young?

When is it safe to transport a baby on a bakfiets? How does one know when a child is old enough for this? By "safe" I mean, protecting the child's brain from damage due to road vibration, pothole ...
23
votes
9answers
20k views

Is having your hands “on the hoods” of drop handlebars safe for braking?

I've never had a bike with drop handlebars, but may get one for commuting in busy London (likely a single-speed with mechanical disc brakes). This would mean riding with my hands mostly on the hoods, ...
22
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 ...
15
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5answers
1k views

Most favoriable collision with a car? How should I act before collision, supposing enough time?

Suppose a car is going to collide with you. What can you do to minimise the consequences? By collision I mean that it may be intentional or an accident. Anyway I am looking for tips on how to act in ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

If I'm riding on the road, and there is a red light but a walk signal in my direction, should I go?

I frequently come to stop lights in which there is an all-way stop and a pedestrian signal. I always stop at such lights, but I'm wondering if I should then bike slowly across after determining that ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you know if you can trust your LBS?

I've visited a lot of bike shops in my time. There have been great ones, and scary ones. One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to have the best intentions. I've never had one deliberately rip ...
12
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I make myself and bike more visible during the day?

How can I make myself more visible during the day? Maybe something to put on my helmet (so it's easy to remember).
9
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you shift your weight when leaning on a turn?

When I turn I usually shift my weight on the same side I'm turning to. To ease the discussion let's assume we are turning left, on a paved road (no mud/gravel/potholes/grease/oil/ice/door traps). I ...
20
votes
6answers
7k views

Should unconventional colors be avoided for lighting?

Red/amber lights in the rear of the vehicle, white lights, in front of it: that is the good old convention and certainly switching their places is a bad idea. A quick search, however, shows other ...
16
votes
11answers
1k views

When should cyclists use pedestrian facilities?

I generally try to ride in traffic as a vehicle, following the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, taking the lane, etc. In many urban areas, you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk (...
14
votes
5answers
815 views

What to do after an accident?

This morning I almost witnessed an accident. I was a couple of hundred metres behind the incident but arrived at the scene when a pedestrian was picking a bike from the middle of the road, a ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

Is it safe to ride on an unevenly bulging tyre?

Most of the tyre looks fine, true and straight but the section photographed shows bulging. The rim itself is true, is this safe to ride on?
10
votes
6answers
759 views

Prescription eye glasses and shoulder checks

I've never had prescription glasses but might like some. My left eye doesn't focus easily (I ride on the right side of the road, in Canada). If I look over my left shoulder, I can see behind me only ...
9
votes
2answers
916 views

Baby Transportation Safety Statistics

Is there a resource comparing different safety statistics for transporting babies on bicycles, specifically using different methods? I'd like to see some information about how safe it is to compare a ...
8
votes
8answers
601 views

Should I be wearing sunblock? [closed]

I spend the vast majority of my time inside, so I would like to start getting into cycling. I rode up to the beach a couple days ago and got some slight sunburn. I personally don't mind sunburn all ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

How do I determine what types of maintainence I need to perform?

I just got a new bike and I want to make sure I’m able to keep it up properly. I am entirely new to this. Edit: thank you all for your responses, I’ll keep these all in mind and I’m adding them to my ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I use Shimano 105's brakes with vintage bike?

Complete newbie here, looking for better stopping power and less rusty calipers. I have a Nishiki Custom Sport with Dia Compe brakes and I was wondering if I could use the Shimano 105 5800's on them. ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Helmet Safety Standards Canada

I am looking at buying a helmet meeting ASTM F 2040, CPSC and EN 1078 safty requirements. Are these reasonable standards and will they protect my head in an axcident? Are these standards recognised ...
-2
votes
5answers
2k views

If I attached a “pointy” pool noodle to my bike, would it make me safer even from sadistic drivers?

A few sources suggest that mounting a foam pool noodle on the back of your bike can help stop drivers from passing too closely. Such noodles are available at my dollar store, unlike spring-loaded bike ...
26
votes
11answers
46k views

Carbon bikes make me nervous. Can you ease the tension?

Is it only me, or do Carbon bikes make others nervous! I realize that carbon fibre is strong, but for some reason, having a bike that isn't made out of metal seems like asking for trouble. My main ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to cycle towards the centre of the lane on blind corners?

Some context: I live near a very congested main road, and everyone goes through the villages whenever it is blocked. If I am cycling, I have a continuous stream of cars passing me, even if they can't ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Coded gesture for “I am looking for a place to stop”

When going downhill on mountain roads with no dedicated cycle path, it happens quite often that the cyclist becomes the head of a train of vehicles, as the winding road does not allow an easy and safe ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Does it make sense to complain to companies about bad driving?

On my commute in this morning I found myself in another situation where I was in conflict with another road user. (Briefly, a truck and I arrived at a roundabout at a roughly similar time, but I was ...
16
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
10k views

How long does an unused helmet keep for?

Will a helmet suffer in any way if it is kept in its original box indoors for some years before ever being used? For instance, I might keep it unused for 5 years and then use it for 5 years. I ask ...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

How many fingers on the brake lever?

I have seen people stop with one finger, two fingers or the whole hands on the levers. Is there a recommended number of fingers on the brake levers when stopping/anticipating an emergency stop? Do ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

My wife has Cerebral Palsy (CP) so can’t balance on a normal bike, what are the options so she can go cycling with me?

My wife has Cerebral Palsy (CP) so can’t balance on a normal bike, what are the options so she can go cycling with me? We don't own a van, the size of any "bike" is important as it will have to fit ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Are bicycle helmets repairable or disposable?

Suppose I wear a bicycle helmet, and I fall hard and my helmet cracks. Do I buy a new helmet or can I try repair the old one with some glue?
11
votes
13answers
39k views

What is considered the maximum safe downhill speed on a road bike?

I've heard between 30-40mph, but I am pretty sure I have hit 45 and felt safe and in solid control of my bike. If you look down and see you are above XXmph, you decide it is time to put on the brakes.....
10
votes
4answers
344 views

Supervising a beginner in traffic

Let's say you persuade some significant other to ride with you in the city. You both have good bikes, they are inexperienced, and you are (I am) used to commuting, including in traffic. How do you ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Pedal-powered head/tail lights

I'm planning to get a pair of pedal-powered head & tail lights to get my husband as a gift. He commutes ~11mi roundtrip every day to/from work. In summer, he rides a Cannondale touring bike. In ...
8
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the accepted hand signals for cyclists in the UK?

see also "What are the accepted hand signals for cyclists in the US?"
8
votes
2answers
467 views

How could I have avoided this accident?

On Sunday I wanted to use my free day and I planned to do a half-day ride with my mountain bike. The weather wasn't really good, but at least it wasn't raining as the days before. I rode up a ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What percentage of bike vs. car accidents at night could be avoided by good side visibility?

I'm trying to assess how important side visibility is at night on a bike.
7
votes
4answers
377 views

Are there any major outstanding recalls of bicycle parts?

Sometimes bike companies don't get things right. Are there any major recalls people should know about? Where can people find information on recalls? There is one answer which has places to find ...
7
votes
4answers
792 views

Fracture in folding frame - safe to ride?

I cycle every day because I live in a city and I find it a fun, fit and convenient mode of transport. I am not a cycling hobbyist, am only averagely fit and know pretty much nothing about bike ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a significant difference between the new all-mountain/trail and classic cross country helmets?

There is a new niche of "all mountain" helmets, like Fox Flux, POC Trabec, 661 Recon etc. They feature closed, rounded backward design, and claim to protect the brainstem better. I ride all-mountain ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Long sleeves for safety?

I took @Jason's and @Neil's advice and practiced wearing clipless pedals in cold weather. I fell three times (nearly four) last week, all at very low speeds: twice because of ice, and twice because of ...