All Questions

154
votes
69answers
112k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
32k views

How can I tell what year my bike was made?

This is a canonical question that will hopefully encompass all of the questions we get asking us to determine what year a bicycle was manufactured (how old is my bike, how old is my frame, etc.). Each ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Why shouldn't I care what model/make/year my bicycle is?

We often get questions on bicycles.stackexchange about identifying a bicycles manufacturer, model, make, and year. Often these questions are downvoted or closed -- usually with a comment attached to ...
28
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How are tire sizes measured?

I tried getting a good measurement with my caliper, but the flexibility of the tire doesn't help much. Let's say I have a 26"x2.125" tire. I know this fits on an ISO 559mm bead seat diameter rim, and ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

How can one estimate drag for a bicycle?

I am curious how to estimate drag for a bicycle. This has two different framings: Find the amount of power required to ride at a certain speed. That is, when one is traveling at a constant speed, the ...
8
votes
2answers
21k views

What is the maximum or minimum tire width I can fit on my bicycle

We often get questions on bicycles.stackexchange about fitting wider or narrower tires to bicycles. We have a large number of these with answers suiting the specific bike or style of bicycle in ...
33
votes
10answers
6k 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 ...
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 ...
35
votes
29answers
10k views

What's your most useful cycle accessory?

What is the most useful accessory you got for your bike? By useful, I mean something that improved the enjoyment or functionality of using your bike. Note - I know this is a subjective question, but ...
36
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the optimal cadence?

I have heard that one ought to turn the pedals at 90rpm. However, I do so much slower, especially while standing, and would like to understand the argument behind this number (or any other number). So:...
47
votes
17answers
7k views

Locking your bike in public areas

I recently saw a small clip about how to securely lock your bike. I was wondering what are your tips for minimizing the chances of getting your bike stolen. Here ...
42
votes
6answers
66k views

How do I make my rim brakes stop squealing?

My rear rim brakes are squeaking loudly. I don't know what the problem is, but I am sure it has nothing to do with rain because it happens all the time even if it is dry. Anybody have an idea what ...
29
votes
11answers
49k views

Front suspension or full suspension mountain bike

I'm considering buying a mountain bike and have narrowed it down to two models (make and model aren't important for this question). One model is a full suspension bike (front and back), the other is ...
27
votes
10answers
65k 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 ...
37
votes
13answers
165k views

What pressure should I run my Road Bike tyres at?

There's a question for mountain bike tyres but I can't seem to find anything on here for road bikes. At the moment I'm running at around 90psi. Is that too much? too little? Also, am I more likely to ...
20
votes
3answers
81k 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-...
10
votes
2answers
65k views

How do I know whether my bike can use disk brakes?

I have a Gary Fisher bike (wahoo I believe). I think it's considered the entry level Fisher mountain bike. Could I put on disc brakes as opposed to using the standard brakes on this bike? Standard ...
43
votes
9answers
6k views

Best type of bike lock (materials, style, etc.)

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 (<...
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?
46
votes
38answers
7k 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 ...
43
votes
14answers
4k 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.
53
votes
13answers
26k 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, thinner ...
26
votes
16answers
179k views

Converting a MTB to a Road Bike

I just bought a new MTB and am planning to change my previous MTB into a Road Bike. How do I do it? What kind of parts do I need to change or add or remove? I am not looking to for a full ...
31
votes
2answers
12k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
27
votes
11answers
11k views

What are the differences (and their practical implications) between a 29" mountain bike and a cyclocross bicycle?

I am considering the purchase of a bicycle for riding off road, and have heard a lot of buzz about 29" mountain bikes. However, I am not particularly interested in technical riding - although I would ...
8
votes
3answers
74k views

How do I determine my wheel size

Would someone explain wheel sizes. If I am not mistaken, the wheels on my Trek 520 touring bike are 700C. There are no markings, and of course, no documentation of any kind. I assume 700 means 700mm, ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Picking a bike for a cyclist new to riding on the road?

I've gone a few years without riding at all, and I'm getting back into cycling to improve my fitness. I've typically ridden light mountain bike trails in the past. I want buy a new/second-hand road ...
10
votes
2answers
16k views

Moving tfrom Shimano 9- to Shimano 10- speed

I'm thinking of changing the 9-speed Tiagra rear mech on one of my (road) bikes to something, still Shimano, but 10-speed. The obvious replacements I'll need are cassette, right-shifter and chain. ...
35
votes
12answers
139k views

Different kinds of Handlebars

What different kinds of bike handle bars are there? All kinds welcome, the common and the nameless. If possible include the pros and cons of the bar One bar per post
41
votes
4answers
323k views

How can I tell which size chain my bike uses?

After learning how to break a chain and reattach it, and also how to add and remove a master link, I find that I can now do much more in the way of maintenance at home. I'll no longer need to bring my ...
26
votes
8answers
94k views

What pressure should I run my Mountain Bike tires at?

Should I run my mountain bike at the suggested PSI/Bar on the tire/rim? Or should I run it a bit lower? Or is it more about conditions? Should I run lower if I am running on softer terrain?
55
votes
21answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Bike recommendation for daily commute

I am a 6ft, 172 pound being. Just moved to boston and now that the weather is better, I am looking for a bike which I can use for my daily office commute (around 3ish mile one way). I am willing to ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

A test ride for a new bicycle

Update... What should I actually do on the test drive? The LBS has been kind enough to allow me to try out a brand new bicycle. What things should I consider when test riding bikes that I am ...
20
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
322 views

Advice on buying a new bike

I am looking to buy a new brand new bike but I'm not experienced at all with bike specs and quality and things to look out for etc. I have previously only had second hand really basic bicycles in my ...
48
votes
10answers
182k views

How to get a very tight tire back on the rim?

I needed to change the tube as a consequence of a flat tire and I am in the situation that it's just impossible to put the tire back on the rim. In almost ten years of experience with road bikes 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 ...
60
votes
19answers
57k 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 the ...
51
votes
9answers
160k 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 if I store the bike outside. My question is twofold: Will storing a bike outside be a ...
56
votes
15answers
24k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
48k views

How to tell when to replace cassette?

How do you tell when it's time to replace a cassette? Are there any specific wear patterns on the teeth to watch for or symptoms specific to a worn-out cassette?
31
votes
7answers
6k views

What makes a good entry level road bike?

I've been riding a mountain bike for years, but I prefer to go longer distances on paved ground, so I think a road bike would be better. When I ask what is a good bike, I don't need brands or models - ...
8
votes
15answers
111k views

How to find a mountain bike that can handle a heavier (250-260lbs) rider?

I am a 44 year old man that is very heavy (250–260lbs(113-118kg)) and I am looking to buy my first mountain bike to do some riding on the weekend to burn off some of this fat I have.
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Setting chain length

My chain broke and in a moment of silliness (I was cold wet and slightly annoyed) I threw the broken one away before thinking about measuring the new one. Is there a guide to getting the chain ...
38
votes
9answers
17k views

How to do a track stand?

I want to be able to do a track stand. I can almost come to a halt on my bike without taking my shoes out the cleats - but not quite. In theory, on a fixed wheel it should be easier, but I can't ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Optimal Maintenance Schedule

It is forecast to rain this weekend so I was thinking I would drop a tarp down over my living room floor and give my bikes a bit of a tune up. Question What maintenance needs to be done on your ...
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?
22
votes
5answers
130k views

How to calculate the capacity of a rear derailleur

It's easy to calculate what capacity of a rear derailleur will be needed based on the size of the big and small chainring and the big and small cog. What about the converse question, how to calculate ...

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