All Questions

167
votes
21answers
195k 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 ...
156
votes
70answers
121k 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 ...
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 ...
99
votes
18answers
38k 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 ...
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 ...
89
votes
15answers
24k views

Why are disc brakes rare on road bikes?

Window shopping for road bikes, I can't see many that have disc brakes. What are the reasons for this?
83
votes
14answers
85k 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 ...
78
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 ...
77
votes
9answers
10k 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
6answers
168k 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?
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 ...
70
votes
19answers
19k 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 ...
66
votes
27answers
55k 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 chart ...
61
votes
19answers
59k 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 ...
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? ...
59
votes
10answers
7k 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, ...
59
votes
7answers
86k 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 ...
57
votes
21answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
55
votes
6answers
7k views

How to prevent drafting?

I am engaging in a friendly race with a co-worker. He has told me he plans on drafting behind me most of the race to save energy. I want to make it hard for him(without doing anything mean ...
55
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? ...
54
votes
4answers
88k views

How to use drop handlebars properly?

This might seem like a really basic question, but there's no harm in asking. I've never had a bicycle with drop handlebars. I've always had sort of standard horizontal bars with only one hand position,...
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
17answers
12k 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?
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 ...
52
votes
13answers
13k 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 ...
52
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
52
votes
2answers
188k views

What's the difference between All-Mountain, Cross Country, Freeride, Downhill bikes?

I'm somewhat new to the world of mountain bikes and I'm seeing various terms to describe different bikes. What is the difference between all-mountain, cross country, freeride, and downhill? Are they ...
52
votes
18answers
54k 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.
51
votes
14answers
59k 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?
51
votes
9answers
166k 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 ...
50
votes
7answers
173k views

Hydraulic Vs. Mechanical disc brakes

What is the difference between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes? Are hydraulics more reliable? Or more powerful? I'm curious since, hydraulics seem to get more attention and seem to be on ...
50
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
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 ...
49
votes
13answers
4k 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 ...
49
votes
5answers
93k views

What are the pros and cons of internal gears?

I've had my hybrid 24-speed for a bit over 3 years now, and just last weekend, when looking for a bike for my wife, discovered internal gears. Suffice to say it blew my mind when I saw 7-speed ...
49
votes
10answers
190k 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 ...
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 ...
47
votes
17answers
8k 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 ...
47
votes
8answers
25k 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
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 ...
46
votes
11answers
272k views

What is a reasonable speed for long distances on a bike?

I am curious what a reasonable speed to travel on a bike is. Speed will obviously vary based on the conditions in which you are riding. I am planning on taking the GPS out with me this weekend to ...
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 ...
46
votes
3answers
16k views

Why do men's bicycles have a top tube while women's bicycles don't?

Bicycles intended for men have a top tube that always hits me on that embrassing part when I brake. Conversely, women's bikes often don't have a top tube. Why is this?
46
votes
8answers
35k views

How long should a road tyre hold its pressure?

How long should a road tyre be able to maintain a pressure of around 100psi, and what factors are likely to reduce this time? Background: My tyre pressures are consistently dropping to around 60psi ...
46
votes
9answers
119k views

Which way do I orient my bike tire's tread direction? and why?

I have a mountain bike tire that has stamped on the side something like: <----------front rear-------------> Which seems like a pretty clear indication that the tire should be oriented in one ...
45
votes
17answers
56k views

Toddler bike seat vs. bike trailer?

Our 2.2 year old toddler seems very interested in a random, abandoned bike seat we found, so we're considering some method of letting him ride with us. But I am not sure whether to get ... A bike ...
45
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 ...
45
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 ...

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