39 votes

Anxious about riding in traffic after 20 year absence from cycling

Good to hear that you are back on a bike! From what you are saying about struggling to maintain balance, I suspect that you are riding slowly, and pedaling slowly. The part about feeling like you'll ...
andy256's user avatar
  • 17.3k
29 votes

Is it possible to do 50 km distance without any previous training?

A fit person can do 50km without too much difficulty, though they'll probably be sore from the effort if they don't cycle much, just because cycling uses different muscles to, say, running. It wouldn'...
David Richerby's user avatar
24 votes

My husband is a beginner in cycling and needs some motivation

I had the same "motivation" thingy when I tried to keep my wife motivated in joining me during weekend rides. First we did a really short and slow trip around the city (about 4 or 5 km at such a slow ...
22 votes
Accepted

How to find punctures in inner tubes?

Do whatever works, really. The problem with the container of water approach is that it requires a container of water. It won't damage the tube. Also, if you need to patch the tube, you have to wait ...
Batman's user avatar
  • 46.2k
22 votes

First road bike: mech disc brakes vs dual pivot sidepull brakes?

While specific shopping comparison questions are off-topic here due to their tendency to become obsolete, there is a perfectly good generic question here where these two bikes can be used as examples, ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
21 votes

Is it really safer to ride in the road than on the sidewalk?

In most scenarios, it is not safer for you to ride on the sidewalk. This has been demonstrated numerous times in numerous studies. I won't attempt to site individual studies here, but I will sum up ...
jimchristie's user avatar
  • 11.8k
21 votes

Why is my average speed so low?

Average speed depends a lot on various factors. But, having said that, 8km/h is very slow for a fit young person: it's not a whole lot more than walking pace. Where you're cycling. In cities, it can ...
David Richerby's user avatar
20 votes

How do I make a mountain bike go faster (commuting)

I started commuting the same way about 8 months ago on a 29'er mountain bike, 2 things made the trip faster and more enjoyable. Firstly tyres, I changed from knobblies to slicks and it made a BIG ...
Kilisi's user avatar
  • 1,658
19 votes

How do I make a mountain bike go faster (commuting)

I've been a cycle commuter for 12 years. Here are the things that had the biggest impact on my speed: Smooth high pressure tires (80+ psi for road) Greatly decreases rolling resistance Clipless ...
danielml01's user avatar
19 votes

Is it really safer to ride in the road than on the sidewalk?

Safer for whom? Cycling on the sidewalk transfers risk from you to pedestrians without their consent. If you feel that the roads are too dangerous to cycle on, you have the option of getting off and ...
David Richerby's user avatar
17 votes

How to find punctures in inner tubes?

To follow up on what Batman says, what you use to find the leak depends a lot on the circumstances. If you get a flat by the side of the road (and you don't have a spare tube) then you obviously can'...
Daniel R Hicks's user avatar
17 votes

Beginner breaks rear derailleur, what might have gone wrong?

You didn't break the bike. The problem is poor configuration or maintenance. Big-big can break the derailleur if the chain is too short. That's not your fault. You said you didn't do that so we'll ...
Terry Hutt's user avatar
16 votes

How to start riding a recumbent bike?

When learning to ride my first two wheeled recumbent, and when teaching someone else to start riding on it, I first rode without trying to pedal. Using it as a balance bike, learning to steer and ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 3,696
16 votes

Should I bike or drive to work? (6.8 mi)

I estimate 6.8mi as about 11km. That is definitely doable for a novice, though it may not be as fast as Google's estimate at first. Unless there aren't any traffic lights or stop signs, you should ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 5,220
15 votes
Accepted

Why using a puncture repair kit instead of a new inner tube?

You have to remove the wheel to replace the tube. A repair can be done in the frame. On older bikes without quick release, and with current gear hubs, electric hubs, Nuvinci hubs, belts etc, you need ...
Henry Crun's user avatar
  • 1,048
15 votes

Beginner breaks rear derailleur, what might have gone wrong?

The rear derailleur generally doesn't break there - often it is strong enough to act as a lever to bend the bike's frame itself. I suspect that the root cause of your problem is: For the past two ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 124k
14 votes

How do I make a mountain bike go faster (commuting)

Not necessarily thinner tyres, but ones with less tread will make a difference. If you are commuting by road only, then putting on some 'slick' tyres will cut a lot of the wind resistance, and rid ...
Andy White's user avatar
14 votes

My husband is a beginner in cycling and needs some motivation

Yes, 4km is good, especially if the road is hilly. Any new form of exercise is difficult at the start because it uses muscles you're not used to using, in ways you're not used to using them. It's ...
14 votes

Is it possible to do 50 km distance without any previous training?

It's probably not a great idea. Start with a shorter route and see how you do. Pick a flat route without hills. Make sure you have a bail out and a way to get home (public transport, a friend, Uber ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
14 votes

How can I keep improving after my first 30km ride?

You've got off to a great start, well done. Several answers tell you how to improve quickly, and they're not wrong. But you'll see plenty of improvement just by riding often, occasionally pushing ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 58.3k
13 votes

Dangers of commuting outside town to work

I live in a rural area, and I am always looking for new roads. Most of the roads here have no shoulder, and there are some cliffs. The first thing that I do when I'm deciding whether a new road is ...
rclocher3's user avatar
  • 2,671
13 votes

Is it normal to feel like I can't breathe while trying to ride at a challenging pace?

I think you should always check with a doctor if you have concerns about your health. While you probably can get advice on your health from this forum, this is not the best place to seek specific ...
Tude Productions's user avatar
12 votes

Anxious about riding in traffic after 20 year absence from cycling

All these answers are excellent. My opinion is that as well as doing all these things, you need to give yourself a psychological safety net. I am an advanced motorbike rider and use some of those ...
user33232's user avatar
  • 221
12 votes

Clothing advice for beginner

I'd invest in a pair of bike shorts. Casual riders going short distances on big comfy saddles can get away with casual or regular sports clothing. You won’t be able to do that riding significant ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
12 votes

Is it possible to do 50 km distance without any previous training?

To answer your questions - "Is it possible to do 50 km distance without any previous training? - Yes, it is possible, assuming by no previous training you mean cycling training. If a person has ...
David D's user avatar
  • 21.1k
11 votes

can only use right hand to brake reliably, due to disability - safer/possible to modify bike?

Generally speaking your off hand should be the front brake, so if you're right handed the front brake should be the left. They can be set up either way, though, especially if you're using cable-driven ...
Nate W's user avatar
  • 9,232
10 votes

Clothing advice for beginner

I didn't get proper bike shorts until I was routinely riding over 100km. Before that (and still for commuting) I just went for whatever I would wear in the gym. However cheap gel-padded (not foam-...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 58.3k
10 votes

How to start riding a recumbent bike?

It is literally like riding a (upright) bike the first time. The problem is you need speed to achieve gyroscopic stability but you won’t have speed until you gain confidence. And you don’t have ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 29.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Need help understanding my grip shifters on my handle bar

You have two shifters. A friction shifter for the front derailer and a 6-speed indexed shifter for the rear derailer. The shifters are operating by turning the grip front and back (like a motorbike ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
10 votes

How can I keep improving after my first 30km ride?

It never gets easier, you just go faster. — Greg Lemond It actually sounds like you are doing great, that 30km ride was 50% longer than your previous largest ride which is pretty significant. Just ...
Glenn Stevens's user avatar

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