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Please suggest a good bike for commuting: Iowa edition.

I am shopping for a new bike which I will use for a daily commute in Iowa City, and I am looking for suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Jul 29, 2014 - 11 answers

Is my bike too small?

I am a 5'8" woman who rides a 56cm (large) Specialized Tricross. I do not race on this bike — I have it set up for commuting and use it to ride Houston's pot-holed streets. Or, I *would* use it to ride Houston's pot-holed streets, except riding it for any longer than a couple of miles is pretty uncomfortable. [more inside]
posted by Brittanie on Jul 17, 2014 - 11 answers

6'2, new rider and looking for great first motorcycle

I just got my Endorsement after taking the Ride Oregon 3 day class and I am itching to get on my own ride and tool around! I am looking mostly at older Hondas (CM4000 specially) as I like their look and they have a reputation for being pretty bulletproof and great first riders. I, as of today, have not sat on any Hondas other than some older dirt bikes when I was younger and a old co-workers 250cc. So what I am asking is, will this bike fit me (6'2, 183lbs, 30' inseam)? If not, any models you can recommend? Since this is my first, I'm not looking to go over 700cc, with a 400-600cc non-cruiser being ideal for my eventual commute on the freeways.
posted by Asbestos McPinto on Jun 11, 2014 - 11 answers

Mountain Biking between Santa Barbara & Los Angeles

I'm having brunch in Santa Barbara this weekend, and then driving back to Los Angeles where I live. After brunch I'd like to drive for a while into the wilderness, park my car, and then ride my rigid frame mountain bike on some scenic single track (or fire roads, sure) for a few hours before heading home. Where should I go? [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 30, 2014 - 4 answers

Those bike-boat travel things! Are they good?

Have you ever been on one of those group boat-and-bike travel expeditions? Are they terrible—or amazing? [more inside]
posted by RJ Reynolds on May 30, 2014 - 2 answers

Is there another pedal-forward electric bike besides the Electra Townie?

I was considering buying an Electra Townie Go, the electric version of the Townie, but I've gotten some feedback that it's ridiculously overpriced for an electric bike ($2200+ where most electrics are less than $1500) and that the battery is very weak. Are there other pedal-forward electric bikes? [more inside]
posted by IndigoRain on May 26, 2014 - 5 answers

bike frame weight difference

If two bikes are set up completely the same way with the same components, but one is a butted chromoly frame and the other a tensile steel frame, what would the weight difference be, ball park? [more inside]
posted by atetrachordofthree on May 17, 2014 - 6 answers

From out-of-shape to the STP

So I've gotten it into my head that sometime in the next few years -- possibly as early as 2015 -- I want to participate in the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride. Though doing it in 1 day sound like a cool accomplishment, 2 days would be fine. Difficulty level: I have zero experience with distance riding, am in somewhat poor shape, have no idea what I'm doing, and, to the delight of shopkeepers everywhere, am a total sucker for trying to combat my ignorance with my wallet. [more inside]
posted by rouftop on Apr 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Brooklyn bike tune-up recommendations

Where should I take my bike in Brooklyn (preferably near Downtown/Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens) for a tune-up? [more inside]
posted by saladin on Apr 3, 2014 - 8 answers

How easy/stable is a hitch-mounted bike rack for a long minivan ride?

Our family (three full sized bikes and one 20" kid bike) takes frequent road trips to discover new bike trails. We are good riders but not very clever at bike handling (i.e. taking wheels on and off, adjusting brakes, etc.) Our trips are anywhere from 25 to 500 miles away. We have a 2010 Honda Odyssey. I have a roof rack now but it is not practical for me to lift the bikes up and down every single time; it's way up there and the bikes get unwieldy. And it freaks me out to drive with the bikes on top while we are zooming down the highway. I am thinking of getting a trailer hitch installed and getting a four bike rack for that. But practical advice is difficult to find. [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket on Mar 23, 2014 - 10 answers

Touring bike frame builders located in the San Francisco Bay Area?

I'm looking to buy a custom touring bike and I'd really like to buy locally. Can can anyone recommend any frame fabricators in the immediate San Francisco Bay Area that make really great/beautiful touring frames? Some builders that do work outside of SF that I really love are Vanilla, Geekhouse, Breadwinner, Icarus, All-City, Map, Cycles d’Autremont. I just love the idea of buying locally and supporting a local frame builder and also would appreciate better being able to contact/visit the builder. thanks!
posted by matt_od on Mar 10, 2014 - 13 answers

Tiny Black Biking Backpack

I would like a black backpack, smaller than your average backpack, that's just large enough to fit my iPad, u-lock, and a few essentials while riding my bike. Something like this would work, except I would really prefer something with a squared off rolltop or flap top to the traditional rounded zipper backpack opening. To be even more picky, I would prefer it to be water-resistant, and ideally from a small messenger bag company that manufactures in the USA. If I could just buy something like this and shoot it with a shrink ray, I'd be happy. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Mar 10, 2014 - 17 answers

Rave on Two Wheels

If you had a MonkeyLectric bike wheel light kit for one wheel, would you put it on the front or rear wheel? Expositions welcome. [more inside]
posted by planetesimal on Nov 11, 2013 - 7 answers

Ideas and advice for a DIY electric bike on the cheap.

For a long time I've thought that it would be a fun project to put together an electric bicycle. However I've been stymied by the cost and questionable quality of the existing kits, and the complications and compromises of the various DIY methods that are out there online. I have some ideas for how to go about making a cheap and simple electric bike, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm nobody's idea of an engineer so I thought I'd run some things by y'all and see what insights you have. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Oct 29, 2013 - 12 answers

What should I be looking for in a comfortable, relaxed city bike?

I've been thinking for a while about getting another bike. I have one bike that I like very much, but it's not as comfortable as I'd like for longer rides and so I tend not to ride as often as I otherwise might. I'm looking for a more relaxed and comfortable bike that will get me out on the road more often without too much sacrifice in speed. Requirements inside, recommendations appreciated. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Oct 21, 2013 - 11 answers

Switching bike forks back and forth: doable?

I have a commuter bike with no suspension and light tread tires. i have taken it on light mountain bike trails, and it handles well, but the jarring caused by a lack of suspension is killing me. i was wondering how practical/possible it would be to buy a second suspension fork and knobby(er) tire and switch the forks depending on whether i want to ride on concrete or a trail. [more inside]
posted by camdan on Oct 3, 2013 - 15 answers

Find me a bike in London (with my particular annoying needs), please!

We just moved back to London, joy! But our very heavy Dutch style bike does not lend itself to our new flat. What is your advice for finding a light compact bike relatively cheaply, ethically sourced? [more inside]
posted by jujulalia on Aug 29, 2013 - 10 answers

How much faster is a good road bike than a mediocre mountain bike?

I've been commuting to work on an old mountain bike (pretty heavy, with wide, knobby tires). After about a year of steady progress, (taking off most of the winter), I'm up to between 10-15 miles each way (20-30 miles per day), and average around 15.5-16.0 mph (~3:45 per mile). Anyway, I've been thinking about trying to ride with a few actual cyclists on longer weekend rides. I don't think these guys are competitive racers, but they're all in good shape, and they all ride high-end road bikes (e.g., carbon fiber frames, etc.). I'm not sure, but I think they average about 18-20mph on 1-2 hour rides. So - I'm trying to figure out how much of a difference my bike makes (vs. my condition), and how far from being ready to ride with them. I know my bike weighs a lot (plus a rack for my gear), and I'm sure the wide, knobby tires have much greater rolling resistance. But realistically - how much faster could I expect to be on good road bike? Is it remotely possible to quantify this? I'd hate to spend $2,000+ on a a new bike, only to discover that I'm 0.1mph faster than I was on my old beater... Thanks in advance!
posted by stuehler on Jul 1, 2013 - 27 answers

A big bike for a big human!

I'm 6'8, 375lbs and want to get a bike. What should I be looking for if I want to spend $300-$500? [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Jun 25, 2013 - 23 answers

Help, My Bike Has Gears!

After many years of riding single-speed cruisers with coaster brakes, I'm upgrading to a hybrid road bike. What do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on May 7, 2013 - 17 answers

Bicycle Advice - how long should chains/cogs last for ?

I have a five year old bike - an Avanti Blade. In those five years it's averaged 2 hours / week of riding. I'm being told I need to replace not only the chain but the front and back cogs but I have questions .... ! [more inside]
posted by southof40 on May 6, 2013 - 15 answers

Cycling routes from Pescadero to Caltrain in Silicon Valley?

I'm planning a cycling trip to San Francisco to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero in July. I think I have a pretty good idea of how to get there by just following Highway 1, but I'm not sure how to get back. Instead of going back the way I came, I'd like to ride from Pescadero over the Santa Cruz mountains to Silicon Valley and catch the CalTrain into the city. Can anyone suggest a route? The shorter the better, so the station is not important! I know it'll be a climb.
posted by Borborygmus on Apr 22, 2013 - 5 answers

City bikes: "Hybrid" vs "Dutch/upright"

I am looking to buy a bike for basic getting-around-the-city purposes and I'd like to better understand the relative advantages of "hybrid" type bikes and "Dutch/upright" type bikes. [more inside]
posted by enn on Apr 4, 2013 - 18 answers

Difference in carrying heavy bike lock on bike frame or on my body?

How does it influence my riding if I carry my 3.5 lb bike lock in my bag on my back instead of on the bike frame? Not an athlete, but I like riding fast. [more inside]
posted by arhammer on Jan 29, 2013 - 19 answers

Rain booties for friend's enormous feet and platform pedals

My roommate bikes about 4 miles to work. His feet are size 13 and he uses platform (flat) pedals. He wears pretty chunky shoes. We live in Portland, OR. For HolidayGiftingTime I bought him some Sugoi Resistor booties, but within a month they have shredded and ripped to the point of uselessness. What are some other options for the large-footed, shreddy-pedaled biker? Are there any booties specifically for platform pedals? [more inside]
posted by MonsieurBon on Jan 27, 2013 - 5 answers

Community bike shop impact studies?

Are there any studies on community bike shop impact studies on adult personal & economic self-sufficiency? [more inside]
posted by aniola on Jan 7, 2013 - 11 answers

Best ways to upgrade an old bike?

After 15 years of a VERY sedentary lifestyle, I recently started commuting to work on my bike (about 10 miles each way). After 9 months, I've really come to enjoy it; I've gained some fitness, lost some weight, and feel great about the transition. I've been riding an old bike that's I've had sitting in my basement for at least 10 years - a 1996 Specialized Stumpjumper. I replaced the tubes and tires, got it tuned up at a local bike shop, but otherwise, haven't made any changes to it. I love the bike - it works reasonably well - but I'm wondering if you knowledgeable bike experts would recommend any upgrades that would really make a big difference, and would be money well spent. [more inside]
posted by stuehler on Dec 11, 2012 - 17 answers

Baby tips for car-free biking couple in Washington DC?

We're Brits in Washington DC about to have our first baby! We have bicycles but don't own a car (use Zipcar / taxis). All the standard baby-prep advice seems to assume owning a car... so do you guys have any tips for car-free baby living? In particular: car seats (for occasional use / quick installation), diaper services and bike trailers? Details inside! [more inside]
posted by tkbarbarian on Nov 18, 2012 - 16 answers

Affordable, durable bike for a 10 year old?

Suggestions for a reasonably priced and durable bike for a ten year old? Thanks in advance, hivemind. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Nov 18, 2012 - 9 answers

Transporting Bikes From DC to Fort Lauderdale

What's the best way to get five people, their camping gear and five touring bikes from Washington, DC to Fort Lauderdale and back again? [more inside]
posted by fancypants on Sep 25, 2012 - 12 answers

Help me pick a new road bike!

I'm thinking of getting a new road bike, and would like some help in picking one. [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Aug 27, 2012 - 45 answers

What are some cities/neighborhoods to live in that are bike commutable (<45 minutes) to 24th and Olympic (Santa Monica)?

What are some cities/neighborhoods to live in that are bike commutable (<45 minutes) to 24th and Olympic in Santa Monica? Are there any specific trails or routes I should be paying attention when hunting for housing? Any specific intersections to be avoided? [more inside]
posted by minedev on Aug 21, 2012 - 6 answers

Going to San Francisco and Portland; what am I doing?

Planes and Trains and Bikes, oh my! or, Going to San Francisco and Portland for a week and a half; what should I do and see and eat? [more inside]
posted by vulgar_wheat on Jul 27, 2012 - 12 answers

Best bike to bobber for a girl?

Best motorcycle to convert into bobber for small female? [more inside]
posted by JJkiss on Jul 19, 2012 - 20 answers

Oops!

So, um, how do you put a bicycle hub gear back together? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jul 12, 2012 - 16 answers

Wanted: Bike Routes in New England that meet specific criteria.

Please suggest bike routes in New England that meet some specific criteria. We took our son on a section of the East Bay Bike Path near Providence for his first bike ride last week and he loved it. He sits in an iBert on Mom's bike. We are looking for similar routes. In looking for similar I articulate what specifically I think is good about this path for us in the extended explanation. We can ride weekdays in addition to weekends. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by safetyfork on Jun 25, 2012 - 11 answers

What kind of bike light is best?

What kind of bear bike light is best? [more inside]
posted by 254blocks on Jun 23, 2012 - 24 answers

What'd I do to my bike?

I changed my bike tire for the first time. Now my shifter/derailer isn't working properly. [more inside]
posted by prunes on Jun 17, 2012 - 20 answers

What do I need to know to improve

If I wanted to make a paying hobby out of restoring and updating old bikes, what are some resources that would help me improve my skills, research the right bikes/components, and find the right places to buy them? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jun 11, 2012 - 22 answers

Help me plan a long bike tour.

I'm planning a bike trip in July. Portland to Minneapolis? What are your experiences biking east from the West Coast? [more inside]
posted by rainperimeter on Jun 5, 2012 - 7 answers

My, what a lovely bike tire you're wearing.

Ways to repurpose bike parts? [more inside]
posted by aniola on May 25, 2012 - 21 answers

LET'S DO IT AT ONE SPEED

Hey, single-speed / fixed-gear bike conversion experts! Help me buy the right stuff from the right place at the right price! [more inside]
posted by apip on May 22, 2012 - 7 answers

Bicycle question: down to two, help me choose one.

Bicycle question: which should I choose? [more inside]
posted by Vindaloo on May 21, 2012 - 11 answers

How to choose between bicycles

I'd like to buy a new road bike and I think I have a general idea what I'm looking for (aluminum, Tiagra, WSD). Within that class of bikes, how do I choose between the available brands? [more inside]
posted by Orinda on May 14, 2012 - 12 answers

Bike rack rental in NYC?

Where can I rent a car that seats 4 people as well as a bike rack for their bikes...in NYC? [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on May 14, 2012 - 5 answers

How can I be a considerate driver behind bicyclists?

Specifics, please: how can I be a model considerate driver when I'm behind a bicyclist - especially in a park? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Apr 10, 2012 - 22 answers

Help me choose my next work-commuting bike!

Help me choose my next work-commuting bike! [more inside]
posted by Mid on Mar 24, 2012 - 11 answers

I Want to Ride My Bike Faster Than Everyone Else.

How do I go from semi-hip-commuter-cyclist-girl to super-awesome-bike-racer-chick? Help me become the female Tom Boonen. [more inside]
posted by Dorinda on Mar 22, 2012 - 13 answers

Why do my knees hurt when cycling? And then suddenly not hurt...?

Why do my knees hurt when cycling? And then suddenly not hurt...? [more inside]
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Mar 15, 2012 - 24 answers

I'm Fixing to ride.

Can I fix my bike within my budget? [more inside]
posted by Rubbstone on Mar 7, 2012 - 28 answers

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