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    Thread: Sidewalks are harsh.

    1. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      04-02-2012 10:59 PM #1
      I just recently came into possession of an older K2 road bike, needed a little TLC but I got her all fixed up. This was my first ever road bike, I had mountain bikes when I was in my teens but once I got my drivers license that was the end of that. Now Im in my 30's and wanting desperately to get back into better shape.

      Well I went and took it out today, checked the tires before hand and put air in them and a new tube on back. The tires say 110lb of PSI (not a range of pressure but a single number), I guess thats normal but for some reason I felt scared to put that much air in and stopped around 90 or so. I don't know the condition of the front tube and the rear I was worried about it pinching and not seating correctly since it was the first time I ever replaced a tube.

      I took the bike out of a few rounds around the block, riding on the street for 3/4 of the way (their backroads, relax) but the main road forced me onto the sidewalk and MAN that is a hard ride. I know my mountain bike when I was younger had not only front suspension but I'm positive the tires had pressure nowhere near that high.

      Should I put them up to the recommended 110 PSI or is 90ish ok? I only weigh about 145 so Im not heavy on the tires at all. They are hard as a rock and don't deflect at all when I'm on it. I know lowering the pressure will make the ride a bit softer at the expense of rolling resistance, but is it worth it?
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    2. Member genjy's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 12:04 AM #2
      I have two aluminum frame fixed-gear bikes that I ride on the sidewalk 99% of the time--110 PSI in all of the tires. It was pretty rough at first, but nothing I wasn't able to get used to. One of them now even has a hard road saddle.

      I had one of the bikes at 90 PSI for a while, but the rolling resistance just killed most of the enjoyment out of it--and I think less than 90 PSI would be unbearable for me.

      Maybe you can keep the tires at 90 or 110 PSI, but get a softer saddle?

    3. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 12:14 AM #3
      I should of mentioned the saddle. Its got a shock-absorbing post and the seat says "women's comfort"... hey I don't care, its soft
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Carolla
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    4. Member lojasmo's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 06:16 AM #4
      Why would you ride a bike on a sidewalk?

    5. Member SpeedyD's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 07:18 AM #5
      Get off the sidewalks, ladies.
      Sent from my basement using two tin cans and a string.

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      04-03-2012 07:57 AM #6
      you are correct, mountain bike tires do not have as high of pressure. the larger diameter allows pressures around 35-60psi instead of 90-145psi. larger tires always absorb more road bumps

      that said...

      it's illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in philly (if that is still where you currently reside)
      http://www.phila.gov/philacode/html/...idewalks_.html

      you can get a $50 ticket, here's why
      http://bikephl.bicyclecoalition.org/...s-illegal.html

      here's more information
      http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/content/faq#sidewalks

    7. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 09:05 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyD View Post
      Get off the sidewalks, ladies.
      So you would rather I ride in traffic around a large blind turn. Fantastic idea!

      Actually I live in the suburbs and I've ridden this same stretch of sidewalk since I was a little kid and its ridden all the time by bikers avoiding the dangerous part of the road. It does have 3 house on that stretch and never has anyone said anything that live in those homes.
      Last edited by KeiCar; 04-03-2012 at 09:08 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Carolla
      "It shouldn't be called a radar detector, it should be called a rape detector. This is my own little electronic rape whistle."
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    8. 04-03-2012 09:36 AM #8
      The road is a much yours on a bike as it is a car's. Only noobs ride on the side walk (besides that it's illegal). Wear a helmet if you're worried and pay attention to what's going on around you

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      04-03-2012 09:51 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      So you would rather I ride in traffic around a large blind turn. Fantastic idea!
      Most of us in this forum do so every day.

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      04-03-2012 02:15 PM #10
      You can get away with 90psi, most of the time. a hard hit will flat the tube, but not a biggie.

      MORE accidents happen with bikes on sidewalks by cars not expecting something moving that fast down them as they turn in a parking lot, drive way, etc. Also a ped coming out of a store or house is not expecting you.....and at 20mph or so, you easily can kill someone and be to blame for it. get used to going with traffic on the edge of the road and you'll then be able to safely ride anywhere in the world.

    11. Member genjy's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 02:47 PM #11
      Sorry--on the sidewalk, I can proactively protect myself by peeking around corners and driveways, ride around pedestrians, and maneuver the bike as needed. I have more control of my safety on the sidewalk.

      On the road, I am at the complete mercy of the cars next to me and behind me. One bad, drunk, or distracted driver and I am dead. There's no way I could outmaneuver a car coming at me at 40mph+.

      There are times when riding on the road is perfectly safe--just not all the time.

      I know this isn't everyone's opinion or even lawful, but I have had way too many very, very close calls riding on the road to think that it's the only way to ride.

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      04-03-2012 03:13 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      Sorry--on the sidewalk, I can proactively protect myself by peeking around corners and driveways, ride around pedestrians, and maneuver the bike as needed. I have more control of my safety on the sidewalk.

      On the road, I am at the complete mercy of the cars next to me and behind me. One bad, drunk, or distracted driver and I am dead. There's no way I could outmaneuver a car coming at me at 40mph+.

      There are times when riding on the road is perfectly safe--just not all the time.

      I know this isn't everyone's opinion or even lawful, but I have had way too many very, very close calls riding on the road to think that it's the only way to ride.

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      04-03-2012 05:53 PM #13
      Hard to go fast with squishy tires. I ride 120-130psi all the time.
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    14. Member Some cats and a Rabbit's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 09:49 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      Sorry--on the sidewalk, I can proactively protect myself by peeking around corners and driveways, ride around pedestrians, and maneuver the bike as needed. I have more control of my safety on the sidewalk.

      On the road, I am at the complete mercy of the cars next to me and behind me. One bad, drunk, or distracted driver and I am dead. There's no way I could outmaneuver a car coming at me at 40mph+.

      There are times when riding on the road is perfectly safe--just not all the time.

      I know this isn't everyone's opinion or even lawful, but I have had way too many very, very close calls riding on the road to think that it's the only way to ride.
      I don't think riding on the street is ever "perfectly safe" but that's where you belong on a bike. Take what precautions you can, wear a helmet, be alert and enjoy the ride; nothing in life is perfectly safe.

    15. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 10:41 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by pschmerg View Post
      No go on, tell us how you really feel.
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Carolla
      "It shouldn't be called a radar detector, it should be called a rape detector. This is my own little electronic rape whistle."
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      04-03-2012 11:11 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      On the road, I am at the complete mercy of the cars next to me and behind me. One bad, drunk, or distracted driver and I am dead. There's no way I could outmaneuver a car coming at me at 40mph+.
      in 2009 in the US, there were 33,808 traffic fatalities. of those, 630 were cyclists. you are at the complete mercy of other drivers whether you are in a car or a bike or on foot. if you REALLY want to avoid the bad, drunk, or distracted drivers, i suggest you park your car and begin taking public transit everywhere.

    17. Member lojasmo's Avatar
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      04-03-2012 11:51 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      Sorry--on the sidewalk, I can proactively protect myself by peeking around corners and driveways, ride around pedestrians, and maneuver the bike as needed. I have more control of my safety on the sidewalk.

      On the road, I am at the complete mercy of the cars next to me and behind me. One bad, drunk, or distracted driver and I am dead. There's no way I could outmaneuver a car coming at me at 40mph+.

      There are times when riding on the road is perfectly safe--just not all the time.

      I know this isn't everyone's opinion or even lawful, but I have had way too many very, very close calls riding on the road to think that it's the only way to ride.
      Sidewalks are for pedestrians and preschoolers on bicycles. If you are an adult, and ride a bike, you should ride on the road, and follow regular traffic rules.

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      04-04-2012 06:38 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      So you would rather I ride in traffic around a large blind turn. Fantastic idea!
      Yeah, I would. I've been riding on the road for 25 years and I'm not dead, and neither are the thousands of other road riders who know what they're doing. You're an idiot.
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    19. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      04-04-2012 07:58 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyD View Post
      Yeah, I would. I've been riding on the road for 25 years and I'm not dead, and neither are the thousands of other road riders who know what they're doing. You're an idiot.
      Im an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car, yea that makes a lot of sense. Glad to know that you know what your doing, I'm sure in your 25 years of riding (I care?) you managed to mind control the other drivers, cause you know, they NEVER pose a threat otherwise

      Your the reason most drivers hate bikes.
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Carolla
      "It shouldn't be called a radar detector, it should be called a rape detector. This is my own little electronic rape whistle."
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      04-04-2012 09:02 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      Im an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car, yea that makes a lot of sense. Glad to know that you know what your doing, I'm sure in your 25 years of riding (I care?) you managed to mind control the other drivers, cause you know, they NEVER pose a threat otherwise

      Your the reason most drivers hate bikes.

      The majority of accidents with cyclists occur at intersections, and very few accidents happen during overtaking. A sidewalk creates an intersection at each side street that you cross, so you're effectively increasing your risk of being hit by riding on a sidewalk. Not to mention the fact that you're annoying tons of pedestrians and limiting your speed.

      Ride on the street like you're a car. Stay in the right lane, and if you're in a situation where it is dangerous for a car to pass you, take the lane. Driver's will stop. They might be pissed at you, but its very unlikely that you'll be hit.

      Just to add, the only time I've been hit by a car was on the sidewalk. I've stuck to the roads since.

    21. 04-04-2012 10:48 AM #21
      how are you all giving him pressure recommendations when you dont know what size tires hes running or his weight?

      if you plan on riding on rough terrain (ie sidewalks) larger tires at a lower pressure will help the bike adsorb the vibrations/bumps.

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      04-04-2012 11:50 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      So you would rather I ride in traffic around a large blind turn. Fantastic idea!
      I would. Statistically the sidewalk is many times more dangerous, and I've been hit by a car because I was riding on the sidewalk. It's illegal for exactly that reason.
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      04-04-2012 12:01 PM #23
      .... he said he's 145 lbs.

    24. 04-04-2012 12:39 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      Im an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car, yea that makes a lot of sense.
      No, you're an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car and then taking action that directly correlates to an increased chance of you getting hit by a car.

      In regard to pressure, and since I'm lacking mulitquote skills, B3passatBMX, unless you're crazy heavy, try running a scoot less pressure. You're in the area where you may well be increasing rolling resistance due to your pressure. I'm 185ish, and I now run 110-115psi in my Open Corsas and feel much faster than I did at 120.

    25. 04-04-2012 12:48 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by M this 2! View Post
      .... he said he's 145 lbs.
      missed that skimming. thanks for all the periods though.

      The issue with riding on the sidewalk is that if a car actually checks to see if its clear, they are not expecting a person walking/running to be going as fast as a bike would be on the sidewalk.

    26. 04-04-2012 01:45 PM #26


      I'd recommend 100-110psi in your tires. Wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

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      04-04-2012 01:50 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      Im an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car, yea that makes a lot of sense. Glad to know that you know what your doing, I'm sure in your 25 years of riding (I care?) you managed to mind control the other drivers, cause you know, they NEVER pose a threat otherwise

      Your the reason most drivers hate bikes.
      The one time I was hit and seriously injured on my bike back when I was 15, I was riding down the sidewalk.

      The paramedics explained why riding on the sidewalk is a bad idea, and how although it feels safer, its not.

      Just like how having very high beltlines on a car (e.g. chrysler 300c) gives its driver a false sense of safety, or a the high ride height of an SUV, etc etc

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      04-04-2012 07:06 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by KeiCar View Post
      Im an idiot for not wanting to get hit by a car, yea that makes a lot of sense. Glad to know that you know what your doing, I'm sure in your 25 years of riding (I care?) you managed to mind control the other drivers, cause you know, they NEVER pose a threat otherwise
      That's right, you noob idiot. Almost 100,000 miles ridden without ever being hit by a car. I think you overestimate the threat. By all means though, go ahead and do what you think is best based on your zero experience and don't listen to all of us who've actually done it.
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      04-04-2012 07:20 PM #29
      isn't it ILLEGAL to ride you bike on the sidewalk?
      it has been everywhere I've lived.
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      04-04-2012 07:59 PM #30
      Might as well just drive your car on the sidewalk too, douchebag.

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      04-04-2012 10:24 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by mk2gtd View Post
      isn't it ILLEGAL to ride you bike on the sidewalk?
      it has been everywhere I've lived.
      see post #6

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      04-05-2012 09:50 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyD View Post
      That's right, you noob idiot. Almost 100,000 miles ridden without ever being hit by a car. I think you overestimate the threat. By all means though, go ahead and do what you think is best based on your zero experience and don't listen to all of us who've actually done it.
      you can lead a horse to water, but you cant force it to drink . . .

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      04-06-2012 09:56 PM #33
      You know, without knowing the specifics of his roads, I'm not going to jump down this guy's throat for riding on the sidewalk.

      There's a quarter-mile stretch of road that is the only way for me to get to my home and I ride on the sidewalk along it (although technically it's a multi-use trail, where bicycles are permitted).

      Why?

      Because that quarter-mile stretch is a very narrow four-lane road with no median and instead of a shoulder it has a raised curb -- absolutely no room for a cyclist to share a lane with a car. This road has a lot of traffic, and this particular stretch is bounded on both ends by blind downhill curves. While the speed limit is 35 (marked at 20 at the curves on each end), people do 50 to 55 all day long. Any bicyclist on the road will force traffic into the inside lane. If this happens right after one of the blind corners -- say two cars come around the corner side-by-side and encounters a bicyclist -- there's a good chance of an accident. At that point, the odds are stacked against the person wearing lycra.

      Frankly, almost all cyclists in the area avoid this particular stretch of road and take a different route instead; as I said, I have to ride along it to get to my home.

      So, as a general rule I agree that one should always ride in the road. Except when one shouldn't.
      Last edited by dts; 04-06-2012 at 10:27 PM.

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