You don’t have to fork out cash to a mechanic to make sure your bike is safe for the road, you can do it yourself from home! Before every journey, there are checks you can make and also checks you should be making on a monthly basis.
Most people will want to just get up and go, but to stay safe on the roads you should be regularly checking your bike before you put your foot on the pedal. Not only will you be safer, but your bike will love you! It’ll last longer and work better if you take the necessary precautions to take care of it. These steps are really quick and easy and take no longer than 30 seconds to complete before each journey.
Your vital 30-second checks
Tyres and wheels
The most important of all the checks is your wheels and tyres. Make sure your tyres are properly inflated before you head out and look out for any wear and tear. It’s also important you check the nuts and mechanisms that hold your wheels in place; make sure these are secure or you could be flying over your handlebars!
Chain and gears
You should always make sure your chain turns cleanly through the front and rear sprockets and doesn’t rub against the derailleurs. This is easy to check when you start pedalling. Make sure there’re no problems with your gears or slippage. You can do this by changing the gears as you pedal slowly.
Brakes are vital – if they didn’t work, you’d be an accident waiting to happen. Squeeze your brakes when you first start riding; if your bike stops firmly and easily then they’re fit to go!
Seat and handlebars
Your seat and handlebars should be set to the exact height for you. Normally this won’t change as you know what feels right and works best for you. You should also check that the stem on both the handlebars and seat are fastened tightly. Having loose handlebars while cycling down a busy road probably wouldn’t be ideal!
Give your helmet a quick lookover, make sure there’re no cracks in it and that the straps are adjusted to fit your head perfectly. Helmets provide excellent protection and are incredibly durable but a loose helmet reduces the protection it provides.
Monthly checks to make before you hit the road
- Check your brake pads to make sure they’re not worn out. Normally you’ll be able to tell if they’re working correctly, while you use your brakes on a daily basis. However, you should always give them a quick look over with a keen eye.
- Check the spokes on your wheels are of equal tension and aren’t loose. Pluck each spoke with your finger and each time it should make a similar noise. If it doesn’t, you may have to buy a new wheel.
- Check that your chain is clean and well-oiled. This is important so your bike runs smoothly.
- Check the frame of the bike for any cracks; specifically, look at where the frames join (along the welding lines).
Now you know the basic of keeping your bike in tip-top condition, what are you waiting for? Close your browser, get your foot on the pedal and enjoy what your bike has to offer!
Published on 8th October 2015.