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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! There are checks you can make before every journey you make and checks you should be making on a monthly basis.
Most people will want to just get up and go, including myself, 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 before each journey.
The most important of all the checks is your wheels and tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated before you head out, don’t forget to also look out for any wear and tear on your tires. The nuts and mechanisms that hold your wheel in place are also important to look out for, make sure these are tight in place or you could be you flying over your handlebars!
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 do and you could do this when you start pedalling. Make sure there’re no problems with your gears as well such as slippage. Does this by changing the gears as you pedal slowly.
Brakes are vital, you’d be an accident waiting to happen without them fully functioning. Squeeze your brakes when you first start riding, if your bike stops firmly and easily then they’re fit to go!
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 the stem on both the handlebars and seat are fastened tightly. Loose handlebars down a busy road probably wouldn’t be the best situation for you to be in!
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.
– Check your brake pads to make sure they’re not worn out. Normally you’ll be able to tell just from using your brakes on a daily basis but 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 lose. How on earth am I going to do that do you wonder? One simple tool, your finger. 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, it’s important to check it’s well oiled 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 and get your foot on the pedal and enjoy what your bike has to offer!
Published on 14th October 2015.