Hi everyone, Luke here! Bike safety is incredibly important to me, so I wanted to compile a quick list of what you should check before you hop on your bike for a ride. Obviously, this can go into greater detail, but here are the basic checks. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me or pop down to the shop! We will be holding maintenance classes this Spring, so watch out for those as well.
Check the air in both tyres and add more if you can squeeze them easily. They should be very firm and the maximum PSI or the amount of air you can put in will be written on the side of your tyre.
2. RELEASE SKEWERS
Make sure your skewers on the bike wheels are secure for safety reasons. Some wheels have nuts so again make sure these are tight.
Brake shoes or pads should be in line with the rim of the wheel and not hit the tyre when the lever is pulled. Ideally they should both move the same distance to meet the rim and not be wearing unevenly.
Next step is to stand over the bike and hold the front wheel between your ankles, try turning the handlebars side to side. If the bars turn while the wheel stays straight you need to tighten the stem bolts as this is a big safety issue.
Next we need to check the chainset, crankset or more simply put, the pedal arms. Hold one of the arms and push and pull on it towards the frame. Make sure you don’t hold the pedal, as this can also be an issue on its own. If you can feel any movement or rocking try tightening the 8mm allen key or 14mm socket holding the arm on.
6. SADDLE HEIGHT
Saddle height should be comfortable and allow you to be on tip toes whilst seated. General fine tuning can be done as you get more experienced riding and find out what works best for you - pedalling action, type of bike or shoe can all affect saddle height.
7. GEARS AND A SIMPLE VISUAL CHECK FROM THE BACK OF YOUR BIKE
You need to lean the bike upright and get behind the right side of the rear wheel, checking the rear gear dérailleur is in a very vertical position, the two plastic wheels should be above one another.
*If any of these checks don't match with your bike, please do bring it to your local bike shop. If you notice any untoward noises when braking, shifting or during riding, then it's best to take it to a bike shop. Bikes should be quiet, cleaned once in a while, and most importantly safe and fun!
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