Bike Maintenance and Repairs

15th September 2015

Five quick Bike safety checks

The quick checks below should take less than 30 seconds but are an easy way to make sure you stay as safe as possible each time you go out on your bike.

  1. Tyres and Wheels: Before you get on your bike, check your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. Take a quick look all the way around for places where the rubber might be cracked, gouged or worn. Also, check the nuts or quick release mechanisms that hold your wheels in place. Verify that your wheels are securely fastened so they don’t come out while riding.
  2. Brakes: Squeeze your brake levers to make sure that they apply enough pressure to stop your bike and that you don’t have any problems with fraying or stretched cables.  Also eyeball the brake pads in the front and back to be sure they are hitting only the rims and not the tires. You only want the brake pads on the rims, because that allows a gentler, more consistent stop.
  3. Saddle and handle bar heightNext, check to make sure that your handle bar is set at the right height, that the stem is fastened tightly and that your seat is set at the correct height.
  4. Helmet: As you get ready to put on your helmet, look it over once to make sure there are no cracks on the outer shell or inner surface. Check too, that the straps are adjusted so that the helmet fits snugly, and sits down on your forehead, hitting somewhere above your eyebrows. A common mistake is to wear a helmet that rides up too high, which won’t protect your forehead in the event of a fall.
  5. Chain and gears: The last thing to check is that your chain turns cleanly through your front and rear sprockets and doesn’t rub against the derailleurs. You can do this as you pedal when you first set off. At the same time, quickly run your bike through its range of gears to make sure there are no problems with rough shifting, chain slippage etc., and that the drive train is free from excessive grime and doesn’t need lubrication.