Posted on 12th Mar 2013 @ 12:05 PM
If you’re thinking the weather is improving and it would be nice to jump on your bike next time the sun is out, here are some handy tips to keep your bike in top working order and to make sure you stay as safe as possible when you’re out on your bike.
It’s important you get into the habit of performing five simple maintenance checks whenever you ride. These checks are quick and easy and should take no more than 30 seconds!! Regular checks will help avoid the most common mechanical failures and ensure your safety each time you go out on your bike.
1. Tyres and Wheels - before you get on your bike check your tyres to make sure they are correctly inflated within the tyre manufacturers’ pressure guidelines, normally shown on the tyre sidewall. Take a quick look all the way around the tyre surface for any areas of excess wear or cracks or gouges in the surface.
Also, check the nuts or quick release mechanism that holds your wheels in place are securely fastened.
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.
Take a quick glance at the brake pads to be sure they are hitting the braking surface on the rims and not making contact with the tyres. Brake blocks must not be touching the tyre as this cause damage and will wear to the tyre. Adjust the block position to avoid the tyre sidewall, so it runs aligned to the rim braking surface.
Spin the wheels and you can check the brakes and wheels run freely without contact when not required.
3. Seat post and handlebar stem - check to make sure that your handlebar / stem and saddle / post are set at the right height and fastened tightly. Ensure both are secure as it gets pretty scary if you suddenly can’t steer your bike!
4. Chain and Gears - check that your chain turns cleanly through the front and rear sprockets and doesn't rub against the derailleurs. Probably easiest to do this with a short ride or when you first set off by running quickly through the full range of gears. This will highlight issues with rough shifting, chain slippage, dirt, etc.
5. Helmet - finally, look over your helmet to make sure there are no cracks on the outer shell or inner surface. Also check the straps are adjusted so that the helmet fits snugly and sits level with your forehead somewhere just above your eyebrows, not to high.
Quick and Easy but Very, Very Important!!