Just like any machine, a bicycle will work better and last longer if you care for it properly. Get in the habit of checking your bike regularly – a few simple checks and maintenance can help you enjoy trouble-free riding and avoid expensive repairs.
The information provided below will help you make sure your bike is safe to ride.
- Check your rear wheel is securely fitted and the quick release lever, if it has one, is in the closed position. If the bike does not have quick release levers, check that the nuts on both sides of the wheel are tight.
- Ensure that the spokes are of equal tension and not loose. If you ‘pluck’ each spoke with your finger, the sound from each spoke should be very similar.
- Test that the pressure in your tyres is correct. If the tyre is soft, then attach your pump to the valve and inflate to the right pressure. The recommended pressure, or pressure range, is normally written on the sidewall of the tyre.
- Ensure that the seat post isn’t loose and that it does not exceeded the limit mark indicated on the post. If loose tighten the seat post clamp until tight. Once you have finished give it one last check.
- The chain should be clean and oiled. Keeping the chain clean and oiled is essential for the smooth running of your bike. Clean the chain if dirty, and then lubricate with some oil, but not too much.
- Your pedals should spin smoothly and not creak or squeak. Check that the cranks are securely fastened.
- The handlebar clamp bolts should be tight and the front wheel and stem should move together. Any movement in either item can be eradicated by tightening of the stem bolts or handlebar clamp, as appropriate.
- Ensure that both the front and rear brakes are working properly. If the brake lever is able to travel near to or all the way to the handlebar grip, then the brake cable will need adjustment. Both sides of the brake mechanism should move evenly together when the brake is applied. If the brake mechanism is not moving evenly, adjust them to correct the problem.
- Inspect the frame for any cracks or damage, particularly where there are welded joins.