Giving your bike a regular once-over is a great habit to get into and can be relatively quick and easy. Follow the tips below to help make your ride as safe, smooth and enjoyable as possible.
- Applying both front and back brakes firmly should stop the bike in its tracks.
- Make sure your brakes are squeezing the rim of the wheel and aren’t touching the tyre.
- If you notice you have to pull the brake levers too close in to the handlebars to stop, your brake cables and pads may need replacing.
Wheels and tyres
- Check both wheels are firmly attached to the frame by rocking it from side to side.
- Check the tyre tread for wear, bulges or bald spots and remove anything embedded in the tread.
- Make sure your tyres are properly inflated!
Saddle and handlebars
- Getting the saddle height right is important – as a rule, adjust the saddle height until you can stretch your leg out and comfortably place the ball of your foot on the ground. Your leg should be slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest point.
- You can then set the handlebar height so that the top of the stem is slightly below the top of the saddle.
- Finally, check your handlebars, stem and saddle are secure and that all the bolts are tight.
- Check that you can change easily from one gear to another – you may need to tighten or loosen the cable but consult a mechanic if you’re not confident!
- It’s good to give your chain a good wipe clean and lubricate with chain oil on a monthly basis (or more often if the weather’s been wet) – run the chain backwards as you apply and wipe off any excess with a rag.
Frame and forks
- Check the frame and forks for any cracks, especially at the front and around the bottom bracket – unlikely, but definitely worth checking.
And finally, stay safe!
- There are some important 'dos and don'ts' when it comes to cycling safely on the road. Please take the time to read these really helpful safety pointers that our friends over at British Cycling have provided.