When the open road is calling you want to be out the door and riding as fast as you can. But taking a few minutes to check over your bike before you jump in the saddle is a good habit to get into, helping you catch potential problems before they develop into dangerous (and expensive) hazards. Here’s a quick checklist to run through before you hit the road or tracks.
1. Check any quick-release parts. Make sure quick release wheels or seat posts are closed tight.
2. Check the wheels. Spin the wheels in the frame to ensure they aren’t rubbing on the brake pads, frame or fork. If you see any wobbles they may need to be trued (straightened). This is a bit of a tricky process, so you might want to pop and see a bike mechanic.
3. Inspect the tyres. Check your tyre pressure – low tyre pressure can force you to use a lot more energy than needed, and will also make the tyre more prone to punctures. The recommended maximum PSI will be printed on the tyre sidewall. Check for any cuts, nicks or embedded debris.
4. Test the brakes. Spin the wheels and squeeze the brakes to make sure they’re stopping the wheels. Inspect the brake pads and ensure they’re not rubbing while the wheel is spinning. If your bike has v-brakes, check that the brake pad closes onto the wheel rim, not the tyre wall. If the pads have a shiny coating, or they’re squealing a lot, give them a light sand. This will also help improve braking performance.
5. Lube the chain. Have a look over the chain and add lube if it looks or feels dry.
6. Check your spares. Make sure you’re carrying a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, multi-tool and a pump. There’s nothing worse than springing a leak in the middle of nowhere and having to walk home!
And if you notice anything amiss during your checks, our qualified bike mechanics are here to help. We offer a wide range of bike servicing options at both our Auckland and Christchurch branches. Give us a call on 03 982 2966 (Christchurch) or 09 257 4673 (Auckland) to organise a time.
Have a great week,