If you’re new to the sport, bike maintenance may seem like an extremely daunting thing, in some cases, it can be, but in the case of pre-ride checks, it is 100% something you should be doing on your own. In this post, we’ll cover the basics, so that you can feel confident checking your bike over.
By using our very own Ellen as test subject, you’ll see the pre ride check from start to finish down in the video below.
Starting from the front of the bike…
- Pump the tyres to the correct pressure. (if in doubt, 30 to 32psi does for most people and most terrains)
- Make sure the front wheel is secured and there is no side to side movement.
- Squeeze spokes, they should all feel around the same tension.
- Check that the front brake doesn’t rub. (a slight rub is okay – We’ll cover this in another post)
- Put the front wheel between your legs and turn the handlebars – Both the bars and wheel should move together, if not tighten stem bolts.
- Pull the front brake and rock the bike back and forth, there should be no free movement (knocking)
- Put your arm over / through the bike and hold each crank, wiggle and check there is no play (knocking)
- Move hands from cranks to pedals, check there is no free play.
- Check the saddle and seatpost for movement, once again, there should be none.
- Check that the rear wheel is secured as you did with the front.
- Check the spokes in the rear wheel for similar tension.
- Lift the bike and spin the rear wheel, the brake should not rub.
If you find something you’re not sure of, take your bike to a shop or visit one of our other maintenance posts.