As a cyclist your bike is your tool, so it’s vital that you keep everything in good working order. Just like a car, bikes rely on a few key components to transport your safely at high speeds, and over potentially rough ground. That’s why your pre-ride bike check is more than just a performance thing – it’s a matter of safety. If you’re starting to get into cycling, it’s vital that you develop a good pre-ride bike check process. But what do you need to check? To help you develop your own process, we have listed five must do pre-ride bike checks. So give them a go before your next ride – the results will probably speak for themselves!
#1 Start your pre-ride bike check from the ground up by checking your tyres
All good pre-ride bike checks start from the ground up. So what better place to begin your pre-ride bike checks than the tyres? When you’re checking over your bike tyres, the first thing you should look at is pressure. Your tyre should be very firm to the touch, and when you mount your bike the tyres should not bulge very noticeably. If they do, give them a few pumps of air and check again. If you want to fill them according to psi, have a look at the manufacturer’s recommendations. Another thing to be mindful of is the wheel; it should be able to spin freely without touching the brake pads. So lift up the front and back wheels to give them a spin. If they appear buckled at all, take them to the experts at your bike shop.
#2 Do a pre-ride bike check of your seat: is it fastened at the right height for you?
As you start to get more serious about your cycling, you will probably come to notice the small things that improve your riding. One of those things is posture. When you’re cycling, posture is everything; it affects your wind resistance, your muscle exertion, and your comfort. So before you take off, include a thorough check of your bike seat in your pre-ride bike check. Your bike seat should be firmly fastened at the right height. To make sure that’s the case, jump on a give it a brief ride around to get a good feel for your posture. If it feels right, you’re good to go! If it feels a bit off, simply adjust it and try again.
#3 Include your brakes in your pre-ride bike check – they are one of the most important safety features
Brakes: they are your number one safety feature! So it goes without saying that a check of your brakes should be a big part of your pre-ride bike check. But what do you have to look out for? There are a few signs that indicate your brakes may not be up to scratch. The first of these is brake fluid. If you can see evidence of leaking brake fluid, you might have to call off your daily ride and take your bike to the experts for repair. Leaking brake fluid can do two things. Firstly, it can indicate that your brakes are leaking, which means air has likely penetrated your brake lines. That can cause dangerous brake failure, and pretty much takes your bike out of commission. Secondly, brake fluid can leak onto your rotors and lubricate them. This will drastically reduce your brakes’ effectiveness and increase your stopping distance significantly.
#4 Go over your chain during your pre-ride bike check: are there any signs of rust or damage?
Pre-ride bike checks should also include a bit of general maintenance. Cast an eye over your bike chain and gauge its condition; are there any rusty or seized links? If so, you might want to consider getting a replacement in the very near future. Rusty chains are less efficient and prone to snapping suddenly.
#5 Make sure everything is firmly in place by checking and tightening any loose bolts
Finally, it’s time to bust out the socket set and finish your pre-ride bike check with a look at the nuts and bolts. Different bikes are held together differently, so you may need a combination of screwdrivers, Allen keys, and sockets to tighten everything. Or you can save yourself the trouble and contact our team of experts for comprehensive bike maintenance. It’s great for your safety and your bike’s longevity!