With thanks to the Amy Gillett Foundation.
Here’s a checklist to use when giving the bike a check over and you should always check tyres, brakes and gears each time you ride. We also recommend you have a bike mechanic give your bike a thorough service and check-over when needed.
Lift the front end of the bike by the handlebar stem:
- pat the front tyre to check the wheel is tight in the frame. If it has a quick release lever to hold the wheel in position, check it has been closed using firm pressure (enough to leave an imprint in your palm)
- squeeze the sides of the front tyre to check inflation. It should be hard to push in. Many tyres have a recommended inflation pressure range written on their side – if you have a pump with a pressure gauge, check the pressure is in the recommended range at least once a week.
- wobble the tyre /wheel from side to side to check there is no excessive movement.
- Spin the wheel and check it rotates without excessive side to side movement or brake rub.
Return the wheel to the ground, apply the front and rear brakes:
- check that the brake pads meet the rim evenly.
- check that the cables inside the levers are free from fraying.
- check that the brakes work by pushing the bike forward and engaging the brakes.
- If your bike has disc brakes:
- Check when applying the brake that the feel at the lever is firm, not spongy, and that full brake can be applied before the lever reaches the bar.
- Check the disc rotors do not rub excessively when the wheel is rotating. Do not touch the braking surface of the disc rotor, the oil from your skin can reduce the braking performance
Release the brakes, step over the front wheel and grip it between the knees:
- grasping the handlebar grips, check for no side to side or up and down movement.
- check that all levers on the handlebars are tightly fitted.
Move towards the rear of the bike, grasp the saddle:
- check it cannot be moved up and down or side to side.
Lift the rear of the bike by the saddle:
- pat the tyre in the direction of the rear drop-outs to check the rear wheel is tight in the frame. Again, If it has a quick release lever to hold the wheel in position, check it has been closed using firm
- pressure (enough to leave an imprint in your palm)
- squeeze the sides of the rear tyre to check inflation.
- wobble the tyre/wheel from side to side to check there is no excessive movement
- Spin the wheel and check it rotates without excessive side to side movement or brake rub
Ask the rider to work the pedals by hand whilst you continue to hold the rear wheel off the ground by the saddle:
- work the back gear lever from one extreme to the other (whilst rider pedals by hand) to check that the chain will not throw off the largest or smallest sprocket jam.
- repeat using the front gear changer to ensure the chain will not throw off the chain-rings.
- wobble the pedals side to side in turn to check there is no excessive play in the bearings or in the bottom bracket.