We have all know the person who wonders why their brakes are not working. On inspection sees that there is no rubber left on the brake pads.
It is a good idea to have a quick check that your bike is in working order, particularly if you have transported it somewhere.
Think you’re a pilot you wouldn’t fly without checking your plane. You are the pilot of your bike. Anyway, that’s enough of me carrying on. The basic check often referred to the ‘M’ Check is a great way to do a quick once over.
I tend to start from the front, but it doesn’t matter which way around you do it.
1. Front-wheel- check that is fitted securely and that the quick-release lever is closed, or the nuts are tight.
2. Stem – make use that your handlebars bolts are tight, use a torque tool is you have one. Check that the handlebars and stem move together. The easiest way to check this is to clamp the front wheel behind your knees and wiggle the handlebars. If necessary, tighten stem bolts.
3. Headset – There shouldn’t be any play or noise (clicking) coming from your headset. Put on the front brake and grip the head tube firmly. Wiggle, to check if any of the above happen.
4. Brakes- for brake with pads check there is enough rubber or other material left. Brakes should operate smoothly without too much travel.
5. Frame – Check of damage and crack. Often occurs at the joint and don’t forget to check underneath.
6. Pedals – should spin smoothly and no creaking
7. Bottom bracket/Crankset – lift the chain off and turn the pedals. They should rotate smoothly.
8. Chain – Keep clean and oiled. If you don’t do anything else, do this one.
9.Saddle – Check it is firmly attached, and that is in the right position. They can twist slightly, and it makes a hell of a difference to your ride.
10. Tyres – should be inflated to the correct pressure. Check for damage.
11. Spokes- should be straight and need to be of equal tension. When plucked should sound/feel similar.
12. Rear wheel – the same as the front.
For course, your local friendly bike mechanic can help.
Photo credit: Shutterstock- Bottom Bracket By wk1003mike, Bike Components By stockphoto-graf and main image By Christian Nastase (text add by Alex, Sasha Cycling).