Bike safety check is as important as practicing good road sense. We are always so eager to quickly get on the road that we often forget that like us, your bike needs a good look to see if it’s equally ready to go!
Unfortunately, our bikes can’t talk so we have to check up on them ourselves. Chasing for time? No worries. Here’s a quick safety checklist you can do, all under 2 minutes!
Spinning your crank
Let’s start off with spinning your crank. 2 things you can check here.
1. If any of your chain links are twisted, bent or split opened.
2. If your derailleur’s indexing is inaccurate. Change a few gears on the front and back and see how the chain is shifting.
If anything is off, you will hear an extra click or clunky noise from the drivetrain. That means, you probably should take a closer look!
Spinning the wheels
First, visually look for any debris on your wheelset, broken spokes or nipples. Then lift the wheel and spin it. Check for the wheel’s alignment and make sure it doesn’t wobble.
Next, put your finger lightly on the rubber and inspect for any potential problem that can be aggravated when you start the ride; such as a cut on the sidewall, or even a small stapler lodged into the thread. Repeat for the other wheel!
Shake your bon bon!
Yes, literally shake your bike. But of course, with purpose. What you need to do is, put your front wheel in between your legs, but you don’t have to press your legs in to lock the wheel.
Allow some space, so when you shake your handlebar left and right, you can check if the stem is loose. Obviously, everything should be secured and moving together. It can disastrous when your stem is loose! When you try turning left, the handlebar moves; BUT the wheel is still straight!
Pressing your brakes
Walk with your bike and press hard to make sure your brakes bite. Do it individually, front and back. Anything off, such as a squeak should be looked at.
If you feel you need more pressure than usual to apply brakes, you should also stop and check. It can be a cable or housing issue, loose screws or even simply, your brakes in an open position.
Okay, last one! This is sort of unorthodox, but really, just by lifting your front wheel a bit and letting it drop and bounce, you can know if your headset is secured. If an unusual, rattling sound is heard, you know something is off.
So better take a look. An unsecured headset can easily destroy your beloved steed. It just takes one bump to lose control of your bike! In addition to that, you can also find out if some bolts are loose, such as the bottle cage bolts and handlebar clamp bolts.
So there you go! All under 2 minutes. You can easily do this while waiting for your lift, in the lift, under the void deck, at the car park or your own front lawn! No excuses! Get this habit started!
Author: Irsyad Marican
Sports has always been close to his heart but racing bicycles is the extra special one. It’s been 3 years since his first race and there’s more in his tank. He enjoys time-trialling and loves bicycles that speaks to him.