Giving your bike a quick safety check
Published 22 September 2011
You don't have to be a fully-trained mechanic to keep your bike in good working order. Here's what we think are the most important things to get right when checking and maintaining your bike.
Is my bike safe to ride?
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon be well on your way.
1. Take a good look at your bike. Sounds simple but does it look in good condition? Are the wheels pumped up? Is the chain on? Is the seat secure?
2. Check the brakes. Apply both front and back brakes firmly – this should stop the bike in its tracks.
3. Wheels secure? Check both wheels are firmly attached to the frame by rocking it from side to side.
4. Something to hold on to. Check your handlebars are secure in the stem and the stem's secure in the front forks. Try to rotate the bars forward and backward and side to side. If there’s any movement, tighten the bolts.
5. Try out your gears. On smooth, flat ground, away from traffic, check that you can change easily from one gear to another.
6. Shine a light. Has your bike got working lights? Remember if you’re riding your bike at night you need a steady or flashing, fixed white light on the front and a steady or flashing, fixed red light on the back.
Don’t leave home without…
- Puncture repair kit
- Pump – to give your tyres an extra boost, if needed
- Small change / mobile phone in case you break down
- Letting someone know where you’re going.
You’ve now got the basics – so what are you waiting for? On your bike, get set and go for a nice bike ride and join in the biggest celebration of bike rides the UK has ever seen.