BASIC BIKE MAINTENANCE
Simply tighten, lubricate, pump up or adjust as appropriate.
Front wheel & brake
· Check the tyre: it should feel hard, check tread is ok.
· Look for damage or wear as you slowly turn then spin the wheel, to check it runs true.
· While you have it off the ground, thump down hard on the top of the wheel to check it doesn’t fall out of the forks.
· Make sure the axle nuts or quick release nuts are tight.
· Then pull the rim side to side to test for loose hub bearings.
· While you’re looking at the rim, check the brake blocks don’t miss the rim.
· Check brake blocks are not loose.
· Check inner brake cable is not frayed at the stress points at both ends of the cable. i.e. handlebar and wheel.
· Squeeze the front brake lever hard and look inside to check the brake cable.
· Push the bike forward; the back wheel should lift off the ground.
· Rock the bike back and forth, if there is free movement look to see what it is that is moving and adjust if possible. (If you are unsure, seek advice from a trained cycle technician)
· Do the same with the rear brake lever: squeeze, cable-check and push: the back wheel should lock and slide.
· Neither brake lever should touch the bars.
· Ensure that both levers are secure.
· Then face the bike, grip the front wheel between your knees and check that the handlebars don’t twist sideways or rotate in the stem.
· Inspect your frame, particularly just behind head tube, wrinkled paint or bent tubes indicate the bike has been in an accident and the frame should be replaced.
· If you have suspension, check that it is correctly adjusted to your weight and that there is no excess play between moving parts.
· Grab the cranks and check for any sideways looseness.
· Make sure your pedals are secure in the cranks and they are not bent or damaged.
· You’ll want something (or someone) to lift the back wheel off the ground so you can turn the pedals. Do that whilst shifting all the way up and down a couple of times, front and rear.
· Check that every click delivers the next gear and the chain doesn’t overshoot at either end.
· Be sure the chain runs smoothly with no stiff links and that the chain is not too loose.
· Play should not exceed 2cm at its midpoint.
· Ensure the saddle isn’t loose by twisting and rocking it.
· The saddle top should be near horizontal and the seatpost must never be raised above the limit mark.
Rear wheel & brake
Lift the bike by the saddle to check the rear wheel just like the front. Put it down and check the rim, hub and brake the same way too.
· As you check the bike, ensure that any accessories such as mudguards, locks, bottles, pumps, carriers and luggage etc. are all securely fitted.
· Check lights and reflectors are working and clean.
· It is important that your bike is always in good working order.
· If you start at the front wheel, following a letter ‘M’ shape, move up to the handlebars, down to the chainset, back up to the saddle, and down to the rear wheel and gears, you’ll not miss anything.