Cycling - Knowledge

Cycling Basics: Essential Bike Maintenance Checklist

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Wouldn’t it be amazing to set out on a bike and ride up and down hills, by the beach, leaving all the stress behind just you and the air. And wouldn’t it be equally amazing to enjoy this surreal ride uninterrupted? Yes, most definitely it will. Hence, figure out a bike maintenance checklist and tick off it every time you set out on the wheels.

Proper bike maintenance keeps the cycle in top functioning order. And frequent bicycle checkup contributes to your safety on the road. Spare a few minutes to do a keen pre-ride bike check up before riding off to glory.

Keep reading to know this bike maintenance checklist.

Essential Bike Maintenance Checklist

Bike maintenance
Do You Have All the Tools? (source)

Most of us may know the drill but there’s no harm is doing a second check. Here’s a basic bike maintenance checklist that every rider should do.

Bike  Checklist: The Two Fundamentals

Bike Condition and your cycling gear are the two primary concerns before going on a ride. Both of them are equally responsible for your safe and happy riding and should be .

Another component that needs distinct mention is the helmet. Never ride a bike without one. Check the helmets for any cracks on the inner surface as well as the outer shell. Try it on to ensure the straps are appropriately adjusted so that it fits the head snugly. Also, avoid wearing the helmet that rides up too high. In the event of a mishap, it won’t protect your forehead.

And so you should know how to buy bicycle helmets for optimum protection.

Core Gear Checklist: Cycling Essentials

Going on longer rides, especially out of the town will require better preps on the bike safety check front. Here’s a list of the must-have bike ato load up on before leaving with your bike.

  • Water (hydration pack; bottle with cage)
  • Snacks/energy food
  • Sunscreen
  • First-aid kit
  • Eye protection (sunglasses, clear lenses)
  • Medical info/emergency contact card

Pre-ride Inspection Checklist

Core bike maintenance
Cleaning Your Bike Should Be a Habit (source)

Next, making a thorough inspection of the bike forms another important part of the bike maintenance checklist before riding. Mechanical checks of the bike are very essential. You never know what a tiny shard of glass stuck in the tire can do in the long run. so, let’s begin the bike scrutiny drill, shall we?

Bike checklist before riding will include a checking all the parts of the bicycle to know if they are working topclass! You shall also know which five parts of your bike should you check each day.

Tires

To eliminate the chances of puncture, always do a tire pressure check before riding. Each tire has a recommended psi written on the sidewall. Ensure that your tires are within the range. Inspect the tire’s sidewalls for signs of wear and worn out patches in the tread. Remove pieces of flint lodged in the tire.

Learn how to deal with flat tires.

Next, grab the tire and check if there is any noticeable side-to-side wobbling. If there is then it is a problem with the hubs and may need adjusting. Also, check tire quick-releases to make sure they are fully tightened.

Quick-Release Levers

These hold the tires on the bike. To verify that the wheels are securely fastened get into the habit of opening and closing them before every ride. Close them tight to the frame to prevent chances of accidents.

Brakes

As we know, brakes are very important. In the midst of a ride, if you do not want to find yourself in the horror of malfunctioning brakes situation than here’s what to do- spin both the wheels and squeeze handbrakes to ensure that they apply enough pressure to stop the bike. Plus, have a look at the brake pads. Be sure that they are hitting only the rims and not the tires. In case, they are squeezing the tires, it can sustain damage.

In addition, also see that the calipers do not contract the wheel before the other in which case just re-centre the calipers by simply shifting it over the hands.

Headset

It is the part of the bike that allows rotation between the fork and the head tube. To understand headset malfunction, Apply the front brake fully and try to rock your bike back and forth. Any play or looseness indicates a loose or damaged headset and it will need adjusting.

Bottom Bracket

The bike portion that connects the crankset to the frame and allows free rotation is called bottom bracket. Make the pedals parallel to the ground, try to move the bottom bracket side to side by pushing or pulling the crank arm without letting them spin. If there’s movement then there’s wearing of the bottom bracket.

Get tips on crankset maintenance

Chain

A lot of factors contribute to chain wear such as riding style, gear choice, weather conditions, and the number of times you lube the chain. If the chain doesn’t move smoothly through the front and rear sprockets and squeaks as you pedal then some serious oiling is necessary.

Bolts

Of all the cycling bolts, the ones connecting the stem to the handlebar and the seatpost to the frame should be definitely checked before a ride. Checking if these bolts are sufficiently tight could avoid a major accident.

Check the Gears

Have an inspection of the rear derailleur. Check if they shift evenly and smoothly between all the gears on the cassette. Also make sure that the chain doesn’t fall off the front chain rings when performing shift checking. Perfectly working derailleurs will shift smoothly between the small and large chain rings.

Get tips on how to oil a bike.

Comfort and Convenience

For long rides, you must dress up appropriately and pack all the must-have bike accessories. Here's how you can prepare:

  • Padded shorts or tights
  • Wicking jersey or top
  • Gloves
  • Saddle (underseat) bag
  • Patch kit (and/or spare tube or tubes)
  • Lock
  • Watch or cycling computer
  • Cell phone
  • Cash and/or credit card
  • Map (if in unfamiliar area)

Summing up

Riders
Bike Maintenance is Essential If You Want to Ride Uninterruptedly (source)

Be it your first time or the nth riding time, making a bike maintenance checklist and sticking to it without fail is a ritual that all rider must follow. It doesn’t matter if you are going on a short ride to the nearby café or supermarket, accidents may happen anywhere, anytime. A prudent rider will always be well-prepared than sorry!

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