Pre Ride Checks

Thursday 13th October 2016

Making sure you've got the right equipment for your ride is essential (check our guide here), but it's much better that this stuff is there for backup, rather than to repair a problem you could have spotted the night before. So, doing a pre-ride check is well worth the time. We're not talking about maintenance or a service here, just a once over to spot any potential issues.

Test your tyre pressure - You can use a tyre pressure gauge here, but as a first check grab both tires and squeeze. If you have a slow puncture this will spot it.
Test for wheel bearing play - by pulling the top of the wheel from left to right.
Check wheels are spinning properly - Spin each wheel. For rim brakes inspect that you are clearing the brake pads. For disc brakes check for any rotor rubbing.
Test the brakes - by grabbing both brakes and squeezing hard. If this feels soft, you need to look harder.
Test the bars and stem - by getting in front of the bike and grabbing the bars. If you have drop bars, try to rotate the bars - they shouldn't move. Now grab the ends of the bars and put some left and right pressure on them. The stem should not move without some serious force.
Check your front shocks - If you have front shocks, press down hard on the bars and note the rebound of the fork. If it stays compressed, make other plans.
Check for rattles and loose adjustments - by bouncing it around and shaking it up. Pick up the front end and bounce it around. Listen for rattles indicating loose parts and loose adjustments.
Is your saddle secure - by pulling the front end up and down. Twist it as well. It shouldn't move easily.
Stock your saddle bag - with our essential items for a ride.
Inspect the chain - If it is dry or squeaky make sure it is lubed up. Also, just pedal back a revolution and the chain should move freely.
Check the gears - by giving them all a quick shift.
You're ready to go!