7 Essential Things to Check Before You Ride
It’s not a secret that road bike check is one of the most important parts of any cyclist life. Most people who buy and ride road bikes want to keep them in good shape. But how to make sure it’s road ready and where to begin?
In this article, I’m going to show my top 7 things you should check.
Before you head out on the ride, you need to make sure that your bike is ready for the road. It’s essential, not just because it will help you to avoid some unexpected situations when you’re away from home, but also for the safety reasons.
1. The Wheels.
- Let’s start with the tire pressure. Try to push with your fingers the tire’s sidewalls toward each other. You should feel the resistance. If the sidewalls are close to each other, you know the air pressure is low and the tires need to be inflated. Tip: To make sure you always have a correct tire pressure I would recommend to use the pump with a pressure gauge. On each tire sidewall, you will find information about tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer. I would recommend using the pump with a pressure gauge. On each tire sidewall, you will find information about tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
- Tires. Examine your tire for any defects or cracks. Make sure it is seated correctly in the rim. The tire should look uniform all the way around.
- The spokes. Gently push the spokes with your hands to make sure there is no any loose spokes.
- And don’t forget to check the quick-release skewers to ensure they are fully tightened. Open the lever. Make a few nut turns (if required). You should feel it’s tight now. Then close the lever. Now your wheel should sit firmly and securely.
Checking the brakes is relatively straightforward. It’s important that your front and rear brakes are working correctly. All you have to do is to give the wheel a spin. Press your front and rear brake lever to stop the wheel.
Give the wheel a spin for the second time. There shouldn’t be any rub between your wheel rim and brake pads. If it’s rubbing, probably there is brake pads misalignment. There is an easy solution. You can adjust the brake caliper with your hands. Space between the brake pads and the rim should be even.
All you need to do is to make sure that all bolts are firmly tightened. I wouldn’t recommend applying any force to it. Check handlebar, brakes, front, back derailleurs, stem, seatpost, saddle and hanger bolts to make sure they’re still firmly tightened. Avoid bolts that are related to front and rear derailleur. Otherwise, you will require adjusting gears.
To tighten the bolts you will require set of allen keys or multi-tool. I would recommend using a torque wrench. This is an essential tool for carbon parts.
4. The chain.
Check that the chain is running smoothly by running the pedal backward. Give it a few spins. You shouldn’t hear any squeaking noises. Also, make sure if your chain orientation is correct. To do this simply take a look on the outer side of your chain and check for logos or letters. If you see those, that means everything is correct.
Check for smooth gear changes. Run through the gears and make sure they are working properly. Put the chain on the smallest cog. Then move up onto the next cog and see if the chain runs smoothly and don’t skip the gear or go back. If your chain skips, you will require some adjustments. If you haven’t done it before, ask a bike expert or bike shop to show you how. For an easier process, I would recommend using a stand.
So guys. It’s good to develop a habit of checking your bike before every ride. It won’t take you too much time, and your lovely bike will always be ready for a ride.
Don’t forget to check your wheels, tire pressure, tires, spokes, quick release skewers, brakes, bolts, chain and gears. If you have any problems with mentioned things, I will provide clear and detailed solutions of how to fix your issues in the next articles.
Please let me know what are yours most personal road bike checks in the comments below.
Thank you so much. Enjoy cycling and I will see you next time!
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