60 Sec Check
“When you’re out there in the elements you need your bike to hold together whether its for a trip to the shop or an epic ride with your mates” says AvantiPlus technical training manager Chris Wooloff. Here’s Chris’s simple, 60 second mechanical safety check which you should get in the habit of making every time you’re about to get on your bike.
Nuts, Bolts & Straps:
Lift the front wheel off the ground by about 10cm, then let it bounce on the ground. Does anything sound, feel or look loose? Do a quick visual and tactile inspection of the whole bike. Are there any loose parts or accessories? If so, secure them. If you’re not sure, ask someone with experience to check.
Tyres & Wheels:
Are your tyres correctly inflated? Check by putting one hand on the saddle, one on the intersection of the handlebars and stem, then bouncing your weight on the bike while looking at tyre deflection. Compare what you see with how it looks when you know the tyres are correctly inflated, and adjust if necessary.
Are your tyres in good shape? Spin each wheel slowly and look for cuts in the tread and side wall. Replace damaged tyres before riding the bike.
Are your wheels true? Spin each wheel and check for brake clearance and side-to-side wobble. If a wheel wobbles side-to-side or hits the brake pads, take the bike to a your bike shop to have the wheel trued.
Wheels must be true for the brakes to work effectively. Wheel truing is a skill which requires special tools and experience. Do not attempt to true a wheel unless you have the knowledge and tools needed to do the job correctly.
Squeeze the brake levers. Are the brake quick releases closed? Is the straddle cable securely engaged?
Are the brake shoes contacting the wheel rim within 25mm of brake lever movement? Can you apply full braking force at the levers without having them touch the handlebar? If not, your brakes need adjustment.
Are the front wheel, rear wheel and seat post quick releases properly adjusted and in the locked position? Riding with an improperly adjusted wheel quick release can cause the wheel to wobble or disengage from the bike.
Handlebar and saddle alignment:
Are the saddle and handlebar stem correctly installed, parallel to the bikes top tube and tight enough so you can’t twist them out of alignment?
• Are the handlebar grips secure and in good condition? If not, replace them.
• Are the handlebar ends and extensions (if you have them) plugged and tightened? If not, plug and tighten them before you ride. Loose or damaged handlebar grips or extensions can cause you to lose control and fall. Unplugged handlebars or extensions can act like a cookie cutter on your body, and can cause serious injury in an otherwise minor accident.