Bicycle Safety: Inspection and Maintenance

21277103_mPerforming a basic inspection of your bicycle each time before your ride, and some deeper inspections on a regular basis, as well as routine maintenance, can help you avoid an accident or a breakdown while you are out on the road. Catching problems early can prevent further damage and more serious and costly repairs in the future. A bicycle malfunction can cause a single-vehicle crash or it can cause you to wreck in traffic and have a collision with a car.

Basic Inspection and Maintenance

  • Check your tires for proper inflation. The correct pressure is printed on the side of the tire.
  • Check the tires visually for cracks, cuts, excessive wear, and bulges. Be sure to check both the tread and the sidewalls.
  • Check the condition of inner tubes on a regular basis.
  • Check valve cores for damage.
  • Spin the wheel to make sure it tracks straight with no more than 1mm to 2mm of wobble or hop.
  • Make sure the wheels are properly tightened to the frame.
  • Lube the chain regularly, and anytime it gets squeaky or looks dry.
  • Check the chain visually for rust and corrosion.
  • Squeeze spokes together to check for equal tension.
  • Check your rim for play by holding the rim at the top and trying to move it from side to side. It should not feel loose or have play.
  • Check your brakes. With the bike rolling, squeeze brakes lightly feeling for unevenness or a change in vibration.
  • Check all of your lights to make sure they are working properly and not going dim.
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