This morning my daughter wanted to ride her four-wheel bicycle to the playground. I quickly agreed and went to the basement to get it just to find it sitting in the corner with the flat tires. Sorry kiddo, no ride for you – this got me thinking of a short check list we all need to have in front of us before getting our favorite bikes on the road. With Venus De Miles 2014 Illinois is fast approaching, don’t we girls want to make sure our bikes are up and running?
Let your bike fall
It might sound weird, but lift your bike 5 inches up in the air and drop it. Check out any odd noises you hear when the bike hits the ground as these could be signs of loose parts.
Test Your Brakes
Check the brake levers and see if they function properly – when you let go, they should snap back.
Test Your Tires
Your tires should be inflated according to the specifications on the side wall of each tire. Check for cuts, tears, and rips and replace if necessary. This quick check will ensure safety and efficiency of every ride.
Spin the wheel
When you spin the wheel, it shouldn’t wobble or make any contact with the brake pads.
Secure the wheel
If your bike is equipped with quick release levers, make sure they are securely tightened.
Secure the headset
The headset is the short tube located at the front of the bike connecting the forks and the bike frame. Your handlebars slip into this tube, which pivots to allow steering. Test if the headset is secure by applying the front brakes while gently tilting the bike forward and back (your rear tire should raise up and down). Listen for clicking, which is a sign of a loose headset. Tighten if necessary.