Is Your Bike Ready To Ride?
- Check the tires for wear and tear, cracks, or bulges. Run a fingernail along the sidewall. If you are getting any dry material under your nails from the tire, the rubber has begun to dry rot and should be replaced. Make sure all tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure.
- Inspect the brake pads for wear and tear. Replace them if they are worn out or damaged.
- Check the chain for rust or damage. Clean and lubricate the chain if necessary. If there is black gunk on the chain that feels gritty between your fingers, you should consider a drivetrain overhaul to prevent extra wear on your chain and cassette.
- Check the pedals and crankset for wear and tear. Replace them if they are damaged.
- Inspect the handlebars, stem, and saddle for any damage or cracks. Tighten any loose bolts or screws.
- Test the brakes to ensure they are responsive and effective.
- Check that the bottom bracket and headset are tight. Hold both brakes and rock forward and back with your weight on the frame. If you hear any knocking or rattling, check to make sure that your headset and bottom brackets are tight, depending on where you are hearing the noise.
- Check that your crankset is tight. Hold the bike steady and try to move the crankset from side-to-side (perpendicular to the plane of the bike). If there is any movement, have it inspected by a mechanic.
- Check the gears for smooth operation. Adjust the derailleur if necessary.
- Inspect the frame for any cracks or damage. If you notice any issues, take your bike to a professional mechanic for a thorough inspection.
- Check the lights and reflectors to ensure they are working properly.
- Make sure the bike is clean and free of dirt and debris.