Bike Safety Check - Team In Training

Bike Safety Check - Team In Training
Two-Minute
Bike Safety Check
ARNIE BAKER CYCLING
Here’s an easy procedure all riders should know and follow
weekly.
*Check the starred items (the first three) before every ride.
It is particularly important to perform these checks if the
bicycle has been disassembled for travel, or if it has been
crashed, jostled or roughly handled.
This is not a comprehensive bike inspection procedure.
Here’s a pneumonic I use to remember the
items:
CYCLE
HANDOUT
*Check the Front Brake
Check that the brake pads are properly
positioned relative to the rim: that they are
equidistant from the rim, do not rub the rim
unless engaged, that they engage squarely along
their length, and that they do not hit the tire.
Check the brake pads for wear.
Check the cable end, visible cable length, and
cable housing for fraying, rust, or kinks.
Check that the brake lever will not bottom out.
Check for the free return of the brake and
cable.
This
*Tires
way
*Wheels
bicyclists
*Brakes
have
Handlebars
safety
Stem
habits.
Headset
See
Seat
definite
Drive train
*Check the Rear Wheel
benefits
Bottom bracket
preventing
Pedals
flats &
Fastenings
falls.
Frame
Happy
Helmet
cycling!
Cleats
Press on the tire to check inflation.
Check the tire for wear—flat spots or exposed
casing threads. The tire treads and side walls
should be free of cuts, bulges, cracks, and foreign
material such as thorns or glass.
Check that the quick-release skewer is levered
closed.
Spin the wheel forward. The wheel should be
true. The wheel should turn freely, without play.
If the wheel appears at all out of true, check for a
loose spoke by squeezing adjacent spokes on the
same side of the wheel in pairs.
Table 1. Bike safety check pneumonic. Read down the
column. Check starred items every ride.
*Tires, Wheels, and Brakes
*Check the Front Wheel
Press on the tire to check inflation.
Check the tire for wear—flat spots or exposed
casing threads. The tire treads and side walls
should be free of cuts, bulges, cracks, and foreign
material such as thorns or glass.
Check that the quick-release skewer is levered
closed.
Spin the wheel. The wheel should be true. The
wheel should turn freely, without play. If the
wheel appears at all out of true, check for a loose
spoke by squeezing adjacent spokes on the same
side of the wheel in pairs.
ABC Handout
*Check the Rear Brake
Check that the brake pads are properly
positioned relative to the rim: that they are
equidistant from the rim, do not rub the rim
unless engaged, that they engage squarely along
their length, and that they do not hit the tire.
Check the brake pads for wear.
Check the cable end, visible cable length, and
cable housing for fraying, rust, or kinks.
Check that the brake lever will not bottom out.
Check for the free return of the brake and
cable.
Continued
Copyright Arnie Baker, MD, 1989-2009. Revised 7/30/2009. This handout may be photocopied for
distribution only if used in its entirety; and only with written permission. Electronic transmission is
expressly prohibited. Copyright notice and permission must accompany use. Report unlicensed use.
http://arniebakercycling.com/
Handlebars/Stem
Bottom Bracket
Check the position of the brake lever hoods for
slippage from your correct position.
Check that the stem is tight on the steerer tube.
Face the front of the bicycle. Holding the front
wheel between your knees, with your left hand
on the right handlebar and your right hand on the
left handlebar, apply moderate pressure back and
forth with your hands.
Check that the handlebar plugs are present and
set at the bar ends.
Check the handlebar tape for wear or
unraveling.
Check for free movement. Holding each crank
end with one hand, and stabilizing the frame
against your body, check for play.
Check for binding. With chain in the small ring
and third hardest cog, check for free rotation
turning the crank backwards.
Headset
Fastenings
Check for free movement. Holding the frame
off the ground with one hand, gently turn the
handlebars to the left and right. It should feel
smooth without binding or roughness.
Check for a loose headset. Assuming the front
brake lever is on the left side of the bicycle, stand
on the left side of the bicycle, facing forward,
behind the handlebar. Apply the front brake with
the left hand. Place the fingers of the right hand
lightly at the junction of the top of the head tube
and headset top cap (part just below any headset
spacers that may be present). Rock the bike
forward and backward on the ground. There
should be no movement between the head tube
and the headset cap. Movement is often better
appreciated if the front wheel is turned 45
degrees from straight ahead.
Check that waterbottle screws, pump, seat bag,
and other fastenings are secure.
Saddle
Check that the seat is aligned straight ahead.
Check that the seat is angled level, up, or down
to your preference.
Pedals
Check that they are securely attached.
Check for wear.
Check for free movement.
Check that they are clear of debris.
Frame
Check for cracks or dents.
Helmet
Check for cracks or dents.
Check that straps are not worn and that they fit
snugly.
Cleats
Check that all screws are present.
Check that the cleats are not overly worn.
Final Words
A two-minute bicycle safety check is simple to
perform.
Initially, follow the steps outlined with this list
beside you. After several trials, the practiced
procedure will, I hope, become second-nature for
you.
Drive Train
Check for stiff links or a bent chain: In the
small ring and third hardest cog, rotate the chain
backwards, looking at the jockey pulleys for
jumps.
Check the gear cable ends, visible cable length,
and cable housing for fraying, rust, or kinks.
Check that all the gears are working and that
shifting is crisp and accurate. Run through the
gears on a bike stand or while riding easily.
Check the gross alignment of the front and rear
derailleurs. The outer cage of the front derailleur
should be parallel to the chainrings.
Two-Minute Bike Safety Check
ABC Handout
Page 2
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