You know how important it is to keep your bike in top condition for riding. However, it is all too easy to let life get in the way. Before your rides, you should make sure your bike is in excellent shape. Here are some things that you should check before your ride:
Clean the Bike
To have a safe, enjoyable ride, you need to trust your equipment. Before heading out for a ride, take some time to clean and check your bike. Take off any loose clothing as these can get caught in the gears or the wheels of your bike. A good visual inspection will let you know if things are broken or worn out. If you feel unsure about your bicycle, take it to a shop and ask for their help.
Inspect the Tires
When you ride your bike, the only thing touching the ground is your tires. If any part of the tire or tube is coming into contact with the ground, it could cause an accident. Inspect each side of the tire for nicks, cuts, and gouges. Also, check for objects like glass or nails that might have gotten stuck in your tire. If you see anything that does not look right, or if the tires are worn down to the minimum tread level, take it into a shop and make an appointment for new tires.
Check Your Brakes
You should check your brakes before you ride. Make sure all of your brake cables are securely fastened and not fraying. Inspect the brakes themselves to see if anything looks like it is worn down. If you’re unsure about your brakes, take them into a shop and ask for their help.
If you use saddlebags (panniers) you should check them before your ride. They can hold a lot of stuff and make it safe and easy for you to bring things along with you on your rides. Before going out for a ride, inspect each side of the bag. These are areas where it attaches to the bike for any damage. Also, take a good look to see if the attachment points are still tight. Buckles can get loose, but you don’t want things falling off while riding.
It never hurts to get a tune-up, even if it has been a while or you think your bike is in good shape. A tune-up can include: checking all cables and tightening any that need it; oiling the chain and inspecting moving parts for wear and tear; and adjusting brakes and derailleurs, which helps keep them working smoothly.
When riding your bike, make sure to stay safe. Ride with traffic, wear a helmet, and use hand signals for turns or stops. If you are not feeling safe on your ride, it is time to pull over and figure out what is wrong. Many things can go wrong when riding a bicycle, but by taking the proper steps to get your bike ready for rides, you can be safe out there on the road.