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7 Things to check for in your Pre Ride Inspection

  • Bicycle Maintenance
7 Things to check for in your Pre Ride Inspection

1. Air Ì¢åÛåÒ Quite obviously youÌ¢åÛåªre going to want to have enough air in your tyres to make your ride smooth. While there is no universal standard for the amount of air pressure you will need in your bicycle tyres to ensure it travels right, there is however a standard set of pressure ranges that you will need in your tyres.
Road Bicycle Tyres Ì¢åÛåÒ 80 to 130 psi
Hybrid Bicycle Tyres Ì¢åÛåÒ 50 to 75 psi
MTB Bicycle Tyres Ì¢åÛåÒ 30 to 60 psi

Ideally, the more you weigh the higher your pressure needs to be in that respective range. Never exceed or fall below the manufacturerÌ¢åÛåªs recommended pressures.

2. Brakes - This again goes without saying. You need to check that your brakes and brake cables are fine and are in no condition to fail you on your ride.

To do this Ì¢åÛåÒ a) First off, check if the brakes actually function. Lift the wheel of the floor, rotate the tyre and hit the brake. See if it stops.
b) Look for rust on your brake cables. Cable lubricants specifically for this purpose are available at a number of bicycle stores or online.
c) Check for play on the brake lever. It shouldnÌ¢åÛåªt have to go all the way back to stop your bicycle. At the same time, it shouldnÌ¢åÛåªt stop the bicycle at the touch of a feather. This can be adjusted at the brake side end of the brake cable housing.
d) Check for wear on brake pads. Your brake pads should have small grooves. If these arenÌ¢åÛåªt visible any more, it is time to change brake pads.
e) Check Disc brakes for warping or deformity. If there is any form of wobble because of the disc, it is best to get this fixed before you ride.

3. Chain Ì¢åÛåÒ While this is something that a lot of cyclists take for granted, it is a primary component that is responsible for moving your bicycle. Check for rust on the chain and keep it clean and lubricated. A quick way to spot clean chain is simply by using a brush to remove dirt build up and then lubricating it once the dirt has been removed. Remember to remove excess lubricant as this can, more often than not, attract more dirt.

4. Seat and Saddle Ì¢åÛåÒ Make sure your riding height and saddle position are set according to your riding style. This can cause pain in the long run if not catered to early on. Your saddle height should be high enough so that when either pedal is at 6 Ì¢åÛå÷oÌ¢åÛåªclock position, your leg on that pedal is almost fully stretched with only a slight bend at the knee.
As for your Saddle, to make sure it is comfortable, it needs to be adjusted such that your weight is evenly distributed on its surface.

5. Pedals and Cranks Ì¢åÛåÒ Ensure that your pedals and cranks are as tight as they can get. Never ride the bicycle with a loose crank or broken pedals.

6. Wheels Ì¢åÛåÒ Make sure the wheels are bolted on tight. If they have Quick Release levers, make sure these are fastened well.

7. Lights and Reflectors Ì¢åÛåÒ If youÌ¢åÛåªre riding out at night you want to make sure your lights are functioning and they have enough battery to last you your whole ride.

By Satish Narayanan


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