Spring is here, and bikers are out in full force. Before you hit the road, the League of American Bicyclists recommends taking a minute to inspect your bike and make sure everything is working properly.
With a handy acronym, it’s easy to remember the ABC Quick Check every time you ride your bike.
A = Air
- Check your tires to see if they’re properly inflated.
- Use a pressure gauge to check the pressure (rated pressure should be listed on the tire sidewall).
- While you’re at it, check the tread and sidewall for damage.
B = Brakes
- Always test the brakes before you ride.
- Inspect the brake pads. If there’s less than 1/4 inch left, replace them.
- Make sure the pads don’t rub the tire or spokes.
- Apply the brakes and make sure there is at least 1 inch between the bar and lever.
C = Cranks, Chain, and Cassette
- The crank bolts should be tight. Apply lube to the threads only, if needed.
- Inspect the chain for wear. Twelve links should equal no more than 12 1/8 inches in length.
- Make sure the chain doesn’t skip on the cassette. If it does, repair or replace it.
Quick = Quick Release
- Make sure the hubs are tight to the frame and the quick release is properly engaged.
- Inspect all quick releases (including brakes) on the bike to make sure they are engaged.
Check = Check It Over
- Take a short ride down the driveway or down the block to make sure everything works like it should. Apply the brakes and make sure the gears shift properly.
- Check the bike over for loose or broken parts. If anything needs fixing, fix it before you ride.
- At the beginning of your bike ride, pay attention to any unusual noises or handling. Stop and inspect if anything seems out of the ordinary.