ABC QUICK CHECK | Courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists:
1. A is for air in the tires
- Check for damage to tire tread and sidewalls; the valve stem should be straight.
- Inflate tires to the rated pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire.
- Spin each wheel; you should not see the rim or tire wobble side to side. Excessive movement indicates an improperly seated tire, a damaged rim, or broken spokes.
2. B is for brakes
- Inspect brake pads for wear; replace the brake pads if there is less than 1/8″ of pad left.
- Check the pad adjustment; make sure the pads do not rub on the tire or dive into the spokes.
- Squeeze the brake lever; there should be at least a thumb width or 1″ between the bar and lever when applied. Cables and housings should be free of kinks and frays.
- If your bike has a “back-pedal” brake, test it during the final “check.”
3. C is for everything the chain touches
- The chain should have enough oil on it so that it does not squeak when you pedal.
- The chain should run freely through the derailleurs and around the sprockets.
- The crank arms should not “wiggle” side to side and the pedals should turn freely.
4. D is for Double check it over
- In the first block of your ride, check if the derailleurs and brakes are working properly.
- Listen for unusual squeaks or sounds. Does the bike feel like it always does? If not, check it out.
5. Q is for quick releases
- Many bikes have “Quick-Release Levers” to hold the wheels on or for adjusting the seat height. Quick Release Levers read “closed” when they are properly tightened and “open” when you are taking wheels off or moving the saddle position.
- Fold levers out of the way, so something won’t accidentally catch and open them.
- Levers will stay closed when they are adjusted tight enough to leave a pink mark on your palm just after you push them closed.