Is your bike ROAD READY?
Making sure your bike is road ready is very important.
Here are some tips so you know you will be safe!
WHEELS & BRAKES
First things first, check you wheel mounting system is set up correctly. The system could be quick release (most common nowadays) or some form of bolt-through axle. For both systems you need to ensure they are firmly secured.
Next would be to see if to check if there is not too much sideways movement when you rock the wheel from side to side.
So what’s next? Turn that wheel! If it runs smooth, you are all good. If not, it might be time for a bearing replacement in the hub or a service. You will also want to check if the wheel rim is running cleanly. If it’s rubbing against the brakes, you might need to adjust them.
Finally, give test your brakes and make sure they are working correctly!
Sounds pedantic but check that all your accessories such as a water bottle holder, lights, etc.… are attached securely onto your bike. They could cause you to fall down and seriously hurt yourself.
Just listing some of the most interesting accessories to complete your biking kit:
- Headlight & Rear light
- Fluorescent clothing – vest or items for the arms and legs
- Bike helmet
- Spare tyre or Tyre-fixing kit
- Water bottle / mount
- Bike GPS & Speedometer
- Extra carry bag for long hauls
TYRES & SUSPENSION
Firstly, your tyres need to be correctly seated in the rim. What you really want to check is that the bead where the tyre is in contact with the wheel is uniform all the way around.
Secondly, you want to check if there’s any excess damage on your tyres. Very worn tyres can be very dangerous. You should always replace them before you head out on your ride.
Finally, check if there are any cracks in your fork.
SADDLE & SEAT POST
Final step is to make sure your saddle is at the right height.
One of the most well-known methods is the heel-to-pedal method. Basically, you place your heel on the pedal and start pedalling backwards until your reach the 6 o’clock position. Your leg should be completely straight when you are in this position. If this leg is still bent, you need to adjust the height in small increments until it feels right and if you lose connection with your pedal whilst pedalling, you need to lower your saddle. There are various other techniques which take into account other items such pedalling. This article elaborates nicely on some other methods.