Give your bike a good once-over before each ride in 5 easy steps.
Check your bike, check your kids’ bikes, check your mother’s bike – just check and then go have fun!
The ABCD Quick Check
A = Air
Air: Make sure you have ample air in your tires. It’s dangerous to ride with low tire pressure and really bad for your rims. Also… the more air you have in your tires, the faster you go!
B = Breaks, Bell & (handle) Bars
Breaks: To check your breaks, apply pressure to one break first and then drag your bicycle forward. If your bike skids along the pavement, your breaks work. Do the same for the other break. If either of your breaks don’t cause your bike to skid when you push it forward, DO NOT RIDE!
Bell: It’s the law to have a bell on your bike here in Ontario (or a horn or a gong – exactly… a gong? It’s true, check the Highway Traffic Act). Make sure your bell is working, easy to reach in a riding position and fastened tightly.
Bars: I didn’t mention this in the video but you want to make sure your handle bars are in good working ordering and not loose.
C = Chain, Cogs and Cranks
Chain: Check to see if your chain is on properly. Look to see if it’s rusty and almost falling off. If it looks good, go ride your bike.
Cogs: These are the spiky discs that your chain moves around. You have 2 sets of cogs – check them both. Make sure everything looks good. No funny business.
Crank: The cranks attaches to your pedals. Grab the cranks and try to wiggle them back and forth. There should be no play in the crank, meaning, it’s solid and doesn’t wiggle.
D = Drop Test
Drop: Pick your bicycle up about 1 foot off the ground and drop/bounce the wheels down. Listen and watch to see if anything shakes, rattles or rolls off your bike. With the drop test you should only hear a really solid sound when the wheels hit the ground. If anything sounds like it’s about to fall off, go in for closer inspection and tighten what’s loose, or get your bike in for repair.
Quick Check: Inspect your quick release levers to make sure they are on tight and that they are pointed up and are flush with your front forks. This helps prevent stuff from getting collected in there and loosening your levers (like tall grass or other weird stuff you could be cycling through).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in bike safety and you’ll put it to good use. Please help share this message wide and far. These 5 simple steps could save you from injury!