A downed bike on race day is a worse nightmare. So what can you do to make sure your bike is good to go on race day? Regular preventative maintenance throughout the year is incredibly important and could help mitigate major work needing to be done the day before your ride. Doing a basic check over your bike before each ride is one way to keep tabs on its performance and functionality. Following this simple ABC Quick Check before EACH ride can go a long way toward the health of your bike and keeping you riding.
A is for Air
Inflate tires to the pressure listed on the side of the tire. Stick to the low end for a more comfortable ride & more traction. Check air pressure before each ride.
Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure
Check for damage on tire and replace if damaged or worn out
B is for Brakes
Inspect pads for wear. Don’t touch the rotor with your fingers & clean the rotor with alcohol.
Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub the tire
Look to see that you can fit your thumb between the brake lever handlebar when the brakes are squeezed all the way
C is for cranks and chain
Check that your chain is free of rust and gunk. It should be clean, lubricated, and quiet
Use a lubricant that’s specifically designed for bicycles. Synthetic blend with PTFE (Teflon based).
If your chain skips while riding, you might need a new chain, a new cassette, and/or an adjustment. Chains last about 1500 miles depending on riding conditions & how many gears you have. Less for mountain bikes or gravel bikes. Always replace your chain when it’s 75% worn before it wears your cassette or you’ll be replacing both the chain & the cassette.
Pull your cranks away from the bike – if they are loose, tighten the bolt. Check pedal tightness
Quick is for quick releases
Make sure your quick releases are all closed firmly and not closed against the frame. Doesn’t need to be super tight. Thru-axle is threaded all the way in.
Check is for check it over
Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them.
Check to make sure that your helmet is snug and level on your head, with straps snugly adjusted just below your chin.
Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly.
If your bike does not pass the ABC Quick Check, it needs repairs or service work. Bring it in annually for a tune-up.