ABC Quick Check: A two-minute safety check to make sure your bike is road-worthy
A – AIR: Squeeze your tires. If they’re squishy, pump them up. Low air pressure makes you feel sluggish and tired while riding. Both under- and over-inflated tires can cause blowouts. See the fine print on the side of your tires for the correct psi.
B – BRAKES: Stand beside your bike and squeeze each brake lever as you push the bike forward. Does the front wheel stop when you apply the front brake? Does the rear wheel stop when you apply the rear brake? If so, GREAT!
Now spin each wheel. Do the brake pads rub against the rim? If not, GREAT! If so, you’re slowing down your ride and wearing out your brake pads, so it’s time for an adjustment.
C – CHAIN & CRANKS: Your chain should be fairly clean, free of rust, and move smoothly and quietly. Use WD-40 or special bike chain lubricant if needed.
Yank on each pedal. The crank – the piece that attaches the pedal to the bike – shouldn’t wiggle.
QUICK – Quick Releases: These are the small levers that tighten down your seat to the bike and your wheels to their hubs. The levers should run parallel to the bike (no pointing out to the sides!) and be tight enough that they leave a faint impression on your palm when you push them into place. Too loose and your seat will slide down as you ride and your wheels might come off!
CHECK – Take your bike for a 30 seconds spin to make sure everything sounds good and works well.
The ABC Quick Check should take 2 minutes, tops! If something is broken, get it fixed before you ride. There are lots of great how-to videos online or have a friend or nearby bike shop fix it.