You should make sure your bike is safe and roadworthy, especially if you have not used it for a while.
It’s really important to make sure you bike is safe and good to ride on the road, especially if it has not been ridden in a while. By taking a couple of minutes to check your bike you can be confident that you’ll be able to stop safely and quickly when you need to. If you need any help then just take your bike to your local bike shop.
This is a basic check you should do regularly and will only take a minute or so. Part 1 of the video below runs through the ABC check and show you how to check your bike.
Make sure your tyres are pumped up, if you can easily squeeze the tyre down then it probably needs inflating. You should inflate the tyres to the correct pressure, you’ll find this on marked on the side of your tyres. Many larger upright pumps have a display that tells you this – if your pump doesn’t have one you can always go to a bike shop and use theirs for free. If you only have a small hand pump then inflate the tyre as much you can.
You have two brakes, front and back, and it’s important that both of these work. You need to make sure that when you have pull the brake that wheel does not move. If it does then the brakes may not be adjusted properly or you may need new brake pads.
Make sure your chain is well lubricated (oiled) and the chain runs freely if you move the pedals backward. Your chain, and the gears that it drives, wear out over time and may need to be replaced.
Check your handlebars are well fixed to make sure you have good control. Check out the video for the best way to do this.
And remember, if you are going to cycle at night make sure you have bike lights and reflectors on your bike. As well as making sure you can be seen, it is a legal requirement.
An ‘M’ check (so called as it follows a M shape on your bike) is what a mechanic will do when she assess your bike (although you don’t have to be a mechanic to identify if there is a problem!) Do this check at least once a month following the diagram below. There are lots of videos online that can help as well.
Need a mechanic?
If you do find anything isn’t right then take it to your local bike shop for repairs – you can pay for a service or for a specific problem to be fixed. Or see if there are any LCC community bike check events near you - often there will be a 'Dr Bike' or even a workshop that will teach you how to fix your own bike.
Our searchable map shows shops offering LCC members a discount, as well as events in your local area.
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