ABC Quick Check
Do this pre-ride safety check before each ride, to ensure a safe and efficient ride. If you do not know how to make the required adjustments or repairs, head to your local bike shop before you ride.
A is for Air
Check your tire pressure; low tire pressure can lead to a flat or fall. Tubes should be inflated to the pressure noted on the sidewall of the tire. Also take a moment to look for wear or damage to your tires.
B is for Brakes
Brake pads: Visual check the brake pads for wear. If there is less than 1/8" of brake pad left, they probably need replacing. Also, make sure that the pads align with the wheel rim when the brakes are applied. If they do not, they need adjusting to work properly.
Brake levers: Squeeze, then release the brakes. The levers should operate easily and snap back when released. If not, they may need to be lubricated or adjusted. Also, make sure there is at least an inch of space between your levers and handlebar when the brakes are engaged. If they come all the way to the handlebars, they need to be tightened.
C is for cranks, chain and cassette
Cranks: Try to move the crank arms sideways, away from the bicycle frame. If the cranks are loose, you can tighten them with a crank wrench. If you don't have a crank wrench, your local bike shop can tighten them for you.
Chain: Make sure the chain looks like metal, not rust or black gunk. Turn the pedals backward to see if the chain travels smoothly through the gears.
Cassette: Check to see if the rear cassette is clean and that the chain moves freely through the gears.
Your bike likely has quick release levers that attach the wheels, brake and possibly seat post. Check to make sure all are properly secured before each ride.
Check your ride
As you set out, take a few moments to ride slowly and check that your bicycle is working properly.