6 pre-ride bike checks

Prep your bike ahead of a ride with these simple checks from team mechanic Freddy Vangoidsenhoven

Team mechanic with the An-Post Chain Reaction UCI Pro Continental team, Freddy Vangoidsenhoven tells us which six checks we should all be making before we head out on a ride.


1. Wheels

Check your tyres are securely fitted
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Make sure the wheels are fitted correctly, well aligned, and with the right tension on the quick-release skewers. Be careful not to tighten these too much as that can damage the bearings.

2. Tyres

Tyre pressure isn’t set and forget
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Make sure tyres are inflated correctly for the type of ride you plan to do and the weather conditions. When wet, we use less pressure so we get more grip, and for cobbles or rough surfaces to offer more comfort.

3. Chain

Use the correct lubricant on your chain
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Lube the chain, using the correct lube for the kind of weather conditions. Wet lube is thicker to stop it from being washed off in the rain. Allow the lube to penetrate the chain, then wipe off any excess.

4. Bolt tension

Make sure all your bolts are secure
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Check the bolts around the bike (saddle, handlebar and so on) to ensure there is enough tension in them to prevent accidents. You won’t need a torque wrench, just feel and nip up any that seem loose.

5. Wear and tear

How’s your chain?
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Shift to the outer chainring and smallest rear sprocket, then try pulling the chain away from the chainring at one of its joints. If it lifts clear of the teeth it needs to be changed.

6. Brakes

Check your brakes
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

Check the wear on your brake blocks or pads and ensure you have enough left to be safe in any weather conditions. Many blocks and pads will have wear indicators to let you know when they need changing.