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Simple Bike Check

Simple Maintenance

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Simple Bike Check


How to carry out a simple bike check

It is important that your bike is in a road worthy condition. All bikes will be checked by Cycle Tutor before any training can take place. If the bike is not considered safe Cycle Tutor can not take you out on the roads, and you will still be required to pay for the session.

This is a simple check for you to do before training, and tells you what Cycle Tutor is looking for. If your bike needs some attention please look at the simple bike maintenance page.

Saddle Height

When you are sitting on the saddle the ball of your foot should be able to touch the ground on either side. If your feet can touch the ground flat you will need to raise your saddle, for more efficient cycling. It is important that the seat post line is NOT showing - at least one third of the seat post must stay inside the frame.


Tyres must be inflated hard so that you can barely squeeze the sides. The tyre canvas should not be visible and there should be no cuts in the tread or walls that expose the inner tube. There should be some tread on the tyre for gripping the road surface especially in wet weather! 


Make sure quick releases are firmly closed or your wheel nuts are tight. Spin the wheels the rims should not touch the brake blocks or tyre touch the frame. Make sure your spokes are not broken or loose.


The stem must be aligned with front wheel fork, and the extension height mark should not be visible.  Hold on the front brake and gently rock the bike with your hand on the nut. You can hear or feel if the head set is working loose. Also, place the front wheel between your knees. Try to twist the handlebars. There should be no movement.


Check your bottom bracket by rocking the cranks from side to side, any play should not exceed 4mm. Cranks should be tight on the bottom bracket axle.

Bikes without gears, there should be no more than 1.5cm play in the chain.

Bikes with gears ensure that the derailleur will not foul the wheel and that the chain will not come off chain wheels, or come off and jam between the smallest rear sprocket and the frame.

The chain should be greased with a dry lubricant. A dry or rusty chain is likely to break and is much harder work!


Pedals must be tight to cranks, and complete!


All attachments must be on firmly. Mudguards, rack stays, kick stands , lights, reflectors etc.


Apply the brakes and check that front and back both work. Brake cables must not be frayed.

The brake leavers should be attached firmly to the handlebars where you can reach them comfortably. Brakes should contact rim before lever is pulled back more than one third of their travel.

Check that the brake blocks are not worn down and are in line with the rim, or disc.