DO YOU HAVE A SAFE BIKE?
- Tyre Pressure: This is important to your ride, offers better puncture protection and allows you to roll better.
You can find the pressure on the side of the tyre e.g. “Inflate to 40 – 65 P.S.I (275-450kPa) (2.75 – 4.5BAR)”. The important information here is the first set of information “40 – 65 P.S.I” Using a Pump with a gauge fitted inflate your tyres between these amounts. Most bike shops will have a pump you can use for free or for a small charge. Do not use petrol station pumps.
Riding in mud or soft ground requires less pressure and the road requires more. Use your own discretion on this keeping within the guidelines stated on the tyre.
- Seat height: Firstly, safe working height. When you remove your seat post you should be able to see a minimum insertion line. Never extend your seat higher than this, if you need to then purchase a new, longer seat post.
- Riding height: This is a difficult one to describe to people as it depends on lots of factors. Get a proper fitting from a bike shop next time you visit. As a rough setup you should just be able to touch the floor on tip toes while sitting on the seat. If when riding your thighs hurt then you need to slightly raise your seat, if your calves hurt then you need to slightly lower your seat. If everything hurts you probably have it just right!
- Stem height: Your stem is the part of your bike your handlebars attach to. This, like the seat post, has a minim insertion line and should never be exceeded. If you need your handlebars higher then there are a few options: you can get a stem extender or insert spacers. This is something your local bike shop can advise you on.
- Brakes: Brakes should pull on firmly without the lever coming to touch the handlebars. Brake pads should be well aligned, not touching the tyre or over shooting the rim of the wheel, they should pull onto the rim at the same time. Cables should not be frayed, bent or pinched anywhere along the entire length of the cable.
- Transmission: Your transmission is everything that drives the bike. One of the most overlooked parts of the bike to the average bike user. Cleaning your transmission will extend the life of your transmission and save you money in the long run. After cleaning your bike with a bike specific cleaner, (never use washing up detergent as it contains salt that corrodes) make sure you oil your transmission.
- Try to always use a “chain lube” as using oils like WD-40 are bad for your bike. WD-40 is a Solvent and dissolves any grease that exists and then evaporates quickly leaving you with nothing. At the end of the day any oil is better than none, specific chain lube is the best.
- Chain durability is affected by riding style, gear choice, whether the bicycle is ridden in rain or snow, type of soil in the local terrain, type of lubricant, lubrication techniques, and the sizes and condition of the bicycle's sprockets. (On average you will get two chains to one sprocket, and two sprockets to one chain ring).
- Legal Requirements for road riding (As of April 2014) at all times of day or night you must have a red rear reflector and pedal reflectors.
- At Night (defined as sunset to sunrise) you must have working front and rear lights.
- Unless it is a shared use pathway you must not ride on it.