Basic DIY bicycle maintenance for safety
Bicycles are a convenient, environmentally friendly from of transport. Bicycles need much less care than cars or motorcycles, but you must maintain them properly to keep them in peak running condition. Be sure to protect a bicycle from theft whenever you are not using it.
Checking Bicycles for Safety
Testing brake. As you ride, suddenly apply and release both breaks. They should grip the wheels instantly, allowing no further movement.
Checking a saddle. If you remove the saddle, check it once you have replaced it to ensure that it is secure. You should not be able to move it.
Examining a bicycle
Ensure that a bicycle frame is aligned and undamaged. Check that the wheels are true, and that the spokes are straight. If the bicycle has mudguards, make sure that they fit correctly. Look for any cracks in the tires, then check the inner tubes to see that they are in good condition. Make sure that the chain links are lubricated.
Below are the summary of the items you need to be included in your examining list for your bicycle:
- Tire treads are in good condition
- Saddle is straight and secure
- Brake cables are securely fixed to frame
- Brake blocks are aligned with wheel rim
- Chain is taut
- Spokes are straight
- Wheels are straight
Securing wheels. If you use a lock on a chain, thread the chain through both wheels as well as around the frame to make it difficult to remove. Alternatively, consider fitting your bicycle with two locks to secure both wheels from theft.
Removing parts. If your bicycle is fitted with quick-release mechanisms for removing the saddle and front wheel, practice using them to avoid having any difficulty at your destination.
Removing accessories. When you leave a bicycle unattended, remove any valuable accessories such as lights or panniers.
Decorating a frame. Paint colorful designs on a bicycle frame, or cover with strongly adhesive colored stickers. This will make the bicycle conspicuous, so that it will be a less attractive target for thieves.
Marking a bicycle frame. Scratch the number and postal code of your home on one or two hidden areas such as the frame under the saddle and the back wheel rim. Photograph the identification, and note the parts of the bicycle shown.