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Your basic bicycle checklist.
The bicycle must be clean, roadworthy and of a suitable size for the rider.
The following checks should also be undertaken at home prior to each cycle journey.
You may also want to watch:
• Check the rider’s toes can touch the ground,
on both side, when sitting on the saddle
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• When stood over the crossbar with feet flat
on the ground there should be at least 5cms
clearance, below the groin.
• Knees should not be able to touch the
• Check that the seat and handlebars are not
raised above their safe limits (there will be a
marking showing on the seat or handlebar
post if so).
Wheels & tyres
• Check that the wheels don’t wobble from side
• Spin each wheel in turn (it’s easier if you turn
the bike upside-down) and watch them as
they spin to see if they’re wonky, or if the
tyres bulge out in a certain place.
• Check if the tyres are worn or if there are any
cracks in them.
• Make sure the tyres are pumped up hard.
• Check that the handlebars turn smoothly,
without getting stuck.
• Check that the handlebars are in line with the
front wheel, and cannot be twisted out of
• Check handlebar end caps are fitted.
• Check that the right-hand brake lever works
the front brake. Roll the bike forward while
standing beside it, and pull the front brake.
The back wheel should lift off the ground.
• Check that the left-hand brake lever works
the back brake. Roll the bike backward while
standing beside it, and pull the back brake.
The front wheel should lift off the ground.
• Check that the brake pads (the rubber blocks
that grip the wheel) touch the metal rims of
the wheels and not the tyres.
• Check that the rider’s fingers can easily cover
the brake levers when sat on the bike.
• With the brakes pulled tight, check that two
fingers can fit between the levers and the
handlebars. If not then the brakes may need
• Check that the cables are not frayed.
It is a legal requirement to have two working
sets of brakes.
• Flick the pedals - they should spin freely.
• Hold a crank (the arms which hold the pedals)
and check that it doesn’t wobble from side to
Gears and chain
• Check that all gears change easily. It is
dangerous to have a bike that could jump out
of gear without warning.
• Make sure the chain is well oiled, and is not
so slack that it jumps when pedalled hard.
• The helmet must fit securely and snugly. When
adjusted correctly there should not be space
to put more than two fingers between chin
and the strap.
• Check that any bags are securely fixed and
don’t get in the way of wheels, legs, or any
lights. The bike must have a rear reflector- it is
a legal requirement by night along with a
front and rear light.