Before heading out, do these mountain bike pre-ride checks to ensure your bike doesn’t break down in the middle of a ride.
Mountain bike maintenance is tedious and one of the things you wish you can just skip. But if you let it go, it will come back for you.
You might be enjoying the downhill ride then you step on your brakes and realize they aren’t working. Or you might be riding long distance and suddenly the chain snaps.
Making sure all the parts are working right will give you peace of mind that your bike is safe and efficient.
Doing a mountain bike pre-ride check is worth every bit of your time.
It only takes about 10 – 20 minutes to go through the process. But if something goes wrong after skipping the pre-ride check, it might ruin your ride entirely.
1- Drop Your Bike
Yes, you read it right. Experts suggest lifting your bike a few inches up (about 6 inches), then dropping your bike. Listen for odd sounds that might signal loose parts or something that’s not right.
2 – Check Your Wheels
Spin the wheels. See if they’re wobbling or rubbing against the brake pads. They shouldn’t. The wheels should be able to spin freely.
Also, make sure the quick release levers are tightened securely.
3 – Check Spoke Tension
All of them should be of consistent tension – not too tight nor too loose.
4 – Test the Brakes
Engage and disengage the brakes to see if they’re working.
Check the brake pads to see the wear. A lot of brake pads have an indicator so you’ll know if they need to be replaced.
5 – Check the Tires
Inspect the tires for cuts, rips, or tears. Change the tires if necessary.
At the side of each tire, you’ll see the recommended tire pressure. Make sure you’re inflating the tires correctly.
Experts suggest using less pressure when the terrain is wet. Less pressure gives more grip. Also, less pressure allows you to ride more comfortably on rough roads.
6 – Lube the Chain
Squirt some lube on the chain. Allow it to seep in. Then don’t skip wiping off extra lube from the chain. Otherwise, they’ll attract more dirt.
7 – Check the Bolts
Inspect the bolts and be on the lookout for loose ones.
8 – Inspect the Headset
Your mountain bike’s headset is the set of components you see on the headtube. The headtube is the one connecting the fork and the bike frame and holds the handlebar. You can see this in the front part of your bike.
Press the front brakes and tilt the bike forward and back. If you hear a clicking sound, it means something is loose. Tighten that loose part.
9 – Test the Bottom Bracket
The bottom bracket connects the crankset to the frame. Position one of the pedals up and one of them down (like a clock at 6 o’clock). Pull the crank arm without letting it spin to move the bottom bracket side to side.
10 – Bike Lights
Check to see if your bike lights are working and if they’re fully charged.
11 – Helmet
Make sure you have your helmet with you. Never ride without it.
In case of an accident, helmets prevent 70% of serious head injuries.