You can’t get fit on a bike that isn’t ready to ride.  So the  time to realize that your tires are soft is NOT 20 miles into your ride.  The time to remember that you forgot to close your brake’s quick release mechanism is NOT on a screaming descent.  Start today to begin each ride with a quick ABC Safety Check.  It takes just two minutes and could protect you from a serious tumble or ride ending break down. 
A = Air
B = Brakes
C = Chain, Crank, Cassette

Bontrager Charger floor pump at Bicycle Garage IndyA = Air.  Squeeze each tire.  It should feel very firm.  Once it begins to go soft, it is time to inflate your tire to the PSI (pounds per square inch) which is stamped onto the tire.  A floor pump with built-in gauge, like the Bontrager Charger, is your best tool for this.  Note:  It is important to keep your tires properly inflated, as an under-inflated tire may cause control problems AND is more likely to go flat. 

Test your brakes before you ride.B = Brakes.  Visually inspect the brakes to be sure the quick release mechanisms are secured.  Squeeze the brake levers.  Do the brakes come on promptly in a crisp sensation?  Spin the wheels.  Do they clear the brakes without rubbing?  Do the brake pads still have greater than ¼ inch of soft material?

C = Chain, cranks, cassettes (think “gears” on the rear hub).  When you first get on the bicycle, run through the gears.  Do you have full use of all your gears?  Does the chain fall crisply onto each cog? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to visit your friendly mechanic.  But if all your answers were “yes”, then you are ready to ride.  Go out and enjoy!

Check the Bicycle Garage Indy Events Calendar for our schedule of informative mini-clinics and maintenance classes, available at both Bicycle Garage Indy locations.  

Run through your gears before you ride.