Looking after your bike

Bike Maintenance

A-B-C Check

If you use your bike regularly, make sure it is working properly by performing a simple check. The A-B-C check. That is Air, Brakes and Chain.

The M-Check

The M-check is a simple safety check that should be done before you undertake your journey. It is particularly important if you have not used your bike for a while, or if you are using a bike you don’t normally use.


  • Check the wheels run freely and straight by lifting the bike and spinning the wheels.
  • Make sure the tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure (written on the tyre wall). Check the tyre tread isn’t worn and there is no damage or bulges.
  • Inspect the wheel rims for wear and damage.
  • Ensure spokes are free of defects.
  • Is the front wheel secure? Is the quick release lever or wheel nut firmly tightened?

Handlebars & Brakes

  • Hold the front wheel between your knees and turn gently to check the bars do not move from side to side.
  • Check the handlebars are aligned correctly and secured by the stem.
  • Ensure the handlebars are secured and not raised above the height limit mark.
  • Check the brake blocks/pads are correctly positioned and not worn beyond the wear indicator.
  • Ensure the brake blocks/pads do not scrape the rubber of the tyre, instead they should line up with the metal of the wheel rim.
  • Check the cables are not eroded or frayed. Apply the front brake and rock the bike forward. Apply the back brake and rock the bike backwards. If the wheels still roll when the brakes are applied you will need to have the brakes adjusted.

Pedals & Chain

  • Check the pedals are stable on the cranks. Move the cranks back and forth from the bike in order to let you know if your bottoms bracket is loose.
  • Check for wear on the chain and ensure the sprockets and cogs are free from dirt and rust.


  • Ensure your seat height is correct. Your legs should be able to extend when pedalling but your hips shouldn’t be stretching to reach the pedals.
  • Make sure the seat is firmly secured. If the seat wiggles it will need tightening.
  • Check you can reach the handlebars comfortably. If not, you can adjust your saddle position to make it easier to reach the handlebars. Alternatively the handlebars can be adjusted until you can reach them whilst remaining safe in the saddle.

Gears, Drive & Chain

  • Check the chain is lubricated, not heavily rusted and does not easily come off.
  • Have a short test ride and ensure each gear can be selected and the process is smooth.
  • Push the pedals around and ensure that they rotate freely. Additionally check all accessories are securely attached to your bike.
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