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IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO FIX YOUR BIKE DO NOT FIDDLE WITH IT.  TAKE IT TO YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP AND BE SAFE. BICYCLES MUST BE ROAD WORTHY,

Paul Agius

Ten point bicycle safety check.

1. BACK PEDAL BRAKES (coaster hub).

A. HOLD A PEDAL BACK WITH ONE HAND WHILE PUSHING DOWN AND FORWARD ON THE SEAT WITH THE OTHER HAND. WHEEL SHOULD NOT ROTATE. IF IT DOES ROTATE REPAIRS ARE NEEDED BEFORE IT CAN BE USED.

B. ROTATE PEDALS UNTIL THEY ARE LEVEL, TURN PEDAL BACKWARDS UNTIL BRAKE IS ON. PEDAL SHOULD ONLY MOVE A QUARTER OF A TURN. ANY MORE MOVEMENT COULD MEAN WORN SHOES AND ADJUSTMENT OR REPLACING SHOES IS NEEDED

2. BRAKE LEVERS.

A. SQUEEZE ONE LEVER WHILE PUSHING DOWN AND FORWARD ON BIKE SEAT. WHEEL SHOULD NOT TURN. IF IT DOES BRAKES NEED ADJUSTING. NOW REPEAT ON OTHER LEVER IF YOU HAVE A SECOND ONE.

B. BRAKE LEVER SHOULD NOT TOUCH THE HANDGRIP WHEN SQUEEZED. IF IT DOES BRAKE CABLES NEED ADJUSTING.

C. BRAKE BLOCKS SHOULD BE SOFT ENOUGH TO INDENT WITH YOUR FINGERNAIL AND CONTACT RIM SQUARELY WHEN SQUEEZED. THEY SHOULD NOT MAKE CONTACT WHEN RELEASED. FRONT OF BRAKE PAD SHOULD TOUCH FIRST. IF NOT BRAKES WILL VIBRATE RATHER THAN FUNCTION AND THEY NEED ADJUSTING.

D. BRAKE BLOCKS SHOULD WEAR EVENLY AND RUBBER SHOULD NOT BE HARD AND WITH SOME TREAD LEFT SO THEY ARE EFFECTIVE IN THE WET. IF ANY DOUBT REPLACE, BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY.

3. CHAIN.

A. ON BACK PEDAL BRAKE BIKES CHAIN SHOULD ONLY MOVE FROM 1 TO 2 CM. UP AND DOWN HALF WAY BETWEEN CHAIN WHEEL AND REAR COG. ADJUST BY MOVING WHEEL BACK IF LOOSE FORWARD IF TIGHT.

B. GEARED BIKE CHAIN SHOULD MOVE REAR DERAILLEUR AS SOON AS IT IS PULLED UP OR DOWN AND RETURN TO NORMAL AS SOON AS IT IS RELEASED. IF THE CHAIN DROPS OF FRONT CHAIN WHEEL OR CLUSTER WHEN CHANGING GEAR BIKE NEEDS A GEAR TUNE.

C. CHAINS NEED TO BE KEPT CLEAN AND WELL LUBRICATED. DONíT USE MOTOR OIL AS THIS IS TOO THICK AND COLLECTS DUST WHICH WILL INCREASE WEAR.

4. TYRES.

A. SHOULD HAVE NO BALD SPOTS, CRACKS, BULGES OR CUTS. IF ANY OF THESE ARE PRESENT, REPLACE AS THEY CAN BE DANGEROUS.

B. CHECK TYRE PRESSURE OFTEN. IF YOU CAN DEPRESS THE CENTRE OF THE TYRE WITH YOUR THUMB IT NEEDS PUMPING IF THE TYRE FLATTENS OUT AT THE BOTTOM WHEN YOU SIT ON THE BIKE IT NEEDS PUMPING.

5. PEDALS.

A. ONE-PIECE PLASTIC PEDALS ARE KINDER TO THE SHIN AND ARE LESS LIKELY TO LET YOUR FOOT SLIP THAN OLD WORN OUT PEDALS.

B. METAL AND RUBBER PEDALS TEND TO COME LOOSE SO YOU NEED TO CHECK THEM. C. ALL PEDALS SHOULD SPIN FREELY ON THEIR SHAFT AND LOOK UNDAMAGED. IF NOT REPLACE.

6. HEADSET.

A. SIT ON BIKE AND STEER TO THE RIGHT AND LEFT WITHOUT MOVING THE BIKE. IF IT FEELS ROUGH GREASE BEARINGS OR REPLACE HEADSET.

B. PRESS FRONT BRAKE LEVER AND ROCK BIKE TO AND FRO, LISTEN FOR CLUNKING NOISE AND LOOSENESS. IF LOOSE TIGHTEN UPPER CONE AND REPEAT.

7. BELL.

SHOULD BE EASILY ACCESSIBLE AND MAKE A CLEAR SOUND. IF NOT REPLACE.

8. REFLECTORS.

SHOULD BE CLEARLY VISIBLE, CLEAN AND NOT LOOSE, WHITE TO THE FRONT, RED TO THE REAR, ORANGE ON THE WHEELS AND PEDALS.

9. HUBS.

HOLD SEAT WITH LEFT HAND, PUSH AND PULL ON THE REAR WHEEL WITH THE OTHER HAND. IF THERE IS ANY MOVEMENT SIDEWAYS THAN THE CONES NEED ADJUSTING. HOLD HANDLEBAR WITH LEFT HAND AND REPEAT ON THE FRONT WHEEL.

10. CRANK/BOTTOM BRACKET.

HOLD BIKE FIRMLY WITH ONE HAND, PUSH AND PULL ON ONE ARM OF THE CRANK TO CHECK FOR MOVEMENT, REPEAT ON THE OTHER SIDE. IF BOTH ARMS MOVE AT THE SAME TIME, BOTTOM BRACKET IS LOOSE. IF ONE ARM MOVES, COTTER PIN OR CRANK AXLE NUT IS LOOSE. IN EITHER CASE TIGHTEN.