It may be tempting to take advantage of the cozy temperatures in California by jumping on your bike without a thought. However, there are a few things you should check every single time you get on your bike if you want to ensure that you are staying as safe as possible. Follow the advice on this checklist, but if you are involved in a bike accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
Properly Inflated and Inspected Tires Are a Must
You likely know how important it is to have tires in good condition before you take off on a ride. However, if you have had your bike sitting for a month or two, you may not realize that the tire has gotten flat or low on air. If you need to pump your tires, use a high-quality air pump that has big gauges that are simple to read. Follow the recommended pressure levels as outlined by the manufacturer to ensure you have enough air and that your tires are not popping due to inflation.
Inflation isn’t the only thing to look for when checking your tires: Make sure there are no cracks or other evidence of dry rot. If you see this, then you will need to repair or replace your tires right away because dry rot can cause you to lose control of your bike while riding, and the consequences could be deadly.
Your Wheels Should Move in a Fluid Motion
Before taking off, give your wheels a spin. Are they move in a fluid motion, or are they wobbly or jerky? The best way to find out for sure is to put your bike upside down and give the wheels a spin. If they are spinning evenly and not brushing against your frame at all, then they are likely fine. If there is an obstruction, make sure the spokes are tight enough by running your fingers around them. If any spokes feel loose or are twisting easily, then they need to be tightened.
Check the Tension on Your Bike Chain
If your bike chain is not maintained correctly, it could also create a very serious and dangerous situation. If it is too loose, then it could come off while you are riding. If it is too tight then it can make it harder to ride and could damage your gears. The easiest way to check and adjust your bike chain is to loosen up the rear wheel nuts on both sides. Then pull the back wheel back to remove slack from the chain. You should find that the tension moves no more than one-quarter to half an inch.
While these tips can help you stay safer while riding your bike, they are not going to keep 100% of bikers safe. If you end up in a bike accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation at your convenience.