Who wants to be surprised by the unknown nails present on the tires while riding a bike? Definitely not us! Why whether you're new to e-bikes, or an experienced rider, it's always a good idea to do a thorough bike check before riding a bike. This will not only keep your bike in top condition, but it will also ensure that your ride is safe! Not to mention, regular bike safety checks can help you maintain your vehicle in advance! Bicycles, like any machine, will work better and last longer if properly maintained. Have the habit of checking your bike regularly, and simple inspections and maintenance can help you avoid hazards.
E-Bike safety check before riding
1. Rear wheels It should fit tightly and the quick-release lever is fixed in the closed position. Not all wheels have quick-release levers. If the wheel cannot be quickly removed, check that the nuts on both sides of the wheel are tightened.
2. Spoke The tension should be uniform and not loose. Dial each spoke with your finger. The sound emitted by each speaker should be very similar.
3. Tires If the tires are soft, attach the pump to the valve and pump up. Note: There are two types of valve fittings - Presta (long and thin) and Schrader (thick and slightly shorter). The recommended tire pressure is usually written somewhere on the tire.
4. Saddle Check that your seatpost is not loose and that the limits marked on the seatpost have not been exceeded. After checking these, use an Allen wrench to tighten the seatpost clamp. Check again when you're done to check if the seat is secure.
5. Chain Regular cleaning, so that the chain is clean, and regular oiling is also very important for the smooth operation of the bike Note: Do not use too much oil, because it will stain the chain with a lot of dirt, making the chain difficult to clean.
6. Pedals Make sure they spin smoothly and that the crank is tightened, rotates smoothly, and does not squeak.
7. Stem Check that your front wheel and stem do not move independently, and that your handlebar clamp bolts are tight. Perform this check by standing in front of the bike, holding the front wheel between your knees, and twisting the handlebars. You can prevent any movement by tightening the stem bolts and the handlebar clamp with an Allen key.
8. Headset Check if there is any rocking or clicking on the headset. Perform this check by firmly grasping the head tube with one hand and applying the front brake with the other hand. This will steady the front of the bike so that you can shake the headset to establish any rocking or clicking in the bearings.
9. Brakes Make sure the front and rear brakes are working properly. If the brake lever pulls the handlebar handle, the brake cable needs to be adjusted. This is done by loosening the brake cable anchor bolt, tightening the cable and then tightening the anchor bolt again. Both sides of the brake mechanism should move when braking. If this does not happen, turn the small adjusting screws on the fixed side until the sides move again. Most brakes have these adjusting screws. The brake pads must be flattened to the rims. If this is not the case, use an Allen key to tighten the block to the correct position. This is done while applying the brakes. Finally, check the front brake by stepping on the brakes and pushing the bike forward, and the rear brake by stepping on the brakes and pulling the bike back.
10. Framework Check for any cracks or damage. This inspection requires special attention to the area where the frame joins the head tube.
11. Front wheels It should fit tightly and the quick-release lever is fixed in the closed position. Not all wheels have quick-release levers. If the wheel cannot be quickly removed, check that the nuts on both sides of the wheel are tightened.
Weekly e-bike checks
In addition to pre- and post-ride checks, here are some safe storage best practices to monitor at least once a week. You don't need complex bike tools to accomplish these tasks and should be a simple one.
- Check that the torque of the hardware is correct (i.e. tighten precisely, make sure they are not too loose or too tight). Refer to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure they meet the recommended torque values.
- Check the drivetrain, including chains, links, flywheels, and derailleurs, to ensure they are properly aligned and operate seamlessly.
- Clean the frame by wiping it with a damp cloth to avoid any moisture near the electrical parts and drivetrain of the e-bike.
Bolts not tightened to recommended levels, dysfunctional drivetrains, or damage to the bike's frame and/or electrical components can all result in component failure or, worse, impaired riding safety.
Monthly e-bike checks
This section of the bike checklist appears less frequently, but it's just as important. You will do a more in-depth examination of your e-bike, which may require more complex tools to adjust. Learn more about the performance and capabilities of your e-bike, these bike inspections will help determine where safety may be compromised, and if so, what you need to do!
- Check brake pad alignment and brake line tension, clean brake line and shift cable. Watch out for any corrosion or breakage between the brakes or shift lines. This could be a sign of replacement!
- Continue to check that your bike is shifting gears properly, then clean and lubricate the drivetrain.
- Check the spoken tension. If you notice any loose spokes, check and tension both wheels.
Monthly bike tests are followed by a full tune. If you are a recreational rider, it is recommended that you professionally tune your e-bike at least once a year to a year and a half, and twice a year if you are a daily rider. Your local e-bike shop will probably offer this service and will check all of the above and more to ensure your bike performs at its best and keeps you safe! Cycling is a fun, low-intensity workout with many health benefits. However, it can also come with some risks if you're not prepared. By following a routine before a long ride, and checking in to make sure you have everything you need to stay safe while riding, you can help minimize riding risks.