Bike riding is fun and exhilarating, but it requires a measure of well-applied caution. Riding a bike without properly accounting for your safety is dangerous. This is true of BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and even just riding around town. If you don’t look out for your safety, no one else will. The following is a safety checklist everyone should follow before they start pushing pedals.
First, check the wheels. Make sure they are aligned properly and are secured to the bike. This is especially important if they are designed to be easily detachable, as these are more likely to be loose. If you are placing the front wheel on the bike, makes sure you follow the procedure outlined in your bike’s manual. Don’t take shortcuts.
Make sure the spokes are all intact. Missing spokes from your wheel can cause the wheel to deform, and this will make for an unsteady, unsafe ride. A deformed front wheel can make steering very imprecise and unreliable. This can be dangerous even in normal conditions. It can make dangerous situations into crises if not properly managed and corrected.
Be sure to check the tires, as well. Make sure they are properly inflated, and make sure they are not damaged or punctured. Some punctures are hard to notice until it is too late if the foreign object that has caused the puncture remains stuck in the tire. Be sure the tread is not worn out. Even a properly inflated tire isn’t safe to use if the tread is too worn out.
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Next, check the frame of the bike. Make sure it is properly secured and that nothing is loose. The frame is perhaps the last thing you can’t afford to have collapse. Make sure the forward forks that hold the tires are not bent or dented in any way, as this will interfere with the safe rotation of the tires and make the bike more difficult to control.
Make sure the handlebars are properly affixed, and that they rotate easily enough. Stiff handlebars will make your bike dangerously unsafe to maneuver.
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The brakes are an exceedingly important safety feature. Always check to make sure they are working properly and that your brake levers aren’t too stiff or too loose. They may require occasional adjustment to keep them functional. Make sure your brake pads are not worn out, or they will be unable to stop the tire properly.
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Finally, make sure all of your safety equipment is in order. Make sure the reflectors on your bike are intact, as well as any other signals you have installed. Always wear a crash-safe helmet, and always wear your helmet appropriately tight. If you are using knee and elbow pads, make sure they do not restrict your range of motion.
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This is by no means a complete safety checklist. There are always additional steps you can take to be more safe on a bike. You can visit USJCycles.com for more tips about bike safety, and you should. No one has ever regretted being more safe on their bicycle.