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Biking 101: Preride Checklist

While riding a bike is a skill you never really forget, it is easy to forget that your bike is a machine. Like all machines, your bike can fail in both surprising and predictable ways. That is why before your hop on it, you should do a brief mechanical check. Here are the items on my checklist:

  1. Tires: Check your tires and inflate as needed — be sure to not exceed the PSI (pounds per square inch) listed on the side of the tire. If you have quick-release tires, make sure the levers are secure.
  2. Brakes: Test your brakes by lifting your bike, spinning your wheels, then squeezing your brakes. Looks at the pads to see how worn they are.
  3. Cables: Look over your brake and gearing cables to ensure they are all intact with no fraying or splits.

There are a few more gear-related items to check, to learn them


  1. Spare tube: Make sure you have a spare tube or patch kit, in case you get a flat on your ride. A small pump that attaches to your bike is a great tool to ride with.
  2. Water: Don't forget to fill your water bottle before heading out.
  3. Money: I always carry at least a couple buck in case of emergency. Take your cell phone, too, and your ID.
  4. Cleats: If you ride with clipless pedals, check your cleats to make sure no screws are loose.
  5. Gears: Start your ride by going slowly through all your gears to ensure your derailleur is working fine.

Don't forget your helmet!

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Hill82879 Hill82879 8 years
Fit, I just bought the Trek 7.5 FX WSD. If that's the one you're looking at, it's a great, great bike.
iheartkerning iheartkerning 8 years
syako, if you're not sure what to get but think you might ride both road and trails, I would recommend a cyclocross bike...they have road geometry (which I prefer), but are made of aluminum and have knobby tires for rougher terrain. You can very easily swap out the knobby tires for skinnies if you want to hit the road.
syako syako 8 years
That bike is BEAUTIFUL running.
syako syako 8 years
I'm not sure yet. I'm debating on whether I want a road or mountain. Hubby has a mountain bike and I'd love to go out with him, but I think I might be happier with a road bike. :confused:
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Fit, Trek makes beautiful bikes ! this is my semi-new bike:
Fitness Fitness 8 years
Of course a helmet! I should add, because I see so many riders not wearing them. And I want to know more about the bike too, syako. I am looking at a Trek road bike, women's specific design.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Syako, what kind of bike ??
syako syako 8 years
I totally am this close to buying a really nice bike.
susanec susanec 8 years
Put the cell phone in a ziploc before you put it in your pocket, just in case.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
helmet! :)
Nellllll Nellllll 8 years
Great points ;) I love biking :D
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