Thank you to everyone who came along to our Dr Bike in Newbury. We had a steady stream of people bring us bikes with various issues, which ranged from the relatively minor to more serious defects that made the bike unsafe to ride.
The most common faults that we found were:
- Flat / under-inflated tyres
- Worn chains
- Slipping gears
- Badly adjusted brakes
It is really important to check your bike regularly to ensure that you pick up problems as they occur. This allows you to take corrective action before they get more serious, and extends the useful life of your components. For example, replacing a chain when the ‘stretch’ is 0.75%, means that you only need to replace the chain itself. Wait until it is worn by 1% or more and that could mean a new cassette (rear sprockets) and possibly new chainrings.
Most of us are familiar with the M-bot (respect to Olympic gold medallist Mo Farrah). But how many of you are familiar with the M-check? This is a really useful safety check of all the main working parts on a bike, which traces an ‘M’ shape. This should be performed once a week, or each time you go out if you ride less frequently. You can download a copy of the M-check leaflet here.
If you want advice on how to carry out routine bike maintenance tasks, then we recommend MadeGood.org, which has an excellent series of videos that guide you through each process step-by-step.