Do the M-check


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, which has an excellent series of videos that guide you through each process step-by-step.


Dr Bike Comes to Newbury

two people fixing bikes

Just like cars, bikes need regular maintenance in order to keep them running smoothly and keep you safe. However, often people neglect their bikes and only give them some attention when something breaks, or starts making a noise.

Regular maintenance checks can help identify issues as they arise and allow you to carry out timely adjustments or preventative maintenance. This can extend the life of your components and save you money in the long run. Fortunately, most bikes are relatively simple to work on and only require a few basic tools to undertake the most common maintenance tasks.

Spokes has a number of volunteers who have all taken the Cytech Home Mechanics Course and are therefore qualified to make adjustments to bikes and deliver a basic level of tuition to others about routine maintenance. In addition, we have years of experience of tinkering with bikes and even building them from scratch!

So if you have a bike that has squeaky brakes, slipping gears or just want to know how to change a tyre, then bring it down to Newbury Market on Saturday 27 August between 10am and 2pm where our experts will be on hand to carry out checks, make adjustments, or show you how to undertake maintenance checks and carry out basic repairs. The best part is that it is FREE!

If your bike does need new parts, then don’t forget that Spokes members get 10% discount at Banjo Cycles, Bikelux and Specialized Concept Store.


Get on Your Bike with Spokes in 2015

Social Bike RideHappy New Year!  Maybe, like us, you are already thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. If so, then why not resolve to get on your bike with Spokes in 2015.

If you haven’t cycled in a while, then we can get you up and running in no time. We can provide cycle training and advise on everything from bike purchase to bike maintenance.

We’re already working on our programme of events for the coming year and are aiming to build on last year’s successes with a series of recreational bike rides, as well as Dr Bike sessions and bike maintenance workshops. We’ve also got a couple of surprises up our sleeves, which we’ll tell you about soon.

We are also working with West Berkshire Council to develop a strategic plan for cycling, identifying the things that are stopping people from cycling and developing schemes and initiatives that overcome those barriers.

If you’d like to find out more, then why not pop along to one of our monthly pub meets. The first one is on 7 January. Happy cycling!


Dr Bike at Newbury Farmers Market – 2 March

Dr Bike at Newbury Farmers MarketGet your bike ready for Spring – Spokes are doing FREE bikes checks and minor repairs at Newbury Farmers Market this Sunday between 9am and 1pm.

Bring us your dodgy brakes, jumping gears and flat tyres and our trained volunteers will sort them for you and it won’t cost you a penny!

If your bike needs a bigger repair, then we’ll point you in the direction of your local bike shop where Spokes members get a 10% discount on parts.


Dr Bike

West Berkshire Spokes will hold their third Dr Bike session of the year at Newbury Farmers Market on 7th  July between 9am and 1pm, where we will be offering free bike checks and carrying out minor maintenance free of charge.

Most people accept that their car needs an annual service and MOT, but unfortunately, many don’t lavish the same love and affection on their bikes. Just like your car, you bike needs regular maintenance to ensure that is safe and running smoothly.

Spokes has a number of volunteers who are trained in basic bike maintenance. We can check your bike for faults and carry out basic repairs like replacing brake blocks and cables and adjusting gears – all for FREE!

If your bike needs a bit more work, then we will happily tell you what needs doing and point you in the direction of a local bike shop that offers Spokes members 10% discount on parts.