With only two weeks until the big day, my mind has turned to bike maintenance
Two weeks to go! I’ve spent so much time training for this and I can’t believe its actually almost here. So now that I know my body is up to the job (or hope it is!), its time to check that my bike is as well. Thankfully, I’ve got the Haynes Bike Book to hand so I can give it a once over…
The book is full of advice for looking after your bike, covering the basics like the tools you’ll need and how to clean it, down to the more in depth detail of adjusting components and fitting new parts. I’m sure its going to be an invaluable asset to my library!
Here is what Haynes recommend you do for a pre-ride quick check:
1. Check the security of the wheels in the drop-outs.
2. Grasp the front wheel at the rim and rock it from side to side to check for play in the bearings. Lift the wheel and spin it. Listen for the noise of worn or damaged bearings.
3. Do the same for the rear wheel. A small amount of play is acceptable.
4. Brake pads: check the pads for wear and that they meet the rim correctly; check the rim braking surface for wear and damage. On bikes with disk brakes, check the pads for wear.
5. Check for loose or damaged spokes.
6. Check brake cables for damage and wear to the outer cable.
7. On bikes with hydraulic brakes, check the hose for chafing. Pay particular attention to anywhere that the hose is clamped to the frame or the forks.
8. Pull on the front brake and rock the bike back and forth to check for play in the headset bearings.
9. Check the security of the handlebars. Hold the wheel and try to turn the bars.
10. Grasp the saddle and check that it’s secure.
11. Check the tyres: sidewalls for damage; treads for wear and foreign objects; tyre pressures.
12. Grab the pedal cranks and push them in and out to check for play.
13. Check the chainrings for worn and damaged teeth.
14. Check the rear sprockets or cassette for wear and damage.
15. Check the rear derailleur for alignment and worn jockey wheels.
16. On bikes with front suspension, check for oil leaks and wear.
17. On full suspension bikes, check for wear in the pivots.
The Haynes Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintence is out now, published by JH Haynes and Co Ltd (RRP £16.99)
For more information on the Women's Only London to Paris Ride, call 0870 333 1662, visit Action Medical Research or contact email@example.com
Erica is riding a 2011 Ridgeback Radium road bike (RRP £799.99) For more information, visit www.ridgeback.co.uk or join the facebook page, facebook.com/ridgebackbikes
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