A B C H a n d o u t
Copyright Arnie Baker, MD, 1989-2009. Revised 7/30/2009. This handout may be photocopied for
distribution only if used in its entirety; and only with written permission. Electronic transmission is
expressly prohibited. Copyright notice and permission must accompany use. Report unlicensed use.
ARNIE BAKER CYCLING
Bike Safety Check
Here’s an easy procedure all riders should know and follow
*Check the starred items (the first three) before every ride.
It is particularly important to perform these checks if the
bicycle has been disassembled for travel, or if it has been
crashed, jostled or roughly handled.
This is not a comprehensive bike inspection procedure.
Here’s a pneumonic I use to remember the
Table 1. Bike safety check pneumonic. Read down the
column. Check starred items every ride.
*Tires, Wheels, and Brakes
*Check the Front Wheel
Press on the tire to check inflation.
Check the tire for wear—flat spots or exposed
casing threads. The tire treads and side walls
should be free of cuts, bulges, cracks, and foreign
material such as thorns or glass.
Check that the quick-release skewer is levered
Spin the wheel. The wheel should be true. The
wheel should turn freely, without play. If the
wheel appears at all out of true, check for a loose
spoke by squeezing adjacent spokes on the same
side of the wheel in pairs.
*Check the Front Brake
Check that the brake pads are properly
positioned relative to the rim: that they are
equidistant from the rim, do not rub the rim
unless engaged, that they engage squarely along
their length, and that they do not hit the tire.
Check the brake pads for wear.
Check the ca