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Pre Ride Checklist

Old 11-11-16, 06:19 AM
  #1  
Lucillle
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Pre Ride Checklist

In another thread I requested advice about the frequency of tire pressure checks. A number of people said they checked pressure prior to every ride. A few mentioned more extensive checks pre ride.
I would much rather fix whatever needs fixing in the comfort of my own home rather than on the side of the road, so doing a quick check makes good sense to me.

I am not any kind of expert, for those of you doing pre ride checks, what do you check and a little bit of detail about what you are looking for please.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:43 AM
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indyfabz
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I top off the tires and go. If there is something wrong with the bike I will notice it before I get a block from my house. Frankly, if you have a quality ride that is well maintained, you aren't going to have frequent problems outside of potential damage during a ride. A cared for bike doesn't need a pre-ride check like the space shuttle. I have had my custom ti bike for 1.5 years. Other than tubeless tire changes, it's been worked on maybe 3 times.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:45 AM
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I tend to notice things during rides, then fix or adjust them after, so I'm not terribly worried at the beginning of a ride that something has gone wrong while the bike has been hanging on its hook.

That said, I might give the tires a squeeze and touch the chain to see how dry it feels. As well, I'm in the habit of squeezing the brakes as I wheel the bike around to the driveway, and I'm always sensitive to feeling of looseness or wobbliness.

There are rides, and then there are rides. Right? I'm going to be rather more meticulous if i'm driving an hour one way to go ride with friends as compared to a casual ride by myself that's close to home.
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Old 11-11-16, 08:03 AM
  #4  
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Quick release skewers on your wheels.
Brakes work and no looseness.
One trip around parking lot for anything that rattles + tire pressure reassurance + seatpost tight? Gears shift? No chain drop between Big & Granny?
check pedals are screwed tight and while in the vicinity
no extra millimeters of side movement on crank arms.
cleats on shoes tightly torqued.
stem and bars = tight with no extra movement.
lights (if ya use em).
forget the spare tire or tube?,
is your bag filled with tools? water bottle? sunglasses, food, lighter, other ?
music?
take your protein pills and ..... no wait that's for astronauts like Maj Tom

untwist my knickers
look both ways, TWICE
Esp, if in UK, on any islands or down under
3 shorts blasts
away the mooring lines
push off
underway
try not to crash

what did i miss?
1st mile of limbering exercises for cool, pro look.
Honk On.
Can you peg your power meter at least once in the first 5 miles?
No? Check engine light.

and if it's a tandem, do it twice.
and if it's recumbent, do it twice - you might have memory problems.

Last edited by Wildwood; 11-11-16 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-11-16, 11:43 AM
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I really should check the brake quick release. If I've had to take a wheel out for maintenance or whatever I usually forget to reset the brake quick release when I put the wheel back in.
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Old 11-11-16, 12:35 PM
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The brakes are indeed easy to forget to reset after taking a wheel out. I do it all the but I keep my brakes so tight that it's really not a big deal if I do forget - at least on most rides. When I do have my wheels out, every once in a while I'll grab and squeeze a pair of spokes and go around the wheel to check they are all reasonably tight and examine the rim at the nipples to look for cracks that could be developing. I should put a big checklist in the garage so I don't forget things...
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Old 11-11-16, 12:35 PM
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I never do anything but pump up the tires (every time, almost) and go. Check list? No. I just pay attention to my bike while I'm riding it and notice things that are not right pretty much as soon as they happen, which is very rare. I then tweak as needed either right then, or after or before the next ride if it's something that doesn't require immediate attention.
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Old 11-11-16, 12:37 PM
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I don't have a formal pre-flight checklist. I top off the tires before each ride, give the brakes a squeeze to check 'em, make sure I've got a multi-tool and tire/tube supplies, and go.
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Old 11-11-16, 12:44 PM
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Juan Foote
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Every time. A B C

Air-check your tires, check air pressure.

Brakes-check to be sure your brakes operate, the pads are good, and the rim surface is smooth and uncracked or damaged. Check the wheel for round.

Chain- Check to be sure your chain is in good order and deraillers are working properly.
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Old 11-11-16, 01:48 PM
  #10  
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On my good bikes, Paramount Custom Touring, Paramount Road and Giant Propel Advanced SL, I CLEAN and CHECK OVER the bike after every ride so all that is needed before the next ride is AIR.
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Old 11-11-16, 03:01 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
I don't have a formal pre-flight checklist. I top off the tires before each ride, give the brakes a squeeze to check 'em, make sure I've got a multi-tool and tire/tube supplies, and go.
I don't have a checklist either, don't hit every point every time.
But I'm trying to keep a bunch on the road and 2/3 are vintage.
AND I trade wheelsets occasionally, etc.
AND I'm old, so for me a mental checklist is more important than for most.
_____________________________________________________

Typical Truths
Keep your bike(s) pretty nice, lubed and dry and things work.
An ounce of prevention can save a lot down of time on the road.
No one wants to make a Call of Shame.
Trust comes with experience, don't overthink it, but be prepared with basics.
Know how to fix a flat.
Use your new bike warranty (if appropriate) to get things tightened.
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Old 11-11-16, 03:05 PM
  #12  
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Top-up the tires on every ride. If it's a bike with quick release hubs I check front and rear EVERY time to make sure they are tight. I'm kinda anal about that...especially if the bike has been locked outside a store or similar. I once had a friend "pull a fast one" on me many years ago and loosened the levers. I noticed right away but I've not been "the same" since then.

I, too, make a mental note during a ride what needs work and fix that when I get home. I'm anal about that to. I guess it's the old bike mechanic in me.
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Old 11-11-16, 04:46 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Every time. A B C

Air-check your tires, check air pressure.

Brakes-check to be sure your brakes operate, the pads are good, and the rim surface is smooth and uncracked or damaged. Check the wheel for round.

Chain- Check to be sure your chain is in good order and deraillers are working properly.
Plus "Quick" as in ABC-Quick. Check the quick releases.
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Old 11-11-16, 05:33 PM
  #14  
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This. I tend to over-prepare. But I was nearly stranded once last year and decided to avoid that.

and if it's recumbent, do it twice - you might have memory problems.



Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Quick release skewers on your wheels.
Brakes work and no looseness.
One trip around parking lot for anything that rattles + tire pressure reassurance + seatpost tight? Gears shift? No chain drop between Big & Granny?
check pedals are screwed tight and while in the vicinity
no extra millimeters of side movement on crank arms.
cleats on shoes tightly torqued.
stem and bars = tight with no extra movement.
lights (if ya use em).
forget the spare tire or tube?,
is your bag filled with tools? water bottle? sunglasses, food, lighter, other ?
music?
take your protein pills and ..... no wait that's for astronauts like Maj Tom

untwist my knickers
look both ways, TWICE
Esp, if in UK, on any islands or down under
3 shorts blasts
away the mooring lines
push off
underway
try not to crash

what did i miss?
1st mile of limbering exercises for cool, pro look.
Honk On.
Can you peg your power meter at least once in the first 5 miles?
No? Check engine light.

and if it's a tandem, do it twice.
and if it's recumbent, do it twice - you might have memory problems.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:13 PM
  #15  
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Apply sunscreen, fill water bottle, top off tires, quick squeeze of both brakes once rolling down the street.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:33 PM
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In the house, i check the tire pressure and top off if needed - If i haven't rode in a day or two.

Once I get the bike on the rack I check my brake QR, Wheel QR, spin of each tire, and make sure my saddle bag, mirror, and both computer contact points are secure (fork, stem).

I make sure i have my supplies/tools in place and check the brakes once i hop on. If anything happens during the ride, ill know and fix it then or later if it can wait.

It all takes less than 5 minutes.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:41 PM
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Before the ride all I check is pressure. I'm meticulous about my bikes and when I get back from a ride I wash the bike, check tires brakes chain etc and dry it off and lube what needs lube. It's a bit (a lot) anal to some but when I get rid of a bike 4 years and thousands of miles later for whatever new widget is better lighter faster, my old one still looks new aside from the usual chips on the downtube from road debris. Just my thing, I maintain my toys, Harley, truck, everything that way.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:47 PM
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At any time, my bicycle is ready for hundreds or thousands of trouble free miles, not counting flats. I don't need to check it daily because I'm in tune with how it rides and aware of any changes that might indicate potential problems.

Of course it's not 100% reliable, and stuff does happen, but the worst is typically something like a broken gear wire, which wouldn't necessarily show up on a precheck.

So, I just get on and ride, and if I didn't trust my bike, I couldn't enjoy the riding as much. If anyone can't trust their bike for at least 100 miles, then they need to improve their maintenance protocols.
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Old 11-11-16, 07:00 PM
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1. quick release
2 brake pressure (if it's ligtht, I know something is wrong)
3 air pressure
4 bike forums!
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Old 11-11-16, 10:09 PM
  #20  
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Post- ride instead of pre-ride, really. Before I go out I check the tires with my hand (I've gotten pretty good at this) and top off if needed. Since I did my post-ride check when I returned previously, I can just go.
Post-ride: clean the chain with a clorox disinfecting wipe and add 10-12 drops of Prolink lube. Test wheels laterally and look for bits of glass in tires. check rims and brake pad alignment for toe; rotate wheels and check against brake pads for truing. double check all quick releases. Since i pay attention when I ride and notice even the slightest sounds or vibrations, my post-ride check is all I need. Take 10 minutes tops. And then I know it is good to ride with no problems the next day. I'd rather do it after I ride than before I go out - because if there is something that needs attention it can delay me before a ride, but it's no big deal if I've just got home.
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Old 11-12-16, 02:24 AM
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Check nothing, but after a ride I will check for anything embedded in tires. But I have never seen anything "fall apart" between rides. If there is a problem it will make itself known during the ride. I carry no tools other than flat repair and never had an absolute need for any. A couple of times it would be nice, but I could get home with a single speed, one brake, busted spoke or whatever. For anything electric though, it does pay to check the battery. Having a dead headlight does kind of suck on a commute.

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Old 11-12-16, 06:39 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by smarkinson View Post
I really should check the brake quick release. If I've had to take a wheel out for maintenance or whatever I usually forget to reset the brake quick release when I put the wheel back in.
I've done that more times that I care to admit (at least a dozen times this past summer alone )




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Old 11-12-16, 07:09 AM
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1.Get on bike
2.Start pedaling

As a commuter I ride nearly daily. When you notice something during a ride you fix it when you get home.
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Old 11-12-16, 07:27 AM
  #24  
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Each of my bikes carries a pump, 2 tubes, (spare fold-up tire, chain tool and pieces which some see as excessive), quick flat kit of 2-oz Stans and valve core tool, compliment of tools (each fastener on the bike).
My lights get charged at the end of each ride.
So pre-ride checklist is pump the tires, load the lights, fill the water bottles, grab the gloves and helmet, and a banana.
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Old 11-12-16, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Post- ride instead of pre-ride, really. Before I go out I check the tires with my hand (I've gotten pretty good at this) and top off if needed. Since I did my post-ride check when I returned previously, I can just go.
Post-ride: clean the chain with a clorox disinfecting wipe and add 10-12 drops of Prolink lube. Test wheels laterally and look for bits of glass in tires. check rims and brake pad alignment for toe; rotate wheels and check against brake pads for truing. double check all quick releases. Since i pay attention when I ride and notice even the slightest sounds or vibrations, my post-ride check is all I need. Take 10 minutes tops. And then I know it is good to ride with no problems the next day. I'd rather do it after I ride than before I go out - because if there is something that needs attention it can delay me before a ride, but it's no big deal if I've just got home.
I'm a post ride "PM"-er too, i.e preventative maintenance. If the bike has not been used for a few day, then I'll check the air pressures before I head out again, but the bike is always ready to go otherwise. Best way to keep up on things that might go wrong on the road, is to wipe down and check over the bike/chain/wheels/brakes/tires etc after every ride IMO. Like you say, it doesn't take much time.
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