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How to check your bike is in perfect condition and ready to ride.

Even before you start turning the pedals check your bike. A bike that is in great condition is safer and makes for more enjoyable cycling. Here’s how to give your bike a quick but thorough two-minute check, so you know your bike is ready to ride. 

Start at the front wheel

Start at the front wheel and work to the back wheel. Check the quick release that holds your front wheel in place is tightly closed and when you move the wheel from side to side it doesn’t wobble. Pick the front of your bike up and spin the wheel looking to check the tyres have no worn areas or cuts in them. Check the wheel spins smoothly and isn’t buckled or rubbing on the brakes. 

Handlebar check

Put the wheel down again and move up to the handle bars. When you rock the bike backwards and forwards can you feel any knocking or movement in the headset (where the bars attach to the frame)? Swing the bars from side to side to see if they move freely. Use the front brake to stop the wheel. Does it stop quickly and firmly? 

Shimano mechanic

Check your rear brake 

At the rear wheel check the wheel is securely locked in the frame and repeat the checks on the wheel that you did at the front – picking up the bike to spin the wheel and check the tyre. Test your back brake is powerful, stops the wheel with control and isn’t rubbing. 

The drop test

Lift your bike 5 centimetres off the ground, then gently drop it down. You are listening for any rattles, clunks, thuds or noises you don’t normally hear. A beautifully maintained bike will be almost silent. 


Frame check

Look over the long diagonal down tube of the bike to the bottom bracket where the pedals attach. Check there are no big bumps or scrapes. Grab both crank arms and pedals, give them a good tug and check your pedals spin round freely where they join the crank. Wobble your bottle cages to check they are not loose and check the bottle isn’t going to fall out. On an e-bike check your battery is securely in place. 

Saddle shape 

Follow up from the bottom bracket to your saddle, check your seat post is tight so the saddle won’t suddenly drop down or twist. Grab your saddle and try to move it up and down or forward and back to check it is securely clamped to the bike. Finally follow the tubes behind your saddle down to the rear wheel, check these for any damage. 

Call in the Shimano experts

This quick check is designed to help you spot the problems that need further investigation. Hear a strange sound or feel something's off with your derailleur or chain? Or maybe your brakes are rubbing? For the complete diagnosis and repair Shimano mechanics are ready to help. 

Shimano Service Centres are a global network of independent bike retailers. At a Shimano Service Centre staff are trained to service the Shimano components of road, MTB, city and Shimano STEPS e-bikes and they also carry the most common Shimano Original Parts. Check out all the services on offer here and follow the link to find your nearest Shimano Service Center

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For Andy Schleck, life is, and has always been, about family and bikes. From a young boy in a bike shop, through an illustrious career as a professional racer alongside his brother, and now as the owner of his own store, Andy has sought out the latest technologies and the newest equipment. We are proud that much of this journey (and many a component!) has been part of the SHIMANO family, and even more so that when Andy opened Andy Schleck Cycles it was essential to him that his store be a SHIMANO SERVICE CENTER.