3 tips to improve safety through bicycle maintenance

Although a number of bicycle accidents occur because of pedestrian or motorist actions, failing to maintain the condition of your bicycle can also contribute to accidents.

There are a number of maintenance checks that every bike owner can perform, regardless of their riding experience. These can reduce the likelihood of a malfunction that would lead to losing control of the bicycle.

1. Check the tires

Always take the time to check your tires before you go for a ride. Look at the tire pressure, which affects how easy it is to handle the bike. Look for embedded debris or excessive wear along the tires. Tire blowouts can cause your bike to swerve unexpectedly either into an object or vehicle.

2. Check the chain

Your chain is the most important component for making the bike move, but it is also the weakest link in the overall design. Check the chain before you ride. Look for stiff links, dryness or rust and a chain that is loose. Rust is easy to spot because of its brown and orange color. Rust can also make the chain dry, but applying a thin layer of new oil can help.

3. Check the brake pads

Over time, the brake pads become worn. You may notice a scraping or gritty sound when you use the brakes. Visually, you may not see the grooves on the brake pads. You may also feel them stick when applying the brakes. Bad brakes are a severe accident risk.

These simple steps can prevent an accident when riding your bike. Make a short checklist and go through it before you ride.

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