Check and care guide
How fit is your bicycle?
The bicycle is a mobile health club for everybody. Make sure it stays in shape. Treat it with care and check it regularly from top to bottom.
Safe and sound on two wheels
Dirt has to be cleaned off, as it often hides problems. And you can't let them go unnoticed. But you should never clean it with high-pressure equipment, beause water can get into the bearings and sensitive parts like gears and the suspension fork. Our tip: Simply clean the bike with a moist cloth.
Once you've removed the daily grime, the testing can continue.
Frame and fork
Are there cracks or other forms of damage on the frame? Is the fork bent? If so, you need a new one.
Because of their complicated inner structure, suspension forks are best left to a professional. If oil is leaking from an oil suspension fork, the seals must be replaced. Are there dents or scratches on the crown? Warning, the fork could break.
First check the Bowden cables, they should neither have kinks or be frayed. Pay special attention to the points on the terminal screws and the cable stops on the frame. Please replace defective Bowden cables
Clean the Bowden cables occasionally and give them a drop of oil. Exceptions are Bowden cables with Teflon coating or installed Teflon tube. This may not be oiled, because the Teflon swells and movement is blocked.
Do you have enough lining left on your brakes? If the grooves on the brake pads are no longer visible, the pads must be replaced. Make sure the brake pads are seated correctly: When the brake is applied, they should lie flat and evenly on the rim and not rub against the tyre. It is also important that the brake is applied as quickly as possible. Too much leeway can cost valuable fractions of a second in an emergency. If the brake handle is a little hard to operate, a drop of oil will help.
Wheels and tyres
If the wheels do not rotate properly or are out of true, a specialist dealer can help. He can usually correct it with a spoke key. But if the rim is really bent, it must be replaced.
If you notice the tyres are out of round, the wheel isn't necessarily out of true. It is also possible that the tyre carcass (casing) is broken. If so, change the tyre.
Is the tyre tread worn down to the carcass? Are the sidewalls cracked or brittle? In these cases you should also replace the tyre. A street tyre should have a pressure of at least 3.5 bar. The narrower the tyre, the higher the air pressure. A racing tyre may have a pressure of 9 bar. Information on tyre pressure can also be found on the tyre flank.
And finally, you should check if the wheels wobble. Take the rim between your thumb and forefinger and push the wheel back and forth. If there is a wobble, adjust the axle bearings.
Chain, sprockets, and chain ring
|If the chain gnashes or squeaks, it must be cleaned and re-lubricated. First, oil the chain liberally, then carefully remove it. If the chain is clean, it is lubricated again. |
Chains are exposed to heavy wear. They are stretched with each turn of the pedal. You can see this if you can lift the chain a few millimetres from the teeth of the chain blade with your fingers. If you can reach a full sprocket height with this test, the chain should be replaced.
The sprockets, chain rings, and gear switch should also be cleaned and lubricated.
|Seeing and being seen: Be a shining example to others and first check if the cable is rubbing anywhere. Then check the bulbs for correct function. Does the dynamo work? Bottom bracket dynamos are driven by the tyre tread. They are very quiet, but slip in wet and snow and wear out quickly.
How much lighting does a bicycle need?
- One headlight,
- one tail light,
- 15 reflectors:
- one large red rear reflector,
- one red rear reflector,
- one front white reflector,
- four yellow pedal reflectors,
- eight yellow spoke reflectors (two per wheel and direction)
alternatively: white reflective rings in the spokes or on the tyres.
One of the rear reflectors may be combined with the tail light.
The headlight and tail light are powered by the dynamo. Battery lighting is in Germany is allowed as the sole illumination only for racing bikes with a weight under 11 kg.
|Watch out, here you come: Warn other road users by ringing your bell. Signal horns or wheel-powered bells are not allowed.|