Bike Safety: Important Checks and Routine Maintenance

Riding a bike is a fun, low-impact way to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you're commuting to work, running errands, or just exploring your local park, it's important to ensure your bike is in good working order before you hit the road. Regular maintenance, combined with a pre-ride safety check, will keep you safe, improve your ride quality, and extend the life of your bike.

In this article, we'll go over the essential checks and routine maintenance tasks you should perform to keep your bike running smoothly and safely.

Essential checks

Before every ride, it's crucial to perform a quick safety check on your bike to ensure it's in good working order. These essential checks include: checking your tires, brakes, steering, chain, lights, saddle, and pedals. By taking a few minutes to check these components, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.


Before every ride, make sure your tires have enough air and are in good condition. Tires that are under-inflated can make riding more difficult, and worn-out tires can increase the risk of a flat. Use a tire gauge to check tire pressure and make sure it's at the recommended level. If you're unsure of the recommended pressure, check the sidewall of your tires or the owner's manual. It is also important to know how to fix a flat tire


Test your brakes before every ride to make sure they're working properly. Squeeze both brake levers, and ensure the bike stops smoothly and quickly. If your brakes are making strange noises or don't seem to be working well, take your bike to a professional mechanic for a tune-up.


Make sure the handlebars and stem are tightened and the headset is secure. Loose handlebars or a loose headset can cause a loss of control and increase the risk of a crash. If you're unsure how to tighten these components, take your bike to a professional mechanic for assistance.


Check that your chain is lubricated and tight. A dry or rusty chain can cause shifting problems and make pedaling more difficult. If your chain is dry or rusty, clean it with a degreaser and lubricate it with a light oil.


If you're riding in low-light conditions or at night, make sure your lights and reflectors are functioning properly and are visible from all angles. This will improve your visibility to others on the road and help keep you safe.


Make sure the saddle is secure and at the correct height. A loose saddle can cause discomfort and increase the risk of a crash. If you're having trouble getting the saddle adjusted, take your bike to a professional mechanic for assistance.


Ensure the pedals are tight and in good working order. Loose pedals can cause discomfort and increase the risk of a crash. If your pedals are loose, use a pedal wrench to tighten them.

Routine maintenance

In addition to pre-ride safety checks, it's important to perform routine maintenance on your bike to keep it in good condition. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike, improve its performance, and keep you safe on the road. Some routine maintenance tasks to consider include:

Cleaning the frame

Washing your bike after each ride will help remove dirt and grime, and prevent rust from forming on the frame. Use mild soap and water, and avoid using a high-pressure washer, which can damage bearings and seals.

Lubricating the chain

A lubricated chain will shift smoother and last longer. Clean your chain with a degreaser and then apply a light oil. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil to prevent attracting dirt and grime.

Tightening bolts

Over time, bolts can loosen from vibrations. Check all bolts, including those on the handlebars, stem, seat post, and wheels, and tighten as needed.

Checking for wear and tear

Regularly inspect your bike for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks in the frame, worn-out tires, and frayed cables. If you notice any damage, have your bike inspected by a professional mechanic.

By performing these routine maintenance tasks, you can keep your bike in top condition and enjoy safe, smooth rides for years to come.

Regularly checking your bike before every ride is essential to keep your bike in good working order and improve your safety while riding. Routine cleaning will also help extend the life of your bike and make it look and ride better. If you're unsure about how to perform these checks or clean your bike, consider taking your bike to a professional mechanic for a tune-up. Stay safe and enjoy your ride!

Maximize the longevity of your bike with regular checks and routine maintenance, and don't forget to protect it with Oyster Bike Insurance. Get a quote now to secure your ride.

Less hassle, better protection

Join Oyster today to learn how you can be properly protected from the unexpected things in life.

Get Started