The 4 step bicycle safety check
14 March 2022
Now that the weather is improving and the days are even longer, now is the perfect time for getting the kids out on their bikes. But as they may have been stored away for several months, it is always best to give them a safety check before jumping back on the saddle.
Here’s our recommended 4-step bike safety check:
Give your bike a thorough cleanBefore starting any safety check on your child’s bike, make sure it has had a thorough clean so that you can spot any issues more easily.
1. Give the bike a hose down with water
2. Then spray with a bike wash
3. Using a sponge wipe the bike down
4. Then rinse with water
5. Dry off with a cloth
The Muc-Off x Frog Bikes clean and lube kit is perfect for kids to keep their bikes looking box fresh and running smoothly for longer. And the kit is both safe for the environment and safe for kids.
CHECK THE FRAME
Whilst giving the frame a sponge down, take a look for any cracks or damage, especially where the frame joins the head tube.
FOCUS ON THE CHAIN
Pay special attention to the chain to ensure it is clean and free of any debris. If you notice the chain is a little rusty a bit of chain oil will do the trick, but do not over-oil it as this attracts dirt and debris. Remember that through all seasons the bike chain will need regular maintenance.
Take a look at our how to clean your bike video for tips:
2. Check bolts are tightly fastened
The next step is to ensure that all the nuts and bolts are fastened correctly. Start from the front of the bike and work your way to the back, tightening any bolts that might be a little loose.
Check that both bolts that secure the front wheel to the forks are not loose.
Check the headset (handlebars and stem), by standing on either side of the front wheel holding it between your feet. Take the handlebars and shake side to side to see if it is loose. Tighten the bolt on the stem to secure it properly.
If the handlebars are loose take a look at our ‘How to tighten your handlebar’ video.
Ensure that the pedals are securely fixed to the crank and are spinning freely, without creaking.
Ensure that the saddle is completely flat and at the correct height with securely fastened bolts and isn’t above the limit marked on the seat post. Remember that the Frog saddle can easily be adapted by moving the saddle backwards or forwards to best fit your child.
Check that both bolts that secure the rear wheel to the frame are not loose.
Check that the mudguards are fitted securely to the bike.
Take a look at the M check video for more information:
3. Pump up tyres & check spokes
Check both the front and rear tyres are firm by pressing hard on them with the palm of your hand. You may notice that they have lost a bit of pressure since you last checked. You can find out what the recommended PSI tyre pressure is indicated on the tyre itself. And don’t forget to do this regularly, especially when cycling season is in full swing.
Whilst you’re at the wheels, be sure to check the spokes too. You can do this simply by plucking the spokes using your finger and ensuring that each of them has equal tension and sound similar.
4. Check the brakes!
In order to check the brakes are fully functional, you will need to check them one at a time. Moving the bike slowly squeeze the front brake to ensure that the wheel slows down and comes to a complete stop. Repeat with the rear brake.
Note that the rim brake blocks should only be gripping the rim of the wheel, not the tyre. Also, ensure that the brake pads still have a good amount of wear in them and are not close to the metal.
If you need to adjust the brakes or cabling, take a look at this how-to video:
Help from a qualified mechanic
For any other parts of the bike that need checking, we suggest contacting a Frog Bikes stockist to speak to a qualified bike mechanic. As we use lots of standard spares your local store may have available stock or be able to order parts from Frog to help extend the life of your bike.
For other Frog Bikes how-to guides and FAQs, check out our Support pages >>