Pre-Ride Safety Check


There is nothing worse than finding out mid-ride, that your bike is not performing to it’s usual standard, as you were in a hurry to head out for a ride at the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. No one wants the long walk out from Zone 5 due to a puncture or even worse have a crash, due to a loose bolt.

At Paihia Mountain Bikes we recommend before every ride you do this quick 5 minute pre ride check to ensure you are going to have the most enjoyable ride!

1.       Check your tyre pressure

This is the MOST important step in safety checking your bike and should be done before EVERY ride, as your tyres is that only part of the bike that has contact with the ground. Improperly inflated tyres can be a safety risk on the MTB tracks as they have a chance to pop, or roll when you encounter turns, table tops and rough surfaces. 

Your tyres will tell you the PSI recommend for what you are using. However, the rule of thumb we use for the terrain at the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park is around 20-23 PSI for when the tracks are a little wet to give you extra grip on the clay based surface, and then notch it up in the Summer to 25 PSI when the tracks are dusty.

2.   Check your chain

Your chain is the driving force that propels you on your bike ride. There is a lot of power going through your chain, especially when you are striving for a Strava record, so it is important to make sure it is in top shape – to avoid any breaking or gear skipping.

Before your ride: Touch your chain, if it feels super dry or showing a little surface rust, lube up the chain.

When cleaning your bike: Check your jockey wheels and rear cassette are clean and not fulled with muck, if they are clean it off and restart with a new coating of lube. 

3.   Check your wheel condition

The wheels is the only part of the bike that is keeping you in contact with the ground. It is important to ensure you have sufficient grip and that they are running straight so that you can steer around even the tightest of berms and land those whips.

Spin each of your wheels one at a time and double check the following:

-      Wheels are true (not buckled and spinning centered)

-      No Spokes are missing

-      The tyres have plenty of tread remaining, and there are no visible bulges or rips

-      Brakes are not rubbing on the disc/tyre depending on the brake type when not applied

-      Brakes work and stop the wheel when applied


4.   Check everything is tight and secured

Mountain Biking involves a riding on a lot of bumpy and rough terrain. The jiggling that this causes can sometimes bounce screws and bolts looser than what they should be. If left untightened this can not only open the doors to things falling off but can also cause some damage, so that it becomes costlier to replace parts on your next service

Bolts and screws to check:

-      Stand in front of your bike, and put the front wheel between your knees. Apply your front brake and try and turn the wheel in your knees. If there is any creaking or movement, your headset or stem bolt needs to be tightened.

-      Check grips are not slipping and spinning around

-      Check your wheel axles bolts are tight and secured and there is no side wiggle to your wheels

-      Apply pressure on your cranks and ensure pedals are fully screwed in

5.   Jump aboard your bike and go for a quick spin, ensuring that your bike is smoothly running through all the gears up and down.

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