Properly maintaining your bicycle can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacement parts—it can also prevent accidents. Jacob Arnold of The Oregonian recently wrote a column to provide some cycling safety tips and consulted with Seth Richardson, owner of Meticon Bikes in Portland.
Richardson stressed the fundamentals of every day cycling maintenance—checking tire pressure, the chain and your handlebars. Make sure all screws and bolts are tightened and reflectors and lights are working and visible.
“If your chain is squeaking, you should have lubricated it a while ago,” says Richardson. Your chain should shift gears within one revolution of the pedals, according to Richardson. If yours is not shifting smoothly and quickly, it could be a problem with your derailleurs or your chain needs lubrication.
Another maintenance check that riders sometimes overlook is inspecting the rims. Richardson stresses that the rims should have a groove where the brake pad touches it. If the groove is worn down—or completely worn away—you could be in danger of a bicycle accident.
“If you don’t have the groove, run your finger over the rim where the brake meets it,” wrote Arnold. “If it feels concave or rough, you want to have it checked for thickness at a bike shop.”
There is more information on maintenance and bicycle safety laws available on our site. If you have any doubts you should have your bike inspected by a professional. Please contact our office for a free consultation if you have been in an accident.
Tip of the week: According to the NHTSA there were 38,000 bicycle accident injuries in 2012.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bike accident lawyer