How To Get Your Mountain Bike Race-Ready
Be Prepared. Pre-race bike checks should start a couple of weeks before the big race; especially if you have been riding a lot. Allow enough time to get things seen to and for any parts to be ordered and replaced, then you can have few test rides before the big day to make sure it’s all working well.
Firstly give the bike a good wash, degrease and lube, and check the frame for any cracks or damage.
The easiest things you can do yourself are: Tire pressure, tire grip and sidewall condition. Wheel rolling and trueness, you’re looking at the hubs and spokes here. A push down on the crank arms and pedals will give you an insight in to the bottom bracket’s condition.
Lift up the front of the bike and turn the handle bars to feel how rough the headset is, followed by the front brake on and rocking of the bike back and forth to see if the headset is tight. Both brakes should be tested independently; first by hand, then visually for pad wear. I look to see how much the calliper pistons are showing as a sign to replace them.
While you are looking closely at your bike, have a look at your cables to see if they are rusty or frayed. Cables are cheap and easy to replace and make a big difference to the performance of your gears.
Talking about replacing things, the chain is also a part of your bike that gets worn and needs to be swapped out regularly, not just when it snaps. If checked often this will save you from having to replace the whole drive train at much higher cost. We use a very simple tool to check chain wear and you can buy one yourself or just pop in store and ask us to do it any time.
This checklist is part of what we cover in a $40 Bike WOF in store, so if you think any of these tasks are beyond or beneath you just drop your bike in soon and we can sort it.