How To Safety Check Your MTB For Bike Park Riding | Mountain Bike Maintenance

How To Safety Check Your MTB For Bike Park Riding | Mountain Bike Maintenance


– Riding in a bike park can be
pretty taxing for your bike. All the rocks, roots, jumps,
drops, lumps and bumps all take their toll on your bike, whether it’s your spokes on your wheels or simply just a few bolts rattling loose. At the end of every day,
you should make sure you spend some time giving your bike a full safety check for
the next day of riding. These are the things you need to look at. Riding in any park is
especially hard on your wheels, whether that’s your tyres,
rims, spokes or anything else. So, to start with, look
at both of your wheels and make sure your
tyres are still inflated at the end of every day. Systematically work around
the whole casing of the tyre, looking for any slashes
and nicks in there. Anything that might
have to be repaired now, this is the time to do it. You don’t want to be
finding out on the trail that you’ve got slashed in the tyre that later leads to a puncture. Next up, work around the whole rim, look for damage on the rim sides. You’re looking for
anything that’s curled in. If it’s excessive, you want to
take the tyre off completely and rebend this out. If it’s minor dings, you can leave this, just be aware of where
they are and monitor them. Now, obviously, the spokes are the part that hold the whole wheel together, so, you just want to work out
if you’ve got any loose spokes or any that are even snapped. So, just work your way around, you’re looking for the spokes to feel roughly the same in tension. If any are loose, just nip them up tight. Don’t go too far though because you can actually
make the wheel worse. Finally, the last things
you want to look at is actually making sure that the wheels are secured to the bike properly. Check your Maxle, your axle, whichever sort of system it is
that’s holding onto the bike. Make sure it’s adjusted correctly and there’s no excessive play. And lastly but not least
involved with the wheels is check your rotor bolts, make sure they’re all tight
and you’re not missing any. And while you’re in the same area, check the calliper bolts
that hold the brakes to the actual frame of
the bike and to the fork. Make sure they’re all tight
and nothing’s missing. Now, the frame of the
bike is obviously crucial to make sure this is all
safe and in one piece. So, structurally, you want to
make sure there are no cracks or dents that can lead to cracks. Prime areas to check are
around the head tube, just the underside here, by the bottom bracket shell, and anything on the back of the bike, on the seatstays, chainstays, and even where they join
to the main pivot here. Systematically work your way around. Check all of your pivot bolts are tight and nothing is missing, and make sure the frame doesn’t have any play that’s developed. If you’re unsure about
any play that you do find, take it straight to a bike shop because you don’t want to ride with knackered bearings or anything loose that could lead to more
expensive problems down the line. Next up is the cockpit of the bike. This is where you hold onto the
bike, it’s the business end, so make sure that this is all honed, nothing is loose, nothing
is bent or damaged. Start by checking your grips. If you’re not using a lock-on style grip, make sure they’re both
stuck in place properly and you’ve also got bar end plugs. If you haven’t got bar end
plugs, you have a crash, there’s danger of getting a core sample, so you don’t want to be doing that. If you’re using lock-on grips, make sure the bolts are
tightened sufficiently and there’s no movement in the grip. You do not want these to
come off when you’re riding. Next up, check the bar and
stem contact points themselves. Make sure all the bolts are
tight, there’s nothing missing, and make sure they’re equally tight, and if possible, tightened to
a recommended torque setting. Granted, if you’re on a riding holiday, you’re unlikely to have one of those, so use your common sense and
don’t overtighten the bolts. When you’re tightening your stem bolts, make sure that your headset
isn’t overtightened, and also make sure it’s not loose, because a headset can rattle
loose on a severe day’s riding in the Gravity Park. Finally, you want to make
sure your brake levers are in exactly the right position for you and they’re not gonna be
moving around too much. Make sure they’re tightened
to the bar sufficiently, but you do want these to be able to move in the event of a crash so it doesn’t actually cause
the brake lever to snap. So, as you could see by mine,
I can move them if I push them or pull them very hard, but they’re unlikely to move in actual use. Check the lever blade bolts themselves because they’re notorious
for rattling loose, and if that happens, your brake
lever’s coming off midtrail, that could be pretty horrific, don’t need to spell out
what can happen there. Finally, check the lever
travel to the bars, because a long day of riding a bike park, you can wear out your brake pads, your brakes might even need bleeding. So check the brake system,
and they feel just right. If not, then maybe you need to do a little bit more to your bike. Now, a suspension is pretty crucial when you ride in a bike park, A, for comfort, B, for safety, and C, because it’s
really good to be using all that expensive
suspension on your bike. When you’re doing a frame check, make sure you check the bolts
front and rear of the shock, they’re tight and there’s
no play in the bushings. It’s not gonna damage your
bike too much if there is play, but it’s not ideal. So, you can get bushings very
easily from any bike shop. In a resort like Whistler, there’s enough of them to pick from, so get that sorted before it
develops into a bigger problem. Also, take note of how much suspension travel you’ve been using. In the beginning of the day riding, set your O-ring nearest to the shock and just monitor it throughout the day. If you’re using all of
your travel, that’s fine, but if you notice your bike feels a bit harsh or you’re not using all that travel, maybe you want to consider using a little less compression damping or lowering your air pressure. Perhaps at home you use 25% sag. In a bike park, you might
want to use a bit more for comfort and grip. Make sure your seals are dry, clean and, if possible, you want to
treat them to a bit of lube. Finally, you want to be
looking at the transmission of your bike and also the cranks. So starting up front with the cranks. Check they’re not loose,
and make sure that the left hand crank isn’t loose. It’s normally the one
that does come loose, and it’s attached to the bike, usually by an eight-millimeter
Allen key bolt. So check that, and also check your pedals
are secure at the same time. On this particular bike, I
don’t have chainring bolts, so the chainring itself
mounts directly to the crank. But if your bike has got chainring bolts, they are a likely
contender for coming loose. Finally, you want to make sure your rear derailleur is not damaged and it’s tightened to
the bike sufficiently. Start off by checking the
main derailleur hanger bolt. These often unwind on
long, rough descents, so check that’s tight. Also, the hanger directly to the frame. Next up is to check
the jockey wheel bolts. If your jockey wheels fall out midride, you’re probably gonna lose your chain or it’ll get tangled up. So that is your bike safety check done. It’s a good idea to do this at home, whether you’re riding
in the bike park or not, just to make sure your bike
is in tip-top condition. So for a brake bleed
service, check down here, and for checking out how to maintain your pedals and service
those, click down here. Don’t forget to subscribe
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