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You’re almost ready to head out on the streets and enjoy your FunkedUp bike, but before you do, have one last check to make sure everything on your bike is tightened and in good working order. Here’s a handy guide showing the parts to check, from front to back. This is a good checklist to use for your regular maintenance as it ensures every part of your bike is as it should be.
Traditionally known as the ’M’ method, you start at the front wheel of your Funked Up bike and draw an imaginary ‘M’, from the front hub, up through the headset and handlebars, down to the bottom bracket and cranks, up to the saddle, and back down to the rear hub.
1. Front tyre. Check your tyre for any signs of wear, cracking or splitting. Finding this now will save you from being caught out on a ride. It’s also a good idea to check your tyre pressure at least once a month. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines (generally printed on the sidewall of the tyre) and inflate to recommended pressure. Tyres gradually lose pressure over time and running tyres at too low a pressure will increase your chance of punctures and make for a more sluggish ride.
2. Front rim. Check for signs of wear on your rim. Riding with worn brake pads can cause the rim to wear away and it will be noticeably concave. Also check for any dents, cracks or splits.
3. Spokes. Check that the spokes are of equal tension by pinching them together. Look for any obviously loose spokes that might need to be tightened.
4. Front hub. First ensure that your wheel nuts are tight. Loose nuts can be tightened using your 15mm wrench. Next, gently rock the front wheel from side to side, you’re looking for any excessive movement that would indicate worn or damaged bearings, or might simply need the cones tightened. This is a job best left to a professional mechanic if you haven’t attempted it before.
5. Wheel trueness. Hold the front wheel in the air and spin. You’re checking that the wheel is spinning freely and relatively straight. Excessive side to side movement or the rim hitting the brake pads mean your wheel may need to be trued or your wheel axles are not centered in the dropouts.
6. Front brake. Ensure the front brake is running smoothly by pulling the lever, if it’s sticky at all the cable may need to be lubed or replaced. Any wear or splitting on the cable housing will mean changing it as well. Check the brake pads have sufficient wear left in them. Most brake pads have a ‘wear-line’ that indicate when it’s time for a fresh pair.
7. Headset. Holding the front brake, turn the bars to the side and rock the bike backwards and forwards. Here you are checking for any play which might indicate worn bearings or a loose headset. Next lift the front wheel in the air and turn the bars from side to side. Here you’re checking to make sure the bars turn freely, again an indicator of worn bearings or the headset being overtight.
8. Stem. Holding the front wheel between your legs try to turn the handlebars. This is a simple way of checking your stem bolts are tight. If there is any movement in the stem or handlebars, loosen off the bolts, re-centre and re-tighten until there is no movement. This is also a good time to check that your brake levers are securely mounted to the handlebars.
9. Chainring. Visually inspect the chainring for worn or broken teeth, also make sure your chainring bolts are tight as they can work themselves loose.
10. Bottom bracket. If you’re running a freewheel spin the cranks backwards to check that they are spinning freely. If they are not this can be a sign of worn bottom bracket bearings. This is also a good time to spin your pedals and make sure they are spinning freely on their bearings. Finally, hold each crank arm and gently try rocking them from side to side. If there is any play this is a good indicator of worn bottom bracket bearings. Make sure the crankarms are tightly fitted to the bottom bracket also.
11. Seatpost and saddle. It’s good practice to remove your seatpost every few weeks and re-grease. Failure to do so can result in the seatpost getting seized to the frame. Now hold the saddle and try rocking it up and down, inspecting for damage as you do so. Any movement might indicate a loose bolt which can be tightened using your 6mm hex key.
12. Rear wheel. Follow the same process as number 1-6 above.
13. Fixed cog and lockring/ Freewheel. If you are riding fixed it’s a good idea to check that your cog and lockring are securely fitted. You’ll need to remove the rear wheel for this. Once the wheel is removed. Use a chainwhip and lockring tool to ensure there is no movement or slippage. While you have the wheel removed, spin the freewheel backwards to ensure it too is running smoothly.
The steps above are a general guide to keeping your bike in good running order. Funked Up recommend having your bike fully serviced by your friendly neighbourhood bike mechanic at least twice a year to make sure you get years of enjoyment from it!