Find out about basic checks to keep your bike in good running order

Cycling for All sessions

A variety of cycles are available to use at Cycling for All sessions. The cycles are maintained by mechanics to keep them in good working order. If you have any questions about cycle maintenance please chat to any of the cycling instructors at the session.

ABC checks

If you own your own cycle, or would like to purchase your own cycle, it’s important to carry out regular Air, Brake and Chain (ABC) checks.


  • Check the front tyre has enough air
  • Squeeze the tyre from the sides
  • If you can squeeze it more than a tiny bit it means the tyre does not have enough air
  • Find the air valve on the wheel
  • You may need to remove a cap from the valve
  • Place the pump’s hole on to the valve
  • Lift up the pump clip to open the valve
  • Use the pump until the tyres feel firm
  • A larger pump like the one in the photo will show how much air you have put in
  • The tyre will have the amount of air it needs printed on it.
  • If you cannot find it just check if the tyres feel firm
  • Put the pump clip down and release the pump from the valve
  • Replace the valve cap if there is one
  • Repeat your check for the rear tyre


  • Check the brakes by squeezing them with the handlebars
  • Brakes should not touch the handlebars
  • When the brakes are not squeezed there should be a very small gap between the brake pads and the wheel rim
  • When the brakes are squeezed the brake pads should touch the wheel rim
  • If they do not, they are worn or have moved, please inform the mechanic


  • Check the chain
  • Turn the pedals backwards
  • The chain should move smoothly
  • If is stiff or loose, please inform the mechanic