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A bicycle may not be as complex of a machine as a car or other such motor vehicle, but it still consists of numerous parts which must all work properly in order for a bicyclist to remain safe on the road. Thus, if you regularly use a bicycle to navigate the Pittsburgh area, it’s wise to perform a regular bicycle safety test.
The best way to do this is to bring your bike into a shop where specialists can take a closer look at it. However, there are certain basic tasks you can perform on your own to confirm your bicycle is likely in good condition before taking it out on the road. They include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
Check Tire Pressure
Most bicycle tires will have their recommended pressure printed somewhere on the side. Check yours before each ride to ensure your tires don’t need to be inflated.
Often, the recommended tire pressure is actually a range. Typically, you should strive to keep your tires inflated near the maximum pressure, but if you’re going to be riding off-road, they should be closer to the minimum.
Check Your Brakes
Properly functioning brakes can mean the difference between being involved in a major accident or avoiding harm. Thus, before riding your bike, check the left brake by holding it down tightly and attempting to rock the bike back and forth. The brake should remain firm. Now, repeat with the right brake.
Never ride a bike if either brake slips or squeals during this task. Bring it in for repairs first.
Check the Crank Arm
The crank arm is simply the mechanism to which the pedals of your bike are attached. When checking it, align the crank arm so that it points upward. Stand on the right side of your bike and attempt to pull the crank toward you, then toward the bike. Don’t go for a ride if there is any movement.
There are various potential reasons a crank arm can become loose. As always, it’s best to let a bike repair professional address the problem.
Check Your Chain
Your chain will be exposed to the elements every time you ride your bike. This will cause it to rust over time.
Check your chain periodically. A little bit of surface rust can usually be addressed with some basic cleaning and re-lubricating. When a chain is rusted over completely, it’s time to replace it.
Don’t underestimate the importance of performing these basic tasks! A damaged or defective bike part can put you in harm’s way.
That said, it’s typically not your fault if you ever are injured in a bicycle accident resulting from a defect. In these circumstances, blame may lie with the manufacturer or designer of your vehicle.
You could potentially receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses if you’re harmed in a bicycle accident due to a manufacturer’s or designer’s negligence. Learn more about your options by reviewing your case with a Pittsburgh bicycle accident and product liability attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman. Contact us online or call us at 888-98-TWINS(89467) to get started today.