A Kids Bike Safety Checklist: It's as Easy as ABCD
By Jeff Henry, woom partner relations lead
Going for a ride? Before you roll out, give your child’s bike (and your own) the quick “ABCD” check.
Check that your bike’s tires are at the right tire pressure. Tire pressure can drastically change the way a bike feels. Bike tires have a recommended PSI range listed on the side. In general, run a higher pressure if your child is riding only on pavement; you can run a lower pressure if they’re riding off-road on trails (a lower PSI essentially functions as minimal suspension, making the ride feel smoother).
Are the bike’s brakes working well? Sometimes brakes can wear down or loosen over time. First, make sure the brake pads aren’t rubbing the rims. An easy way to check is to pick the wheel off the ground and spin it—watch and listen: the wheel should spin freely. Second, make sure that the front and back brakes are engaging the rim; to check, roll the bike around and gently apply pressure individually to the front and back brakes. For small adjustments to your woom bike’s brakes, loosen the barrel adjuster to make the brake pads farther apart, or tighten to bring them closer.
Check the chain on your bicycle for wear or corrosion. If your chain has rust spots, dirt, or debris lodged in the links, derailleur, crankset, or rear cassette, remove these and wipe off the chain with a rag; once your chain is clean, add a little chain oil along the full length of the chain. A great way to keep your bike in good working order is to periodically clean and oil your chain. A clean chain that is not worn will help your drivetrain last as long as possible.
The drop test is exactly what it sounds like. Lift your bike by the seat and handlebars about 6 inches off the ground. Drop the bike straight down onto the tires and listen for any rattles or loose parts. This test will help you to identify any parts of your bike that may have become loose from riding. Some key things to look for are a loose stem, headset, wheels (either wheel bolts or quick release skewer), and chain.
Below, we have included a useful image to help you identify the different parts of your child's bike (and your own) to help you on your way to becoming a bike mechanic.
Jeff Henry is the customer service technician at woom Bikes. Over the years Jeff has worked at various positions within the bicycle industry and is an active cyclist. In his role with woom, Jeff works to help customer service and customers find resolutions for any technical issues they may have with their bicycle.