April 18, 2023

Tech Tips with Joseph: M Check

Whether you are going for a commute or a long training ride it is always best to make sure your bike is in good working order. You can quickly do this by performing an "M" check which follows specific parts of the bike to create the letter M.

Step 1 Wheels:

   Check that the wheels are secured tightly in your dropouts. The quick release lever, nuts, or thru-axle should all be tight.

   Check that your spokes are tight. You can do this by pinching 2 of them together, and there should be very little movement.

   Check that the tire pressure mathes the recommended amount.

Step 2 Saddle or Seat:

   Make sure your saddle is secured tightly by moving it side to side. If there is movement check that your saddle clamps and seatpost clamp are tightened.

   If you have a dropper post make sure it operates smoothly.

Step 3 Drivetrain:

   Make sure your chain is clean, lubed, and free of rust. If your chain is dirty, bring it to the shop or whip out your cleaning kit and if your chain is rusty it might be time to replace it.

   Make sure you do not over lube your chain as that can attract more dirt. After you have cleaned it, let it dry then reapply lube. A clean chain is a happy chain.

   Make sure your pedals are free of side to side play. If there is play, the bearings might be worn and the pedals should be replaced or rebuilt.

Step 4 Handlebars:

   Check that your handlebars are tight and straight. You can do this by pinching the front wheel between your legs while twisting the handlebars. If they move but the wheel does not then you need to tighten your stem bolts. Make sure that the stem and front wheel are in alignment to each other, you can do this by looking down over the stem.

Step 5 Brakes:

   Make sure that your brakes are tight. You can do this by squeezing each lever, if the pull all the way down to the bar then your brakes need some maintenance. This could either be cable tension, brake pads, or a brake bleed.

The "M" check is a quick and easy way to make sure your bike is safe for any ride.