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Essential Safety Checks For Your BMX Ride

Pre-Ride Safety Check

Maintaining your BMX bike is crucial for both safety and performance.

We recommend performing an "M check" a few days before any race, session, or independent practice to identify and fix any issues in advance.

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How to do the "M Check"

1. Front Wheel and Tyre
  • Check that the wheel spins freely, with no excessive wobbles or buckles.

  • Check for loose spokes by running your hand over the spokes (when the wheel is stationary).

  • Check that the tyre is inflated to a reasonable pressure. Manufacturer's recommendations will be indicated on the sidewall of the tyre.

  • Ensure that the tread is not excessively worn and that the tyre has no splits, cracks, or holes.

  • Check that bolts are securely tightened.

  • BMX stunt pegs - be aware of safety implications if these are fitted (see British Cycling Health and Safety Guidelines for Coaching Cycling for specific details).

2. Forks, Headset and Handlebars (Steering)
  • Check for damaged or bent forks. If there is visible distortion, the bicycle should not be used.

  • Check adjustment of the headset by turning handlebars 45 degrees and check for any rocking movement when gently pushing the bike back and forth. There should be no movement in top or bottom.

  • Handlebars and stem are securely attached, the bars don’t move back or forwards nor twist with force. all bolts are tight.

  • Handlebars and stem are straight by aligning by sight the handlebars with the front hub.

  • Handlebar ends have plugs fitted or otherwise covered.

  • Grips and brake lever(s) are all securely attached to the handlebars.

4. Pedals, Chain, Cranks and Bottom Bracket
  • Check that there is no side-to-side movement in the bottom bracket or cranks by holding one crank still and trying to move the other crank.

  • Check that the pedals rotate freely.

  • Check that the chain is lubricated properly and is not slack or rusty.

  • Check that chain ring (chainwheel?) is straight, not bent and teeth are not worn.

  • Check that freewheel spins and catches well and the teeth are not worn.

7. Saddle and Seat Post
2. Hub and Axle
  • Check that bolts and quick release mechanisms are securely tightened.

  • Wheels should spin freely with no excessive side to side movement.

  • BMX stunt pegs - be aware of safety implications if these are fitted (see British Cycling Health and Safety Guidelines for Coaching Cycling for specific details).

3. Brakes
  • Check the brakes actually work and are properly adjusted. When the brakes are fully on, the lever should have been pulled approximately halfway to the handlebars.

  • Rim brakes - check that the brake pads are not excessively worn and that there is at least 1mm between the pad and the rim.

  • Disc brakes - check that there is no rubbing between the disc rotor and the pads by spinning the wheel. The wheel should spin freely.

  • Check the parts of the brake are securely attached (i.e., levers, calipers, and pads).

  • Cables should not be frayed.

  • Housing should not be kinked or cracked.

5. Frame
  • Check for damaged or bent frame. If there is visible distortion, the bicycle should not be used.

  • Check that rear suspension, if fitted, operates through its intended range of movement (travel) with adequate resistance for the rider. There should be some movement, but it should not be possible to move the suspension through its entire travel.

  • Suspension should be free from side-to-side play.

  • Check the saddle is securely attached to the seat post.

  • Check that the seat post is securely fixed into the frame.

  • If a quick release seat clamp is used, this is set to the closed position.

  • Check that the saddle is straight and set to the correct height for the rider.

8. Rear Wheel, Tyre, Hub and Axle
  • Check in the same way as 1 Front Wheel and Tyre, and 2 Hub and Axle.

9. Chain
  • Check that the chain is lubricated properly and is not slack or rusty.

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