It *IS* All About The Bike

It’s not about the type of bike.

Road bikes, touring bikes, hybrids, tandems, recumbents, Bromptons, ladies’ shopping bikes with big baskets, full suspension mountain bikes, Halfords ‘speshuls’, a tall bike... we’ve seen them all, and they’ve all made it to the end of the ride.

But... we’ve also seen a lot of people make their ride tougher than it needs to be. Do spend a little time going over your bike with the list below and see if you can’t make life easier for yourself.

The first, biggest rule is...

Lose everything that you don’t really, really need.

The lighter the bike, the easier the ride and the lower the risk of parts playing up. If you’re on a road bike or mountain bike with clip-on mudguards, consider taking them off. This type of mudguard is intent on working loose and rubbing against your wheel. If they’re not doing that, they’re rattling.

You DO need to carry a couple of spare innertubes, a pump, a lightweight waterproof, tyre levers, a spare chain link and some allen keys. (Put those in a small seat pack, a back pocket or in a cheap lightweight rucksack.)

You DON'T need to carry Auntie Mabel’s fruit cake and her famous cheese and pickle sandwiches. Nobody has ever starved to death on one of our rides. (Put some squash, water or an energy drink in your water bottle and stick an energy bar in your back pocket. That’s it.)

Locks are a little trickier. Once you’re on the ride your bike is reasonably safe – and you could always ask one of your fellow riders if your bike can be locked to theirs at the beginning or the end of the ride – but if you need a lock getting to the start and going home from the end then you should bring one.

Check to see that your tyres are inflated to the right pressure. 

If they’re under-inflated your chances of getting a puncture increase, and your efficiency is greatly reduced.

Make sure the batteries for your lights are full to the brim with juice. (or go dyno...)

Make sure the battery for your electronic shifting (if that's your thing) is fully charged.

It's worth going through and making sure your pride and joy ticks all the boxes. 

Photo credit: swarm_catcher  © 2011.