Pre Race Checks
Pre-Race Kit / Bike ChecksNothing can be more annoying at the start of an event than having your bike rejected by a race machine examiner. If you check the points listed below before a race, you could save a wasted trip, or a sudden dash for a tool kit 10 minutes before your race is due to start.
TyresThis is probably most important of all. Check they are fitted properly -if they move on the rim they will be rejected. They should be fully pumped, however even a partially in- flated tyre if fitted properly, will stay on a rim. Check if they are worn or cut by glass.
Bars & StemCheck for movement but there is no need to use force.
Saddle & PinCheck for movement however no undue force is required.
BrakesCheck brakes for undue wear, i.e. are they almost down to the shoe? Check levers for tightness to bars, look in the hoods and see if the cables are frayed. Check levers do not have undue travel, i.e. you do not have to pull them right to the handlebars before the brakes operate. See that blocks are adjusted to the rims and are not too high or too low. Check the stirrups have no undue play.
WheelsCheck the cones are properly adjusted and the rims are not buckled. They should not touch the brake blocks.
GearsCheck them by getting someone to hold the bike for you while you change the gears. The main thing to look for is that the gear does not change too far in and so touch the spokes. Gears should change smoothly.
Bottles, Pumps etc.Check that they are securely fitted.
HeadsetsCheck the headset is not unduly tight or pitted by holding the front of the machine off the ground and turning the handlebars -they should turn freely. Check the headset is not loose by applying the front brake, there should be no movement or juddering.
SparesSee that the spare tyre is roadworthy and can be securely fitted to the bike (including spare wheels).
KitMake a list of clothing you normally race in and tick your kit off into your sports bag. Don't forget your cycling shoes and crash hat. Pack your race number with your licence and signing on fee. Don't forget your towel. Liquid soap in a spray bottle makes a handy shower after a race until you get home.