As winter slowly fades away and warmer weather is in sight, it is important to keep your cycling safety up to scratch.
Has your bike been hibernating in your garage for the last few months? RoSPA safety manager Nick Lloyd stresses the importance of checking your bike . Start by pumping your tyres and check the rubber for any bulges or cracks (a sign that they need replacing). Next, check the brakes and chain, adding necessary lubrication.
If your bike has seen better days, it may be time to replace it. It is essential to make sure that you or your children have the right bike for maximum safety and comfort.
A bike is the right size if a child can:
- Reach the handle bars without stretching
- Sit in a position where they are not leaning too far forward
- Reach and easily use the brakes
- Touch the ground with the toes of both feet while seated on the saddle
RoSPA strongly advises against buying a second-hand helmet, unless you are certain it is undamaged. Even minor cracks that come from dropping helmets can affect their integral strength.
When choosing a new bike for yourself, the advice regarding size is equally as important as it is when choosing a bike for your child.
What should you consider when choosing a new bike for yourself?
- What kind of cycling are you going to be doing? If you are mainly on the road covering more than 20 miles, a race bike is a sensible option.
- If riding shorter distances on the road and on cycle tracks, you might want a hybrid bike that has wider tyres and a more upright riding position.
- Consider a mountain bike which has wide tyres and suspension, if you are predominantly riding off road.
- Consider the bike’s gears – if riding on hilly terrain ensure you have enough gears to help you get up those steep inclines.
If you are on a tight budget, remember to factor in the safety accessories you need: lights are a must if riding at night and a helmet is essential.
For more information on checking your bike’s safety, visit RoSPA’s free Cycle Safety M_Checklist.
Want to read another news article? Check out our post on the Dutch Reach manoeuvre.