Setting up your bike correctly is as important as racing the race. If your bike is not functioning then you are not going to function.
- The first and golden rule of setting up your bike correctly is to keep it clean. So many times I go down to the local track and see kids on dirty bikes it’s a shame bikes have feelings to you know. So please always insure that your bike is clean.
- When you are getting on your bike for a ride always do a 2 second check. By this I mean just spin the Cranks backwards, check the front and back wheels are tight and bounce your bike a up and down just to hear that there are no rattles.
- Bars, the positioning of the handle bars should always be parallel with the forks. This will give you a smoother ride and you won’t be under or over steering. If the frame is a bit long for you then, pull the bars back a bit but not to much.
- Brake Lever, the positioning of the brake lever should be comfortable for the positioning of the hand on the bars but please not so high that if you should fall your hand could get broken.
- Wheels, wheels should be smooth when rolling and not have play in them. Play could be caused either bye loose cones or mangled bearings. If you do have play in your wheels just take a cone spanner and just tighten the cones till the play is gone.
- Bottom Bracket, The same applies to bottom brackets they should spin freely but if they are a bit loose then just take a bottom bracket spanner and tighten till the play is gone.
- Chain, The tension of a chain is very important, there is no way you want to be powering down the first straight away and have your chain come off and you go over the bars, I have experience in this and it is not pretty believe me. Just make sure the tension is not to tight as to cause extra resistance on the rear sprocket because this will cause you to slow down quicker when you are not powering. If there is a tight spot in your chain be sure that it is not to tight and that the lose spot is not to loose as you could easily snap the chain.
- Brakes, Please ensure that the brakes work. You shouldn’t need them in a race but do remember you need to stop after the finish line.
And remember always ride it like you stole it.