1. Check that your tires are properly inflated with air and in good condition. You may need to replace your tire if you notice cracks in the sides or worn spots that bulge.
2. Squeeze the brakes and rock your bike forward. Both brakes should grip the rims smoothly and evenly. When braking, the levers should be at least one finger’s width away from the handlebars.
3. Check that the chain is running smoothly by pedaling backwards. Add lube to the chain if it looks dry or squeaks. Clean your chain with degreaser to remove rust and lube build-up.
4. Check that the quick releases, unusually on the seat and wheels, are locked down and tight. Tighten if needed and make sure levers on the wheels point up or to the back.
5. Your handlebars need to be tight and in line with the front wheel. Check tightness by squeezing the front wheel between your legs and trying to turn the handlebars from side to side. Tighten the stem bolts with an Allen wrench if the handlebars move.
6. Use lights, white in front and red in the rear, when riding at night. Check batteries often and make sure the lights are visible to drivers. Carry spare batteries with you.