Welcome to Simon T’s second installment of useful tips and tricks relating to all matters bikey! This week I’m going to explain the process of the M check and things to be aware of which may cause problems. It only takes about 4 minutes to do, but can save you hours on a trail or potentially having a accident
EQUIPMENT NEEDED….. Two arms and the ability to be able to see your hands in front of you. If you’re an older member of society, have a minor accompany you in this process to aid embarrassment.
Starting with the back run your fingers around the wheel-making note of any loose or broken spokes and generally looking for any dinks on the rim. After checking the axle is tight hold the frame and move the wheel laterally to see if there is any play in the wheel indicating bearing damage or something as simple as the cones need tightening.
Starting with the rear mech making sure the chain line is good and the hanger is okay then move up both sides of the rear triangle of the frame towards the saddle checking for any cracks or major dinks causing structural failure.
Check the seat and if your sporting a dropper post give it a quick look over making sure it’s fully functional. Nothing worse than being stuck on the trail with you knees around your ears looking like an angry clown.
Okay moving onto the main frame working down toward the crank and the pedals. Give the crank a waggle to see if there’s any lateral movement. Give the pedals a quick spin and ‘jobs a good-un’ your ready to move on.
Moving back up the frame towards the handle bars again looking for any cracks or imperfections of note. Then cockpit… just have a quick play pulling leavers and checking everything is all ‘tighty nicey’ and the breaks are working correctly.
Okay just a quick check of the head set. Most people hold the front break and rock the bike, with this method you will get a small amount of movement from the caliper or so it’s deceiving. Best thing I recommend is to push the bike up to a wall and rock the bike forwards on that. Or alternatively turn the wheel sideways and hold the break rocking the bike .This will identify any problems with the headset as there will be movement or a knocking sound .
Moving down from the cockpit to the forks. If you have been clever you won’t have given your bike a wash yet so you will notice if there is any leaking oil on the stanchions [long shiny metal rods]. Just give the air pressure a quick check and compress to see all is working well.
Check over the front wheel, looking again for any broken or loose spokes and damage to the rim. Check the axle is done up tight and the wheel has no lateral movement
Please feel free to comment with any other pointers you have!