Step 1 - Clean and degrease
Before starting any checks it is always wise to give your bike a full clean and degrease your drive train. By cleaning your frame and forks you will have the opportunity to spot any visible signs of damage that might lead to issues later on. You can learn more on cleaning and degreasing by reading our bike cleaning guide.
Step 2 - Check your wheels
Check your wheels to see if there are any loose spokes, that the wheels are running true and that the wheel bearings are tight and free spinning. At this point it is also a good to check the rims braking surface for any signs of excessive wear especially if the bike has been used over the harsh winter months.
Step 3 - Check your tyres and air pressure
It's important to check the condition of your tyres; you should be on the look-out for issues such as frayed sidewalls, wear to the main contact area of the tyre, and any large splits or foreign objects embedded into the tyre tread that could easily lead to punctures.
Once the above checks have been done, you will need to examine your tyre pressures. We would recommend around 100 psi for road tyres as this gives a good balance between comfort and rolling resistance.It's best to go with the manufacturer's recommended pressures normally marked on the side wall of the tyre.
Step 4 - Check your brakes
Next on the list would be to check that your brakes, that the cables are free running and where possible depending on your frame design that they are lubed. Check that the callipers are functioning correctly and the pads are making contact with the braking surface correctly also check the pads for wear and any objects stuck in the pad material.
Step 5 - Check your drivetrain
Check your drivetrain for wear and functionally. First lube your cables and make sure that the cables are running smoothly. Next check your rear cassette/front rings and chain for signs of excessive wear or damage as this can affect the functionality of the drive-train. Run through the full range of gears front and rear to check for any shifting issue. Also this is a good point to check the condition of your bottom bracket for play or worn bearings.
Step 6 - Check your headset
Check your headset for play and that when the bars are turned left and right the bearings run smooth without any notching. To check for play simple sit astride the bike, apply the front brake and rock the bike gently back and forth while your hand covers the top bearing cover this will help you feel and movement in the bearings.
Step 7 - Check your contact points
As some Sportive events can last up to 6-7 hours it is wise to check your contact points (bar-tape, saddle, pedals and cleats) for damage, correct adjustment and general condition, as this can greatly affect your comfort over these longer events.
Step 8 - Check your torque settings - bolts
Once you have done these checks or any adjustments it is recommended that you check all your bolts and fixings are at the manufacturer's recommended torques and lastly take your bike out for a gentle ride to make sure that any adjust you have made work under normal riding conditions and if you have fitted any new parts that you are fully aware of their functionality.
We would highly recommend that if you are unsure of doing any of these checks or adjustments that you take your bike to your quality local bike shop for this work to be done.