BICYCLE MAINTENANCE – Look after your bike and it will look after you!
Bicycles have moving parts which wear over time with use. A poorly maintained bicycle is not only unsafe to ride but is also less enjoyable to ride if your gears don’t shift smoothly, your bike creaks and groans with each pedal stroke and your bike doesn’t stop despite your pulling the brake lever to the bar!
Also worn bicycle parts can also cause other parts of your bicycle to wear more quickly (increasing your repair bill).
Cycle maintenance is as much preventative as it is reactive. It is important that you familiarise yourself with your bicycle and know how to check it before each use using the ‘M Check’ as recommended by the National Standards for Cycle Training:
In addition, depending on use you should ensure your bicycle is serviced at least on a six monthly basis (and more frequently if the bicycle is used regularly), where your bicycle can be checked over and adjusted by a professional bicycle mechanic. If you do use your bicycle regularly (especially in Winter), it is advisable that on an annual basis your bicycle receives a ‘full service’ whereby it is stripped down and all the bearings/bearing surfaces (headset, bottom bracket and axles) are degreased, regreased and/or replaced as necessary.
For sites with a very large number of employees, it might be feasible to offer an on-site bicycle repair service where employees can get emergency repairs (a snapped brake cable or a puncture) or pre-booked services.. This is already offered by Glaxo Smith Kline and BSkyB to their staff, with the labour costs of the repair being borne by the employer.
In smaller organisation it might be more practical to organise visits from a mobile bike repair service who can be on site at pre-arranged times. Alternatively employers could make arrangements with a local bike shop close to where employees are based.
In addition to this, it would also be helpful to leave a bike pump, and if possible, a basic set of tools and some instructions on basic bicycle maintenance near the cycle parking (or at some other suitable place) so that staff can carry out their own repairs if necessary.
havebike have provided the content for this page. They are one of the leading providers of bicycle fleet and maintenance solutions across the public and private sector and have considerable experience in establishing, operating and managing bicycle fleets. To support businesscycle, they are offering a free ‘havebike bicycle MOT’ days to businesses who sign up. Find out more in the offers section.
NHBC's 'How to repair a puncture' guide
Sky's cycle repair centre