Roughly every three days, one person biking or walking is killed by someone driving a car in the Chicago region.
Air: Check the air in your tires. They should be inflated to the maximum-rated PSI listed on the side of the tire. (If you don’t have a pressure gauge, they should feel as firm as a fully inflated basketball.)
Brakes: Brakes should stop the bike when pushed forward or pulled backward. Brake levers should stop short of reaching the handlebar when pulled.
Chain: The chain should move freely, be free of rust and lightly oiled.
Quick releases (the levers that clamp the wheels to the frame) should be engaged and tight. The lever should be curved into the bike and the word “close” will be visible when secured in the proper position. The strength of your whole hand should be required to release the lever.
Check the whole bike
Lift the bike an inch or so off the ground and drop it to identify loose parts that may need attention.
You can also print out our Everyday Biking Guide.