We’ve discussed how to assess your body after a bike accident. Now, if your body is okay—just bruised or slightly banged up, you can move on to assessing your bike.
Typically, the wheels take the brunt of the crash and incur the easiest problems to diagnose. Regardless of how you crashed, check that the tires hold air, that the wheels are true, that there are no broken spokes sticking out, and that the brakes—cantilever or disc—haven’t jammed up. Once that’s done, you can give components a once-over.
Always check the position of the brake levers and shifters on any bike after a crash. It’s usually easy to push them back into place, but you don’t want to ride away only to realize your lever is so tilted that it’s hard to grab. Also, check for a bent derailleur hanger before he shifts gears since it could snap as soon you click the shifter. Then, examine the chain: Is it jammed, are there any frozen links and is it still in one piece? Finally, just do a quick check on your saddle to make sure it’s still firmly attached to your seat post.
The last thing to check is the bike frame, inspecting carefully for cracks or deep scratches. This becomes more important on a carbon frame since a crack can quickly turn into a serious problem as you pedal away, whereas bends and cracks in aluminum or steel frames tend to be more forgiving.
It’s important to have everything you’ll need in case of a crash—especially when you’re planning an adventure to the middle of nowhere. Always carry basic bike tools—a multi-tool, chain link, spare tube, and mini pump.
Mitigate your risks so that when you do crash, it’s not a cause for blind panic.
Quote of the week: “I Want To Ride My Bicycle, I Want To Ride My Bike, I Want To Ride My Bicycle, I Want To Ride It Where I Like.” – Freddie Mercury, musician.
Here is a video that demonstrates how to check your bike after a crash: