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A visual checklist of what to look out for on your bike. If you are unsure, please take the bike to a bike shop for specialist advice.

A diagram of a bicycle with numbers (1-11) indicating what parts need to be checked

Key to the checklist

1. Brakes

Make sure they work. Check that brake blocks are in the right position, not touching the tyre and that they are not badly grooved or worn out.

2. Brake Cables

Make sure they are not frayed.

3. Tyres

Should have a tread pattern showing all round. Make sure they are well pumped up; this helps to avoid punctures and makes riding easier. Replace the tyre if you find any cuts, splits or bulges.

4. Reflector

All cycles must have a red reflector at the back as well as front and rear lights when cycling in the dark.

5. Steering

Can become loose.

6. Handlebars

Make sure they have good grips, bar ends and are lined up correctly.

7. Pedals

Must be able to spin freely.

8. Saddle height

Must be adjusted so the riders toes touch the floor on both sides.

9. Chain

Keep oiled and clean.

10. Gears

If the bike has gears, make sure that they are working properly and that your child knows how to use them.

11. Mudguards

If the bike has mudguards make sure they do not catch on moving parts.


For more information on how to look after your bike contact the Safety Education team:

Telephone: 020 8487 5131

Updated: 25 July 2023

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