Before riding a bike, Scouts should know how to do an inspection of the bicycle and check that it is in working order. The checklist below will give you a good starting point. You will need to explain each step to the Scouts so they learn the terminology and why each part is important.
Please note that this checklist is for the physical inspection of the bicycle only. There are other safety items which should be discussed also, such as helmets, use of hand signals, etc. See my cycling theme page for more helps with these.
Bicycle Safety Checklist
_____ Look at the frame to make sure there are no dents, kinks, cracks, or other damages.
_____ Look for large patches of rust which could weaken the frame.
_____ Check that the parts of the frame are securely attached to each other and to the wheels, seat, front fork, and handlebars.
_____ Check for looseness in the seat, handlebars, and front fork.
_____ Check the seat height. For young cyclists, the rider should be able to sit on the seat and just reach his feet to the ground.
_____ Is the handlebar in line with the front wheel?
Tires and Wheels
_____ Are the tires properly inflated?
_____ Do the tires still have good treads and no visible bulging or other damage?
_____ Do the wheels spin freely without wiggling? Does is stay aligned when spun?
_____ Are there any missing spokes or are any spokes damaged?
_____ Test the brakes to see that they stop a spinning wheel quickly without slipping.
_____ While applying the brakes, try to move the bike forward. It should not move.
_____ For hand breaks, look at the brake pads. They should have at least 3/16 of an inch of rubber remaining and they should meet the rim squarely, not at an angle.
_____ For hand breaks, you should not be able to squeeze them all the way to the bottom. They should have some reserve left when the brake is completely engaged.
Crank and Chain
_____ Does the crank turn freely and without wiggling?
_____ Are the pedals firmly attached?
_____ Is the chain lubricated? Also check it for rust.
_____ If the bike has gears, does it shift freely?