Why Use a Bike Inspection Checklist?
Before riding a bike, Scouts should know how to do an inspection of the bicycle and check that it is in working order. The bike inspection 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.
Bike Inspection 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?
Resources and Related Achievements
Printable Copy of the Bike Inspection Checklist
Rolling Tigers Adventure
Rolling Tigers is the cycling adventure for Cub Scouts who are in the 2nd grade.
Cycling Merit Badge
Scouts BSA can improve their bicycle skills by earning the Cycling merit badge.
Cycling/Mountain Biking Ranger Elective Helps and Documents
Older Scouts who are Venturers can earn the Cycling and Mountain Biking Ranger award.
Riding National Outdoor Award
Scouts and Venturers who cycle a lot can earn the Riding Outdoor National Award.
BSA Bike Safety Guidelines
Before starting your cycling adventure, review the safety guidelines from the BSA.
Bicycle Safety Crossword Puzzle
This crossword puzzle can be used as an introduction to bike safety.
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