9. Getting ready to ride your fixie or multispeed bicycle
- So now your Chappelli single speed, fixed wheel or multi-speed bike should almost be ready to ride. But before you do, there are a couple of final checks and adjustments to perform to make sure that the bike is set up correctly for you and everything is working.
- Firstly adjust the seat so it is the correct height and is facing forward. It should be aligned over the center tube. To adjust the seat to the correct height, sit on the bike with you foot in the pedal at the bottom of its rotation (ie. Closest to the ground) Adjust the seat height so that your leg with the foot on the pedal is almost straight (it should have a very slight bend in it). Then tighten the seat with the Allan key.
- To test the brakes, gently apply pressure to each brake lever. You should see the brake pads clamp down on the wheel rims tightly. Make sure that the brake pads are gripping tightly on the rims. There should be no movement of the wheels when you have the brakes fully applied and the brake handle should not touch the handlebars. If this is not the case you may need to make sure that the brake pads are centered over each of the wheels. If you are unsure about this, we strongly advise you take the bike to a certified bike mechanic before riding it.
- Check the chain is not too tight or too loose. Ideally there should be a little movement in the chain either up or down (0.5cm). If not, you can adjust the chain tightness by moving the rear wheel either forward to back. This can be done by loosening or tightening the screws on the attachments on the rear wheel of the bike.
- Ensure the wheels are aligned and the tyres are correctly inflated to the PSI indicated on the them (usually 80-100PSI). Flat tyres make it harder to ride and wear out the rims and tyres faster. You should check your tyre pressure regularly to maintain maximum efficiency and prolong the life of your tyres. Spin each wheel and make sure they spin freely without touching the brake pads and without wobbling. If they wobble or hit the brake pads then take the bike to a qualified bike mechanic.
- Before you hit the road make sure you read the next section on basic bike safety and warnings about night riding and riding in the wet.