Bike Inspection and Maintenance with Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

Fahrradinspektion und Wartung mit Checkliste: Alles, was Sie wissen müssen

Bike Inspection and Maintenance with Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

To ensure the safety and functionality of the bike, regular bike maintenance is essential. The bicycle inspection, also Maintenance, it is developed jointly by several associations and clubs and carried out according to a checklist. The associations that were involved in creating the checklist include VSF, ZIV, VDZ and BIV. The checklist includes 13 items, including frame, handlebars, saddle, wheels and tires, bottom bracket and crank, gears and chain, brakes, lighting system, suspension, accessories/miscellaneous and test drive.

Even though private bicycle inspections can be carried out professionally in many areas, safety-relevant components should definitely be checked by a bicycle mechanic. To avoid accidents and minimize liability in the event of an accident, it is important that the bike is roadworthy. In this article the costs of a bicycle inspection, the timing of the inspection and the checklist for the bicycle inspection are explained.

Key takeaways

  • To ensure the safety and functionality of the bike, regular bike inspection is essential.
  • The bike inspection checklist includes 13 items, including frame, handlebars, saddle, wheels and tires, bottom bracket and crank, gears and chain, brakes, lighting system, suspension, accessories/miscellaneous and test ride.
  • Although a private bicycle inspection can be carried out professionally in many areas, safety-related components should be checked by a bicycle mechanic in order to avoid accidents and minimize liability in the event of an accident.

When is an inspection due?

When you buy a new bike, a bike inspection is due after around 300 km or after 3 to 6 months. After that, the bike should be checked at least once a year to ensure road safety. A good time for an inspection is spring to start the new season with a freshly inspected bike. For people who use the bike all year round, two small inspections per year are recommended. A major inspection is necessary if the specialist workshop reasonably suggests this. Before winter rest, wheels that are only used from spring to autumn should be thoroughly cleaned and the essential components lubricated to prevent rust formation. This is important so that the spring inspection goes smoothly.

Bicycle inspection costs

A bicycle inspection is an important measure to ensure the functionality of the bicycle and ensure the safety of the rider. The cost of a bicycle inspection varies depending on the type of bicycle and the scope of the inspection. A small bicycle inspection usually costs between 40 and 60 euros (as of the end of 2023). The price depends on whether it is a racing bike/MTB or a city bike with complete lighting system.

A major inspection costs between 60 and 80 euros. Here too, a distinction is made between a fully equipped bike and a racing bike/MTB. The high visibility of the e-bike is associated with costs of 70 to 100 euros. This also includes checking the software and carrying out updates.

It should be noted that wear parts such as the chain or shift cables are also replaced during an inspection. The corresponding working hours are then added to these costs. Good care of the bottom brackets, wheel bearings and any suspension is recommended to avoid high replacement part costs.

In general, the costs of a bicycle inspection should always be considered without material costs. Minor repairs that do not require new components are usually taken care of immediately during the inspection. If new parts need to be installed, good specialists first consult with customers and then intervene. A bicycle inspection is usually not a cost trap.

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Bicycle inspection checklist


frame and fork

When inspecting the frame and fork, a visual inspection is carried out for corrosion, cracks and deformations. The steering head bearing is also checked for play, locking points and smooth movement.

Handlebars and stem

The material combination and the tax rate are checked for play. The stem shaft is cleaned and greased while the handlebar clamps are tightened. In addition, the handlebars, grips and stem are checked for firm grip, deformation and insertion depth.

Saddle and seat post

The condition of the saddle as well as its cover and material are determined. Furthermore, the screw connections are checked and the seat post is freshly greased. The functionality and play are tested for hanging seat posts.

Wheels and tires

The attachment of the front and rear wheels is checked and both wheels must be correctly mounted on the frame. In addition, the quick releases and axle threads are greased, the rims are checked for deformation, wear and damage and the spoke tension is checked. Bearings and hubs are also checked for play.

Bottom bracket and crank

The bottom bracket play is checked, the crank bolts are tightened and the pedals are also tightened. The chainrings are also checked for wear and screwed tightly.

Gears and chain

The gear shift is set to allow any combination of the available gears without grinding. The sprockets and chain are checked for wear, cleaned and lubricated. The front derailleur, rear derailleur, etc. are also checked and adjusted for functionality.

Brakes


The brake system is completely checked for functionality. The brake levers are checked for fastening, and the brake pads and brake discs are checked for wear and fastening. The Bowden cables and brake lines are also checked for damage, wear and kinks.

Light system

The function of the bicycle lighting as well as the attachment of the lamps and, if available, the side wheel dynamo are checked. In addition, the cables and the location of the cable laying are checked and the reflectors are checked for StVZO criteria.

suspension

The functionality and pressure point of the springs are checked, as are the bearing play and ease of movement. In addition, the suspension fork is adjusted to the correct weight of the rider.

Accessories/Other

Attachments such as luggage racks are subject to a visual inspection, during which deformations are checked and the fastening is checked. Wheel guards (mudguards) are checked for defects and attachment, the bicycle stand (also called parking stand) is checked and tested.

Test drive


Following the bike inspection, a test ride must be carried out. During this trip, at least the lighting, brakes, gears, suspension and driving behavior are checked. We also pay attention to the background noise on the bike.

A note:To download the bike inspection checklist, click Here.