We hope you enjoy your new bike!
Here are a few tips on keeping yourself and your new (pre-loved) bike safe and secure:
- Please get to know your bike. Read the bike and helmet check guides below and the road code for cyclists.
- New Zealand law requires you wear a helmet at all times and use lights (front and back) during the hours of darkness (sunset to sunrise).
- As these bikes are donated, please do not sell them. You can return them to us, or give them away to a friend or family member.
- If your bike needs fixing or servicing, please contact us and we will try to send a volunteer out to help.
- For local tips and advice, places to ride and more, visit: BikeThere and sign up for their newsletters.
Bike Check: The A-B-C-D quick (drop) bike check
A handy quick check to make sure a bike is safe to ride:
- Air – in the tyres. Keep tyres pumped to the right pressure – usually written on the side of the tyre. Use a bike pump, not a service station/car pump. Also check everything around the wheel looks good, it spins freely and without wobbling, and there are no broken spokes. Regularly check the tread on the tyre.
- Brakes – check each brake by wheeling the bike forward and pulling on them one at a time. The brake pads should be more than 3mm thick and fully touching the rims when on.
- Chain – check the chain has clean oil on it and is rotating freely. The chain should be black or silver and a small amount of oil should come off if you touch it.
- Direction – with the front wheel ‘parked’ between your legs, try to turn the handlebars firmly – you should not be able to force it to turn. The handlebars should turn with the wheel.
- Quick is for the quick releases. Check these are all done up correctly and tight. Quick release levers may be found on the wheels and seat post. They should curve in around the seat post or towards the centre of the wheel.
- Drop the bike gently from about 10cm and listen for any unusual rattles. Fasten or tighten where required.
Helmet 2-4-1 Check
- Check you have the right size helmet – not too loose or tight. You can measure your head circumference and check this against the helmet size if it includes the measurement. Adjust the back of the helmet if this is adjustable so that it fits snugly and doesn’t move easily.
- 2 fingers between your eyebrows and the helmet – your forehead should not be exposed.
- 4 fingers either side of your ears in ‘V’ shapes – this is where your straps should go. Check they aren’t frayed or tangled.
- 1 (or 2) fingers under your chin – the strap should be firm but not tight under your chin.
Make sure you use the best quality lock you can afford – a D lock or heavy chain is best
- Always lock the frame and if possible both wheels to a solid object
- A ‘sheffield’ stand in a busy place is the best place to lock your bike.
- Record your serial number (found under the bottom bracket between pedals), make and model. Take a photo
- Register your bike on snap.org.nz
Road safety tips
Check out the Cycling Road Code for a user-friendly guide to NZ traffic laws and road safety. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/cyclist-code/
- Avoid the car door zone – ride about 1m away from parked cars in case car doors open suddenly.
- Be seen – ride where you can easily be seen and have time to react, i.e. don’t duck in between parked cars.
- Use bright lights when it is dark or gloomy, or between sunset and sunrise – white in front, red at the back.
- Take the lane – where the road is too narrow to be safely overtaken, ride in the middle of the lane. Move to the left when it is safe to do so.
- If in doubt, hop off your bike and walk on the footpath.