Should I Ride This?

Should I Ride This Bike?

Bicycles are complex machines that are capable of significant speed and that are enjoyed in and around vehicular traffic.

But, there should be no reason to fear riding – that is, unless you are riding a bicycle that doesn’t fit you or that is in poor repair!

Big Poppi Bicycle always offers estimates and advice free of charge. But there are some basic common-sense things you can do on your own before buying a bicycle or riding one that hasn’t been ridden in a while.

Here’s what to do:

Check Handlebar
Make sure it makes a 90-degree angle with the front wheel, that it doesn’t move independently of the wheel, and that the grips are tight.

Check Brakes
If the bicycle brakes with the pedal, make sure it stops quickly and evenly with relative easy pressure from your foot. If you have hand brakes, make sure cables aren’t kinked, crushed, cracked, rusty or corroded. You should experience good braking force without straining and without squeezing levers until they touch the handlebar.

Check Reflectors/Lights
If riding at night, dusk, dawn, or in poor light, make sure you have front & rear reflectors and that lights have good battery power and are bright.

Check Wheels
Make sure tube stems stick up straight from rims and that you have air pressure that falls within the limits found on the tire sidewalls. Lift each end of the bike up, spin the wheel, and make sure each wheel doesn’t wobble (isn’t bent) and that it doesn’t rub the brakes. Also, wheel should not have any knock or even slight movement when you put pressure on it from the side

Check Seat & Seatpost
When sitting on bicycle, make sure seatpost/seat doesn’t twist or shift underneath you, and that the seatpost clamp is tight enough so that it doesn’t drop even if you hit a bump.

Check Pedals and Crank
Pedals should be tightly attached to crank arms, and crank arms tightly attached to the spinning bearing in the bottom of the frame. Any knock or side-to-side movement should be check out immediately.

Check Frame
The core frame of the bicycle should not be cracked, kinked, dented, or bent.

Check Chain
Chain should be clean and lightly but thoroughly lubricated and move freely throughout the gearing system

Check Shifters
Bicycle should easily shift throughout its entire range of gears without overshifting or throwing the chain off of the gears.

Finally, does it fit you?

Most people don’t realize that a given bicycle make and model (if it is quality and not a big box store toy) comes in frame sizes. Many people are riding the wrong frame size for their stature which leads to discomfort and muscular/joint health problems.

Incorrect frame size is common due to riding a bicycle purchased during youth, purchased used with the incorrect assumption that it was a good fit, purchased as a one-size-fits-all model from a chain discount general goods or sports store, or received as a hand-me-down or gift from someone else.

Bicycle frames are just like shoes. Every brand is a little different and people must try a frame on first with a qualified professional or at least an experienced rider who understands the mechanics of basic frame fitting before committing to a particular bicycle.


Rely on your friendly neighborhood bicycle shop and its team of professionals. That’s what we’re here for! Don’t take chances with your personal safety by riding something that won’t be comfortable or safe. Either one defeats the purpose, which is to get where you are going and have fun doing it!