Road Bike Maintenance

Last Minute Essential Bike Checks for Prudential Ride London 2014

Don't forget about the bike! Essential last minute tips to ensure a smooth ride at the Prudential Ride London 100

You’ve completed the necessary training. You’ve read up on nutrition tips and have planned what to eat before and after the ride, you’ve got your checklist, you are ready. But hang on a second, what about the bike?! It is in tip top condition?


If not, don’t get your bib shorts in a twist. We have enlisted the help of Richard Hargreaves, founder of Purple Harry who has provided six essential (and easy to execute) tips to ensure smooth pedalling at the Prudential RideLondon 100.

1. Clean

If it’s dirty, give it a thorough clean around the frame and all the moving parts. You can’t see faults if it’s dirty and dirt itself can be the reason it’s squeaking or not behaving properly. When clean, lube the chain and gears, which will also get you up close and personal to check the rest of your bike.

2. Brakes

Stopping is just as important as going! Look for worn brake blocks and loose or frayed cables, which are two of the most common reasons why brakes don’t work efficiently. You don’t want to end up at the bottom of Box Hill descent and find your frantic squeezing of the levers is having no effect!

3. Gears

Make sure you can shift easily into each gear. It might seem obvious, but if you use the bike to commute you might not regularly use all of them, Over 100 miles, you might need to, while easy shifting is going to make your day all the more enjoyable with your attention on the road and your surroundings, rather than looking down at your derailleurs.

4. Tyres

You’ll be subjecting your tyres to a lot of wear, so check for large nicks before you roll up to the start line. If you have any, replace the tyre. In the case of small nicks, remove any flint still embedded so it doesn’t get through to the inner tube on your big day. Check inside and out for protruding flint and holes that could develop into a problem.

5. Tubes

It’s best if you check old puncture repairs or fit fresh new tubes. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a flat just because a patch you previously fitted has come unstuck. If you do fit new tubes for peace of mind, be careful not to pinch them when you refit the tyre – another cause of unnecessary punctures.

6. Tools

Check the tools and spares you’ll be taking around with you. Top of your list should be a multi-tool, tyre levers, two tubes, self-stick patch kit, and a pump or CO2 inflator (with spare cartridge). Most importantly, a little knowledge of how to use each of them might come in handy – so familiarise yourself with the kit first!

Richard Hargreaves is the founder of Purple Harry, which offers a complete range of innovative bike cleaning products from Maintenance Spray to the unique Wash & Bike Polish Mitts. For the full range and further information go to


We’ve got an exclusive discount code for Total Women’s Cycling readers – how handy is that? Just head over to Purple Harry, fill your basket, pop in the code below and hey presto, you’ll get 15% off any orders over £10. You can even use it as many times as you like until the end of August.



 Also worth a read: 

What to eat before, during and after the Prudential Ride London 100

Dos and Don’ts for the Prudential Ride London 100

What not to miss at the Prudential Ride London 100

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