Dr Bike's Checklist
Front wheel true (not buckled). No broken/missing spokes. Good rim.
Front tyre, good tread. No splits. cracks or holes. Pumped hard. Valve straight
Front hub No wobble. Turns smoothly. Wheel securely fixed
Front mudguard firmly fixed. No sharp mudguard stays
Front brake blocks correctly fitted. Not worn away
Front brake firmly fixed. Correctly adjusted.
Front brake lever comfortable position. Firmly fixed. Cable not frayed.
Headset/steering, no wobble. Correctly adjusted
Handlebars not distorted. Ends protected
Front forks appear true and undamaged
Frame appears true and undamaged
Rear brake lever comfortable position. Firmly fixed. Cable not frayed
Rear brake firmly fixed. Correctly adjusted
Rear brake blocks correctly fitted and aligned. Not worn away
Rear mudguard safely fixed. No sharp mudguard stays
Rear tyre good tread. No splits. cracks or holes. Pumped hard. Valve straight.
Rear wheel true. No broken/missing spokes. Good rim
Rear hub No wobble. Turns smoothly. Wheel securely fixed
Bottom bracket no wobble, lock ring tight. Sufficiently lubricated
Pedal cranks straight
Pedals complete. Turning freely. Not bent
Chainwheel not bent. Teeth not worn
Chainguard firmly fixed. Not bent
Chain not too worn. Not slack. Lightly oiled not rusty
Gears properly adjusted. Lubricated sufficiently
Saddle safely fixed. Straight. comfortable height
Rack/carrier/bags etc. Firmly secured
Front lamp white. Firmly fixed. Good light to front, not pointing upwards
Rear lamp red. Firmly fixed. Visible to rear, not pointing upwards
Reflectors clean and secure
Lights & reflectors Correct height on bicycle
Checking your tyres
Check your tyres and remove any flints, grit and glass that may be embedded in them. If you have any larger cuts or splits then replace the tyres. This short video shows you the best way to check your tyres for little bits of stone that will gradually be pushed through the tyre and give you a puncture. It's better spend 10 minutes in daylight deflating the tyres and then squeezing them so flint and small cuts can be easily seen than at 3am in pitch dark and a howling rainstorm with 70 others standing around waiting for you.
This is a good example of a split in a tyre that you'd see only if you deflated it and squeezed the tyre - this is big enough for the inner to poke through and go bang at exactly the wrong time.
Here is a very small hole with a tiny piece of flint in. By inspecting a deflated tyre you will see this before a thousand rotations push the flint further into the rubber and it forces a hole in the inner tube - that’ll probably be at 4am on a cold night.
And this is a cheap screwdriver that can be used to dig out the small stones - this particular one came in a Christmas cracker. The point has been filed to make it a bit sharper. It's easier using something like this if you're wearing gloves on a cold night. The string is to help find it in the toolkit.