Bike M-Check

Please note! While the coach can offer guidance on a bike, and other equipment, the athlete (or parent) is responsible for ensuring their bike is safe to ride.

British Cycling Video - How to Do an 'M-Check'


The M-Check – Check List

One method of checking the preparedness of a bike is an 'M-check'.  So called because it forms the shape of an M starting at the front hub, travelling up to the handlebars, down to the bottom bracket, up to the saddle and back down to the rear hub.  The video (see right) shows the M-check and some of the aspects you should be looking for.

The below list gives a more complete list of areas to examine when performing the M-check.

Rear Wheel:

  • Rear derailleur – working correctly with smooth changes.
  • Axle nuts/quick release – tight / firmly closed.
  • Spokes all present and tight.
  • Brakes – secure and working, aligned and not rubbing against tyres.
  • Lights/reflectors – if fitted, then tight and working.
  • Tyre – check for wear, cuts and splits in the tread, and that the tyre is inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Bearings – grip rim and rock back and forth to feel for loose bearings.
  • Spin to check for tight bearings and poor alignment or buckled wheels.


  • Fitted tight, facing in the correct direction and set at the correct angle for the athlete.

Seat Post:

  • Free from rust, damage, cracks.
  • Tightly secure (seat post clamp).

Chain Ring:

  • Front derailleur – working correctly with smooth changes. Wires not frayed.
  • Cranks – spinning freely with no side-side play.
  • Pedals – fitted correctly, and free from debris. Also check cleats are clean and not worn.
  • Chain – check it is well oiled and not rusty.


  • Headset/handlebar tight with no side-side play.
  • Brakes levers/gear shifters working correctly.

Front Wheel:

  • As per rear wheel.




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