Checking your rental bicycle before you get going is crucial. For your and everybody else’s safety, you need to make sure the bike is well-equipped and working properly. Below you have a list of things to check the first time you meet your two-wheeled sidekick.
1. TIRES & WHEELS
Do a quick check of your tires’ pressure by mounting and trying to push as much of your weight as possible on the bike. In this way you’ll see how much the tire bulges out sideways under your weight. You can also roll your bike slowly over a curb and see how much it deforms. If you feel it’s not solid enough, keep in mind to stop by the next bike shop you encounter and do a proper check – it should be free. If you have a completely flat tire, call the Donkey Republic support line and we’ll assign you a new bike (details in the Donkey app). Don’t forget to also check that the wheels are securely fastened and don’t wobble.
As obvious as it sounds, your bike must have at least one functioning brake (in some countries it’s mandatory to have two!). To check if a brake works, press on the brake lever to make sure it’s not too soft while also looking at the brake pads to check if they press on the tire properly. You may also have a back pedal brake, which you can easily test by pulling back the pedal and trying to push the bike.
Mount the bike to check if the saddle is positioned at the right height for you to pedal comfortably and be able to easily reach the ground with your foot. Adjust the saddle if needed and make sure it stays fastened.
Make sure the chain is positioned correctly on the crankset (front) and the cogset (back), and it’s not too loose or rusty. You can also lift the back wheel and push the pedal with your hand to make sure the chain stays on the crank.
Your bike must have reflectors, generally on the frame (white reflector in the front, red one in the back), between the spokes or as a stripe on the inside of the tire, and on the pedals.
Make sure you have lights mounted on your bike (white one in the front, red one in the back). Between sunset and sunrise you must use them – they either light up automatically or you have to switch them on.
Lift the bike and bounce it on the ground a few times to pick up on rattles that may indicate loose parts. Take a general look to see if there’s anything else that doesn’t seem right.
If anything is broken, missing or it doesn’t work, just switch your rental to another bike available in the Donkey Republic app. For any questions, you can call the Donkey Republic support line (phone numbers available in the app).