It’s finally here. The last instalment of Julia’s mini-series on the M-check. Part 1 covered the front wheel, part 2 the handlebars, part 3 the bottom bracket and part 4 the saddle. The fifth and final part of the M Check takes us to the back wheel.

And like a flash, it’s all over. Stop blubbing, dry your eyes, and pull yourself together. Yes, I know, you’ve loved these posts and you’re devastated that they’re over, but on we must go. If you’ve read Part 1 you’ll know how to check the front wheel; the check for the back wheel is remarkably similar:


Rear Wheel

  • Is the wheel secure? Check the quick release or wheel nut is secure
  • Check the tyre for any small stones or glass
  • Ensure the tyre is at the correct pressure
  • Spin the wheel then pull on the brake to make sure it works effectively
  • If the brake pads worn, replace them
  • Are the brake pads lined up correctly? They should close onto the wheel rims, not the tyre.
  • Gritty brake pads can quickly wear down the wheel rims. Run your finger over the wheel rim – if it’s noticeably concave (see picture) it’s worn and could be unsafe so get it checked out at a bike shop.
  • Check the spokes are all tight and that the wheel turns round smoothly.
    The back wheel is more likely to go out of alignment than the front wheel because of the asymmetry of the gearing mechanism.


Back Cassette

Before riding, lift up the back wheel and move through the gears making sure that the chain engages properly on each ring. When the cassette gets worn you’ll notice:

  1. asymmetric teeth on the cogs
  2. a long, flat gap between teeth

If you spot these signs of wear you’ll probably find your chain slipping in certain gears so pop off to a bike shop and get a new cassette.


And that’s your lot! If you follow these 5 posts you should be able to check your bike properly before you ride, to ensure your happy and healthy when you return! Stay tuned to Pedal Taiwan for more of my Top Cycling Tips – next week, cycle snack recipes! YUM!


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