We bring you part 2 of the mini-series on your pre-ride bike check, from our very own Pedal Taiwan cycling guru, Julia. In part 1 she covered the front wheel, as the first section of the famous ‘M-check’. This time, she moves upwards and onwards, to the headset and handlebars. 



In the last blog we talked about how to do a basic safety check on the front wheel of your bike before setting off on a ride. Now we’re moving up from the wheel to the handlebars and headset. (The headset is the mechanism inside the head tube that allows smooth movement of the forks holding the wheel when you rotate the handlebars.)


Handle bars

Stand in front of the bike with the front wheel between your legs:

  • Check that the handlebars are centred on the stem, not asymmetric.
  • Give them a tug from side to side making sure they don’t move
  • Try to rotate them to make sure they don’t move

If you have any movement at all, get the bars in the right position for you and then tighten the clamp holding the bars onto the stem.



Stand with the bike between your legs, holding the handlebars. Grip the brakes so the wheels can’t move, put your weight onto the handlebars and try moving them backwards and forwards. If there’s any movement or a knocking noise coming from the headset it needs to be tightened and/or the bearings need replacing. Unless you’re an expert (in which case you probably don’t need to be reading this!) take your bike into a bike shop to get it fixed.

Note…you can’t tighten the headset by just tightening the bolt on the headset cap – there’s more complicated stuff underneath!


So, that’s it for the second part of your bike check – only 3 more stages of the “M-check” to go! Watch this space…


Places on our amazing tours are limited, so don’t miss out – SIGN UP HERE NOW!

OR for more information, please download our brochure here

Don’t miss out! Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive offers and discounts!

Or find us on Facebook and like our page!