Pre-season Equipment Check!

The Essentials

  • Helmet: A properly fitted helmet is mandatory to participate in Gators riding activities.  Check out our Helmet Fitting Guide
  • Shoes: Any closed-toed athletic shoe is acceptable.  (Save the flip-flops for the pool!)
  • Water: Riders may want to carry water with them. Choose either a backpack with a bladder or a frame-mounted option. No handlebar-mounted water bottles, please.
  • Gloves: Gloves are optional, though hands do tend to hit the ground first.
  • Bicycle: A bicycle that is in good working order. Consider a preseason tune-up at your local bike shop.  The Gators Coaches appreciate your efforts in taking time to get bikes in good working order before the first practice. Use the following as a guideline.

Bike Inspection Checklist


  • Check that the parts of the frame are securely attached to each other and to the wheels, seat, front fork, and handlebars.
  • Check for looseness in the seat, handlebars, and front fork.
  • Check the seat height. For young cyclists, the rider should be able to sit on the seat and touch their feet to the ground.
  • Is the handlebar perpendicular to the front wheel?
  • Do the handlebar grips still prevent exposed metal at the end of the bars?

Tires and Wheels

  • Are the tires properly inflated?
  • Do the tires still have good treads and no visible bulging or other damage?
  • Do the wheels spin freely without wiggling? Does the wheel stay aligned when spun?
  • Are there any missing spokes or are any spokes damaged?
  • Have all wheel pegs been removed? (Wheel pegs are crash magnets!)


  • Test the brakes to see that they stop a spinning wheel quickly without slipping.
  • Coaster brakes are okay for beginners, but hand brakes are easier to control on bumpy trails.
  • While applying hand brakes one at a time, try to move the bike forward. It should tip up on the front wheel or drag the rear wheel.
  • For hand breaks, look at the brake pads. They should have at least 3/16 of an inch of rubber remaining and they should meet the rim squarely, not at an angle.
  • For hand breaks, you should not be able to squeeze them all the way to the bottom. They should have some reserve left when the brake is completely engaged.

Crank and Chain

  • Does the crank turn freely and without wiggling?
  • Are the pedals firmly attached?
  • Is the chain lubricated? Also, check it for rust.
  • If the bike has gears, does it shift freely?