Bicycle inspection: tips & instructions

Winter is the perfect time for a bike inspection. This will get your bike back in shape in time for the cycling season and prevent accidents. Riding is also more fun when everything works like clockwork. Here we look at how often an inspection makes sense, who can carry it out themselves and when a visit to the workshop is necessary. You'll get an overview of the different types of bike inspections and the costs involved.

About bike maintenance in a nutshell

  • Bikes need a regular inspection. This is the only way to prevent wear and tear and accidents. A good time for this is before the start of spring.
  • If you are handy and know your way around bicycles, you can do a lot of the work yourself. You only need a few tools. For checking the brakes or other demanding work, it is better to contact a professional. The same applies to e-bikes.
  • For inspections in the workshop, a distinction is made between a major and a minor bike inspection. The costs vary depending on this.
  • PowUnity helps you to think about necessary maintenance in good time. In our new PowUnity app for the BikeTrax GPS tracker, you can enter and plan your inspections in the maintenance diary.

The last snow is melting, temperatures are rising and the roads are passable again. Spring marks the start of the cycling season. Before you get on the saddle and enjoy the sun, we recommend that you use the winter period for a thorough inspection. After all, if a bike is left outside or ridden during the cold season, it suffers from cold, snow and dirt. There is an increased risk of parts becoming dirty, rusty or seriously damaged. Maintenance reduces wear and tear and prevents accidents. And let’s be honest: riding is most enjoyable when all gears are working smoothly.

Here you will find our bike maintenance tips for a bike inspection. We explain when you need to call in a professional, how often it makes sense to visit the workshop and how much money you should budget.

When is a bike inspection necessary?

If you are not an expert in bicycle maintenance, we recommend a professional service for bicycles or e-bikes at regular intervals to ensure your bike is in good condition. The exact frequency depends on how often you ride your bike. If you ride your bike all year round, a visit every six months is a good guideline. The ideal times for this are autumn and spring. If you leave your bike for longer in winter, the cold months are ideal for maintenance so that you can hit the ground running at the start of the cycling season.

Professional service at a local bike shop or do it yourself?

The answer to this question depends on which group of bike or e-bike riders you belong to:

  • You don’t know anything about bikes and don’t feel like dealing with them yourself? Then leave the maintenance to experienced mechanics.
  • Do you know your way around or are you willing to familiarise yourself with the subject? With basic tools and the help of good instructions and a thorough checklist, you can do a lot of the work yourself. However, we recommend that you commission a workshop to check the brakes. This is where ignorance can take bitter revenge.
  • You are a passionate cyclist, have essential tools and can carry out complete maintenance yourself, including a brake check, adjusting the gears and replacing defective parts on your bike. In this case, you only need to visit a bike workshop if there is serious damage.

E-bikes have special inspection requirements. Even DIY fanatics reach their limits here. In most cases, there is simply not enough equipment to inspect a drive unit for defects.

Major inspection vs. minor inspection – the difference

Most bike dealers differentiate between two types of bike inspection:

  • The minor bike inspection is often limited to checking the brakes (rear and front brake, brake lever and brake pads) and gears as well as all bolts. The service provider also readjusts the gears and check if the tires have the recommended pressure.
  • The major bike inspection is much more extensive. Depending on the provider, it includes maintenance of the suspension fork, bike frame, wheels (front wheel, rear wheel), lighting system and bike chain, as well as tire pressure and components such as sprockets, bearings and hubs.

For e-bike inspections, the bike mechanic will also scrutinise the drive of your e-bike and the software. He checks the sensors for the motor, reads the capacity of the battery and checks the cables of the display, if there is one. No visual inspection can replace this work

How much should a bike inspection cost?

The cost of a bicycle inspection depends on the type and scope of the inspection. The location also plays a role. You usually pay more in urban centres. There can also be a big difference between garages. It’s worth comparing!

On average, you can expect the following prices:

  • Minor inspection: 50 – 70 euros
  • Major inspection: 80 – 140 euros
  • E-bike inspection: from 100 euros

Tip: Never forget an inspection again thanks to the PowUnity app

Many PowUnity customers have given us feedback that they would like a maintenance diary. That’s why we’re helping you to keep your e-bike in good shape with the new PowUnity app. With the maintenance feature of the PowUnity app, you can create your inspections and maintenance in a logbook and automatically receive reminders when they are due.

Conclusion: A bicycle inspection increases the service life of bikes

A bicycle inspection is not a luxury for times when you have nothing better to do. It prevents accidents and prevents you from breaking down on the way to work or during a bike tour. Regular maintenance also ensures that cycling is fun. Finally, a thorough bike inspection even increases the service life of bikes and e-bikes.

So the question “To wait or not to wait?” is quickly answered. Whether you do the maintenance yourself or use the services of professionals depends on your expertise. It is often worth doing simple work yourself and leaving the complicated tasks to a professional. This is especially true for e-bikes. Because you need the right equipment to check an e-bike drive.

FAQs on the subject of bike inspections

What does a bike inspection involve?

The scope of a bike inspection varies. During a major bike inspection, all components of your bike are put through their paces, while minor inspections often focus on the gears and brakes as well as the screw connections. A comprehensive e-bike inspection includes checking the drive and battery.

How often should I bring my bike in for an inspection?

The frequency of inspections depends on your riding style and the conditions in which you ride. In general, we recommend two inspections per year. However, if you ride regularly or are travelling in particularly demanding conditions, more frequent checks may be advisable.

Can I carry out a bike inspection myself?

 

You can carry out many aspects of bike inspection and maintenance yourself, especially if you are familiar with the basics of bike maintenance. For more complex problems or if you are unsure, it makes sense to consult a specialist. Specialised equipment is required for servicing e-bikes.

How much does the service cost?

The cost of a bike inspection depends on its scope. There are also differences between the location and individual dealers. It is best to enquire beforehand and compare different offers.

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