I have just read the thread on bike fixes and seen some horrible examples of bike care or lack thereof. E.g. that chainring that lost some bolts should have been replaced many miles earlier and that rusty seatpost! Words fail me.
Now, I picked up a new bike a couple of weeks ago. It came about because roadcc did that article about 12 titanium bikes and got me going, so I now have a Genesis Croix de Fer Ti. When I collected the bike there was, much to my surprise, NO technical documentation with it. Bugger all. Not from Genesis, SRAM, FSA, DT Swiss, Mavic or Zipp!! After a couple days the bike shop owner did come up with the booklet that Genesis send with the frame and it is the information on page 5 that has prompted me to do this thread and pass on this valuable information. If you are not already doing the following (and I'm sure all you serious riders are) take it to heart and you will no doubt avoid all those horrible problems that were shown.
BEFORE EVERY RIDE PLEASE CHECK THAT:
The lights and bell are working and safely secured.
The brakes are working safely and are properly secured.
The cables and fittings are not leaking if you have a model with hydraulic brakes.
The tyres are free of foreign objects and damage and the rims are not damaged and run true, particularly after riding off road.
The tyre have a sufficient tread depth.
The suspension components are working properly and safely secured.
The screws, nuts,nthrough axles and quick releases are firmly placed.
There are no deformations or cracks on the frame and fork.
The handlebars, stem, seat post and seat are both correctly and securely fastened as well as set up in the right position.
The seat post and seat are secure. Try turning the seat or tipping it upwards or downwards. It should not move.
If you are using clipless/magnetic pedals, please check that they are working properly. The pedals should release easily and smoothly.
For BMX bicycles: safe operation of the rotor, safe attachment of the handlebars to the stem and of the axle pegs.
All I need to do now is get up earlier so that there is enough time left in the day to actually get out for a ride!!
P.S. if that list isn't an arse covering exercise I don't know what is.