Back to Basics

Back to Basics

Do you know how to put on a helmet? How about doing the ABC Quick checks on your bike? If you’re scratching your head, let’s get back to the basics.

Helmet Fitting

This week’s video dives into instructions on how to put on your helmet the right way. It all breaks down to the following steps:

  1. Put the helmet leveled on your head.
  2. Dial the knob or adjuster in the back of the helmet so that it is a snug fit. Some helmets may not have an adjuster, so I recommend buying one that does.
  3. Make sure you have about 2-fingers space between your eyebrows and the helmet. You should be able to see the brim of your helmet if done correctly.
  4. Then, adjust the side straps so that they come underneath your ear like the letter “V” or peace signs.
  5. Finally, buckle your helmet and tighten it so that you can fit 1-2 fingers in between. You should be able to feel the helmet move with the fingers underneath your chin and strap as you open your mouth.

I wish I had known about this when I bought my first helmet. These instructions are what I teach thousands of kids and adults in Southern California as a League Certified Instructor (LCI) for the League of American Bicyclists.

ABC Quick Check

Moving on to your bike, you need to perform the ABC Quick check before taking it out on the road. This consists of the following steps:

  1. “A” is for air that you need to check for in your tires. If you need air, pump it up. Know if you have a presta or schrader tire valve. Most bicycle floor pumps will allow you to pump either one.
  2. “B” is for brakes and bars. Check your brakes to see if they are working and have at least a ½” to 1” gap between the handlebar and lever. Check that your handlebar is not loose by straddling your front wheel to hold it and turning the handlebar stem.
  3. “C” is for the chain, cassette / cluster / cog, chain ring, and crank arms. This is the entire drivetrain system. Make sure the chains are adequately lubricated, the cassette / cluster / cog / chainring are not worn, and the crank arm isn’t loose as you push and pull it side-to-side.
  4. “Quick” is for the quick releases on your bike. Make sure they are on tight. Twist it down, so that it takes some effort to close them halfway. You should see imprints on the palm of your hands when you attempt to close it.

Once the ABC Quick check is done, jump on for a test ride. If it all looks good, you’re ready to take your bike out for a ride. Just don’t forget to pack water, extra tubes, tire levers, and a pump in case you get a flat.

Again, this is the curriculum I have been teaching for the last 5 years to kids who barely know how to ride a bike and to seasoned adults who are learning to be LCIs.

Win A Helmet!

Big shout out to NOW Helmet who helped sponsor this post. I have 2 helmets up for grabs if you comment on my YouTube video before March 15, 2019. These are size S/M helmets. Each helmet retails for about $200, and they work very well with the Milestone Rides color scheme.

If those aren’t your size and you’re looking to buy one, visit and use my discount code, milestone25, to get 25% off your order. These are one of the lightest, most comfortable and coolest looking helmets around.

Did you learn something from this blog post or from the video? If so, please share that in the comments below.

Please share this post or the video for folks who need it!

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