Updated 15th February 2019

High speed Cycling in the Phoenix PArk

Mark Kiernan on the attack in the Phoenix Park

I am delighted to have Mark Kiernan of Kilcullen CC write this blog on pre race bike check. When you see his record in Cycling you will understand why I’m so happy to have him write for the peak endurance coaching blog.

Marks worldwide cycling experience

10 Ras – 4 time national track champ –  Irish  record holder outdoors – Represented Ireland at both junior and senior level. – Raced all over Europe, Africa and the Caribbean –  Rode Paris Roubaix amateur and all the French  classics.

Coaching Mark has completed his level 1 coaching qualification and is currently taking a level 3 coaching degree with British Cycling.   He is nearly 30 years in the cycle trade

What I would class as a true cycling expert. He has put together 10 tips to guide you for your pre race bike check.

10 tips on checking your bike before the weekend race

1 Never leave the bike check until the night before the race ,because if there’s a problem or your need a part chances are the local bike shop will be closed.

Wash and inspect your bike on a Friday if racing sunday, that way you have time to address any problems

2 Start at the front of the bike ,tyre first your looking for any large cuts or rips both on top and in the sidewall of the tyre

Grip the wheel and move it sideways to see if there is any loose play in the bearings ,or any grinding noises

3 Look at the brake pads ,are they worn?. any bits of metal or dirt embedded in the pad? be sure the pads hit the rim face on

4 Stand over the bike and pull the front brake ,is there any loose play in the headset ,rocking back and forth? .A quick adjustment with an Allen key will tighten this up

5 Check the bolts on the stem making sure they are all tight.

6 Run through the gears ,but with the wheels you are going to race on  I’ve seen people with their  training wheels on ,working grand ,only for the race wheels to be jumping around on the gears because the adjustment is slightly different from wheel to wheel

7 have a look at the bottom bracket. any play or grinding in the bearings? is it running smooth?

8 invest in a chain checker. With 10 and 11 speed chains being so thin these days it’s hard to tell visually if they are worn this little device will let you know when your chain is past its sell buy date

9 Check the rear derailleur, are the adjustment screws correct. Even a little bit out can be costly if the gears go into your rear wheel

10 The final point .The bike is grand, ready to go, so its another reason to be confident and have a great race.

Enjoy the races


Note: Follow the equipment manufacturers instructions . If your not so experienced, and need assistance see your local bike shop mechanic or someone in your club who might help. Or even organise a bike maintenance session for your club.

Mark can be contacted at     markkiernan2000@yahoo.ie

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Paddy Doran

Coach at Peak Endurance Coaching
I have been consistently the most successful coach in Irish Cycling in the last 30 years, training Olympians and Professional cyclists including a number of Ras Tailtean Winners and medalists at World & European levels. Cycling and coaching is my passion and I specialise in peaking for major events.
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