Choosing & maintaining your bicycle

For safety purposes it’s important choose the right bicycle and maintain it correctly.

Choosing the right sized bicycle is very important.

A bicycle that is too big or too small can be difficult to control. This can be particularly dangerous for children.

To test for size, stand over the bicycle with both feet on the ground.

  • For medium or lightweight bikes, there should be at least two centimetres between your crotch and the crossbar (or where a crossbar would be if the bicycle had one).
  • For BMX and mountain bikes, there should be at least five centimetres between your crotch and the crossbar.

Make sure all controls are within easy reach and comfortable to use and that the seat can be adjusted to suit you.

Looking after your bicycle

It is important that you check your bicycle regularly to make sure all the equipment and parts are in full working order, including tyres, wheels, chain, brakes and lights. This will make your bicycle easier and safer to ride.

Your local bike shop can help with any repairs you can't do yourself. If possible, you should also get them to give the bike a full service once or twice a year.

Here’s a simple check list to keep you riding smoothly and safely.  


  • Tyre pressure (search your local council website for public repair station locations, where you can pump your tyres up) 
  • Check your tread and lube your chain 
  • Brake check - all working bikes must have at least one working brake 
  • Clean your bike!
  • Check lights - you must have a white front light, red back light and a red reflector. Lights must be able to be seen from 200m in front and back. A reflector must be able to be seen from 50 metres. Lights turned on during daylight make you more visible too.
  • All bikes must have a working bell.
  • Check your lock is in good working condition 


  • Bolt tightness
  • Check for loose spokes 


  • Get a bike service at your local bike shop

Other tips: Get your bike engraved at your local police station - making sure it’s safe when locked up.

Bicycle security

Four easy steps to improve bicycle security

You can reduce the chances of your bicycle being stolen and minimise the effects if it is stolen by taking the following four easy steps.

1. Use a good quality lock

Always lock your bike. “D” locks or a folding bar lock are a secure way to lock your bicycle.

2. Lock your bicycle properly

Lock the frame to a fixed, immovable object that can’t be broken or moved.
Lock up in a visible and well-lit area where there are other bikes and people.

Secure any valuable components and accessories.

3. Identify your bicycle

Record serial numbers, make and model. Victoria Police can engrave your driver’s licence number into the frame. Photograph the bike.

4. Insure your bicycle

Bicycles can be insured against theft and damage and may be covered by your home and contents insurance policy. Ask your insurance company or Bicycle Network Victoria for more information.

For more information see related page.

Was this page helpful?


Please tell us why (but don't leave your personal details here - message us if you need help or have questions).