Just bought a new aluminium frame road bike with 25mm tires. Due to very poor planning, I started a journey that turned out to be suited for mountain bikes: it involved country roads, unpaved gravel sections, some parts that were paved were more potholes than asphalt. After a pinched flat (because of the very poor paved sections), skidding 3 times and barely making it out, I decided to call it a day midway, and 45 exhausting kms(28 miles) spent.

Besides a very sore bum, I am wondering what other things maybe have suffered. What things should I check on my bike to see if anyone is broken, shaken, what things might turn loose, what areas are susceptible to paint being chipped at, what things to pay attention to on my next ride (which will only be on smooth roads), etc

  • 2
    Check tires for debris
    – paparazzo
    Dec 22, 2017 at 19:17
  • 1
    What pressure were you running in the tyres? Pinch flat implies it was a bit low, but increasing pressure makes the tyre a bit more skiddy on gravel.
    – Criggie
    Dec 22, 2017 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


I think road bikes are actually more durable than a lot of riders give them credit for. Unless you were seriously crashing into potholes there should not be any damage (although you may have picked up some paint dings from loose gravel surfaces).

You can do a standard 'once-over', paying particular attention to the wheels:

  • If the dirty or muddy give it a wash and clean and re-lube the drivetrain and chain
  • Check drive-train and brake functionality
  • look for rattles and anything loose
  • Check for play in headset bearings
  • Check the rims are true
  • Look for dings in the rim flanges and scratches in the braking surface.
  • Check there are no loose spokes.
  • Check for damage to tire tread or sidewalls
  • One thing I've found to be particularly worth attention is the rear derailleur. Even with full mudguards mine gets filthy and for some reason the shifting degrades faster with muck on the tourer than my other bikes.
    – Chris H
    Dec 22, 2017 at 20:17

Additional things to check and do - its not just the bike:

  • Wash and line-dry your bike shorts and shirt. Tumble dry is considered bad.

  • Air out your gloves, or wash if required. Also helmet liner if you use one.

  • Set your shoes out in the sunlight to dry too. Open the straps/laces and remove the inner sole if possible.

  • Hot-soapy-wash your water bottles, specifically clean the nozzle.

  • Reload any spares you used (in your case one or two tubes)

  • Browse your ride recording on Strava and remember how awesome it was to do each segment, or how you could do it better next time. Compare your segment efforts with other people you know or follow. Make new segments if there's a particular stretch that you think deserves one.

    • Also use the heatmap to plan future rides. Look for roads where lots of riders have been, which shows they are good for riding.

Immediately post-ride you should be looking after yourself, the bike can wait. Hydrate, shower, eat a recovery food (milkshakes and icecream work for me) and have a stretch a couple hours after stopping. Plan a light recovery ride/walk/jog(?) for the next day.

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