1. Torque your axle nuts

Among the things you never want to experience is entering a corner only to have your bike’s handling suddenly, inexplicably go crazy because of a loose axle nut. While I’ve never experienced it, I’ve seen the fear in the eyes of friends who have – one in the middle of Willow Springs’ super fast Turn 8. The culprit was an improperly torqued rear axle nut that spun loose. Cranking the axle nut down too tight can also cause problems by compressing bearing spacers and leading to bearing failure. Always torque your bike’s axles to proper specifications. Then immediately put a fresh cotter pin (or whatever clip your bike requires) in place as a sign that the axle has been torqued. If you’re not positive it was done, retorque the axle to be certain.