Pre-ride checks – ensure a safe ride

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Perform these checks to ensure a safe ride with your Tailfin kit.

You wouldn’t leave the house without checking your brakes or pumping up your tyres, right? The same should go for your Tailfin gear. These simple pre-ride checks will only take a few minutes of your time but are essential to keep your gear secure and avoid any unnecessary issues during your ride. 

Along with your giving your bike the usual once over, We recommend performing these checks on your Tailfin Rack or AeroPack before every ride.

Pre-ride checks: every ride

1. Check your Seatpost Connector  

With the seatpost connector aligned with the seatpost, connect the strap and ensure the strap tab is engaged; select the tab that provides a snug and secure fit. Avoid over-tightening the strap; the design of our Racks and AeroPacks is so stable it doesn’t require the front connector to be done up too tightly, unlike a traditional seatpack. Push the lever and ensure the clamp is locked.

2. Make sure your Dropouts are safe

Align the Arch and check the dropouts are positioned correctly on your axle. Ensure both sets of bushings are in good condition and correctly seated in the dropouts. Once aligned, close the dropouts and ensure that both pins are engaged and secure.

3. Ensure the AP20 Trunk Top Bag is connected safely

Insert the bag nose under the Topstay and align the rear connector pins with the Arch connector. Push the connector into place and release, ensuring the pins are fully engaged (you shouldn’t have any of the pins left showing). You can check the bag is correctly seated by lifting the bike from the rear of the bag

4. Check the Top Bag closure and compression straps

Roll the AP20 bag from the middle of the bag and avoid unnecessary twisting of the rear and front strap buckles. In order to remain waterproof, the bag must be rolled closed 2-3 times. Check that both the direct access and stash pocket are zipped shut. 

For the central compression straps, ensure the buckles are clipped together correctly and that any external cargo is cinched down. If you are travelling light or it’s going to be wet, we recommend crossing the compression straps to create an ‘X’ when looking down at the pack. This will prevent the straps from sliding during your ride.

Pre-ride checks: before a big trip

1. Check all bolts and screws

All Tailfin products now use Torx bolts. This is because they are less prone to damage and provide a far more reliable long-term fix. It’s important to check that all bolts are tightened correctly and that you follow the correct torque settings for each product (torque recommendations are available in our assembly guides here). All of our bolts are supplied with pre-applied thread lock, preventing them from loosening over time. However, if your commute to work rattles your fillings out or you decide to cross a continent, we do recommend re-applying a thread locker such as Loctite to prevent any parts from coming loose during your trip.

2. Take a test ride

Your bike has once again got you through yet another miserable few months of riding, and now you’ve dusted off your kit, ready to complete that 400k Audax, epic overnighter or ultra-distance race like the Highland 550. With this in mind, chances are it may have been some time since you’ve loaded up the bike and used your kit. If this is the case, we recommend packing your bike with everything you plan to carry and taking a test ride. This will allow you to identify any potential issues and get them sorted them prior to your trip. 

Tailfin Care

Modular design

Due to the modular design of our products, the good news is all parts can easily be replaced or repaired. Before an upcoming trip, we recommend checking all parts for wear or damage. You can update your kit pre-trip, or you can choose to carry spare parts on longer rides. All spare parts are available from our extensive spares section.

Care Replacement Service

You have spent months planning, packing and repacking, and you are finally going to be pedalling off into the unknown. Sadly, even the most prepared rider can have the worst happen to them and experience a failure or problem with their bike or kit. Fear not! If you have any problems with your Tailfin kit during your trip, our team will do our best to get you back riding as quickly as possible. If an issue is not fixable roadside, we will be on hand to provide expert advice and support. It’s not unknown for us to ship spares to hotels and random addresses in the most far-flung of places. 

5-Year Warranty

Tailfin believes in making high-quality products that you can absolutely trust. For that reason, we guarantee all our products against manufacturing defects for five years from the date of purchase. If your product fails due to a manufacturing defect – we will repair the product where possible and replace it when not.

Crash Damage Policy

Sadly, no warranty within the cycling industry will completely protect you from damage caused by due to crashes, accidents or other mishaps. But if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a crash, we want to help you get back on the bike. If your Tailfin kit is damaged due to a crash, we will arrange a 30% discount for you on like-for-like replacement parts.

Find out more about our Tailfin Care policies