BMX Bike Maintenance: Things You Need To Know About
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It doesn’t matter what you use your BMX bike for…whether it’s just for hobby or competition reasons, I highly advise you to subject it to regular maintenance. This will keep it performing at its best at all times.
And if you like competing with your friends or checking whose bike does the best stunts, the only way to outshine them is keeping your bike at its best at all times.
In this post, I’ll share with you some quick tips you can use to keep your BMX bikes working at its best level.
PS: This guide is for all BMX bikes out there, regardless of size, type, brand, etc.
SIX Top Maintenance Tips For Different Parts of Your BMX Bike:
#1. Regularly Give Your Bike A Thorough Wash
You can’t deny the fact that your bike will accumulate dirt and mud when riding it out there. These pose potential damages to your bike if not removed on time.
Luckily, you can take care of them by regularly cleaning your bike (which also helps minimizes cases of corrosion and wear).
HOWEVER, don’t fall into the trap of washing your bike with a high-pressure jet as all other bike owners are doing it. Yes, it might be faster and more efficient…But think of when the jetted water enters the bearings and messes with lubrication. Doesn’t that give your bike a direct ticket to accelerated wear and corrosion?
Besides, the high-pressure jet can remove the paintwork as well as stickers on your bike- leaving it looking “”ugly.”
So, what’s the BEST way to clean your bike?
It’s simple: just use your garden hose (minus the spray nozzle) or a bucket of water and sponge. Hand washing your bike not only gives it special cleaning but also helps you easily identify any problems it might have developed.
NOTE: Don’t forget to completely dry your bike afterward to prevent staining by corrosion and hard water.
#2. Chain Maintenance
The chain is probably the most important part of your bike. As such, it requires regular attention to ensure your bikes rolls smoothly at any time.
Taking care of your chain revolves around:
- Lubricating it to keep off wear and corrosion. Assuming you’ve already cleaned your chain in the previous step, you can now proceed to apply the lubricant while rotating the crank to distribute it evenly.
- Checking the tension. To do this, flex the chain up and down. If it feels too tight, it might undergo a lot of straining and eventually break; if it feels loose, it might slip off the sprockets. In other words, if your chain moves up and down over 1cm at its loosest point, consider loosening or tightening it by moving the back wheel forward or backward respectively.
- When adjusting the chain, confirm that the rear sprocket (freewheel) and the front sprocket (chain wheel) have no wears or damaged teeth.
#3. Taking Care of the Wheels
Wheels are also important parts of your bike, and if they’re not well taken care of, you might not even get your bike out of the basement for a ride.
The first tip to taking care of the wheels is truing them…this might strange to folks who have no experience riding a bike.
But don’t worry, I’ll explain:
- Truing your bike wheels involves making the wheels run true in flame. To check whether a wheel is true in flame, simply spin it and pay attention to the tire center and the sighting along the bottom tube.
In case your wheels need truing, check the video below on how to true your BMX bike wheels:
- You’ll also need to check the rims for cracking and deformation. A cracked rim poses serious threats to your safety- especially when making jumping stunts- and should be replaced immediately.
Deformed rims, on the other side, can be simply repaired (consider hiring experts for this rather than doing it on your own).
- Examine your spokes regularly for loosening and damages. Incorrectly tensioned spokes result in the deformation of the rim. Again, you can trust your bike repairer to handle sprocket related issues.
- Always check your tires for cuts, wears or splits. And don’t forget to check the pressure too.
#4. Don’t forget The Pedals and Cranks
If you want to have fun with your bike, make sure that its pedals remain securely tightened to the cranks. Always confirm that the pedal cages or screw in the pins are 100% tight. Check that the cranks are firmly attached to the shaft, with no excessive bearing play in the base section.
#5. Proper Care for BMX Bike Brakes
Be more cautious when it comes to the brakes! According to BMX Rules, your brakes must be working correctly at all times, even when you think that you don’t need to use them.
Start by examining the brake pads (especially if you’ve just adjusted or changed the chain); they should be making contact with the rim correctly.
Next, examine the nipple found at the end of the brake lever cable for wear. Ensure the cable is properly connected to the lever.
Lastly, the outer sheath of your brake cable shouldn’t appear kinked/split as this stop the cable from operating the brakes. Also, the brake lever must be firmly attached to the handlebars.
#6. Handlebars Need Attention Too
What’s the status of the tension securing your handlebars to your head stem? Does the crossbar have any signs of wear or cracking? Always ensure all the bolts attaching the handlebars to the head stem have uniform tension.
Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with stress cracking, more so if your head stem parts are made from aluminum.
Regular maintenance of you BMX bike is a surefire way to keep its performance at its peak. Proper care involves regularly should involve all parts of your bike- from cleaning it thoroughly to checking the condition of the chain, wheels, pedals, cranks, and the handlebars.
In case you discover any issues on your bike, always take it to a professional bike repairer to help fix the problem and get the bike on the track.