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Nothing is more embarassing than getting into a new sport and not knowing what is going on. Bmx is a unique sport with a diverse culture. To me, this sport has helped me make amazing friends, stay in shape and travel the world. I know it is a daunting process to buy a bike and learn new tricks. That is why I started this blog. Let's learn some common bmx repairs and how to perform them.
The common repairs that I will discuss are:
Knowing how to perform these simple repairs by yourself can save you a lot of money and keep you riding more often. No one wants to get a flat during a session, and have to go all the way to the bike shop and then pay them $15 to fix it. Let's get into it!
Flat tires are the number one repair on a bmx bike. Sometimes we hit thorns, glass, or maybe we even get a pinch flat from hopping up stairs.
A few months ago in England, I was riding 4-5 miles a day round trip to get to the skateparks. After a month of this my tires had been pretty work down. And once they were worn down I got a flat a few times a week, man that was expensive. Point of the story, it is going to happen to you so lets get you prepared to change your own tire.
The Animal Kotulak has almost every tool needed to work on your bike. There are a few other multi took options, but I really recommend this one for the outstanding quality.
Scott was one of the first guys that I met in the U.K. He had set up a mechanic stand at the first contest and was fixing bikes for free. I thought that was really cool and we talked for a little bit. He is one of the most genuine guys. Watch this walkthrough with his accent so you can fix a flat on your own.
Hopefully you do not have a crazy amount of flat tires. However, it happens and it will be good for you to know how to change it. The more you change the quicker you will be. Lets move on to keeping the bars from slipping.
I was so frustrated on my walmart bike. I would do a sweet jump down a 3 stair, and boom. When I landed, my bars had gone so far forward. I looked like i was riding a goofy motorcycle. No matter how much I tightened the bolts, nothing changed. Here are some tips and tricks that I learned to keep this from happening.
When you get a complete bike, the stem bolts are usually loose. You will need to tighten them completely and correctly to ensure 0 bar slippage.
For almost all stem bolts, this is a 6mm. Do not use anything other than a 6mm. If you use the wrong size it will strip out the bolts and then you will be out of luck. 😰
Start with a bolt and tighten it down until it starts to feel tight. Then move to the next one shown in the picture. Keep moving around and tightening until all of the bolts are super tight.
Cleaning off this area is crucial to preventing bar slippage. Dust and paint tend to build up in here and this will reduce the clamp power. Always keep this area clean when you take off your bars or move them around.
Chains drive me crazy. Sometimes they tie themselves in a knot like a pair of headphones. Sometimes the get loose and smack your frame when you jump. And lastly, they sometimes fall off while you are pedaling. Who wants any of that to happen?
Lets go over a few common chain tips so you can avoid the hair-pulling stress of working with a your chain.
Using chain tensioners are one of the best ways to make sure that your chain has the perfect amount of tension. Heres how they work...
After market chain tensioners go on your axles. The tensioners had bolts that allow you to tighten them. When tightened they will pull your wheel back, and tighten your chain.
Want to know a secret? We use a door wedge to tighten our chain while putting on a wheel. They work so good. Just jam it behind the tire and the frame and keep your wheel centered.
This happens so often when you have your back wheel off. I remember the first time that I noticed this on my bike. I almost pulled out all of my hair. Luckily, I found a really good youtube video explaining this process.
Learning simple and common bmx repairs will help you be a better and more rounded rider. Were you able to learn how to fix a flat, keep bars from slipping, and untangle a chain? I love working with all of you and helping you become a great bmx rider.
The next part of this series will talk about Skatepark etiquette. Just some simple tips to help you use the skatepark to the full potential, and keep from being hated by everyone there.