Get your bike feeling good!
Author: Tim Date Posted:2 April 2020
Handle Bars/ Stem
When working on your bike or assembling your new BMX build, there are many components that “should” fit if assembled correctly. However, with BMX technology becoming more advanced every year, some parts have become more specific by brand and size. Oversized bars only fit oversized stems, similarly, 22.2 mm (standard diametre) will only fit the associated stem. Oversized handlebars and stems have an enlarged diameter of 25.4mm making the binding point to the stem wider and therefore having more surface area for your bars to be clamped down on.
When taking bars on and off, it may seem like 4 bolts and your good to go, but there is much more to it than that. If you have just purchased a new set of bars or a new stem grease is a must. Before you have done anything take each bolt and apply a small amount of grease to thread. This will ensure next time you go to take it out it won’t be rusted into the thread.
Threading each bolt evenly is the next crucial step. Most stems have 4 bolts and two-axis that the plate of the stem will want to pull toward. As you begin to tighten down each bolt you notice that the plate will begin to move. This can cause uneven pressure holding down your bars. Make sure you distribute the load so that each bolt is tightened evenly. Doing this in a criss-cross pattern is the most effective way to achieve even distribution of pressure clamping down your bars. This will give your bars and stem the best bond and hold tight while your out shredding!
There is really no better feeling then freshening up your bike and doing it all at once can cost a pretty penny. Buying certain parts together can dramatically increase the performance and feel of your bike. When buying new cranks you should also think about upgrading your sprocket and furthering that your chain. Having a perfectly running drive train can make an average ride into a great one. Maintenance is key, and correctly assembling your bike is critical. When installing your new cranks and sprocket its important that you pay attention to a few small details to ensure your bike feels the best it can every ride.
Firstly installing the bottom bracket bearings and spacers. If you're fortunate enough to own a bearing press, use it. If not a rubber mallet or at the very last case a block of wood and a hammer. Use the wood to cushion the blow. When pushing in your bearings it’s important to apply some grease to help them slide in easier. The next thing is the bearing spacer. The small alloy or steel tube that sits between your bearings on the inside of your frame. Some grease will also help here. Slide the spindle through and apply some grease to any threads that will be getting tightened. If you run a spline drive sprocket slide this on with appropriate spacing. Spacing is very important, the chain needs to line up with the driver and sprocket. So make sure that both driver and sprocket are inline and the sprocket is spaced from the frame correctly. Ensure both crank arms are lined up straight and tighten cranks firmly. You should be able to firmly tighten each crank (or the single bolt in some cranksets) and still spin the cranks freely. If your cranks do not spin freely you have missed a step. Once your cranks and sprocket are on, use some chain specific oil and run the chain onto the sprocket. Then grab your bike and go shred the best feeling drivetrain ever! If you have any issue we have a team of friendly staff that will be able to help you with any issues you're having with installing your new sprocket, crankset and bottom bracket bearings.
Fitting your tyres to your rims may seem like a simple thing to do but let us tell you some tips to make this at times frustrating job easy! Firstly making sure you don’t get a flat after you replaced a tube is something that you should look for. If you are fixing a flat, thoroughly check the inside and the outside of the tyre to clean out any small bits of debris. Once your happy your tyre is clean, then it’s time to replace the new tube (or tyre if applicable). Put some air in the tube and get it slightly inflated enough to make a circle shape on its own. Place the tyre into one edge of the rim, and leave one side of the tyre wall open to place the tube into. Find the valve eyelet in the rim and push the tube valve through the hole. From here you want to push the “open” side of the tyre into the rim wall. Start at the valve and work your way around ensuring the tube isn’t pinched. Once you have beaded the whole tyre make sure that it’s sitting evenly around the rim. Tyres can sit higher on one side as a result of putting it on so make sure that it’s sitting evenly the entire way around. Once your happy with how its seated, start to inflate your tyre. As you inflate the tyre do it slowly and stop, repositioning how the tyre is seated on the rim. Once you have got your tyre to your desired pressure tighten up the bolts and go send it!
Just like stepping on cereal on tiles with bare feet, having a crusty drive train can feel very similar. There are a few factors that impact on how your drivetrain feels and there are few small things that will greatly improve the way your bike feels. As always maintenance is paramount and the amount you ride will determine how much you will need to work on your bike.
The chain, driver and sprocket are three parts that seem small but are the driving force behind your bike. Firstly, for the guys that enjoy doing grinds learning crooks and crank slides and other grinds can give your drive train some real damage. We would recommend these guys run a guard sprocket. There really isn’t a secret in setting up a good feeling drive train, just making sure that your sprocket and the driver line up. Using lubricants is a must, there are several products you can use for this. Bike Milk Chain Lube works great but there are many products out there for this application. Once you have spaced out the sprocket from the frame so it lines up with your driver then you will be good to go!
Installing your seat and seat post is a simple process, yet some small things will make your bike feel better. For most BMX riders seats are a small part of the bike, however, some riders do use their seat for certain tricks like barspins or all the seat grab variations. Having your seat set up at the correct height will vary for everyone. For people that use their seat to clamp with their knees, a fatter seat with a high seat pole would suit. When installing your seat post simply slide it into the point you want, then grease the small bolt in the clamp or integrated clamp system and tighten. Next, you want to choose the angle your seat will sit at. Using a pivotal system adjust the seat position then firmly tighten the seat. For combo style seats the angle of the seat will be determined by the company that made the seat as the seat and seat pole come in one piece. Tripod seats offer two angles of adjustment due to the wedge clamping system that locks the seat pole to the seat. They come in a steep and mellow option. Finally railed seats are a classic piece of BMX technology. Using the side adjustment nuts, the seat is able to freely move up and down to get the riders preferred angle. Regardless of which type of seat and post you choose, the angle of your seat is completely up to you!
Living in the year 2020 means we have some of the greatest coloured, textured, and longer-lasting grip compounds ever. Sometimes the most annoying part of putting grips on can be just that, putting them on. Chrome bars can help a little to slide them on, but the best tool for this is an air compressor with a blowgun nozzle. Push the grip as far as you can, 10-20mm and then use the air compressor under the inside edge to blow air under the grip to push it up the bar. Once you have your grips in the right spot, and they aren’t twisted. Install the bar ends that came with your grips or the set of metal ones you love and go and get a session in.
A critical junction in your bike, the forks, frame, bearings and stem need to be assembled correctly to ensure your bike works properly. Firstly grease, make sure all threads and bearings have been greased before installing them. Place the bearings race into the frame and push down firmly ensuring the bearing is sitting flat in the integrated cup. Once you have done this, slide your forks up through the headtube and place the compression wedge tightly to fit the top of the bearing. If you're riding a newer style BMX bike the bottom bearing will be held in by the built-in crown race. Now your forks will be sitting in the headtube freely spinning on the bearings. The next step is to secure the whole thing. Using the rest of the spacers and dust caps, cover the gap left on your steerer tube so the stem sits slightly above the top of the steerer tube. Place the stem on and tighten the greased top cap into the integrated thread inside the fork. Making sure to firmly tighten this bolt so there is no movement back or forward when your riding. When installing the headset it’s important to preload the headset, ensuring all surfaces are meeting evenly. Tightening the bearings too much can cause them malfunction and cause damage to your bike, so do your best to make sure your headset is firmly tight, but able to spin freely.