How to Rebuild BMX Bikes

Written by andrea julian
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How to Rebuild BMX Bikes
With a little work, an old BMX can be put back into action. (saut en bmx image by RomainQuéré from Fotolia.com)

Ever since the movie 'ET' premiered and the world got its first look at a BMX bike, there has been an obsession with these rides. Since then their popularity has increased and BMX bikes have become slicker and pricier. Cost can be a major factor in obtaining one, since they can cost £650 or more. However, rescuing one from a thrift shop or garage sale and fixing it up yourself can get you a cool BMX bike for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Old bike
  • Shop rags
  • Cleaning supplies
  • A complete Park tool set for bikes, which includes both Allen and crescent wrenches
  • 4 sets of bearings

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take the bike your going to rebuild and clean it. You want to make sure the bike is clean and free of rust before beginning. Use a piece of sandpaper to remove any stubborn rust or build-up. The basic rebuild will consist of a headset and bottom bearings rebuild, brake rebuild, seating adjustments, chain adjustments, handlebar repositioning and loose pedals. These are all common rebuilds for BMX bikes.

  2. 2

    Take apart your bike´s bottom bracket using the park tool bottom bracket remover. Remove the old bearings from the bearing cups. Clean the bearing cups, add new grease and then add new bearings to each cup. There are different types of bottom brackets. Depending on the kind your bike has will determine which tool you will need to use to take it apart. On most BMX bikes go to the left side (or non-drive side) of the bike. Place the lock ring spanner on the lock ring, loosen the lock ring so the spindle turns smoothly with no play. While still holding the pin spanner in place, carefully tighten the lock ring back down with the lock ring spanner. Before you tighten it all the way, check your adjustment once more.

  3. 3

    Take apart the head set bearing by using an Allen wrenches to loosen the pinch bolt. Next use an Allen wrench to loosen the vertical bolt attached to the stem and handlebars. Once bolts are sufficiently loosened, slide out the stem and bars .Then use your large crescent wrench to remove the bearing cap and carefully remove the old bearings. Remove old grease with your shop rags and degrease. Replace with new bearings and add grease. Re-tighten the bearing cap and replace the stem. Re-tighten the pinch bolt and vertical bolt using the Allen wrenches.

  4. 4

    Take the wheels off the bike by loosening the bolts with a crescent wrench. Remove the tires and tubes from the rim and replace with new tubes and tires. Be sure to put on your new rim liner on the inside of the rims to protect the tube from possible spoke punctures. To reinstall the wheels loosen the rear axle bolts and slide the back wheel forward into the frame. To ensure the chain gains proper tension, re-tighten the axle bolts.

  5. 5

    Set your bars to the desired angle and then tighten down firmly. To ensure proper seating and grip of the handlebars, use the "X" pattern when both tightening down and loosening the bolts. This is done by lightly tightening the top bolt first, followed by the opposite bolt on the opposite side, and repeating with the other two bolts, creating an "X". Repeat until all bolts are tightened completely. Use the same procedure when loosening the bolts to set the handlebars at the desired angle.

  6. 6

    Remove the brake cable by loosening the bolt on the cable clamp with a screwdriver or Allen key and slide the cable out from the brake lever. Then grease the inside cable housing and insert the new brake cable into the lever in the handle bars.Insert the cable into the brake handle and attach it to the rear brake. Stretch the cable to the back brake and cut with clippers. When you are done, tighten the cable with the Allen wrench.

  7. 7

    Before rushing out on your bike, thinking your finished, check everything you went over to avoid any unnecessary mistakes. Enjoy riding your newly rebuilt BMX bike!

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your work area clean and well organised to ensure you don't lose any parts while you are working.
  • Noises that sound like rattling and creaking are indicative of unnecessary friction that are about to wear and tear your ride apart. Immediately identify the location of the sound; use grease on any parts requiring lubrication to eliminate noise issues.
  • When working with flammable material like grease, be sure to work in a well ventilated room free of open flames to avoid any accidents.

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