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How to Change Forks on a BMX Bike

Updated April 17, 2017

Changing out your forks is a part of basic BMX maintenance. When hitting jumps and landing hard, forks take a beating and can become bent or broken. Luckily changing out BMX bike forks is a simple task that requires a minimal amount of mechanical skill. Simply choose a new set of forks for your bike, gather some tools and get to work in your front yard.

Attach your bike to the work stand. Remove your front wheel by loosening the axle bolts and allow the wheel to slide out. If your bike is set up with front brakes, then loosen the tension screw on your brake lever to widen the brake arms to allow the wheel to slide free.

Loosen the centre bolt located on the stem. This bolt will be located just above your headset. Remove the stem from the forks by sliding the stem up and out of the forks.

Loosen and remove the headset bolt and washer from your forks. Before you remove the bolt, firmly grip your forks before removing the locking washer, and take care not to let your forks slide out once the bolts are removed.

Clean out and inspect your headset for any wear or damage. If you suspect any complications, replace the headset with a new one. If you will be installing a new headset, be sure to use a headset cup setter to attach the new headset cups to the head tube. However, if you are a BMXer on a budget, you can use the old-school method by substituting a piece of 2-by-4 and hammer. Be sure to tap the cups in evenly to ensure the proper fit.

Install your new forks. Be sure to add plenty of grease to hold your headset bearings in place and slide up into the head tube. Install your locking washer first then install the headset bolt. Tighten just enough to remove any play from the forks and double check that they spin freely and smoothly with no rough spots.

Grease the inside of your steer tube before adding your stem. Slide in your stem and adjust to your desired height, aligned with the forks, and tighten.

Reattach your front wheel into the forks and tighten the bolts. Readjust your brakes and inflate your tire, making sure your wheel is aligned with the handlebars.

Remove your bike from the work stand and try out your new forks.

Tip

When replacing your forks with a new set, it's also a good idea to add a new headset and crown race to ensure you get the most out of your new forks.

Warning

Take care not to overtighten your headset; this can crush your bearings.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicycle work stand
  • Crown race remover
  • Socket set
  • Shop rags
  • Grease
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About the Author

A native of Austin, Texas, Andrea Julian began freelance writing in 2008 while living abroad in Guatemala. She has a background in biology and a passion for traveling. She writes for various websites, including eHow, Helo and The Savvy Explorer. Julian holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Texas State University.