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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Holden

Wethepeople Trust - Another renovation

Most of the bikes I get to see here are fairly modern road, hybrid or mountain. A few e-bikes and the occasional classic but I think this is only the second proper BMX I've been asked to look at.

A customer called a while back saying that her brother used to do a bit of BMX and had a nice bike that they wanted to hand down in the family, the only problem being that it had spent a bit of time outside and needed some tlc. She wasn't kidding! This thing needed more attention than the garage door it's propped up against.

Now, I will admit that I've never really ridden BMX and a few of the standards and oddities were a little new to me. For example, I'd always been fascinated by Gyros (the thing on the head tube that allows you to spin the bars without getting the cables all tangled) but never really sat down and studied how they work. Fortunately, after a few Youtube videos it becomes that most BMX's are a) pretty straightforward and b) designed to withstand a lot of damage.

As a rule, I don't replace items I don't need to but as you can see from the close-up below, there was more rust than component left on a lot of the bike. After messaging the customer, we agreed to swap out the tyres, tubes and rim tape; gyro, cables and brake blocks and the chain, saddle and bottom bracket.

Stripping this down took way longer than I'd planned as almost every bolt was seized and needed varying degrees of 'persuasion'. The surface rust then needed brushing off and the threads cleaning and relubing.

The nice thing about building this BMX back up was that it was so intuitive. The road bike world is obsessed with the tightest tolerances and I'm sure I spend more time ensuring one component is compatible with another than I do assembling the thing. The BMX world just doesn't seem to have gone down that route. What BB size is it? 19mm or 22mm. What sort of chain, full links or half links? Not to mention that everything is fitted with a 5/6mm Allen key and a selection of spanners. I really had to search quite hard to find torque settings - most of the Youtube 'experts' seem to work on the basis of 'keep turning it til it stops moving'.

Anyway, I really hope the finished bike gets all the punishment and abuse it's clearly designed to take. It's a cracking bike and has made me thing that there's a gap in my bike rack for something similar... is it too late for a 40-something to stick a BMX on his Christmas list?

Thank you to Source BMX down on the South Coast for their prompt delivery of all the parts for this build and the email advice!

Merry Christmas all!

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