BMX bikes, by their very nature, take a great deal of abuse, and therefore must be rugged and durable. However, BMXs, like all bikes, do at some point require maintenance and restoration. The most common elements that require restoration are the paint work, the brakes, and the saddle. These areas are all reasonably easy to restore to their original condition with a few basic supplies and a little know-how. Even very old, battered models can be restored to their fabulously vintage appearance with simple restoration processes.
BMX bikes take lots of abuse and eventually the paint work becomes chipped or scratched. This allows oxidation to occur on the exposed metal which, if left untreated, weakens the frame as well as ruining the aesthetics. Vintage and older BMX bikes often have faded or outdated paint work and consumers may want to update the look of their bike.
Before attempting to paint their BMX, consumers should take off all removable items, such as the saddle, cable guides, brake cables, decals, and pedals, stripping the bike down to the bare bones. Once this is complete, use rough grain sandpaper and sand the entire frame. Remove as much paint as possible evenly across the entire frame for the best results. Clean the freshly sanded bike with mild detergent, hot water, and a soft cloth, removing all paint dust. Wipe the frame dry. Take paper towels and push into all holes on the bike that act as mounting holes for other items, such as brake mounts, cable guide holes, and the saddle clamp. This ensures paint does not clog these holes.
Consumers must ensure they paint their bike in a well-ventilated area. For optimal safety, work outside. Cover the area directly beneath and around the bike with multiple layers of newspaper to avoid getting paint on other surfaces. Either using a bike stand or getting creative and hanging the bike via a broom handle through the head tube, position the BMX off the ground in an area that gives the user 360 degree access. Use good quality spray paint and spray the entire frame in short bursts to create thin layers. Apply multiple coats for the best result, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. For consumers who wish to add multiple colours to their BMX frame, use masking tape to protect painted areas when spraying another colour. Allow the paint to dry and cure for up to a day, then apply a clear coat that protects the paintwork and prevents corrosion.
Checking the brakes regularly is vital to the safety of the rider. For solid, accurate, and responsive braking, the brake pads must be at least a quarter of an inch thick. Look closely at the brake pads, located each side of the wheel, attached to the brake clamps. If the brake pads are worn down to less than quarter of an inch, they need replacing. Unscrew the bolts or unclip the spring clasp holding the pads in the shoes. Remove the old pads and replace them with new ones. The orientation of the brake pads is crucial. The open end of the pad must face backwards for the brakes to work correctly. Then adjust the brake cable accordingly using the brake calipers mounted on the handlebars until the cable provides the right amount of tension to allow the wheel to turn freely when not in use but enough tension to brake quickly and accurately when the rider depresses the brakes.
After extended use, BMX saddles become worn and faded and some show scratches, tears, and scuffs. Another reason for altering the saddle is that the rider may find their current saddle uncomfortable. Consumers can opt to simply replace their saddle with a new model, such as a gel saddle for extra comfort, or can place a gel saddle cover over the existing saddle. However, many riders prefer to customise and restore their own saddle.
Remove the cover from the existing saddle, removing the staples on the underside. Beneath the cover is most commonly a foam core. Users can trim this down to their desired shape or can replace it entirely with durable, high quality foam. If trimming the foam, use fine grain sandpaper to smooth the seat completely. Using a BMX saddle cover or durable fabric, apply spray adhesive to the underside and to the foam saddle. Carefully apply the cover, smoothing out any creases or bubbles. Allow it to dry and then cut away any excess fabric.
BMX bikes and everything you need to restore them are all available from eBay sellers at affordable prices. To maximise your savings, check eBay Deals, consider buying repair items in bulk, or opt for a used BMX in need of restoration to work on as a project. Ensure you purchase from a reputable seller with a high percentage of positive feedback for the best products and service. Whether you want to restore a vintage BMX or perform basic restoration on a well-used modern model, there are a number of processes you can complete easily and affordably. Restore your saddle for a more comfortable ride, paint your bike frame with the coolest look or to make your BMX reflect your personality, and restore your brakes to top notch condition for accurate, responsive stopping.