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best bmx bike hacks

Introduction

I always love to hear of a good new bike hack that I could use while riding. Some will help when cleaning my bikes, others for my downhill racing and some are just plain useful that everyone should use. I have tried to compile a list that doesn’t require too much DIY or modifications to your bike as not everyone is willing to spend that much time on something.



Wash up with Powdered Laundry Detergent

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Whether you ride Fixie or Downhhill, it doesn’t matter. Every biker knows that there’s no way to keep yourself completely clean when washing or fixing your bike. Grease and oil just have a way of getting themselves all over us and then manage to get onto everything else we touch. It’s a never-ending cycle of dirt. If you know this then you’ll also know it’s not very fun trying to get any of it off. Washing your hands with soap and water will do the trick but who knows how long it will take and you’ll probably still be left with a load left in little patches.

Powdered laundry detergent works a treat when trying to get oil and grease off your skin. After cleaning your BMX or Mountain Bike you should grab a bit before you head to the sink. Be warned though, laundry powder can be tough on your skin so don’t use too much or too often.

Know any other brilliant ways to get clean after greasing your bike chain? Leave a comment below.




Valve Cap Converter

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As many people know, bike inner tubes have two main types of valve, the Presta valve and the Schrader valve. For those who can’t remember the difference, Presta valves are the long thin ones. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, the Schrader valve remains the most common among bikes and pumps. A lot of pumps only have the ability to pump up one or the other type of valve.

Now, if you’re out on the trails with your mates and get a puncture but have the wrong type of pump then here’s a lovely little bike hack.

You can use a valve cap as a valve converter. Unfortunately, this only works as a Presta to Schrader converter but that is the most common problem anyway. Relying on the fact that you kept the valve cap when you first got the inner tube, you can cut off the top of the cap, just like in the image above. If you then screw it onto the step of the valve it provides a great temporary fix. This isn’t a perfect fix at all but it should help you out if you’re in a sticky situation. I recommend that if you’re going to do this, try and use a compressor or electric pump, the amount of movement caused by using a hand or foot pump is likely to break the seal.

If you want to be more prepared than all us other riders then there are real converters that you can buy fairly cheaply. Use the link below to buy some if you’re interested.


Check Today's Price



Fairy Liquid, Grease Buster

Getting grease on my clothes is the most annoying thing for me when cleaning bikes. I have wasted a lot of money and countless t-shirts due to getting oil on them and not being able to get it out. I can deal with getting it on my skin because it washes off eventually but when you get mountain bike oil and grease on your clothes it’s very hit and miss as to whether it’ll come out or not. If you get a sponge on it immediately and then straight into the washing machine then you stand a good chance of getting it all out but if you’ve got a massive mark on your back where you didn’t see it then you normally have no chance.

Fairy liquid and other washing up liquid are a nifty little way of getting oil and grease out. Take care of those hand marks you made after resting your hands on your hips thinking about something or those spots you got when you leant against or dropped your chain.

To use this just apply it to the affected area as you would any other stain remover before you put it in for a wash. Hopefully, when it comes out it’ll be like brand new and ready for your weekend mountain bike ride.

To prove just how good this is, oil and rescue workers use this stuff to clean up after an oil spill.

Fairy liquid is also extremely useful at getting stuck bike grips loose but be sure to only use a little and only if you absolutely need it because no matter how much you wipe it off, the next pair of Bike grips you put on will be sliding all over the place for about a week.




Banknotes for a Tire Patch

bank note tire patch

Getting a puncture while out riding is one of the most annoying things that could happen. The fact that it’d be so easy to fix if only you were back home but there's just no chance. Even when you do have a puncture repair kit it the patch often only works for a little time anyway.

This hack isn't really to help with punctures although I guess it is a good way to avoid them. This could also be useful if you do get a puncture but manage to repair or replace it.

To get a puncture by penetration, something sharp obviously has to go through your tire and then into the inner tube. This may just be a little thorn, in which case you probably don't need this hack, but in other cases, you may get a big hole or slit from a knife. These are just examples, there are obviously so many ways to slit your tire open.

That hole in your tire does two things that you don't want. It increases the chances of getting a puncture tenfold. Little sharp sticks or stones will get in with ease and then just pop your inner tube with ease. The air pressures inside inner tubes can often get pretty high (Over 90 PSI on some BMX bikes) and that means an inner tube is going to push and squeeze itself into any hole it possibly can. This throws off all the balance in the wheel and often you can have a giant bulge pushing out of one of these holes.

The fix is to use either a business card, bank note or something similar for a temporary patch on the hole. If you simply place a bank note on the inside of your bike tire before putting your inner tube in and pumping it up. The pressure of the inner tube pushing against the note or card should have a big enough surface area for it to create a solid seal and it’ll be good for the ride home.

If you live in the UK and need to try this be sure to use one of those new plastic £5 notes. They are made of a much stronger and better material than previously and will be more reliable for your ride home.




Newspaper to Dry Riding Shoes

top 10 bike hacks

This hack is one you should have got to know extremely whilst growing up. I certainly did, living in England means you’re never too far away from getting caught out in the rain or finding a great muddy track to ride down.

I think 75% of the time I go out riding I come back with wet shoes. It’s just something that happens all the time and if I want to go out riding the next day then I need to get them dry quickly. It’s very simple but putting some scrunched up newspaper inside your shoes will absorb a lot of moisture and dry your biking shoes out a lot quicker.