The Ten Commandments of BMX
1.Thou shalt not use WD-40 on thy bike. Ever. Its for doors, not bikes. WD-40 attracts little pebbles grit and bits of junk that will wear down any moving part they are on. There are better, silicon or Teflon based bike lubricants that cost the same. Any lubricant by Pedros, Finish Line or Park is fine. There are also a million other equally good brands, just make sure whatever you buy has a picture of bicycle on it (that its meant for bikes).
2. Thou shalt not use a hammer on thine bike. Never. This also includes the flat end of wrenches, bricks, your sisters head or cranks. There is no reason on your bike anything should be hit with a hammer. When you whack anything on the bike that has a bearing, even though it appears fine, you are definitely causing damage. It will definitely weaken your frame if you use a hammer to get the bottom bracket out or put in your headset. It will bend things ever so slightly which will cause bigger problems down the road. The only thing I ever use a hammer for is emergency bending of rims, and only as an absolute last ditch fix until I can get a new one.
3. Though shalt not ride around with loose parts. Besides the obvious, like wrecking because your handlebars flew out of the stem during a tabletop, your bike will quickly self destruct. Riding around with a loose headset for an hour has a good shot of ruining your frame and headset. Same goes for riding around with a loose bottom bracket. I wrecked my favorite track frame of all time because my bb came loose halfway to Coney Island, but I went to the beach, got drunk, rode home and wrecked the bike. If its loose tighten it immediately.
4. Thou shall put air in thine tires. I hear many cockamamie theories about tire pressure, they are all wrong. Fill up your tires to full PSI rating written on the sidewall. They usually give you a 10 PSI zone, so stay within that. If you feel like theres too much air in your tire, switch to a tire with a lower PSI rating, dont run them low. Your wheel set will last for years, and your bike will roll faster.
5.Thou shalt not employ bizarre, mechanically unsound lightening methods even if the pros do. This is another thing I would assume is self-explanatory, but I have been seeing so much of this in the last year it must not be. Grinding away parts of your bike, including but not limited to the dropouts, the stem, and excess frame material is stupid and dangerous. Ditto for drilling holes in your frame, rim or handlebars. It weakens the bike through heat, vibration and removing stable surface area. We are talking about saving ounces here. You could drop that much weight by eating one less clif bar before you go riding. Sure the pros do it, but they also get free parts, replace their bikes constantly and many are extremely gullible individuals who make a living by selling you trendy ideas. Having a frame crumble or a wheel set completely give out is how people get really hurt.
6. Like the plague, thou shalt avoid black rims. Black rims are stupid, and they do not work right. If everyone avoids them BMX companies will stop making them and people will start to have brakes that actually work again.
7.Thou shalt use a wrench, not pliers. You know why your axel nut is stuck on, your headset is crooked and your pedals are stripped? Because you used a pliers instead of a wrench. A pliers is not for turning nuts (mind out of thine gutter, lest thy be struck down), and will quickly strip a nut. A pliers if for holding still, not turning (and use two wrenches, not a wrench and a pliers , if necessary). Use the correct size crescent wrench, or carefully use an adjustable wrench. The nut will go on straighter and tighter, it wont ruin the threads and later youll be able to adjust it again and remove it
8.Thou shalt use washers. If you take a washer off, replace it. It is there for a reason. Most likely to keep spacing even and prevent premature bearing wear. Do not drop it on the floor, get too lazy to find it and put your bike back together minus a washer.
9. Thou shalt spend 3.95 to buy a chain breaker, not use a ten-penny nail and a hammer. By using ghetto chain removal techniques, you bend the links, which bend the chainring, which eventually stops working and pitches you over the bars, as well as costing you 60 bucks.
10. Thou shalt clean thy BMX now and then, cleanliness is next to godliness. Occasionally clean your bike. Not only will it look nice, but you will notice cracks, breaks deformities and problems much more quickly then if you never remove any grime and do not inspect the bike. If you love to ride so much, take half an hour to tidy up your bike once in a while.
by Emily Dickinson, Gangster Mechanic