We’ve noticed that one common question being asked about BMX bikes is how to make them lighter. We’ve also noticed that very few are sharing instructions on how to do the deed. So, we thought, why don’t we do it ourselves? We are, after all—ba dum dum tss!—bike experts. Well, at least we’d like to think of ourselves as moderately knowledgable when it came to bikes. And, yeah, we’ve made some of our bikes lighter, so how hard can it be right?
In any case, if you want to know a few steps on how to make your BMX bike lighter, then read on, because we’ve rounded up some. Come to think of it…some of these steps can even be done for Mountain Bikes—but maybe this is for another article. Let’s all focus on BMX bikes for a moment.
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First, a Disclaimer:
Before trying any of the steps mentioned here, you have to know your self, your limitations, and your biking needs. Not everyone weighs the same, and not everyone rides his bike in the same manner. Especially when it comes to BMX bikes, which are typically used for off-road or stunt riding, altering your bike in a way that does not compliment your riding style can be dangerous. Lighter doesn’t necessarily mean better. Also, if your BMX bike is less than 20 pounds, then really, you don’t need to make it any lighter as that is light enough!
So, anyway without further ado, here are a few ways to make your BMX bike lighter!
You’ll definitely need a few instruments. Among which are a saw and pipe-cutter to help you shave off some weight from your BMX bike. You can get fancy, of course, if you’ve got the money for it, or if you happen to have one in your garage. A circular saw or a jigsaw will make the job easier, but, really, an ordinary cheap hacksaw will do just fine.
For starters; your BMX bike has a lot of excess weight. You don’t really need them and will do just fine without them. So start by removing them off.
1. One good place to start is the seat post. That’s right, lift the seat post up and what do you see? It’s long, of course—even too long. You don’t need your seat post to be that long. So grab the hacksaw and saw off a bit of your seat post, making sure the post still has enough length to act as an anchor when you put it back in.
Again, do not saw off too much else whatever remaining post you have will bend over time, which might get you into an accident. It is up to you how long of the post you want to leave in, but naturally, the more you saw off, the lighter your bike will be.
2. The handlebars. The same thing with the seat post, they could be a smudge longer than you need. Check it out first; do the handlebars extend a few inches beyond your hand as you grip them? If they don’t, then leave them alone! If they do, and if they’re longer than you need, then, again, cut those bad boys out as you did for the seat post. Remember don’t cut them to the exact length of your grip, because you still want a few inches of allowance for comfort and safety’s sake, but it is up to you what length to cut off, or what length to leave behind. Also, you might want to use a pipe cutter for this for a cleaner cut.
It’s a small difference, but you’ll find that all of these small differences add up to make your BMX bike lighter!
3. Next, lay your gaze on the steerer tube of your bike. Get that bad boy out. And, just like the seat post, you’ll notice that fully detached from your bike, the steerer tube is a little bit longer than you need. So cut off the unneeded length, making sure you still leave an adequate amount of length to act as an anchor.
Just like what you did for the seat post, don’t overcut the steerer tube! You only need to be cutting a few inches from this, or maybe not even an inch, depending on how long your steerer tube is. Again, the weight of this small piece of metal might seem negligible, but it will all help to make your BMX bike lighter.
4. Take a look at your wheel pegs, because these might be too long for your needs, too. If you need the pegs to be long because you use them for various bike trickery, then leave them alone. But if you don’t intend to use them to do tricks or what have you, and they’re longer than you need, then same as the rest, saw the unneeded length off.
5. Replace your chains. Traditional bike chains are actually lighter than the more heavy-duty ones. So if you want added lightness, and you don’t do grinds or put a lot of stress on your bike that would warrant the use of a heavy-duty chain, then swap it out for a traditional one and shed off some pounds. Again, this is totally up to you, because obviously heavy-duty chains do proffer advantages over traditional ones. So swapping out your chain will make your BMX bike lighter, but remember they can damage faster and you’ll have to replace them more often.
6. Fill your tires with helium. That’s right, helium is lighter than the normal air you fill your tires with. So you filling your tire with helium will reduce the weight of your BMX bike by actually quite a lot.
7. Swapping out your sprockets for lighter ones will work, too. Aluminum is lighter than metal, so if your sprockets are metal and you don’t mind spending a few bucks on an aluminum one to replace it with, then go ahead and do so. The difference in weight will be minuscule, but if you’ve also done the other steps above, the differences will add up and be noticeable.