The BMX manufacturing process begins with design. Before the bike is constructed, a designer decides how the bike will look, what features it will have and how the bike will be built. The design can be achieved in several ways. First, a designer can make a sketch of how the bike will look. With this method, a quick design can be achieved. For a more detailed approach, the designer creates a full-detailed sketch using CAD (computer aided design) software. After the design is completed and approved, the bike is sent into production.
BMX bikes, like other bicycles, are made up of several parts. While some parts are made by hand, others are created by a machine. During this phase, the parts of the bike are constructed: frame, handlebars, pedals, sprocket, chain, wheels and seat.
The frame is usually crafted from light metals (aluminum and chromoly). It starts as individual sections of hollow metal tubes. There are four parts of every frame: top bar, down bar, rear bar and fork (front bar). The individual sections are measured, cut and welded together, completing the frame.
The handlebars are similar to the frame, though crafted from a single piece of metal. The bars are constructed by cutting a piece of metal into the bars specific shape. There are several types of bars including drop bars, straight bars, bull-horn bars and elevated bars. Most BMX bikes use elevated bars (bars that are low in the middle and risen on the ends).
The pedals are created in two parts. First, a steel bar is split into even pieces and bent according to the angle of the bikes scale. The foot pedals are created through a process known as injection molding. A pre-defined mold is filled with plastic and heated in an oven. After the pedals are cooled, they're removed from the mold and attached to the pedal arms.
The sprocket is made by a custom machine. A round disc of steel is cut into a perfect circle. The edges of the disc are then cut into teeth. Depending on the bike, the number of teeth can vary.
The chain, wheels and seat are usually produced by third-party manufacturers.
The final step in BMX production is putting the entire bike together. Each of the individual pieces are put together and secured using nuts and bolts. Once the bike is built, it goes through a short testing phase that consists of weight testing (to determine maximum weight load), durability, safety (parts do not have sharp edges and stay together) and control (breaks and steering work together). After the tests are complete, the bike is shipped to retail outlets.
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