How to Make a BMX Bicycle Free Wheel

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Making a bike into a free wheel involves removing the coaster brakes. Convert your BMX bike using this free video presented by a BMX expert.

Part of the Video Series: BMX Bike Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is John from Competitive Edge Cyclery in Upland, California, and I'm going to be showing you how to make a BMX bike a free wheel. First, you're going to start out by removing the coaster brake, well first of all, the coaster brake is this right here so that when you pedal backwards it stops. You're going to remove the brake by compressing that and pulling that out there. You can also remove this Allen bolt here to remove the cable and take it out. It's easier just to unhook it here if it has a quick release. After you disconnect the brake, you're going to want to undo the axle nut in the back, slide the wheel forward so that loosens the chain, remove the chain off the front chain ring and then off the back ring. Now, the wheel is ready to remove, and then take your free wheel and install that and repeat the process in reverse, install the chain back on here and now that you have the chain on, you're going to need to adjust the chain. The way I like to do it is pull the chain back and loosely tighten both axle nuts. You want to make sure that the wheel is straight in the frame, and then you're going to take and tighten that nut with a little bit of force pulling it back and then what you can do is once you get the left side tightened, then you're going to have the right side to deal with. You want to make sure that the chain is snug but not too tight. You don't want it to bind anywhere. So, it has a little bit of free play, but not too much and that's going to be about perfect. Then reconnect your brake up here, which is going to need to be readjusted because the rim is wider than it was before, so we're going to loosen up this cable here and then attach the brake again and retighten the cable. And then, the brake should be fine. Alright, and now make sure that everything is working properly, the brake doesn't rub on the tire. You want to make sure these pads are evenly matched to the new rim by sliding those down and tightening them up, and then also the other side and the wheel turns, the brake stops properly and we're good to go.


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