How To Remove Bmx Brakes?-7 Easy Steps
Brake-less riding has always been a prevalent characteristic of BMX culture, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that brakes are off-limits. Many riders consider having brakes on their BMX bike to be fundamental. Brakes can make a big difference in your ride’s speed and safety. That being said, it’s important to know how to remove and install brakes for your BMX bike successfully.
Removing brake calipers is relatively straightforward – detach the cable housing from the caliper’s post and remove the caliper from the frame/fork using an Allen key or screwdriver. Once removed, you can replace the old brake pads with new ones as needed.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools needed to switch to brakeless riding and take your BMX skills to new heights.
Here are 7 Steps To Remove Bmx Brakes
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove your front brakes on a BMX bike:
- Gather the necessary tools: Allen keys and an open or boxed-end wrench.
- Loosen the brake cable: Use the appropriate wrench to loosen the single nut on the front of the brake caliper. This will cause the caliper to expand. Using the open-end side of the wrench is recommended to avoid interference with the tire.
- Remove the brake cable from the brake housing: Pull on the cable to expose the inner cable and adjust the nut so that the slits in the nut align with the slit in the brake housing. Once aligned, move the cable through the slit and pop it out of the brake lever. Remove the entire brake cable assembly.
- Loosen the bolt or hinge: If your brake lever has a hinge, loosen the bolt for the hinge. If not, loosen the bolt in the same area. This will allow the brake to slide.
- Slide off the brake: Remove your grip and slide the brake off the handlebar. You may need to loosen the bolt or hinge further if there is any resistance.
- Remove the brake caliper: Loosen the nut on the front of the brake caliper. Then, flip to the backside and use the same wrench to completely remove the nut holding the brake caliper to the fork.
- Wipe down and clean: Take a moment to wipe off any excess grime or dirt from the area where the brakes were attached.
That’s it! Your front brake should now be removed from your BMX bike. Remember to exercise caution and refer to your bike’s specific manual or consult a professional if you encounter any difficulties or uncertainties during the process.
Why Do People Remove Brakes From BMX?
There are a few reasons why some people choose to remove brakes from their BMX bikes:
- Style and Aesthetics: Some riders prefer a brakeless BMX bike’s clean and minimalist look. Removing the brakes can give the bike a sleeker appearance and make it appear more streamlined. It is often popular among riders focused on street or park riding and want their bike to have a specific aesthetic.
- Weight Reduction: BMX riders, especially those who participate in freestyle or BMX racing, may remove brakes to reduce the weight of their bike. Every component adds weight; removing the brakes can make the bike slightly lighter. This weight reduction can improve maneuverability and performance, especially in disciplines requiring tricks and jumps.
- Personal Preference: Some riders prefer the feel of riding without brakes. They enjoy the challenge and skill required to control speed and perform tricks without relying on brakes. Riding brakeless can enhance bike control and force riders to develop better bike handling techniques.
- Simplified Maintenance: By removing brakes, riders eliminate the need for brake adjustments, pad replacements, and cable maintenance. Brakeless BMX bikes have fewer components requiring regular upkeep, simplifying maintenance and potentially reducing maintenance costs over time.
It’s important to note that riding a brakeless BMX bike requires advanced bike control skills and is generally more suitable for experienced riders who are familiar with their riding environment and capable of maintaining safe riding practices.
Additionally, laws and regulations regarding brakes on bicycles may vary depending on the region, so riders should be aware of local requirements and ride responsibly.
Taking Of BMX Brakes Can Enhance Your Stant Ablity?
Removing BMX brakes does not directly enhance your ability to perform stunts or tricks. Stunt ability in BMX riding is primarily developed through practice, skill, and technique rather than the presence or absence of brakes.
The decision to remove brakes is a personal choice and can impact your riding style and the type of tricks you can perform.
Riding without brakes, also known as riding brakeless, can require advanced bike control skills. It forces riders to rely on alternative methods, such as body and bike manipulation, to control speed and perform tricks. This can improve your overall bike handling abilities and help you develop a greater sense of balance and control.
However, it’s important to note that riding brakeless also comes with certain risks. Controlling speed, stopping quickly in emergencies, or navigating crowded areas can be more challenging without brakes. It’s crucial to ride responsibly and be aware of your surroundings, considering the safety of yourself and others.
Ultimately, removing brakes should be based on your riding style, preferences, and skill level. If you choose to ride brakeless, ensure you have the experience and confidence to handle your bike safely in various riding environments.
It’s always recommended to practice tricks and stunts in a controlled and designated area and to prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear.
Some Pro Tips To Remove Brakes
- Gather the right tools: Before starting, make sure you have the necessary tools readily available, such as appropriate-sized Allen keys, a wrench, and possibly pliers or cable cutters if needed.
- Take photos or make notes: Before removing the brakes, take photos or make notes of the brake setup and cable routing. This will help you remember the proper installation process if you decide to re-install the brakes later or need adjustment reference points.
- Loosen components gradually: When loosening bolts, nuts, or other components, avoid applying excessive force all at once. Gradually loosen them to prevent sudden movements that could damage or displace other brake system parts.
- Organize and label parts: As you disassemble the brakes, keep the various components organized and labeled. This will make reassembly easier if you decide to re-install the brakes in the future.
- Replace or trim excess cables: If you remove the brake cables entirely, consider replacing them with shorter ones to maintain a clean and tidy appearance. If reusing the cables, trim any excess length, ensuring they are neatly secured and won’t interfere with other components.
- Protect exposed cable ends: After removing the brake cables, protect the exposed cable ends to prevent fraying or injury. You can use cable end caps or crimp them with pliers to ensure they remain intact and don’t cause any harm.
- Maintain proper cable routing: If you keep your brake mounts on the frame or fork, secure any loose brake cable housing using zip ties or similar means. This will prevent them from flapping around or getting caught on other parts of the bike.
- Test and adjust brakeless riding: If you’re transitioning to riding brakeless, practice and adjust to the new riding style. Start in a controlled environment, gradually building confidence and refining your bike handling skills without relying on brakes.
Remember, these tips are intended for experienced riders who understand the implications of riding without brakes. If you’re uncertain about the process, seeking assistance from a professional bike mechanic is always recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1. Why Would I Want To Remove The Brakes From My BMX Bike?
Removing the brakes from a BMX bike is a personal choice influenced by style preferences, weight reduction, simplified maintenance, or the desire to enhance bike control skills. Considering the implications and safety aspects before deciding to ride brakeless is important.
2. How Do I Remove The Brakes From My BMX Bike?
You will typically need Allen keys and a wrench to remove the brakes. Loosen the brake cable, disconnect it from the brake housing, remove the brake caliper, and slide the brake off the handlebar. Take care to organize and label the components, and ensure proper cable routing if you choose to keep the brake mounts on the frame or fork. Detailed instructions and videos are available online to guide you through the process.
3. Can I Reinstall The Brakes Later If I Change My Mind?
Yes, you can reinstall the brakes on your BMX bike if you change your mind. It’s recommended to take photos or make notes of the brake setup and cable routing before removing them. This will help you remember the proper installation process when reassembling the brakes. Keep the brake components organized and labeled during storage to make reinstallation easier.
4. Do I Need Any Additional Parts Or Modifications When Removing The Brakes?
You may not need additional parts or modifications when removing the brakes. However, protecting any exposed cable ends is important to prevent fraying. You can use cable end caps or crimp them with pliers to keep them intact. If you keep the brake mounts on the frame or fork, secure any loose brake cable housing with zip ties or similar means.
5. How Do I Adjust To Riding Brakeless?
If you transition to riding brakeless, it’s important to practice and adjust to the new riding style gradually. Start in a controlled environment and focus on developing bike control skills, body positioning, and bike manipulation techniques to control speed and perform tricks. It’s advisable to seek guidance from experienced riders, practice safe riding, and wear appropriate protective gear.
Removing brakes from your BMX bike can be a personal choice based on style preferences, weight reduction, simplified maintenance, or the desire to enhance bike control skills. Remember to practice safe riding and always wear protective gear. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can decide whether brakeless riding suits you.