Here in no particular order you will find the answers to many of lifes mysteries.
The first section deals with everything to do with BMXs (for more complex topics check the tech columns from ride in the other part of this section). The second relates to more diverse topics.

In case you hadnt noticed this is the internet, everything is available to you, but most of it is wrong, stupid, illegal, libellous, photoshopped and downright dangerous. This site and this page in particular is no exception. If you are offended or in some other way wronged by this page please e.mail me and I will think about changing it...

B.M.X. frequently asked questions and answers.

1. Can I have some stickers?

A. NO. I dont have ANY stickers. I dont make ANY stickers. Stickers suck....

2. My bike is squeaking/running-really-roughly/broken/lying-in-a-pool-of-poo etc. What do you think is wrong?

A. Its fukked. And I cant tell whats wrong from such a vague description. Try searching for similar questions, and if that doesnt work asking (nicely) for help, on one of the forums like Bikeguide.org and give as much info as possible when you ask.

3. I want to re-build my wheels with some new hubs, can I use the old spokes?

A. I
n most cases yes. But you shouldnt. While the old spokes will probably be the right length (or near enough) they will have taken on the shape and bend needed for the old wheel and they will also have work hardened a little. When you re-build into a new wheel they will have to take on a new "set" and there is a good chance that they will be seriously weakened. The end result will probably be a lot of spoke breakages. Dont be a cheapskate on spokes, they work very hard for you so get new ones and get good ones.

4. What spokes are good?

A. Look for quality spokes, Obviously I am going to recommend my own spokes which are stainless steel and made in England before I made my own I always used DT swiss spokes but other reputable brands like Wheelsmith and Mauri are supposed to be good too. The only spokes I can suggest you avoid are cheap imported ones like Primo and Demolition. They have gained a bad reputation very quickly and you can see how shoddily made they are if you just look closely at them.

Why did it take you so long to make 36 spoke front hubs? Will you ever make rear ones and arent you a bit of a hypocrite/sell-out for making one now after you slagged them off for so long?

A. 36 spoke wheels are a LOT weaker than 48s. While some 36s are quite a bit lighter this is usually more to do with the rim or hub than the number of spokes itself. Just comparing the actual spokes, a 36 is about 1.5ounces lighter, but over 30% weaker than the same set-up as a 48. If you want to save weight look elsewhere first. BUT rims are now a lot stronger than they used to be so 36 spoke wheels can hold up fine if well looked after and built using a good rim. I decided to finally build another front 36 (I did make 36s a long time ago) after a whole load of people asked for one. The new MARMOSET hub will create a lighter wheel partly because of the fewer spokes but also because the reduced number of holes in the flange has allowed me to make other parts of the hub smaller and lighter. The bearings too have been slimmed down. As a result this hub is only suitable for riders who will be looking after their wheel and hub. The axle is still very strong but the hub-shell and bearings need treating well. There is inevitably some strength trade-off in saving so much weight.

6. I want to swap my rim and keep everything else the same do I need new spokes? Is there an easy way to do it?

A. In this case you can get away with just a simple trick. Loosen all the spokes in the old wheel till they very nearly come undone entirely. Then just put the new rim alongside the old rim. Be careful to line the valve holes up and make sure the spoke holes are "offset" the same way.
Then just switch one spoke at a time until the new rim is in place and the old one is off. Finally just follow the last part of the wheel build guide to get some initial tension in.
You can get away with this because all the spokes stay in the same orientation as before so they do not have to take on a radically new lay.

7. What freewheels are good?

A. There are 4 freewheel threads to choose from and for each there is a different optimum choice. For the left hand 16tooth freewheels you still have no choice other than an ACS, but the excellent new Odyssey 13 tooth freewheels are now out so dont even consider the ACS left hand 14s..
For right hand drive hubs you have a much better selection to choose from. For mini threads the 13 tooth Odyssey is probably the best. Just looking at it the quality is evident and they are holding up very well so far after extensive testing. If you want 14 tooth, then the optimum is the Suntour, these havent been made for quite a few  years but you can still find them if you look hard enough, particularly in the US. Second choice is Dicta but only for 14s, their 16s  dont seem to be as good.
For right hand 16s the top choice is still the Shimano, these are usually pretty cheap and pretty good quality.

8. My freewheel(s) always seem to go wrong, slip and skip, HELP!

A. Freewheels need a little bit of attention, if you just leave them to their own devices they will start to play up, when they do, a little bit of very very simple maintenance will fix them 99% of the time, so there is no need to buy a new one.
Freewheels are NOT sealed so a lot of crap tends to get in there, the simplest way to deal with it is to spray a cheap thin lube like WD-40 or GT-85 into it. Normally I warn people to keep well away from this sort of lube because it often does more harm than good but for freewheels it is ideal. It tends to act as a cleaning agent/solvent washing out grease and dirt, just spray a shed load in through the gap between teeth and body while spinning it, after a while you will see dirty oil run out the bottom of the freewheel. 9 times out of 10 this will fix any problems.
NOTE; be very very very careful NOT to let the lube get down into the hub bearings, it will wash out the grease and drastically shorten their lifespan, even a "sealed" bearing cannot be expected to keep such thin oil out!

I tried lubing my freewheel like you said but it still sticks and seems super stiff, whats the deal with this?

A. Freewheels use loose balls just like a headset only not in a cage, there are cups and cones and these need to be "set". With an unsealed hub you can do this by using the locking nuts etc but there isnt room for anything like this in a freewheel so they instead use "shim washers". The shim washers act to space out the "cones" of the freewheel at approximately the right width. Sometimes these shim washers can get squashed so the cones effectively tighten right up. This too can be fixed simply by taking the freewheel apart and putting in another thin shim washer from an old freewheel of the same type.

After years of riding my body is falling to bits, I get back (or other miscalaneous) pains, whats the deal with this, do I just have to put up with it or what?

A. No you dont have to put up with it. Go to a GOOD physiotherapist, they should tell you what is wrong and explain how to fix it by doing certain stretches. IF they dont give you any stretches to do then they probably arent any good, go to a different one, till you find one who seems to knows what they are talking about. They should spend a good 10 minutes minimum just feeling your muscles gently and asking you to do certain movements to diagnose it. Then they will probably ask you a lot of questions about what exercises you do etc. Give GOOD answers, explain about bunnyhopping and how ytou have to "rag" your bike into the air.
They will probably the tell you that you have a lack of movement between vertabre X and Y and that they will work it a bit for you AND give you stretches to do that will help you get that joint moving again properly.

This is EXACTLY what happened to me and after 2 years of intermittant back pain it was sorted in a few days.

STRETCHING is the key but get proffesional advice, tailored to you specifically, on what stretches to do.

11. Why dont you make a cassette hub?

A. I have looked long and hard at the idea of a cassette but so far I havent found a good enough reason to make one. Bear in mind that to keep the quality and strength of the Homer hubs a G-Sport cassette would probably cost around £200. At that price I probably wouldnt sell enough of them to cover the costs of tooling up.
With the iminent release of new higher quality 13 tooth freewheels in both left and right hand drive I decided that this cheap easily replaced solution was a better bet for most riders.

Other frequently asked questions.

1. I am going to buy some computer parts off the internet in the UK, can you recommend any companies you have used?

A. I have used C.C.L.computers a lot and they have always been cool with me, product support is excellent.
I have also used overclockers.co.uk and they have been really really good. 
Ebuyer is very cheap and has a lot of stock but you need to read the product descriptions very very carefully to check the spec.. They are also virtually impossible to contact if/when things go wrong. No phone number and no e.mail address even, only their own system of on-line notes which is very slow... AVOID ebuyer if you possibly can!
The other company that I have had trouble with is Dabs, who pissed me off a lot and I cannot recommend.

2.  Can I have a link from your website to mine?

A. Sorry but No. I really appreciate anyone who wants to provide a link to my site from theirs but I cant reciprocate. Aside from the fact that I dont have time to mess about with the site every five minutes the shop service I use has a policy of not providing service to any site which links to any "adult" or dodgy sites. They have a "robot" which checks all links and all links from links etc its just too temperamental and will cut off my shop facility if I provide many links.

3.   Can I come and do work experience with your company?

A. Sorry but No. My insurance will not cover it.




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