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OT: Teenage son's BMX bikes

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OT: Teenage son's BMX bikes

Old 12-01-11, 12:00 AM
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pgjackson
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OT: Teenage son's BMX bikes

Sorry for the long post. Anyone else have a teenage son who likes to trash his nice BMX bike? I don't know if it's just a neighborhood thing, a SoCal thing or if it's something all the kids are doing...but we got my son a nice Haro BMX bike about a year ago. About $350. He took it over to a friends house and spray painted it flat black. The whole thing, including the chain. Looked like garbage, but all the kids painted their bikes.

Then he decides to sell it because his friend is selling his Fit Bike. The Fit Bike is a lot lighter than other bikes and has a tiny front sprocket for some reason. So he sells his Haro for $100 and buys this trashed out Fit Bike (spray painted black and purple) for $100. Even trade, right...except that the Fit Bike doesn't have brakes. The previous owner removed them. The "cool" way to stop is to jam your foot into the rear tire. I tell him we are getting brakes...he *****es, but I say no brakes no bike.

We take the bike in to the store and the kid behind the counter says "Dude, why do want to put your brakes back on?" Stunned, I say "Because dad says so."

Is this the new thing now? Riding expensive trashed out bikes with no brakes...oh, and with the seat slammed all the way down?
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Old 12-01-11, 12:04 AM
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Yeah I'd go to a different bike shop if some guy said that to me.

Take it to the Trek store or something they won't ask you why you would want to put brakes on a bike.
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Old 12-01-11, 12:15 AM
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This is all I could think about while reading your post:
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Old 12-01-11, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
This is all I could think about while reading your post:
I had the same feeling as I was writing it. I still don't get the whole no brakes thing.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:51 AM
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Your story is not that unusual. BMX is BMX... it's all about risk-taking, and if you haven't got brakes on your bike, you've got bigger balls than the next guy.

Having said that, the bravado can have fatal consequences, but not in a way that you would first think. Last week, one of the world's top BMX riders died in hospital after he was injured trying to jump into a hotel swimming pool from his fourth or fifth-floor room. He miscalculated the landing and suffered fatal head injuries. Ironically, he had just finished shooting video of some absolutely monster jumps than probably peaked at the same height as his hotel balcony.

Anyway, easy to say, I know, but your kid probably will be fine. Jump on him about the brakes, and he will find something else equallly as dramatic to do or not do, or remove from the bike. You won't even have a clue about the height of the jumps he has tried or will try, or the tricks he's turning on the local half-pipe.

And yes, seat hard down is de rigeur and has been for years, along with the tiny chainring.

Get with it, man!!
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Old 12-01-11, 01:58 AM
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BMX bikes are fixed though arent they?

so they can stop just by resisting pedaling
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Old 12-01-11, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by zazenzach View Post
BMX bikes are fixed though arent they?

so they can stop just by resisting pedaling
No and no.

Last edited by Rowan; 12-01-11 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 12-01-11, 02:21 AM
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I was still riding bmx into the the 90s, and we were doing the shoe thing even back then. My bike had a brake, but I used my right foot 90% of the time. Also, rat bikes were cool then as they appear to still be now. My bike was a once nice Redline that had been spray painted three times. The seat thing is to allow you maximum suspension in the legs ...and because everyone else did. We stood all the time. I don't know if Fit was around when I was riding, but I believe them to be pretty desirable amongst bmx riders. I think the small chain ring thing is supposed to help prevent bashing the ring, forget.

I think most of those trends are stupid, and those of my adult friends who still bmx, don't make those 'improvements', but it's what is cool amongst his peers.
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Old 12-01-11, 02:30 AM
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Just pick your battles. That is the trick with your teenagers.

No issues with paint, seat slammed down etc, but insist on the brakes.
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Old 12-01-11, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
I think most of those trends are stupid, but it's what is cool amongst his peers.
Reminds me of grown men shaving their legs.
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Old 12-01-11, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jmX View Post
Reminds me of grown men shaving their legs.
Hey, it makes me feel sexy, okay?
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Old 12-01-11, 04:22 AM
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Let him do what he's gonna do
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Old 12-01-11, 07:32 AM
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So stop buying expensive bikes for your son. When I was a kid we would actually take the bike apart and paint just the frame so it would look nice when completed.

Most kids today don't have the mechanical aptitude and patience to do it correctly.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 4.11 View Post
So stop buying expensive bikes for your son. When I was a kid we would actually take the bike apart and paint just the frame so it would look nice when completed.

Most kids today don't have the mechanical aptitude and patience to do it correctly.
I agree with this.
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Old 12-01-11, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
This is all I could think about while reading your post:
No way, man! We're gonna keep on rockin' forever...
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Old 12-01-11, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 4.11 View Post
So stop buying expensive bikes for your son. When I was a kid we would actually take the bike apart and paint just the frame so it would look nice when completed.

Most kids today don't have the mechanical aptitude and patience to do it correctly.
He saved up half the money for the Haro and the other half was his birthday present. Absolutely HAD to have the bright yellow Haro...a few months later he spray paints it. He's in to me now for about $100 for the brakes and grips (oh, the Fit Bike didn't have grips either).
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Old 12-01-11, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Let him do what he's gonna do
I really don't care what he does to his bike, but when it comes to safety, he will have brakes. That was not negotiable. Still can't believe the LBS employee asking why we wanted to put the brakes back on.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
Just pick your battles. That is the trick with your teenagers.

No issues with paint, seat slammed down etc, but insist on the brakes.
Yep.
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Old 12-01-11, 12:16 PM
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Just wait 'til he starts driving and "rattlecans" your 4-door flat black. As a kid, I must've ridden my BMX bike for a few months before I bothered the fix the broken brake cable. The speeds really aren't high enough for it to be an issue.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
Just wait 'til he starts driving and "rattlecans" your 4-door flat black. As a kid, I must've ridden my BMX bike for a few months before I bothered the fix the broken brake cable. The speeds really aren't high enough for it to be an issue.
Except I live at the bottom of a pretty decent hill. AND they just repaved the street...nice and smooth. Kids on scooters, skate boards, bikes and everything else on wheels constantly flying past my house.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:04 PM
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He wants to be cool. You can teach him that cool is completely dependent on other people's assessment. He could learn to value himself using his own criteria and who cares what the other's think. One way to gain that self respect is to have awesome BMX skills. Let him develop those skills. He could have a brake on his BMX and never use it. But his skills can give him the internal and external validation every teenager craves.

all they have to do is survive until the two halves of the brain merge - usually around 20 for males, sometimes as late as 40. Or not.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 4.11 View Post
So stop buying expensive bikes for your son. When I was a kid we would actually take the bike apart and paint just the frame so it would look nice when completed.

Most kids today don't have the mechanical aptitude and patience to do it correctly.
I did this to my Haro Dave Mirra Pro when I was a young teenager! Took the whole thing apart, stripped the paint, prepped it, and did a proper metallic gray paint job in my parents' garage. The kids I see riding BMX bikes these days just look like brainless hillbillies. It doesn't surprise me to hear that they spray paint the chain. Hell, I was MORE meticulous about keeping my bmx bike well maintained than I am today with my current $5k+ road bike. It's a time issue more than anything.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:56 PM
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Old 12-01-11, 02:05 PM
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Youth is wasted on the young. - George Bernard Shaw
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Old 12-01-11, 02:15 PM
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Ask you son what style of BMX riding he's doing. If he's riding street or dirt jumping, brakes aren't that necessary. In terms of why he would sell his Haro - could be a few things. Just getting into the sport and bought what he though was cool - the yellow shiny Haro only to find out that he bought a flatland bike when he's really into dirt jumping. That's like buying a touring bike with a triple to race crits - wrong geometry and wrong setup. To most people a BMX bike is a BMX bike, but it's not like that at all. There are specific BMX bikes with different geometries for the style of riding that people do - are you a flatlander, dirt jumper, are you riding street, trails, ramps?

BMX bikes are tough. You toss them when you realize you are going to slam so you don't get tangled up in them. That shiny yellow bike will soon be all scratched up anyway, so it doesn't matter if he paints it or not.

I went through this with my Dad. He didn't get it. Most people don't. I'd say try to be understanding and understand that your son is probably figuring things out himself, so his opinion of what he wants will probably change as well. And in BMX, Haro's, GT's, Redlines aren't that cool anymore - they are kind of poseur bikes. Small, independent factory shops are in. The kids he rides with may have teased him quite a bit.
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