How To Tighten BMX Bike Handlebars

For optimum comfort, you would want to adjust your BMX bike handlebars to best suit your needs. With your handlebar tightened at the correct position, you will achieve maximum performance with the utmost ease while riding your bike.

In addition to that, as your child grows, you would want to adjust and tighten their bike’s handlebar almost every year.

Therefore, understanding how to tighten BMX bike handlebars is a vital thing. If you are not familiar with the whole process, consider yourself at the right place as we take you through an in-depth article on how to tighten BMX bike handlebars.

How To Tighten BMX Bike Handlebars

The last thing you would want to experience as a BMX biker is a loose or rotating handlebar. When riding, you have to ensure that your handlebar is firmly tightened in place; if not, you will find yourself rotating and losing control which is never an excellent thing for a biker.

Fortunately, you can overcome such issues by tightening your BMX bike handlebar, allowing it to stay in place and prevent it from rotating or becoming loose while riding, on either smooth or rugged terrain.

To tighten your BMX bike handlebars, here are the key steps to follow;

Step One

The first step is to examine the stem design of your BMX bike. As you examine, check whether your clamp is a single pinch-style bolt (this indicates a quill design) or a pair of bolts that holds a removable faceplate (this indicates threadless design). Some BMX bikes are equipped with a faceplate with four bolts.

Step Two

Once you have identified the stem design of your BMX bike, the next step is to straddle the front wheel of your bike and center your handlebars horizontally.

As you do that, consider eyeballing to assess if they are equally and correctly positioned on both sides of the stem. Once that is done, you will gently tighten a single pinch bolt, often using a 6mm wrench or a double faceplate bolt using a 5mm wrench.

You should avoid over-tightening the handlebar and allow for additional rotation adjustment as you maintain a horizontal position for the handlebar.

Step Three

Make sure you rotate the handlebars perfectly such that the bottom of the drops and the ground are horizontal. Once that is done, you can go ahead and finish tightening the handlebar’s bolt by rotating the wrench firmly on the bolt.

Tighten the bolts evenly such that the gap between the bolt and the stem remains even. With that done, your BMX bike handlebar will be perfectly tightened and ideal for riding on any rugged or smooth terrain.

How To Fix A Crooked BMX Bike Handlebar

Misaligned or crooked BMX bike handlebars often occur during a crash, when you drop your bike on its side when the bolts become loose by themselves or by knocking it over accidentally.

Usually, there are three bolts set in place to secure a handlebar to a BMX bike. One to two handlebars hold the BMX handlebar to a headset while the headset bolt aligns it with the frame.

Fixing a crooked BMX bike handlebar is pretty much straightforward and can be achieved with ease when you follow these vital steps to the letter;

Step One

The first thing you should do is insert a 5mm Allen key into your BMX bike handlebar clamp bolt and then turn it counterclockwise to loosen. In case the bolts are relatively small, you might consider using a 6mm Allen key instead.

Step Two

Once you are done with the 1st step, you will go ahead and loosen your headset clamp bolt using either a 5 or a 6mm Allen key. This bolt is also referred to as the expander bolt, and it is often used in tightening the headset on any bike, including a BMX.

Step Three

With the 2nd step done, you will go ahead and put your foot on the ground, ensuring it is at the tire base to prevent it from moving. Hold on to your handlebar with both hands and then turn them in the correct direction you need to align them with your bike’s frame.

With that done, lean over your bike and then assess from the top tube to see if it is perfectly aligned. If required, you should tap your handlebar lightly using your hand until the handlebar is appropriately aligned with the frame.

Step Four

Once the handlebar is in the correct position, you will go ahead and tighten the handlebar bolts. When doing so, do not over-tighten the bolds. Go ahead and tighten the headset bolt until it is well secured; ensure to use a moderate force.

Take your handlebar clamp bolt and return it in place and then complete tightening them with a moderate amount of force.

How To Install A BMX Bike Handlebars

If you are considering replacing your BMX bike handlebar or assembling your new BMX bike, installing the handlebar is undoubtedly an easy process. To install your BMX bike handlebar, all that is required of you is to follow these easy steps;

Step One

First and foremost, you will have to remove the bolts from the stem plate. Once that is done, you will have to clean it and get rid of grease and dirt present in the clamping area.

Step Two

The second step will be placing your handlebar in your BMX bike’s stem. With that done, place the stem plate on the bars and tighten the bolt loosely to allow the handlebar to be moved freely while in the stem.

Step Three

Once that is done, you will go ahead and line up knurling on your bike’s handlebar so that it is centrally aligned in the stem and then tighten the bolts lightly to hold onto the handlebar at your preferred angle.

Step Four

With the handlebar set at the right angle, ensure that the stem plate is in a level position with the stem before proceeding to the 5th step.

Step Five

It would help if you then alternated slightly tightening the bolts to spread the load evenly as the stem is being tightened into place.

Step Six

The last and final step is to give your handlebar a few tugs back and forth to ensure that they do not slip out of place or become loose.

How To Fix A BMX Bike Handlebar When It Is Not Pointing In The Right Direction

In most cases, this situation occurs after an unplanned dismount, where you get back onto your BMX bike and realize that you start pedaling in circles when you point the bars forward.

It would help if you did not wrench the handlebars back in line; however, you will have to loosen the bolts, hold your stem to a steerer tube, and then line your handlebar up. Once that is done, you will go ahead and tighten the bolts.

Usually, when you stand over your bike’s front wheel while facing backward is considered the best position to fix this problem. This is because such a position allows you to grip your wheels properly with your legs to make the bars align and become straight.

Why Does The BMX Bike Handlebar Move?

Various aspects might cause your BMX bike handlebar to start moving or becoming loose. After performing an epic jump and landing safely, your BMX bike handlebar might move forward; this is because the bar has loosened.

If not rectified immediately and you continue riding your bike for weeks or even months, the situation will worsen, and you will be able to tell that there is something wrong with your bike. Once you detect this issue, you should consider fixing it immediately to prevent accidents from occurring.

So, what causes the BMX bike handlebar to move? In most cases, the BMX bike handlebar loosen due to stunts, accidents or poor contact between handlebars and the stem (this is caused by the build-up of paint shaving in the stem’s grip). In addition to that, heavy landing, as well as over tightening of stems’ faceplates, tend to cause movement in the handlebar due to the reduced stem’s grip of your handlebar.

When your BMX bike crashes and the bike’s handlebar shape becomes affected, it reduces the contact between the stem and the handlebar. As a result, it causes the threading of your handlebar to be stripped with no contact left for your stem and handlebar to grip.

Final Words

As a BMX biker who has once been on a bike with a loose handlebar, you do understand how unnerving the whole experience is when it comes to controlling the bike. The last place you would want this issue to occur is when accelerating downhill.

This is because handlebars are responsible for steering bikes, and if they are not appropriately secured, you might lose control and crash. As a result, you will need to act quickly to prevent a severe accident from occurring.

A loosen handlebar is a rider’s nightmare, especially while at high speed. However, you can always fix this issue by following the steps discussed in this article.

The best part is that the whole process is pretty straightforward and can be done even by a newbie. With that said, we hope that you have benefited from today’s article and that you have understood how to tighten BMX bike handlebars.

1 thought on “How To Tighten BMX Bike Handlebars”

  1. My bike is having a loose handlebar problem. They made me lose my balance and upset the ride, so I figured out How to Fix Loose Handlebars on a Bike. For threaded stems, first, screw the top cap onto the handlebar body. This is followed by loosening the clamp bolts by pulling the stem up and out of the guide tube. After separating the two, a thin layer of lubricant or bicycle grease should be applied, and then the guide tube should be replaced. Also, I think it’s a good idea to check the removable headphones if you hear any knocking, clacking, or clacking in the front of the bike, as it’s very likely that the headphones are also loose.


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