Advice on bike upgrades

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5/8/2017 4:20 PM

My 8yr old son has been riding bmx since January and was dominating as a beginner, he has now moved to intermediate and is having a hard time keeping up with the kids on the more expensive bikes...seems like he is topped out. I'm looking for any advice on upgrading his bike that would help him get faster other than practice and exercise.
He is riding a free agent speedway junior with...
Sinz 140 cranks..bcd. 110mm 39t front, 15t rear.
Tioga PowerBlock 20x 1 3/8
Weinmann star aluminum ploy double wall
stock free agent hubs and crank.
Sorry so long...thanks in advance for help

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5/8/2017 5:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/8/2017 5:26 PM

Sometime it isn't all the bike, it's the rider.

When I used to race, what got me better than anything else was racing more and getting more in tune and learning bike control more. This helps better than anything else.

Get better at the holeshot line, practice gate starts (one thing I didn't practice enough of) and get him to ride as much as he can.

My 0.2 cents

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5/8/2017 5:46 PM

The best racers and riders I know build and ride trails. Buy yourself a bike dad. Then grab some shovels and go dig and ride with your kid.

Or ask the other dads what their kids are riding and buy those things.

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5/8/2017 7:39 PM

Better wheels and tires, or practice.

What inch wheels does he ride? A good back hub can in some cases be a game changer and a light wheelset.

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Refs: Future FBM, Warchol2 WtfKennethXp Riversiderider TCbmx Riversiderider JakeSalbert

5/8/2017 8:05 PM

Would be interesting to see the definition of "intermediate" vs beginner/ Only for reference, but I feel like that is an ambiguous thing to use to determine bike part type....but anyways right away I am thinking of bike size/geometry is going to be the biggest factor...like, is he outgrowing the frame, crank length, bar size etc? These would probably bigger barriers to progress than types/brands of stuff. I also agree that wieght could be some issue, but if he is getting better, he is hopefully getting stronger and old heavy parts should ot be the prime issue...

just a few suggestions as a step-dad with a kid who "outgrew" a couple of bikes in the past 2 years. We upgraded sizes first - part quality also got an upgrade, but the sizing is what made the difference. They could have been cheap parts and probably worked in the more correct sizes

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

5/8/2017 11:16 PM

It's probably not the bike. I'd say just keep riding and practicing.

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5/9/2017 5:54 AM

First off its probably not the bike. I have 3 kids, all who race BMX. I also race. If that bike fits him properly any upgrades aren't going to magically put him ahead of anyone else.

THAT SAID:

Upgrading your kids race bike is tons of fun and BMX needs the money.

I'd drop the back tire to a 1-1/8th at his size to same some rotating mass. its going to also lower his gear inches. A power block 1-3/8 is a huge tire. should help his gates immensely if that is a weak point. 39-15 with that powerblock is a big roll out. my 11i runs a lower gear.

also, 145 or 150 if hes tall enough. get what fits properly. if he's in clips, error shorter. if flats, error longer.

wheels are always the $$$ upgrade that matters most BUT only when the rest of the bike is dialed.

You can PM me for more if u want. i may even have some crank arms and tires to sell u. i have tons.

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5/9/2017 10:04 AM

buy Lead weights for his legs and have him walk around with them all daytongue , he could need a gearing change, have a look at what other riders have as it could be they have the gearing sorted out for the track better than what came on your bike, the rest probably isn't going to make much of a difference, he may just need to "grow" into it and gain experience with it, also it has to be kept fun otherwise he will probably loose interest

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5/9/2017 10:16 AM

I'd not put him in clips. Riding flats will make him a better rider in the long run.

and I'm not joking AT ALL when I say to you dad, GET A BIKE AND RIDE WITH HIM. if you're not already.

Don't be one of those track dads that yells at his kid to 'pedal pedal pedal' but doesn't even ride a bike themselves.

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5/9/2017 11:14 AM

pnj wrote:

I'd not put him in clips. Riding flats will make him a better rider in the long run.

and I'm not joking AT ALL when I say to ...more

Totally agree. I raced with my brother from age 5 - 16 before I switched to motocross for a bit. My dad rode with us the whole time and it was awesome. He ended up being national #1 a few times and world #2 one year. Pretty incredible looking back.

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5/9/2017 11:38 AM

When I say "intermediate" it was in reference to his class not bike part type?
The bike fits him good and I ride with him all the time. He gets a lot of practice in plus exercise on a stationary endurance bike.. I know there's not any magical parts that will make him win...just trying to give him the the best chance possible ..no issues with clips (had him practicing with those prior).
Just wasn't sure if he needed a different gear ratio set up or if a different BB and hubs would help...and I'm not one of the track dads, this is for him..i don't push him like that. It's all for fun...i get real irritated with those parents..thanks for the responses

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5/9/2017 12:03 PM

The Stock FA cassettes aren't great but BUT they aren't terrible or anything. if he had a dicta freewheel i'd say look at back wheel. 1-1/8 vee speedster in rear woudl be the best $30 upgrade for him today.

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5/9/2017 12:52 PM

merck56 wrote:

When I say "intermediate" it was in reference to his class not bike part type?
The bike fits him good and I ride with him all ...more

ah ha,,,and I didn't know you were referencing actual track racing...I just assume everyone on here is a freestyle rider, and thought you were talking about that. Seems like no one rides old school dirt racing anymore so I am not in that mondset, even though it is where I started back in the early 80's.

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

5/9/2017 1:04 PM

merck56 wrote:

When I say "intermediate" it was in reference to his class not bike part type?
The bike fits him good and I ride with him all ...more

I was on clips at 8 yrs old. Had them on my mtn bike as well for more practice. No reason not to play with gear ratios at practice and local races. I'd say have him do some sprint conditioning and throw an easier gear on. This helped me a lot. Just quick bursts down your street all out for 10 seconds or so. It'll get him comfortable with more speed and get his legs moving faster. First few cranks out of the gate are so crucial and if he learns to spin quick he'll be able to keep up the speed on the last few straights.

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