Ride Basics: Glossary of BMX Terms and Phrases - Ride UK BMX

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Ride Basics: Glossary of BMX Terms and Phrases

From Ride Basics – Autumn 2013

Beading: The metal that runs around the edge of the tyre so that they lock into the rim when inflated. Kevlar tyres, which are foldable, don’t have this metal beading and are much lighter. Be prepared to pay that bit extra though.

Bottom Bracket: This supports the bearings that allow the cranks spin and forms a meeting point
for the downtube, seattube and chainstays. Most frames will have
a bottom bracket milled from one piece of metal to keep them as strong as possible.

Chain Tool: A very specific tool used solely for splitting and rejoining chains. A useful thing to have in
a toolkit.

Coping: The circular steel tube that runs along the top edge of the ramp’s transition.

Deck: The top, flat part of a ramp. Usually this’ll be the place where people hang out and drop
their bags.

Dropouts: The flat pieces of metal that the wheels sit in and tighten against.

Flat Bar: Any flat rail but generally used to refer to a low session-able grind bar.

Flat-bottom: the flat floor space between two ramps.

Flatland: An extremely technical disipline in BMX that involves complex flat ground manoeuvres. See www.stmartinbmx.com for some good examples.

Gate Practice: A day when you can practise and train at the track using the gate start. This metal barrier is dropped as the race starts. Getting a good start is essential to racing, so use these practice
days wisely.

Goofy: A certain stance related to which way you spin and which side you grind.

Grind: Grinds are when any part of the bike slides along another object. It might be a handrail, a ledge, a ramp at a skatepark or countless other objects. Grinds are usually done on pegs, but can be done on pedals or even Dropouts.

Hang up: This unfortunate incident happens when you air a quarter and you ‘hang up’ your back
wheel coming back into the ramp. Punctures are common from this.

Half-Pipe: Essentially, any two facing quarter pipes joined by a flat-bottom but usually used when referring to larger Vert Ramps.

Headset: These are a set of bearings that allow the forks to spin smoothly when attached to the frame.

Loop out: This often occurs when manualling, but generally refers to any crash where the front end of the bike comes up too high and sends you backwards onto your backside and back.

Mini Ramp: A small half-pipe, usually no taller than 6ft.

Nipple: The nipple sits in the rim and provides an anchor for the spoke. You can turn the nipple to alter the tension and straighten out any buckles.

Peg: The pieces of tubular steel that attach to the front and rear wheel axle and allow you to grind. Pivotal

Seat and post: A seat that fastens to the seatpost using interlocking splines. This combo is renowned for being both light and sturdy.

Slipping a pedal: Unfortunately, a common occurrence when your foot slips off the pedal, resulting in
a painful whack on the shin as they spin around. Shinpads will stop this happening.

Stance: Much like being right and left handed, your stance determines which way you grind and spin (see also Goofy).

Transition: The curved part of the ramp.

Truing: Buckles can be removed from wheels by tightening the spokes, which is known as ‘truing’.

Vert Ramp: A big half-pipe over nine feet tall, with Transitions that go vertical.


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