BMX accessories. As a kid, they were my favorite. They were cheap, made your bike unique, and most importantly just looked cool. And while you can get nearly any part you want in any color now, I know some people still hold the unnecessary things like valve caps, frame padsets, and even brake pads in high regard. Plus it’s fun to try and track down the elusive and coveted deadstock crap like the absolute nerds we are. I compiled a list of some of my favorite accessories. If you think I’m missing something important, feel free to log-in to the forum and give your two cents.
1. Valve Caps
First and foremost there is no other BMX accessory more near and dear to a ten year old’s heart than cool valve caps. It’s why we stole chrome caps off of cars in parking lots of suburban nation faux ritzy restaurants. Dice, skulls, sharks, bullets, money signs, I love them all. There are about four billion cool ones online and I bet if you look around at your local shop, you could find something cooler. My friend found some with Sharks that have sunglasses on. I’m not sure it even gets cooler than that but who knows. You might even be able to find those Jive Handle ones. Don’t worry about feeling nerdy and dorky, believe me, it could always be worse.
2. Pad sets
It seems that cool pad sets like UGP’s “86”, The S&M ones, and BOMBER’s, have been replaced by weird strips of patent leather and what amounts to a jockstrap for your stem (see below) so it really is no surprise that non racers don’t run them anymore.
Occasionally I’ll see a stem pad or maybe a crossbar pad but I’d be really psyched to see a full comeback especially with something like these:
. Which raises the question, what happened to BOMBER? They made the first pad set I ever had and while airbrushed graffiti art on BMX pads and number plates is a little suspect, they were relatively awesome. While doing some “research” for next week’s post in the February of 1995 issue of BMX Plus!, I found out BOMBER was based in Eugene, Oregon. But that was literally all I could find. Nothing on the web except for two pairs of shiny gold padsets, each for sale in completely different parts of the US, one on craigslist and one on ebay. I was expecting something, maybe an angelfire fan site or to find that streetwear aficionados co-opted the mix between BMX and graff culture, but nothing. Which is kind of weird because even Jive Handles still has their website up.
3. Number Plates
Occasionally I still see a number plate or two at on non race bikes but not nearly as when I was a kid. A number plate on your bike meant you raced, regardless if you actually were a part of a sanctioning body or not. Obviously it was pretty easy to tell the difference between someone who actually raced, and someone who just had it for show. This obvious discerning factor being the numbers. As a racer part of a sanctioning body, I had a boring “24F”. The kids who didn’t race but had plates in my neighborhood had something more akin to this.
Regardless of whether one raced or not, plates just looked BMX and it meant another spot for stickers and funny drawings which is always a good thing. Plates like the UGP Oval, that Troy Lee Designs one with the cursive writing die-cut around the top, and BOMBER designs were always my favorite. It might be time for someone to resurrect sweet looking number plates.
Donuts, Brake Pads, Bar Ends. Like I said before there’s probably a million little things I’ve forgotten about so go reminisce in the forum if you have something to add.