3 Secrets Vintage BMX Show Winners Know That You Can Swipe

If you've been to a show recently, you've seen loads of killer builds.  But only one can win in each category.  I've overheard it so many times....how did that one win?  This other one was so much better? 

What secrets to the consistent first place winners know that can give you the edge? 

I recently talked to Eddie Sandoval, racer and BMX collector to find out how I could up my game in shows.  Here's what he advised me. 

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's assume you've got the basics covered. 

  1. Your bike is Clean ( polished, tires are fresh, everything is sparkling.)
  2. Your components are era correct 

Truth is, there are lots of beautiful, polished bikes with era correct components.  So the judges have to look for something to deduct points on. Pay attention to these details and see if you don't place higher in your next show. 

This Bassett consistently places well.  Note the attention to detail on every aspect of the bike.

Feel like you're priced out of winning?  Sure, there are collectors who spend a fortune finding the rarest parts.  But you can score big points by being precise in your show implementation. 

Secret #1 

Take a look at all  the components of your bike from every angle.  Is anything even slightly askew?   Is the seat off a couple degrees?  Are the brake levers in perfect alignment?  Do the brake pads touch the rims at precisely the same instant when you pull the lever?  

Secret #2

Show Specific Soft Parts

Soft parts look fresh and clean


Use different parts for your everyday riding and your shows.  More than one winner has advised me of this.  If you enjoy riding your bike (and why shouldn't you?!)  Keep a set of grips and tires just for show and another set  you ride with daily.  This will keep everything fresh and clean for show day and avoid those slight discolorations and signs of wear on soft parts.  

Secret #3 


Again, this one comes down to being meticulous.  Make sure that every detail on the bike, left to right, and front to back, is symmetrical.  For example:  The logos on the grips should be in the same position left and right.  The valve stems should be in aligned in the same position and pointing to the logos on the tires.  Pedals should be positioned in a balanced stance.  In fact, we heard at one local show that the competition was so fierce, judges looked at the position of the nipples as they determined the win.  Now that's detail!

Make sure those grips point the same direction left and right sides

Take a look at your show build now and see, are there tiny details where you can improve?  Good luck in your next show!  Post photos of your winners in the Retro BMX Riders Group on Facebook.