Hey BMXperts, My name is Sky and I am 13. I was wondering, if I ride right foot forward and my grind side is on the right of the bike, then should I switch my sprocket and freewheel to the left side of my bike? Would switching my drive train to the left side of my bike feel weird?
Sky, It might feel a little strange riding with your driveline simply switched from the right side of your bike to the left side. It seems simple, just reverse your rear wheel and flip your cranks right? Sure, and when you’re done, just tell us how well freewheeling forward is working out for you. Don’t feel bad Sky, we will actually cop to trying this when left side drive first hit the market about ten years back. Call us dumb if you want, but we were excited to stop trashing out expensive sprockets while grinding and ultimately learned a thing or two about why some parts are side specific in the process. Ultimately, if you learn from something, it wasn’t a loss. Now the questions are; could you, should you and how much? Anyone can switch their bike from right to left side drive but it can be very expensive. Believe it or not cranks have a specific right and left side, so unless your cranks are bi-drive (have a sprocket bolt hole on both arms) you will need new arms, as well as a new hub to handle left side drive. At best, this will set you back about $250. Eastern makes the Bi-rectional (right or left side drive) wheel with a 9-tooth driver for about $130 and there are a variety of cranks that are bi-drive for about $100. If you need a 25-tooth sprocket to complete the deal, that’s at least another $25. So expensive seems to be the word of the day. The other option is much more simple and just as effective, just reduce your gearing to 25/9. Chances are you hit your sprocket because it hangs low and in the way, just like mine did ten years ago. Shrink that drivetrain down and you have the clearance you need to go grind crazy and greatly reduce your risk of damage. Haro offers a micro drive wheel/sprocket combo for only $129, so all you have to do is shorten your chain and you are ready to rock. So there you have it, two solutions and two major price differences to suit your needs.