How to select the right BMX Bike
What is a BMX Bike?
For an adrenaline-fueled cycling sport, a number of different BMXing disciplines are being practiced off-road. BMX stands for bicycle motocross, initially built to race on dirt tracks in Southern California.
Recognized by their smaller wheels and frames, BMX bikes have a simplistic design that makes it easy to ride them in intense riding environments, in the likes of skate parks or pump tracks:
- Lightweight structure and thick tires that are durable and offer stability while riding.
- Optimized by style to accommodate different age groups and skill levels.
There are three types of BMX bikes: The race bike, the freestyle bike, and the dirt jumper, which can also be called just a jump bike.
The Race Bike
This bike features a lightweight frame and parts, a strong rear brake, and knobby tires. It is ideally used for going fast off-road for short distances or dirt-track racing.
The Freestyle Bike
This bike features a spinnable headset, pavement-ready tires, and a stout frame and wheels. It is a sturdy, stunt and trick bike ideally used for riding at skate parks and bike parks. You will want this if you’re into learning stunts and tricks.
The Jump Bike
This bike features a rear brake, knobby tires, and a sturdy frame and wheels. Also called Dirt Jumpers, these are essentially a combination of race and freestyle bikes, ideally used for jumping ramps at a bike park or anywhere there’s enough space for the activity, such as your backyard.
Are BMX Bikes fast?
While a mountain bike can hit up to 30 miles per hour, a standard BMX bike can hit the 35 miles per hour mark on average. As a result, BMX bikes are definitely faster than mountain bikes, but it’s important to keep in mind they are also designed for different purposes. A mountain bike is designed with the rider’s safety in mind while a BMX bike is designed to perform tricks.
The speed of a BMX bike is influenced by multiple factors. What needs to be considered is the type of terrain it’s passing through, the bike’s condition, the model, and of course, the rider’s style.
Here are some of the components that determine the speed, weight, and productivity of your BMX bike:
Frames: Always made with smaller, lightweight frames, BMX bikes are capable of moving faster than most bikes. The frames are one of the components that determine the weight of your bike. Inevitably, the bigger the frame, the heavier your bike will be.
Bearings: Designed with sealed bearings, this is what makes BMX bikes durable and it makes it easier to ride at faster speeds. The components can handle anything interfering with your speed.
Handlebars: Always designed with two handlebars, two-piece or four-piece bars, these handlebars will help you stay upright and give you a speed boost.
Wheels: Bigger wheels may enable bikers to cover more ground, but they also have their downsides. With a larger wheel size, engaging the pedals and getting the bike up to speed can take a lot of effort. Having smaller wheels is an advantage when it comes to speed because of the opposite effect. This is one of the reasons BMX bikes are faster within short distances.
An important component of any bike is the brakes. This is especially relevant for the rider’s safety.
Brake type is also important, as the racing bikes are provided with linear-pull "V-brakes" which are lighter and provide speed control for the race track. If control and better grip are more appealing to your style, consider a freestyle bike, which is designed with U breaks that offer better modulation.
Commuting on a BMX Bike: Is it possible?
It is a popular belief that it is not possible to commute with a BMX bike due to its wheel size. Many commuter bikes have even smaller wheels, so this is definitely not the issue.
Yes, commuting on a BMX bike is possible, although they are impractical and no one would recommend it for long distances. Generally, a couple of miles is all you should stop, due to the uncomfortable position while riding, snappy handling, and braking power limits.
Is there a weight limit for a BMX Bike?
When you look at the smaller, lightweight frame of a BMX bike, it’s completely normal to ask yourself whether or not it can sustain your weight or not.
Research has shown that these bikes don’t really have a weight limit as they are constructed and engineered to withhold high amounts of pressure from the start. Regardless of the rider’s weight, a BMX bike’s components are designed with strength and endurance in mind.
Am I too old for a BMX Bike?
As you have a look at their size, you might run into the conclusion that you’re past the age for a BMX bike, but that’s quite the contrary. There are BMX bikes built for multiple age groups and as stated above, they’re also made to sustain and withhold a lot of pressure.
Here’s a list of ages and sizes as a reference, but you can always get in touch if you’re not sure about which is the correct size for your BMX Bike:
Age: 5 and under | Weight: 60 lbs. and under | Rider Height: 3’ 8" | Frame Size: Micro Mini
Age: 5 to 7 | Weight: up to 75 lbs. | Rider Height: up to 4’ 6" | Frame Size: Mini
Age: 8 to 10 | Weight: up to 110 lbs. | Rider Height: up to 4’ 10" | Frame Size: Junior
Age: 10 to 13 | Weight: up to 130/150 lbs. | Rider Height: 4’ 5" to 5’ 5" | Frame Size: Expert / Expert XL
Age: 13 and over | Weight: any | Rider Height: 5’ 6" to 5’ 10"+ | Frame Size: Pro / Pro XL / Pro XXL
Of course, this is in general terms. There are other factors that determine which BMX Bike size is right for you, you need to pay attention to the top tube length and the tire size as well. Usually, the best way to determine the right size is to get it right from the store. In this way, you can feel whether or not the size is right for you and you can also get on-site recommendations.
Always remember that size is important, even though you may think that small differences are insignificant. A slight difference can totally change the feeling of the bike for you. With BMX Bikes you can find a proper size for any rider, therefore, you do not need to rush this decision. Trying more models is a great idea to ensure your preferences and expectations are met.
How much should my BMX Bike weigh?
As a beginner, being afraid of a little heavier bike is not needed as you will have a lot to learn before feeling the true benefits of a lighter bike. However, if you consider you’ll be frequently riding, a lighter-weight bike will help in terms of control and will enable you to ride for longer periods of time before feeling tired. Additionally, a lightweight bike usually indicates it’s well-designed and built from good materials.
Is BMX riding still popular?
BMX is still one of the most preferred cycling disciplines in the USA and across the world. Even though their peak was around the 1980s, this sport successfully developed a culture that keeps going through years and generations. As it became widely popular, both BMX riding and skateboarding are now recognized sports, even though BMX has its own loyal and passionate riders.
An important thing to remember is that BMX riding is still a dangerous sport that comes with its own risks and benefits, but if you’ve already read this far, surely, you’re aware of all the pros and cons of riding a BMX Bike in a sportive environment, including competitive.
Picking the right BMX Bike can be challenging in the beginning, as there are a lot of models and brands and everyone seems to recommend something different. It becomes less overwhelming once you know your intentions (what you plan on doing with the bike) and which model you need for those said intentions and goals.
We hope the information provided has made this decision easier for you. You can check out our BMX Bikes and see if there’s anything that suits your needs here. Have fun on the track!