What are BMX bikes? Probably this is a question that is lingering in your mind. BMX is an abbreviation standing for bike or bicycle motocross.
The name also stands for cycle sport performed on BMX bikes and can be in three categories. They are freestyle, BMX racing, and general off-road or street recreation.
So, what are the types of BMX bikes? How did they come by? In this article, we shall mention a lot about these products, their characteristics, and the different models of this category.
We shall also see their distinguishing features. Read through for more information.
What are BMX bikes?
They are racing bikes produced from carbon, steel, or aluminum. The cost of the bike is inversely proportional to the weight of the material. It is cheap if the bike is heavy, and the opposite is true.
They come in three categories. They are the original BMX, freestyle bike, and dirt jumper. However, more than five models exist, as in the text below.
Types of BMX bikes
Original/True BMX bikes
It was the first BMX bike in existence. The product was born in 1963 and christened Schwinn Sting-Ray. It was not for use in competitions but as a commuting tool to and from school.
A few days after its introduction, hundreds of kids flocked to the field every Saturday to race with it. The original model is the springboard on which most current models come. Technology has been advancing, and we have more sophisticated models now.
Flatland BMX Bikes
As the name says, the bike is ideal for riding in flat areas and has a frame geometry different from the BMX bikes. It comes with an accurate balance on the multifold BMX parts.
It has a large front sprocket than the other BMX bikes and forms a higher gear ratio to enable the user to move at high speed.
The bike has sharp and instant brakes to enhance safety. They also have thin tires but excellent grips for maximum speeds during competitions.
The dirt bikes
They resemble the original model in most features. However, the tires have a thick thread and a strong grip that holds firm on the roads.
The bike is stable because of the nature of its tire, and therefore ideal for racing and competition.
Park Style BMX Bikes
They are lighter than flatland or dirt bikes. Its other name is Vert bike. To achieve the intended weight, manufacturers intentionally reduce the length of specific areas in the bike. Such models are ideal for use in parks but not on rough terrains. In some instances, they do not come with brakes.
Freestyle BMX bikes
They have 20-inch wheels and long tubes measuring 20-22 inches. These bikes do not come with brakes. Sometimes, however, they have them, but the straight cable brakes.
With this bike, you can customize it or pick a ready-made model.
Street BMX bikes
It involves riding through obstacles on the bike. It should be lightweight and stronger to absorb the landing shocks.
Street obstacles may include handrails, poles, lodges, arched walls, steps, and other barriers.
Trail BMX bikes
They perform skateboarding; however, it depends on the makeup. You can mix or modify your riding style, and the skateboard can either be concrete or wood.
Choosing the BMX bike
Three factors come into play when choosing the best BMX bike for yourself or someone else. They are the age, skill level, and purpose. We shall look at each one of them individually below:
Age is a critical factor to consider when buying a BMX bike, especially for a child. A mini-size model is suitable for a child between four to six years.
Such bikes have smaller cranks of between 130 to 145mm and allow for a low stand-over height.
A child with an age ranging from 6 to 9 years will require a slightly large frame. Such bikes have cranks of between 145 to 160mm. The tire size is 20x⅜ inches.
Adults require a BMX bike with longer tubes, crank size between 160 to 170mm, and a tire size of 20×1.5 inches.
Other adult BMX bikes are full-size models suitable for experienced riders and have a crank size of between 175 to 180mm. The tire size is 20×2 inches.
The level of skill
The level of skill determines the type of BMX bike to buy. A beginner should buy the complete model for under 500$. As you gain practical experience, you can always upgrade the necessary parts. The advantage is that you can only change the specific sections but not the whole product.
A rider with experience should go for a complete, high-end bike or even a custom-built model. Such bikes are costly and may impact your budget. They are expensive, but ideal to choose the bike that suits your skills.
The last thing to consider when selecting a BMX bike is its purpose. These products have three functions. They include:
- The BMX tracks.
- The jump/dirt/skatepark stunts
- Freestyle and flatland.
Once you identify the purpose, it gets easy to pick the best model of BMX bike.
Is the BMX bike different from the regular models?
Yes, there is a big difference between the BMX bikes and regular models. They include:
- The weight
BMX bikes are lighter than road or mountain bikes. It has a small frame making it lightweight.
BMX bikes are durable because they can withstand excessive abuse, crashes, and bumps. The regular bike cannot withstand such destructive characteristics, hence less durable.
- The tubes
BMX bikes have smaller tubes than those other bikes. It has a 20-inch size. In contrast, the road and MTB bikes have forty-five-inch.
- The wheel size
BMX bikes have small yet powerful wheels. The rims also have the same capability. Its tires are knobby, making them less slippery.
Standard or regular bikes such as road or MTBs have less powerful rims and tires. They are also unstable on slippery ground.
The main difference between these models is the wheel size and power.
There are various types of BMX bikes in the market today. They are for racing and competition. These products can withstand all terrains and are much more durable than regular bikes.
BMX bikes are different from regular bikes in several factors. Among them are the weight, tube and wheel sizes, and durability.
Best of luck as you plan to buy one!