BMX Bikes - The Most Fun You Can Have on Two Wheels
BMX Bike: A Guide for Beginners and Pros
If you are looking for a bike that can handle any terrain, perform amazing tricks, and offer you endless fun, then a BMX bike might be the perfect choice for you. BMX stands for bicycle motocross, and it is a type of bike that is designed for off-road riding, racing, and freestyle. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, a BMX bike can provide you with many benefits and challenges. In this article, we will explain what a BMX bike is, what are its types and features, how to choose the right one for you, how to maintain and care for it, and how to improve your BMX skills and have fun.
What is a BMX bike and what are its benefits?
A BMX bike is a bike that has a small frame, 20-inch wheels, one gear, and no suspension. It is similar to a mountain bike, but it is lighter, simpler, and more agile. A BMX bike can be used for various purposes, such as:
Dirt riding: This involves riding on dirt tracks, jumps, and trails. You can use your BMX bike to catch air, land smoothly, and maneuver around obstacles.
Freestyle riding: This involves performing tricks and stunts on ramps, rails, ledges, walls, and other street features. You can use your BMX bike to spin, flip, grind, slide, and balance.
Racing: This involves competing with other riders on a specially designed track with turns, hills, and jumps. You can use your BMX bike to accelerate, brake, corner, and overtake.
Some of the benefits of riding a BMX bike are:
It improves your physical fitness: Riding a BMX bike requires strength, endurance, coordination, balance, and flexibility. You can burn calories, tone muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and prevent injuries.
It boosts your mental health: Riding a BMX bike can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom. You can release endorphins, increase self-esteem, enhance creativity, and have fun.
It develops your skills: Riding a BMX bike can teach you how to control your speed, direction, balance, timing, and technique. You can learn new tricks, overcome challenges, and achieve goals.
It connects you with others: Riding a BMX bike can help you meet new people, make friends, join clubs, attend events, and share experiences. You can socialize, communicate, cooperate, and compete.
BMX bike types and features
There are three main types of BMX bikes: freestyle BMX bikes, race BMX bikes, and cruiser BMX bikes. Each type has its own features that suit different riding styles and preferences.
Freestyle BMX bikes
Freestyle BMX bikes are the most common type of BMX bikes. They are designed for performing tricks and stunts on various surfaces and obstacles. They have the following features:
A sturdy frame: The frame is made of steel or chromoly (a steel alloy) to withstand impacts and stresses. It has a short wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) to allow quick turns and a low standover height (the distance from the top tube to the ground) to allow easy access and movement.
A rigid fork: The fork (the part that holds the front wheel) has no suspension to provide more stability and feedback. It has a steep head angle (the angle between the fork and the frame) to enable precise steering.
A single brake or no brake: The brake (the device that slows down or stops the bike) is usually mounted on the rear wheel only or removed entirely to allow more freedom and control. The brake lever (the part that activates the brake) is often placed on the left side of the handlebar to avoid interference with the right hand, which is used for spinning the handlebar.
A small sprocket and a short chain: The sprocket (the toothed wheel that drives the chain) and the chain (the loop of metal links that connects the sprocket and the rear cog) are small and short to reduce weight, drag, and clearance issues. They also allow faster acceleration and easier pedaling backwards.
A wide handlebar and a short stem: The handlebar (the part that the rider holds and steers with) and the stem (the part that connects the handlebar and the fork) are wide and short to provide more leverage, comfort, and maneuverability. They also have grips (the rubber covers on the ends of the handlebar) and bar ends (the metal caps on the ends of the handlebar) to protect the hands and prevent slipping.
A padded seat and a long seat post: The seat (the part that the rider sits on) and the seat post (the part that connects the seat and the frame) are padded and long to offer more cushioning, support, and adjustability. They also have a seat clamp (the device that secures the seat post in place) that can be loosened or tightened quickly to change the seat height.
A pair of pegs: The pegs (the metal cylinders that attach to the axles of the wheels) are used for grinding, sliding, and balancing on various objects. They can be installed on either or both sides of the front and rear wheels, depending on the rider's preference.
A pair of tires: The tires (the rubber covers on the wheels) are usually smooth or have a low-profile tread pattern to provide more grip, speed, and durability on different surfaces. They are also inflated to a high pressure to reduce rolling resistance and prevent flats.
Race BMX bikes
Race BMX bikes are designed for competing with other riders on a specially designed track with turns, hills, and jumps. They have the following features:
A lightweight frame: The frame is made of aluminum or carbon fiber to reduce weight and increase stiffness. It has a long wheelbase and a high standover height to allow more stability and clearance.
A suspension fork: The fork has a suspension system that absorbs shocks and vibrations from bumps and landings. It has a shallow head angle to enable smooth steering.
A pair of brakes: The brakes are mounted on both wheels to provide more stopping power and control. The brake levers are placed on both sides of the handlebar to allow easy access.
A large sprocket and a long chain: The sprocket and the chain are large and long to increase torque, traction, and efficiency. They also allow smoother pedaling and shifting.
A narrow handlebar and a long stem: The handlebar and the stem are narrow and long to provide more aerodynamics, reach, and responsiveness. They also have no grips or bar ends to reduce weight and drag.
A slim seat and a short seat post: The seat and the seat post are slim and short to provide more aerodynamics, weight savings, and mobility. They also have a fixed seat clamp that cannot be adjusted easily.
No pegs: The pegs are not used for racing as they add weight, drag, and clearance issues.
A pair of tires: The tires have a knobby tread pattern to provide more traction, stability, and cornering on dirt tracks. They are also inflated to a low pressure to increase shock absorption and grip.
Cruiser BMX bikes
Cruiser BMX bikes are designed for casual riding on various terrains. They have the following features:
A comfortable frame: The frame is made of steel or chromoly to provide more comfort and durability. It has a medium wheelbase and a medium standover height to allow more versatility and ease.
A rigid or suspension fork: The fork can be rigid or have a suspension system, depending on the rider's preference and riding style. It has a moderate head angle to enable balanced steering.
A pair of brakes or a coaster brake: The brakes can be mounted on both wheels or replaced by a coaster brake (a brake that is activated by pedaling backwards) to provide more convenience and simplicity. The brake levers can be placed on either side of the handlebar to suit the rider's preference.
A medium sprocket and a medium chain: The sprocket and the chain are medium-sized to provide more adaptability and reliability. They also allow moderate acceleration and pedaling.
A medium handlebar and a medium stem: The handlebar and the stem are medium-sized to provide more comfort, control, and maneuverability. They also have grips and bar ends to protect the hands and prevent slipping.
A cushioned seat and a medium seat post: The seat and the seat post are cushioned and medium-sized to offer more comfort, support, and adjustability. They also have a seat clamp that can be loosened or tightened easily to change the seat height.
A pair of pegs or no pegs: The pegs can be installed or removed, depending on the rider's preference and riding style. They can be used for grinding, sliding, and balancing on various objects.
A pair of tires: The tires can have various tread patterns, depending on the terrain and riding style. They are usually inflated to a medium pressure to provide a balance of speed, grip, and shock absorption.
How to choose the right BMX bike for your needs and preferences?
Choosing the right BMX bike can be tricky, as there are many factors to consider, such as size, fit, frame material, quality, components, accessories, price, and availability. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:
Size and fit: The size and fit of your BMX bike depend on your height, weight, inseam, arm length, and riding style. You can use a BMX bike size chart or calculator online to find the ideal frame size, wheel size, top tube length, seat height, handlebar height, and stem length for you. You can also test ride different BMX bikes at your local bike shop or park to see how they f