Sports bikes give riders opportunities to experience lots of fun in different bicycle performances. A BMX bike will be a match if you love performing street skills. A BMX bike with small wheels and a heavy frame will help you perform special technical moves efficiently.
To get to know “What is a BMX bike?”, let’s go through this article now!
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What Is A BMX Bike?
BMX bikes are a series of bicycles dedicated to BMX performances. They are ideal for riders who are keen on adventure. Also, this type of bike requires riders to have exact control techniques.
There are different types of BMX performances: BMX racing and BMX freestyle performing. BMX racing is commonly racing on sandy terrain, and it seems pretty dangerous. Freestyle BMX is more exciting. It is preferable among the young who enjoy riding on many different terrain obstacles from the cliffs to the staircase or even the slide’s control.
Tiny wheels characterize BMX bicycles, and you will think that these are children’s bikes. BMX bicycles have twin wheels with only about 20 inches (equivalent to 51cm). But the handlebars are placed relatively high compared to the lower seat. The first impression that people see BMX is that it is pretty hairy and looks like children’s items.
Types of Freestyle BMX
Most BMX bicycles used for freestyle performances have 20-inch wheels. The frame sizes may differ between bikes, but they all have the same length of top tubes (occasionally around 20 to 22 inches).
The requirements for freestyle BMX are pretty strict. The bikes will have no brakes. Some may have brakes in some cases, but the brakes cannot be gyro ones. Front and rear pegs will be on the side of these bicycles. As a result, BMX riders mainly do not control their bikes with flanges.
Below are four freestyle BMX types that you should not miss: BMX street, BMX park, BMX dirt, and flatland BMX.
Street riding requires BMX riders to go through artificial obstacles in unusual shapes. These obstacles can be curved walls, stairs, or any rough roads. This style appeared in the 1970s and quickly spread out among young people who love adventurous performances.
There are tricks for beginners who enjoy BMX street, for example, bunny hop barspin, bunny hop crank flip, wallride, 180 barspins, and bunny hop 360. But the most popular and most accessible to make is bunny hop barspin.
BMX Park is another of the BMX freestyle disciplines. It is supposed to be a spectacular event that attracts many bike racing riders to join and many audiences to see. Usually, BMX park occurs in a 31 15T course with different challenging obstacles and transitions.
The performances’ judges will base on how unique the styles are, how difficult and challenging the terrains are, and how clever the riders’ control skills are. Significantly, the more tricks the riders show on each run, the more scores they will get. There will be two more minute runs for each biker to impress the judges. The score will be from 0 to 100 points.
This type of performance is relatively more challenging but more exciting and attractive. It does not take place on streets or parks with ramps. Instead, the BMX track is actual. The race may be on spots, even in the forest, with crazy lines. Riders can see the epic mountains when jumping up to the top and the lake when they get down at the bottom.
Flatland BMX is quite different from the three-mentioned BMX freestyles. There will be no ramps, obstacles, or jumps. Instead, the surface is smooth and flat. Riders will only focus on balancing their bikes and performing spinning and unexpected and creative positions.
Bikes designed for flatland BMX will have an aluminum frame and shorter wheelbase. That way, bikers can spin more easily without lots of effort.
BMX bike frames are usually steel or alloy. There is typically a frame design with primary materials from lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber for speed racing BMX bicycles.
However, with a small size, due to the need for high-speed racing on a particular terrain, it requires a bike with a larger size frame for the vehicle to be more rigid. This model also has a more considerable axle distance with a low chassis to create stability during high-speed racing.
Meanwhile, the freestyle BMX bikes are designed with a high tensile steel frame that is more resistant and heavier but very sturdy for performers with spectacular performances. Some models also have a collar that rotates 360 degrees for better performances.
Usually, BMX models have only one single speed with a single sprocket. The chains are small and stretched all the way to give the bike much better force. That way, it can help performers perform more efficiently.
The manufacturer equipped BMX bikes with two brakes on the front and rear wheels. However, riders usually remove the front brake to reduce the weight. Also, the front brake is not significant during the performance.
The brake type commonly used on the BMX series is a solid V-type brake.
Besides, a flexible brake system is combined with a 360-degree drive at the front wheel to support riders’ performances.
BMX tires are usually made from tarmac rubber for the best off-road grip. The front wheel is generally more prominent than the rear one. Thus, the front tire is also wider for good off-road grip and flexible maneuvering during the performance. Meanwhile, the rear tire is smaller to achieve a much higher speed.
A fork is a mechanical assembly that combines the bike frame with its front wheels and handlebars, allowing for its duct control. Typically, BMX forks’ height is 315mm. But some manufacturers may design it 310mm or even 320mm in size.
A fork consists of a front split, fork stem, fork blade, fork crown, front fork end, and rear fork end.
Stem and bars
A stem is a bracket used to attach the handlebar to steer the fork tube. Usually, the stem is secured by bolt pinch. The horizontal handlebar is essential, but some bikes have curved handlebars.
The ideal width of a handlebar is 28 inches. Different types of BMX bikes may have different handlebars, depending on the performance requirements. Nevertheless, the handlebar should not be longer than 30 inches.
Top Four Activities of BMX Bikes
There are many activities to do with a BMX bike. For me, I suggest four actions that I think are the most exciting.
Join a BMX street performance
I’ve already shown you what a BMX street is in the section mentioned above. Thus, in this section, I will share some tips for a bunny hop barspin. Of course, there are many other tricks, but I think this one is easier to make, and it is a fundamental trick that beginners should learn.
Here are steps to make a bunny hop barspin:
Raise the saddle: Before practicing making any bunny hop, make sure you raise your bike seat. The higher the saddle is, the more stable the bike is.
Practice bunny hop:
- Keep your speed as comfortable as possible.
- Pull the front wheel when you curl forward with your shoulder, and lift the bike’s back by your leg.
- Wait for both wheels to land the ground, and then add spins.
Practice barspin on the flat:
- Find a point for the backrest to keep your bike stationary.
- Raise the front wheel.
- Use your hands to rotate the handlebar full 360 degrees.
Now it’s time to combine the steps above and keep practicing! You can also watch this video to understand a bunny hop barspin:
Take part in a BMX Park
It is a spectacular event, and the judges will base on your skills to score your performance. Thus, it would help if you learned these skills.
A line: Go across the park from one side. You can take a rest on the other side, but don’t make it too long, just one minute. The rest may help you determine which line to go first.
Quarter pipes: You will need to turn around to move up and down a mellow quarter. Once you feel comfortable with the transitions, you can hang it up higher.
Pumping: It means how to gain speed on the ramps. But you will not pedal at all. Instead, you will move your weight around.
Dropping in from the deck: Keep your bike moving parallel to the coping and then turn into the ramp. Then, to go back to the deck, you throw your body forwards when moving up the quarter. That way, you can get your bike to the deck again and take a break.
Do a BMX dirt jump
If you enjoy a more challenging activity with your BMX bike, a BMX dirt jump will be a perfect choice. Here are some tips for BMX dirt jumping:
- Make sure your pumps are sufficiently solid.
- Find a tabletop to jump.
- Make sure you commit to the hop before starting rolling up.
- You can pump the jump to go high or absorb and push through it.
- Be confident, relaxed, and comfortable. Everything will be smoother when you are satisfied.
- Make your take off to fix the jumps if you take off the wrong way.
- Try something that scares you; for example, ride faster than usual.
- Find some friends to ride with you. There will be more fun, and they can give you advice or tips.
- Spend time practicing regularly.
Make a flatland BMX
Flatland BMX is like an artistic sport. So, if you don’t care for riding through many terrain and obstacles, you can enjoy flatland BMX. You can ride your bike on a smooth road and perform any spins or positions you like.
Here are some tricks for beginners to practice flatland BMX:
Rolling: means balance maneuver. To do this, you will lift the back or front end lock into a balancing position.
Hang five: To do this trick, you start at a moderate speed. Then, put one foot on the front peg (usually, it is the right foot, but if you are a left-footed person, it should be your left one) and the other on the rear peg.
Half flash: Put your right foot on the left front peg, keep your hand on the front brake. Then, kick and rotate the back end around.
Whiplash: You sit similar to the hang five, but you put your back foot on the same side of the pegs. After that, you set up and kick the rear end around.
Funky chicken: You will start on a steamroller position. Then, lift your hanging foot over the handlebar and begin to scuff on the front wheel.
BMX Bike Versus Other Bike Types
There are different bikes: road bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes, BMX bikes, folding bikes, hybrid bikes, triathlon bikes, and fixed gear bikes. In this article today, I will compare BMX bikes versus road bikes and mountain bikes.
|BMX bikes||Road bikes||Mountain bikes|
|Frame: lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber.||Frame: designed to create an aerodynamic position while sitting to reduce wind resistance.||Frame: made of good bearing material, sophisticated frame angle design|
|Brake: usually solid V-type brake.||Brake: rim brake||Brake: high safety, usually mechanical disc brake.|
|Tire: made from tarmac rubber.||Tire: Small and thin with large diameter, little or no thorns.||Tire: more thorns, thick and heavy|
|Fork: typically 315mm.||Fork: no shock absorbers before or after like MTB models.||Fork: equipped shock absorbers before and after|
|Stem and bars: horizontal handlebar with a width of 28 inches.||Handlebar: made with a comfortable sitting position to reduce wind resistance.||Handlebar: straight and sturdy|
What is a BMX bike used for?
Riders can use it for either performing stunts or racing.
What are the top two BMX bike brands?
Based on prices and designs to evaluate, Eastern and Haro are the top two BMX bike brands.
What are the price ranges of BMX bikes?
The price ranges are around $200 to $1,300. Some are even more expensive than that.
What does BMX stand for?
BMX means Bicycle Motocross.