Since BMX bikes are primarily made for performing tricks and acrobatics in a skatepark or urban environment, they are typically not thought to be suitable for long-distance riding. Although riding a BMX bike over long distances is conceivable, there are a few things that make them less suitable for this type of riding than other bikes.
This comprehensive post will go over every important factor you should take into account when deciding whether a BMX bike is appropriate for long-distance riding, including bike design, component selection, and rider comfort.
You’ll have a solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of riding a BMX bike over long distances by the end of this article.
#1. Bike Design
The design of BMX bikes is one of the main reasons why they are less suitable for long-distance riding. The rapid and agile handling of BMX bikes makes them perfect for tricks and acrobatics but less so for long-distance riding.
Among the design elements that make BMX bikes less suitable for long distance riding are the following:
- Short wheelbase: Compared to other types of bicycles, BMX bikes have a shorter wheelbase, which makes them more maneuverable and agile. They become less stable at high speeds as a result, which might be problematic for riding long distances.
- Small frame size: The small frame of BMX bikes makes them easier to manage and maneuver. As a result, the rider may feel constrained or have less room to move around on the bike, which might make them less comfortable for long-distance riding.
- Upright riding position: A more upright riding stance on BMX bikes than other types of bikes is advantageous for visibility and control when riding in a skatepark or other urban environment. The cyclist may feel tired in their arms, back, and neck from keeping an upright position for a long time, making this less pleasant for long-distance riding.
- Short top tube: Compared to other types of bikes, BMX bikes have a shorter top tube, which makes it easier for the rider to move around and do tricks like tailwhips and bar spins. Due to the rider’s potential lack of space to spread out and unwind, this may also make the bike less comfortable for long-distance riding.
In addition to the design elements already discussed, a BMX bike’s components might also affect whether it is appropriate for long-distance riding. Among the elements to take into account are:
- Tires: Wide, low-profile tires on BMX bikes offer good traction and make it simple for riders to pull off feats like grinds and stalls. Although they can roll faster and provide less resistance, narrower, high-pressure tires might be more effective for long-distance riding.
- Cranks: BMX bikes frequently have shorter cranks than other bike types, allowing the rider to accelerate pedal rotation and execute stunts like tailwhips and bar spins. Shorter cranks, however, may not be as effective for long rides because they need the rider to pedal harder and more frequently to maintain the same speed.
- Sprockets: Compared to other types of bikes, BMX bikes often have smaller sprockets, allowing the rider to pedal more quickly and execute tricks like hop-overs and manuals. Smaller sprockets, on the other hand, might not be as effective for long rides because they force the user to pedal more frequently to keep the same speed.
- Seats: Padded seats that are low to the ground are a common feature of BMX bikes, which makes it simpler for riders to execute tricks like no-handers and seat grabs. These chairs might not be as comfortable for long rides, though, as the rider might get tired in their buttocks and lower back from sitting in a low posture for so long.
#3. Rider Comfort
When deciding if a BMX bike is ideal for long-distance riding, it’s necessary to take the rider’s comfort into account in addition to the bike’s design and parts. As previously indicated, a BMX bike’s upright riding position and tiny frame size might make it less comfortable for long distance riding because they can lead to arm, back, and neck fatigue and make the rider feel confined or like they have less space to move around.
You might want to think about adding extras like a saddle with greater padding, handlebar grips, and pedals with a broader platform to a BMX bike to increase rider comfort for long distance riding. To obtain a comfortable riding position, you could also wish to modify the seat and handlebar placements.
#4. Alternatives to BMX Bikes for Long Distance Riding
You might want to think about alternative bike styles that are more suited for long-distance riding if you’re interested in riding a BMX bike. Some choices to take into account are:
- Road bikes: Road bikes are typically lightweight and efficient vehicles that are made for riding at fast speeds on flat terrain. They are ideal for long-distance riding because of their narrow, high-pressure tires, dropped handlebars, and more aerodynamic riding position.
- Hybrid bikes: Bike hybrids are a cross between a road and a mountain bike and are made for different types of terrain. They are an excellent choice for long-distance riding on a variety of smooth and uneven roads since they have wider, more durable tires than road bikes and a more upright riding position than mountain bikes.
- Touring bikes: Touring bikes include a variety of features that make them ideal for long-distance riding and are intended expressly for this type of riding. They are constructed with sturdy components that can endure the rigors of long distance riding and feature a more upright riding position than road cycles. They are a wonderful option for long excursions because they include a number of mounting places for extras like panniers and water bottles.
BMX bikes are primarily made for performing tricks and stunts in a skatepark or urban environment, hence they are not often regarded as being suitable for long distance riding. The design, parts, and rider comfort of BMX bikes may make them less well-suited for this type of riding than other types of bikes, even though it is possible to ride one for long distances. Consider other bike types, such as road bikes, hybrid cycles, or touring bikes, which are more suited for long-distance riding, if you’re interested in it.