BMX bikes, or Bicycle Motocross bikes, are small, sturdy bikes designed for off-road racing and stunts. They stand out thanks to their 20-inch wheels, compact frames, and solid construction. Although BMX bikes were initially made for racing on dirt tracks, they have now expanded to incorporate a variety of riding styles, including freestyle, street, and park riding.
History of BMX Bikes
Children in Southern California started racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in the late 1960s, which is when the first BMX bikes arrived on the scene. The activity swiftly gathered followers, and by the 1970s, BMX racing had attained national acclaim. Freestyle BMX, a cycling sport that involves executing stunts and tricks, became more well-known in the 1980s. BMX bikes are now utilized for many other activities, such as racing, freestyle riding, and leisurely cruising.
Types of BMX Bikes
There are several types of BMX bikes, each designed for a specific purpose.
Racing BMX Bikes
Racing BMX bicycles are built for speed and maneuverability. They are constructed with a lightweight frame and fork and performance in mind. Typically, BMX racing bikes have a single gear, a chain tensioner, and both front and back brakes. In addition, they have a longer wheelbase and a lower bottom bracket (where the pedals join to the frame) for enhanced stability at high speeds.
Freestyle BMX Bikes
The purpose of freestyle BMX bikes is to do feats and tricks. They have a frame and fork that are more durable than racing BMX bikes, as well as wheels and tires that can handle the wear and tear of riding on ramps and in skateparks. Additionally, freestyle BMX bikes feature a shorter wheelbase and a higher bottom bracket to enhance mobility. Numerous freestyle BMX bicycles are equipped with gyro brakes that enable the rider to spin the handlebars 360 degrees without tangling the brake cables.
Cruising BMX Bikes
The BMX bikes known as “beach cruisers,” are meant for leisurely rides around the neighborhood or on the beach. They offer an upright, comfortable riding position and bigger tires for a smooth ride. BMX bikes designed for cruising typically include coaster brakes (operated by backpedaling) and a single gear.
Sizing and Age Range
BMX bikes are primarily suited for riders ages 5 and up. The length of the top tube, which is the horizontal tube that extends from the handlebars to the seat, determines the size of the bicycle. BMX bike sizes are normally measured in inches, ranging from tiny (less than 20 inches) to pro (above 20 inches) (over 21 inches).
When selecting a BMX bike, it is essential to choose one that is the correct size for the rider. A bicycle that is too little will be difficult to steer, while a bicycle that is too big will be uncomfortable to ride. Additionally, it is essential to evaluate the rider’s skill level and the type of riding they intend to conduct. A novice rider, for instance, may choose a smaller, more agile bike, whereas an experienced rider may prefer a larger, more stable bike.
Brands and Price Range
There are numerous BMX bike manufacturers on the market, ranging from budget-friendly selections to high-end ones. Popular BMX bicycle manufacturers include SE Bikes, Redline, and Mongoose. Prices for BMX bikes can vary greatly based on the quality of the bike’s components and the model. Entry-level BMX bicycles cost approximately $100, and high-end models can exceed $1,000.
Where to Buy BMX Bikes
Bicycle shops, sporting goods stores, and online vendors all carry BMX bicycles. When purchasing a BMX bike, it is necessary to consider the rider’s needs, budget, and the retailer’s reputation.
Some things to consider when buying a BMX bike include:
- Quality of components: Look for a bicycle with high-quality components, such as a sturdy frame and long-lasting wheels.
- Fit and comfort: Ensure that the bicycle fits the rider correctly and is pleasant to ride.
- Price: Determine a budget and then search for a bicycle within that budget.
- Warranty: Look for a bicycle with a solid warranty, just in case something goes wrong.
Pros and Cons of BMX Bikes
There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether a BMX bike is right for you.
- The sturdiness and durability of BMX bikes make them perfect for difficult terrain and stunts.
- They are maneuverable and lightweight, making them ideal for racing and tricks.
- BMX bikes are relatively less expensive than other forms of bicycles.
- BMX bikes are not suitable for long-distance rides or commuting since they are less comfortable than other forms of bikes.
- As the upright riding position can be taxing on the back and wrists, they may not be suited for riders with back or joint issues.
- BMX bikes are less efficient than road or hybrid cycles, thus riding long distances may require more work.
How to Use a BMX Bike
BMX bikes are meant for riding off-road and performing stunts. They are not designed for long trips or commuting, but are ideal for racing, freestyle riding, and casual cruising.
To ride a BMX bike, the rider should:
- Adjust the seat and handlebars to the correct height before attempting to ride a BMX bike.
- Check that the brakes and tires are in good functioning condition.
- Helmet and protection gear, such as knee and elbow pads, should be worn.
- Start by pushing off with one foot and pedaling to propel the bicycle ahead. Use the bike’s brakes to slow down or stop.
- Practice riding in a safe location, such as a park or an empty parking lot, until the rider feels confident and in charge of the bicycle.
BMX bicycles may be a great deal of fun to ride and are suitable for a variety of activities. Anyone can experience the pleasure of riding a BMX bike with the correct bike and a little bit of practice.
Maintenance and Care of BMX Bikes
BMX bikes, like any other bicycle, require routine maintenance to remain in good condition. Consider the following when caring for your BMX bike:
- Checking and adjusting the brakes: Checking and setting the brakes is essential for safety on a BMX bicycle. It is essential to inspect the brake pads and cables on a regular basis and make any necessary modifications to ensure that the brakes function properly.
- Cleaning the bike regularly: Dirt and grime can accumulate on the frame and components of a BMX bike, hence accelerating its deterioration. Regular cleaning using a bike-specific cleaner and a soft cloth or brush is necessary for maintaining the bike in good condition.
- Lubricating the chain: The chain is an essential component of a BMX bike, as it transfers power from the pedals to the rear wheel and must be lubricated. Regular lubrication using bike-specific lubricant is necessary to keep the chain in good working condition.
- Checking and inflating the tires: Tire inspection and inflation is essential for a comfortable ride and enough traction. It is essential to routinely check the tire pressure and maintain the required inflation pressure.
By adhering to these basic maintenance procedures, you can keep your BMX bike in good functioning condition and extend its lifespan.