When we are talking about using a BMX bike as a normal bike is a tricky thing to answer directly. Because still, an MTB is a commuter for my partner Mike! What I want to say is that first, we need to know what types of bikes are normal for me and what are my preferences according to declaring them as a normal one. Because everyone has their individual terms of choice and taste.
It is possible to use a BMX as a normal bike, but it depends in some cases. Here, in this article, I will try to give you some splendidly detailed questions & answers about can a BMX be used as a normal bike. But the answers are depending on some facts bike size, biker age, riding track, commuting, touring, gearing, wheels, and so on. So I will go through almost every phrase one by one and try to give you the best pieces of information.
What is a BMX Bike Used for?
BMX bike means bicycle motocross. It is an off-road bicycle, not like a regular bike. There are several differences between BMX and Regular bikes. Those who have limited knowledge or lack knowledge about bikes will not understand the difference between these bikes properly. So the next section will help you to grab the essence of regular bike types and comparison among them.
Why is the BMX Bike so Small?
In the beginning, BMX bikes were made for children. After a specific time, it caught the interest of adults. Adults started using BMX bikes for stunts and reaching. But BMX bike size didn’t increase. Because-
- It is a lightweight cycle so that easy to control and maneuver in the air.
- Generally, BMX bikes are used in air stunts and jumps. In this case, small size is best.
- Since BMX bikes are used rough. So, it is more likely to be harmful. It is protected from damage by reducing its size.
Difference Between a BMX bike and Regular Bikes
The popular regular bikes are- Road, MTB, Touring, Hybrid or Commuter, Cyclocross, Folding, Recumbent, Cruiser, Fixed Gear or track bike, etc. Sports bikes, Racing bikes, BMX, electric or e-bike, and some customized ones are special of a kind in cycling.
Let’s see how BMX bikes differ from Regular bikes.
|Comparison Chart||BMX Bike||Regular Bike|
|Size||It is smaller in size.||It is bigger than BMX.|
|Price||BMX Bikes are low-cost.||Regular Bikes are high cost.|
|Field of use||They are perfect for the short run.||They are perfect for the long run.|
|Gear||Has one or two gears.||Have several gears|
|Wheels||BMX Bikes have smaller wheels between 20 to 24 inches.||Regular Bikes have wheels between 26 to 29 inches.|
|Expertness||They are good at stunts and reaching.||They are good for traveling and moving.|
Some of the novice bikers even try to compare BMX and Mountain Bike as well. But you can’t really compare them, because they are completely different in types, demands, and variations.
Although BMX bikes were originally designed for playing in the dirt that ship has sailed. But now most people consider almost any bike with 20″ wheels to be completely wrong. Let’s see only two points to resolve the comparison here.
- Strictly speaking- A mountain bike is a bike that you take out of storage, put on your car, and take to the trails (usually by a hill track). Then toy ride onto it, and when you are finished- you put it back on your car, take it home, clean it, and put it back into storage.
- On the other hand, BMX bikes generally accelerate and handle faster because of the smaller wheels. But they are not built for over longer distances or extremely rough terrain. In that case, Mountain bikes have an easier time with tough terrain where your cycling will be smoother riding but also slower compared to a BMX bike speed.
Do BMX Bikes Have Seats and Gears?
Yes, but they got low seats for the clearance of cool stuff like bunny hops, bar spins, suicide no handers, and no-footed cancan whips. The low seat’s geometry helps to easy pedaling, more power to pump, and acrobatic movements without leaning far behind the wheels or tyres.
- Are BMX Seats Comfortable? – Actually, BMX seats are not comfortable if you are planning to go for a long ride. But some adjustments could make cyclists sitting on the saddle more comfortable-
Handlebar height, Saddle’s height, Saddle bar angle, Changing Saddle, Cleat Positioning, Adjustment of the reach position from hand to the handlebar, Reducing Tyre Pressure, using Double Wrap Bar Tape, Fitting the Mudguards.
- Can BMX Bike Seat be Changed? – Yes, the BMX seat can easily be interchangeable or changeable, if the diameter or length is matched. All the freestyle standard BMX bikes feature 4 mm in size. So any manufacturing company of that size offering good construction materials is well-fit to go.
Gearing of a BMX Cycling:
There are different BMX designs in the market so the gearings differ in ratios and gear designs. Generally, two kinds of gear are seen on a BMX bike- Tall and Short gearing. Tall gearings are larger in terms of gear ratio, whereas short gearing is the opposite. Moreover, taller gearing means riders have to pedal harder generating biking speed. On the contrary, short gearings are easy to generate the same amount of momentum.
Typically, the BMX bike has a greater gearing ratio of 44/16. But the modern versions have smaller gearing in the ratios of 22/8, 23/8, 25/9 up to 36/13.
- BMX bikes generally offer one or two gears in most cases.
- If the BMX is not a custom-made or specialized BMX cycle, then it is quite impossible to watch a BMX with fixed gear.
Why Do BMX Bikes Have No Brakes?
A BMX bike is not like an ordinary bike. A BMX bike is worked for Stunt, Racing, and High-Velocity Hustling. BMX riders have the training to sustain complete control over the road. That’s why BMX bikes have no brakes. But that’s not the ultimate truth, it has brakes on the rear wheel which is less effective (almost zero). And, a majority of the BMX manufacturers use U-brakes with rubber brake pads.
So, can you ride a BMX bike without brakes?
Of course, you can ride a BMX bike without brakes. Riding BMX is like an ordinary bike, but you have to know how to stop it. As they have no brakes. So, it would be best if you concentrated on it.
There are several steps to stopping a BMX bike:
Step-1: If the bike is slow, then use your feet. Put your feet on the ground gently and try to grab the ground with your feet.
Step-2: Suppose your bike is speedy, then create pressure on the rear wheels with the feet. After a while, the BMX will stop.
Step-3: If you put one foot on the ground and turn the bike completely, it will stop.
Can a BMX be Used as a Normal Bike?
Now let’s deep dive into the main topic. In this section, I will go through all of the quarries that will make you understand whether a cyclist can use BMX as a regular bike or not.
For whom BMX Bikes are suitable?
Already we have well-known that BMX bikes are used for stunts, dirt jumps, and racing. People of all ages, kids, teens, and adults, can use this bike.
Which bike size is suitable depends on the user’s height, weight, and age. So here is the following table for understanding the matters.
|Rider height||age||BMX Bike size|
|4’00” and under||7 years||15″-16″|
|4’4″ -4’10”||12 years||17″-18’5″|
|5’10” and over||20 years and above.||20’5″ and over|
At what age should you start BMX?
The 5 to 8-years kids often start cycling on a 16-inch BMX. But it is important to select the right bike for the kid or children according to their height and size. And, the above chart will definitely help you in that matter.
As a BMX is smaller in size and built for optimum speed and control, it is a popular choice for kids, teenagers, and beginners.
Furthermore, if grown and aged adults like ‘Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Batty, and Christian Lucas’ can ride on BMX bikes, then why not you? They are all 45+ years of mature adults and still love to do cool stuff after ages. It helps all ages of mature cyclists to improve their handling skills. Though mature adults should not care about the opinion of strangers about their choice of two-wheeled transportation. But still, it is a mature decision if you have thought of falling and comfortable issues.
- Also, there is a question like ‘is a BMX bike good for a 6’1′ guy or not!’ Oh, Man! Basically, I want to tell you- “We are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you differently.”
- And Yes, unfortunately, a 6 feet+ tall guy may look awkward cycling this smaller size racing bike. But the 24 or 26-inch BMX bikes with 26″ or 27.5″ wheels will fit better. Perhaps you can ride all three, but I suggest the bigger ones for you.
Is riding a BMX bike hard?
Riding a BMX bike is not hard. A person who can ride a regular bike can also ride a BMX bike. It is easy to ride. On the contrary, a newbie or a child can learn to ride a bike using a BMX bike. From the beginning of the BMX era, it was suitable for children. So, it can be said that riding a BMX bike is not hard.
Can I use a BMX bike for the street?
A BMX bike is not used for general purposes. So, using a BMX bike on the street is quite complicated. In the USA, different roads follow different laws. Riding a bike without a brake is prohibited on many American highways. On some streets, you can drive. There are many cars on the road, it is risky to ride a bike without brakes, so you can’t ride a BMX bike on all streets. It can be driven on certain roads subject to permission.
Are BMX Bikes Suitable for Long-distance and Commuting?
BMX bikes are driven standing and used for stunts, Racing, and other particular purposes over a short distance cycling. But foot relaxation is required when traveling to distant places. In that case, you can’t do that.
Additionally, using a BMX bike for long-distance will not be comfortable and possible. Sometimes it could be a little strainful depending on the distance of travel. So, take your call according to your fitness, need, and comfort.
When we think about city rides or daily commutes by cycling from here and there, we look for something related to the following facts:
- Comfortable riding position.
- Mounting racks or fenders capability to carry some extra loads.
- Stable and fine braking on our commuter bike.
- Perfect Wheel size and stable Gearing for commuting over on-road or off-track trails.
- A very comfortable-shaped geometry of a bicycle.
Counting these facts, it is possible to commute with a BMX bike as a commuter for up to 5 miles. But still, it seems an impractical choice. Whatever, the geometry and wheel size may be okay for commuting but the other facts are not matched to grant a BMX for commuting. In fact, BMX has no brake on the front wheel! It is mainly for speed, exercise, and doing cool cycling with a simple design.
So, what we can do in this case:
- Planning to race with a BMX is an excellent choice so far.
- Commuting up to 5 miles with BMX is still a fine thing.
- But planning a cycling voyage like a downhill MTB race or a 10-mile trail, or commuting over 5-miles a day would be a terrible choice for any biker.
As you see, I have covered all the high-voltage asking’s through the topic- can a BMX be used as a regular bike? Not only that one, but also discussed its type, benefits, braking style, gearing, seat, disadvantages, and suitable things based on situations. The main thing is that a BMX is made for acrobatic movements, doing something different. Moreover, it is a poor choice if you want to go for a long ride with it.
But other criteria and selecting matters depend upon you and only you. Remember this one- ‘no one is too old or too young for riding a bike’. And please, don’t let anyone say what you have to do.