You can ride BMX bikes on the road, but it will not be a great experience. When you want to cover over 1 to 2 miles on the road, using BMX bikes will be difficult for you. Though it has several features which will give you a lot of benefits in stunts but also cause problems on road rides.
In this article, I am going to discuss about riding BMX bikes on the road, the difference between BMX and Regular bikes, their speed, Choosing the right BMX for ownself, the benefits with shortfalls of BMX cycle, and many more essential matters related to this topic. Hopefully, my experience will help you know about BMX bikes and choose a bike for you. Let’s get started.
What’s The Difference Between BMX Bikes And Regular Bikes?
Structural aspects of BMX bikes differ from regular bikes because of the different objectives. You may have noticed that BMX bikes use very few accessories. This feature sets BMX bikes apart from regular bikes. Below, I present the differences between both bikes through a chart.
|Parameters||BMX bikes||Regular bikes|
|Wheels||The wheels of BMX bikes are usually smaller and come with knobby tyres.||The wheels of regular bikes are bigger than BMX bikes and come with comparatively flexible tyres.|
|Frame||Simple, strong, rigid, and compact.||Comparatively larger and flexible frame.|
|Gear||Single gear system.||Have multiple gear systems.|
|Suspension||Have no suspension.||Comes with a front suspension or full suspension system.|
|Brakes||Typically use a rear caliper brake.||Available with the caliper, disc, or a combined braking system.|
|Weight||Lightweight||Heavier than BMX bike|
|Comfortability||Not so comfortable.||Much more comfortable than a BMX bike.|
|Maintenance||Requires less maintenance than a regular bike.||Requires frequent maintenance.|
Where Can You Use A BMX Bike?
You can use BMX bikes for stunts, various tricks, or jumps. These bikes are basically made for these purposes. But any cyclists still can use the bikes to ride on the road or in the vicinity. Although these will not give you a very comfortable feeling, you can use them for a short period.
But if you want to use your BMX bike in all these places, you may need to upgrade the bike. Below, I will discuss in detail the use of BMX bikes in different places.
● Riding BMX Bikes On The Road
Bikers can ride their BMX bike on the road if they want, even if it is not comfortable. The following 3 features of this bike make it very difficult to ride on the road. Which are-
1. Seat Position:
The low seat position of BMX bikes is quite inconvenient for long-time bike riding. When you ride a bike on the road, this seat position will be quite difficult for you, and riding too far will be tough though.
2. Braking System:
A BMX bike usually has rear-wheel brakes, which are not always enough. In particular, you need better braking systems to ride a bike in the city or in a crowd. Otherwise, you may have an accident and you may have to go to the hospital.
3. Gear System:
BMX bikes usually contain a single gear system. That’s why you need to paddle a lot while riding a bike and you get tired quickly.
● Usage Of A BMX To Commute
A BMX bike is not so convenient for commuting. You will notice uncomfortable even crossing a mile or two. Although these require less maintenance and are durable, you will get tired of using them in a brief time. If you still want to use these BMX bikes for commuting, you need to keep the following points in mind.
- The wheels of BMX bikes use hard tires, which will not give you confidence during braking.
- They are less controllable than regular bikes as they only include rear-wheel brakes. In a crowd or on a city ride, you may get in trouble or have an accident.
- Multiple gear systems of a bike make your ride convenient, but the single gear system on this bike does not help you in this case.
- Small wheels and low seats on BMX bikes make your seating position awkward.
- No suspension will make your journey more difficult.
Besides these drawbacks, BMX bikes also have some advantages in terms of transportation. They are-
- These are lightweight; you can easily lift them if you face any obstacles.
- The price of BMX bikes is relatively low.
- Compatible with concrete.
- These require fewer repairs, saving you time and money.
- Extremely long-lasting.
Why BMX Bikes Are So Popular?
BMX bikes are not so convenient for city rides, trails, or commuting. But it will surprise you to know that these bikes are still so popular. The following 5 features of the BMX bike make it so popular.
1. Easy to Use
The bikes are relatively easy to use. It has only the necessary parts, so you do not have to face any big obstacles. The single gear system of these bikes provides convenience in performing various tricks.
2. Simple Design
The design of a BMX biker tends to be simple in nature. So Riders do not have to be distracted during tricks because of a lack of extra gears and features.
3. Cheap Price
These bikes cost less than other bikes, especially compare to mountain bikes. And it makes the BMX bikes more popular.
4. Easy Maintenance
These bikes are easy to maintain because of the lack of spare parts. There is no need to waste extra money and time maintaining the bike.
5. Popularity in the Mass Media
Currently, you can share popular stunts through the media. So if you like to do bike stunts, then these bikes will help you to be popular in the media.
Why BMX Seats Are Uncomfortable?
The seat size, settings, and height of BMX bikes make it uncomfortable, although this is true of most bikes. If you do not use the bike regularly, then you will have some problems at first adapting to this seat. But if you use it for a few days, you will gradually become accustomed to it.
Other facts that make a BMX bike seat uncomfortable are-
- Position of the Handlebar: If the position of the handlebars of your bike is not correct, the seat feels uncomfortable. As such, the BMX is much taller than the seat of the bike, which makes the seats uncomfortable.
- Beginner Rider: As a beginner rider, you will notice uncomfortable riding a BMX bike. The design and height of this bike will make the seat appear uncomfortable for you.
- Seat Cover: Seats can be uncomfortable because of the fabric used on the seat cover of the bike.
- Seat Made From Hard Material: The seat can be uncomfortable if any hard material is used to make the seat of your BMX bike.
- Seat size: Bike seats for BMX tend to be smaller. Sometimes this seat maybe even smaller, which is uncomfortable.
How Fast Can A BMX Bike Go?
The average speed of BMX bikes used for racing on the downhill ramp ranges from 48 km to 56 km (30 to 35 miles per hour). Besides, the average speed of a freestyle BMX bike is 10 to 15 km (6 to 9 miles per hour).
However, the experience and skill of the rider play an important role in this speed. You need to pay special attention if you want to ride a BMX bike faster. These are:
- Always choose lightweight frame They require less power to ride and you can ride them at higher speeds.
- Keep the front end of the bike a little lower; it will be easier to gain speed.
- You should keep your bike always clean, especially if dirt accumulates in the drive chain, which prevents the bike from accelerating.
- Be aware of regular maintenance and the use of lubricating.
- Properly inflated tires help the bike gain speed, so check the buck tires regularly.
- The loose paddles slow you down, so check if pedal tension is perfect.
What Ages Are Considered Suitable For Riding BMX Bikes?
BMX is a sports category bike and people of any age can use these bikes, including youngsters. The wheels of this bike range in size from 12 inches to 24 inches.
- In general, a BMX bike with a 16-inch wheel is best for those aged 5 to 8 years or 8 feet to 4.6 feet in height.
- People of all ages can use a BMX bike with 20-inch wheels and we consider this size the ideal for this segment.
- If your height is much higher, you can choose 24-inch BMX
Since BMX bikes are generally used for various stunts, youngsters use these bikes more. However, even if you are older, you can use a BMX bike.
How Do I Choose A BMX Bike?
Everyone uses BMX bikes for stunts, so they have to endure a lot of bumps. It is important that your BMX bike will be much stronger. Besides the frame, you need to pay special attention to a few more things. The following points you must consider when choosing a BMX bike.
1. Size: Size is a very important factor in choosing a BMX bike. You need to determine the size of the tube at the top of the bike according to your height.
- If your height is below 5ft 7“, then the length of the tube should be 25”.
- And, if your height is more than 6ft, then you may have to choose a BMX bike with a tube size of 21“or more.
2. Weight: Although a lightweight BMX bike can be a bit expensive, you must choose a lightweight bike. Because that will provide a lot of benefits during the stunts as well as the convenience of running at a much faster speed.
3. Frame Material: Many companies use steel tubing in the frame of their BMX bikes. But bike frames made using 4120 Cromoly will be much stronger and lighter.
4. Sprocket: It would be convenient to have a small 25-30t sprocket in front of your bike. This is because a heavy bike with a large sprocket can cause difficulties during various stunts.
5. Sealed Bearings: Sealed bearings help a BMX bike to ride smoothly for a long time. So check if there are sealed bearings in the front and rear hub, headset, or bottom bracket of the bike.
6. Double-Wall Rim: If you would expect your bike to be much stronger. Then, in that case, a double-wall rim makes your BMX bike even stronger.
What Size BMX Do I Need?
You need to determine the size of the BMX bike based on your height. We usually measure BMX bikes in two ways:
- Wheel size
- and, Frame Length.
People consider a 20-inch wheel size ideal for a BMX bike, but it varies from 12 inches to 24 inches. To determine frame size, companies express in XS, small, medium, large, etc.
Below I am presenting through a chart which wheel size bike would be suitable for you according to your height.
|Rider Height||Wheel Size|
|2ft to 3ft||12-inch|
|2’8″ to 3’4″||14-inch|
|3ft to 3’8″||16-inch|
|3’6″ to 4’6″||18-inch|
|4ft to 5’4″||20-inch|
|5ft to 5’8″||20-inch|
|6ft to more||20-inch|
If your height is above 6 feet, give an experimental ride when buying a bike. If you feel comfortable with a wheel larger than 20 inches, you can take one.
You can ride BMX bikes on the road with no problems if you make some upgrades on your sweetie. Sometimes this up-gradation can be expensive, but considering the durability of these bikes, it will be neglectable.
For many reasons, a BMX bike can be your favorite choice. Riding these bikes on city roads, unpaved trails, and tough terrains can be quite an exciting experience. But considering the main and partial usages, choosing the right BMX bike is also very important. Hopefully, this article will also help you to select the right bike for yourself.