There has never been a better time to get into riding a BMX. The BMX community has never been as big as it is today and never have there been so many models to chose from. Manufacturers have continued to improve their designs over the years and as a result they have brought us components that are much lighter, yet stronger, wider variety of frames sizes, customizable colour schemes and all the gadgets in between that you can think of. Hopefully, this guide will be able to help you settle on a design that best suits you and your riding style. So let’s take a look.
People often throw around the term BMX bike without too much thought and without knowing the particular type of bike they are referring to. There are four main BMX bike types: race bikes, cruisers, street/dirt-jump/park bikes and flatland. Let’s take a look at them individually so you can see which design suits you the best.
The first true BMX bikes started it all, all the way back in the 60’s. They were knockoffs of motocross motorcycles and were designed for racing through jumps and around the berms in the dirt. It didn’t take long before every kid had one, racers or not. BMX race bikes have 50 cm wheels 2 or 4 piece handlebars, small seats, long cranks and strong rear brakes. Their frames are designed to be very lightweight and as you go up with the price, the lighter and stronger frames you will find.
Cruisers are designed for relaxing leisure rides, they are light and very nimble. Their frames are longer and a bit closer to the ground than BMX race bikes, but their larger frames allow for larger wheels all the way up to 60 cm. They are also suited for racing but they really shine when taken out for a pleasant cruise around town. BMX cruiser bikes are also great for tall people as their longer frame allows for the cyclist to stretch their legs further.
These BMX bikes are built to last as they have a very sturdy build and are made from steel. However, having that extra durability also weighs the bike down and can make racing a bit difficult. You can, however, spend a bit more money and get a bike of this type made from special materials that retain the bike’s durability but don’t add to the weight of the bike. Their frame is very similar to the BMX cruiser bikes as they are longer and a bit taller than BMX race bikes. These bikes are perfect if you haven’t developed your own riding style yet, their design is suited for all types of riding.
Flatland bikes are the most specialized out of all of them. Their frame has a unique geometry for the purpose of them being able to be great on flatland. Many people have referred to this type of riding as the breakdancing of biking since riders are in constant motion and are trying to balance their bikes and perform tricks. One very notable differences from other bikes are the freecoaster hub and the zero-offset fork. The frecoaster allows the wheel to spin backwards without affecting the turning cranks. This allows the rider to roll in any direction without changing the position of their feet.