Introduction to BMX Bikes
Inspired by motocross in the early 1970’s, BMX, or Bicycle Motocross, was a youthful marvel that began in the state of California in the United States. What was once solely a sport that was a bicycle race around an obstacle infiltrated racetrack, has now become a general term depicting various extreme bicycling. Even today’s Olympic Games have competitions for BMX including the vert, freestyle, dirt, and flatland racing. BMX bikes encompass various disciplines and sizes that apply to an assortment of applications.
Depending on the nature of your riding style, or your riding aspirations, there is a BMX bike for you. There are dirt BMX bikes, racing BMX bikes, vert BMX bikes, street BMX bikes, freestyle BMX bikes, and various others that fall under more specific categories. Whether you are searching for your first BMX bike, your child’s first bike, your second BMX bike, or even a pro BMX bike, you will have no trouble finding the perfect one. Manufacturers have lined up a vast assortment of colours including blue, orange, red, black, green, yellow, purple, white, gold, and also include various patterns, designs, and accents.
Doing your research before you buy is very important before settling down on one BMX bike. With the term BMX being so general, there are a multitude of options, disciplines, and categories that fall under the genre. Without understanding what each bike is designed for, you might find yourself purchasing a two-wheeled paperweight that never gets used. BMX encompasses heavy bikes, lighter bikes, bikes with pegs, bikes equipped with have-duty spokes, thicker axles, various gear ratios, and even different brake systems, in which all play major roles in their specific applications.
When you enter a bicycle shop, you will find row after row of bikes on both the floor, and probably the ceiling! To start your search, begin your BMX bike lessons by understanding that there are basically two different BMX bike frames: Freestyle or Jump Bikes and BMX Race Bikes. As choosing a bike because of its colour might be the same as judging a book by its cover, understand that just because the majority of BMX bikes look similar, they are not.
Freestyle or jump BMX bike frames are designed to withstand a lot of weight and abuse, as freestyle BMX biking and dirt jumps put a lot of strain on the bike’s frame. These BMX bike frames are heavier, and are equipped with 36-48 spoke wheels. So what is the big deal? Well, if you are going to be using your next BMX bike for recreational use, these bikes will weigh you down and waste money on features you are not going to even use; like a “Gyro” braking system that allows your front wheel to spin 360 degrees without tangling any cables.
BMX race bikes have a similar frame to a freestyle BMX bike; however this is only in appearance. BMX race bikes have frames that are lightweight and are made of different metals than their jump bike counterparts. These bikes tend to apply to more recreational use, as well as racing.
Besides bike frames, there are several places you want to begin your search. Department stores are known for lesser quality bicycles, so be sure to get educated before venturing into any store other than a bike shop. Mongoose, Haro, Diamondback, Hoffman, Boss, Odyssey, Rhino Huffy , Rooster, Bullion , Assassin, and Zen are just a few manufacturers that are associated with quality products and have developed sound reputations; you do not have to purchase one of these bikes, but rather become familiar with their standards of quality to further your knowledge of BMX bikes.
With so many choices of BMX bikes, choosing the right bike for you can be difficult. That is why we have developed a series of buying tips to help make your decision a little easier, or at least get your feet wet. After you narrow down your selection to the best BMX bike for you, be sure to check back with us to find the best price in the UK
Types of BMX Bikes
Freestyle – Freestyle BMX bikes are designed for stunts and tricks, whether on the street on dirt. A freestyle bike frame is designed to be sturdy and strong to withstand verts, grinding, impact of landing, and the abuse of dirt riding. These types of BMX bikes have wider tyres for greater surface area to increase traction. They also have thicker spokes, as well as more abundant spokes to allow for stronger wheels. Furthermore, freestyle bikes are equipped with a “Gyro” that inhibits cables from being tangled and still delivers optimal braking. The most common type of brake on a freestyle bike is a U-Brake. These types of brake are not designed for quick stopping power, but rather to hold the bike in place to perform tricks.
Racing – BMX race bikes are very lightweight and are built to withstand the demands of racing. They have thinner tires, less spokes, various crankshaft sizes designed for speed and quick acceleration. Racing BMX bikes are generally equipped with linear brakes that are designed for sudden stops from fast speeds. Also, racing bikes tend to have 36 teeth on the front sprocket and 16 on the rear sprocket; this ratio allows for optimum speed.
Jumping – Jump BMX bikes have very strong frames, much like their freestyle brothers. Jump bikes have very strong wheels that are commonly furnished with 36, 13 gauge spokes. Also, a jumping bike will not have a front brake for safety when landing jumps, but only one rear U-brake. Lastly, it is not uncommon for a jump bike to be saddle-less, as riders are always standing throughout their runs.
Accessories for BMX Bikes
A bike helmet goes hand in hand when purchasing a BMX bike; especially if you are going to be hitting the jumps! Think of a helmet as the seatbelts in an automobile.
Bike gloves can help you maintain maximum control of your new BMX bike. Usually composed of leather, or synthetic alternatives, bike gloves offer supreme grip of the handlebars.
A bike jacket, pair of bike shorts, or biking shoes may all be of benefit to your BMX bike purchase. All bike apparel is designed to give you an optimal experience when riding, while also giving you added safety features.
There are so many choices when it comes to purchasing a new BMX bike. As BMX is such a general term, encompassing so many different styles of biking, you must do your research to make the right choice.
This guide is designed to help you start the search for your next BMX bike. After you find the best bike for you, check back with us to find the best price!