Different Types of BMX Bikes & Making the Right Choice


With all kinds of different brand names, BMX types, price tags, and appealing, shiny spare parts, you as a buyer might get a bit overwhelmed. Before you buy a BMX, make sure you know what you want to do. There are different types of BMX bikes and a dirt ,for example, BMX is quite different from a freestyle bike.

BMX bikes are racing bikes made of steel, carbon, or aluminum. The lighter the material, the more expensive the bike will be. There are various types of BMX bikes on the market. BMX bikes come into three categories; The Original BMX, The Freestyle bike, and The Dirt Jumper.

Every season, bike companies launch new models with more color choices and price ranges available. How can you pick the most suitable BMX bike that is right for you?

How to Choose a BMX Bike

BMX rider is performing tricks in a skatepark

When you intend to research and learn about the different types of BMX bikes and how you can make the correct choice when buying a bike, it is vital to understand this sport’s origin and purpose.

A BMX bike is used in Motocross, which now is an official Olympics sport. Started in the late ’60s and became a popular phenomenon in the early ’70s, BMX symbolizes looking cool and fearless in front of all the people watching you.

This awesome sport is endorsed by people like Bob Haro, Mat Hoffman, and Daniel Dhers. These legends have helped shape this type of Motocross sport. Now that I have captured your attention, let’s find out which type of BMX bike will be the right choice for you.

Firstly, you will need to ask yourself what your intention is. For instance, if you want to race on dirt tracks, the “true” or “original” BMX bike would be a perfect choice. This BMX bike will be great on dirt, and if you wish to learn and perform some easy tricks, it will not disappoint you either.

However, for Skateparks or Jump Riding, you should opt for a “Freestyle” BMX. However, if you want to bend the air, a “Jumper” BMX bike will be ideal for you. This amazing type of bike will definitely boost your “air-time!”

Furthermore, you will need to check the frame sizes, wheel sizes, and other parts when deciding on purchasing a BMX bike. Mini-sized bikes are suitable for kids and teenagers, whereas adults generally use at least a 20-inch bike. Therefore, a beginner needs first to understand the difference between models in a BMX bike to make the right choice.

What Are The Different Types of BMX Bikes?

Here are various types of BMX bikes (other than the “true” or “original” BMX) discussed in details:

Dirt Bikes:

These bikes are the most similar to the true BMX bikes. Its tires come with a thicker thread, and it grips better on potentially slippery surfaces.

Flatland Bikes:

The bikes most fit for flatland have differing frame geometry from typical BMX bikes. It has a precise balance on a multifold of BMX parts.

Park Style Bikes:

The so-called Vert bikes or Park Style bikes are generically lighter than dirt or flatland bikes. Manufacturers reduce the structural length of specific areas of a bike. It is practical if you only ride in parks and not on rough terrains. Sometimes, brakes are absent in a vert.

Race Bikes:

A Race Bike has a larger front sprocket than other types of BMX. A racing-style BMX bike creates a high gear ratio, enabling the rider to ride at top speed. Brakes are a must for racing bikes. Safety first!

Street Style Bikes:

Sreet Style Bikes are built to ride on benches and sidewalks; they have plastic pegs installed on the axles, helping a BMX rider grind on rails. A Street Style is more robust and heavier than dirt bikes. A Street Style bike does not have a brake installed, but some riders prefer a pedal brake to the rear.

Types of BMX Styles

Typically, a BMX bike has a twenty-inch wheel’s diameter. We can divide the type of BMX bikes based on track types:

For Racing on BMX Tracks

This one is the most famous type of BMX, alternatively known as “the True BMX.” This original BMX comes with low-profile tires and strong brakes. It is a lightweight racing bike, which is perfect to use on BMX tracks.

This is a dirt track ready bike. With a lightweight frame, it is the best off-road bike for short distances. It usually comes in full Chromoly or Aluminum frames. Typically, a heavy price for an original BMX means light in weight.

For Dirt Jumping & Skatepark Tricks

If you are gearing up for park riding, grinding, tricks, stunts, and street rails, a Dirt bike is definitely the one for you. It comes either in brakeless models or with a rear brake. It has PC plastic pegs attached to the axle to provide you support for standing while displaying tricks. This bike is well equipped to handle crashes and stunt “abuse.”

A dirt bike uses a BMX style called Freestyle riding. This bike is the best choice if you are unsure about which BMX to buy. You can always remove the pegs and make it as similar to a True BMX as possible.

For Flatland

A Flatland Bike is best suited for flatland other than Skatepark or rough terrains. It supports trick riding on the streets and has a smaller frame. A Flatland bike is mostly used for racing and has front and rear U-brakes. When a stunt rider is displaying tricks on a Flatland bike, the bike stays in motion throughout the stunt.

Flatland bikes work around a style commonly known as “the breakdance style.” Because of the unique frame features and geometry, it supports an effortless motion.

How To Choose The Right BMX Bike?

Choosing the right BMX bike depends on three primary factors:

  1. Age
  2. Skill-level
  3. Purpose

Age

If you want to purchase a BMX bike for your kid, the age bracket says a lot about the choice you will make. For a kid aged 4 to 6 years, a Mini-size will be suitable.

It allows a low standover height. It comes with smaller cranks of 130-145 mm. However, if your kid is six to nine years old, you will need a slightly larger frame. This typically means cranks of 145-160 mm, and a tire size of 20 x 3/8 inch.

A BMX size with a longer top tube with 160-170 mm cranks and 20 x 1.5-inch tires are ideal for adults. You can also choose the full size, which is suitable for pros. It will have a crank size of 175-180 mm cranks and 20 x 2-inch tires. These BMX sizes will help you decide what is best for the intended age bracket.

Skill-Level

Undoubtedly, purchasing a BMX bike depends a lot upon the skill-level of the rider. If you are a beginner, you should buy a complete BMX for under $500. Afterward, you can continue to upgrade the parts as deemed necessary when you’re getting better and better at riding and doing stunts.

However, if you are a pro, you should look for a high-end complete BMX or a custom Build BMX. This selection might affect your budget as custom builds or high-quality completes are more expensive, but it would really be better to select a bike that matches your skillset.

Purpose

As previously discussed, usually, there are three purposes:

  1. BMX Tracks
  2. Dirt/Jump/Skatepark Stunts
  3. Flatland and Freestyle

Once you have identified your purpose, it becomes easier to pick the right BMX bike. Overall, these three factors help you choose the right BMX bike for your collection (or first bike).

What Are Good BMX Bike Brands?

If you were wondering which brand to choose, here are our top five BMX bike brands.

Mongoose

Mongoose is a lead BMX bikes’ brand, which was established in 1974. Its Mongoose Legion L500, for instance, has a 4130 Chromoly frame. Legion series offer one of the best freestyle BMX bikes.

Subrosa

A Subrosa Letum 2021 BMX bike costs $776.46. This full Chromoly frame comes with a free coaster, pegs, and a bash guard. Letum by Subrosa was built to rule the streets.

Fit

Fit is a brand offering all sizes and colors, which is a strength-focused bike company. With an average price of $500, it is an affordable choice for many bikers. For example, a FIT PRK bike is $502.01, and it is very suitable for riding in parks.

WTP

WETHEPEOPLE (WTP) is a famous BMX brand starting from $366.66 to $1450.30. For instance, WTP Revolver is a high-end product with a sophisticated bike for $1338.73. This bike has plenty of juice with 28-9 gearing.

GT

GT offers Complete bikes starting from $312.37 to $1030.02. GT speed series, for instance, is an excellent choice for people with medium skill-level. With double-wall rims and Chromoly fork, GT speed series pro BMX race bike 2021 is a stiffer product. It has a dynamic color of Nuclear Yellow.

Similarities and Differences Between BMX Styles

BMX dirt rider doing a trick

Many people wonder what the difference is between BMX Racing bikes and BMX Trick bikes. A newcomer to Motocross might not know the difference between the two.

Still, if you buy a bike without this knowledge, the purchased BMX might not fit your needs afterward. Comparing a BMX Racing bike and a Trick bike is not the same as an apple-to-apple comparison.

Let’s first take a step back and define the difference between BMX styles. Firstly, BMX bikes are used for the following three styles.

  1. BMX Racing
  2. Freestyle Riding
  3. Street Riding

Freestyle bikes are made for aerial stunts, ramp maneuvers, and various other stunts. One should expect a freestyle bike to get knocked around a lot.

Its frame is strong enough to tolerate the rough handling, prevent damage, and is light enough to be jump-able. Some people use freestyle bikes for street riding too. A pro can display some crazy stunts on the streets with this bike.

The major difference between street bikes and freestyle bikes is the absence of brakes. You cannot use these bikes on every turf. Street bikes are ideal for urban areas with a lot of rails and stairs.

BMX bikes, or the so-called “true BMX,” are made to race in the dirt. You can expect to reach high speeds with these kinds of bikes. The ability to sprint makes it different from the other two forms of BMX styles. You cannot expect a true BMX bike to display tricks in a skatepark because of its lightweight.

Similarities and Differences Between BMX Styles – Wheels

Another factor to consider for BMX bikes is their wheels. Freestyle bikes have rims of steel (just like the nerves of riders that are also made of steel).

Street style bikes have 48 wheel spokes. At the same time, freestyle bikes have this number a little higher. Still, there is some similarity between freestyle and street style. The tires are smoother than a BMX racing bike to better grip the urban concrete.

BMX bikes that are used for racing have lighter wheels with lesser spokes. You can expect the BMX racing wheels to be a lot faster than freestyle or street style. Generally, BMX bikes have 32 wheel spokes. BMX bikes’ wheels grip better on rough terrains and muddy tracks. The tires are also slimmer than freestyle or street style bikes.

Can BMX Bikes Go On Trails?

BMX racing bikes on a track

A BMX bike suits the streets. It belongs to the skate parks, BMX tracks, rails, and stairs. Now, you cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb trees. That saying goes for BMX on trails as well. MTB, or Mountain Bikes, are what fits the trail style, which is mainly because of the following three reasons:

Low Seats

As previously discussed, a BMX bike has lower seats as compared to a regular bicycle. If you watch Motocross on TV, you will notice the riders are always standing while riding.

A BMX bike is made this way so that bikers can jump and display stunts without the seat getting in the way. The construction of a BMX allows a biker to pedal while standing. The seats are merely there for two reasons:

  1. Casual sitting
  2. Waiting for your turn

No Gears

BMX bikes typically have no gears installed on the bike. The gear cables will make it hard for a cyclist to perform tricks like a tail whip. When you ride on the trails, you are riding the bike for a longer period. This journey will not be smooth without proper seats and gears.

A BMX is Not a Commuter’s Bike

BMX is generally used for trick riding and stunts. The purpose of a BMX bike is not to travel long distances. Therefore, BMX bikes are not suitable for trails.

How is a BMX Bike Different From a Regular Bike?

A typical BMX bike has multiple differences compared to a standard road bike. A few differences are mentioned below:

Tubes

A BMX bike has a much smaller tube than a regular road bike. It has a twenty-inch long tube installed on the bike. In comparison, a road bike will have a forty-five-inch tube.

Weight

BMX bikes are generally lighter in weight than a road bike or an MTB. The small frame is the primary reason for its lightweight. Moreover, the full Chromoly option (available in most BMX bikes) helps it weigh a lot lighter than standard bikes.

Durability

Road bikes cannot stomach crashes, bumps, and excessive abuse. However, BMX bikes are known to be durable.

Small Wheel Size but Powerful

BMX wheels have an option for the rims to be powerfully built. Knobby tires make them less slippery. Thus, standard bikes are different from a BMX because of the powerfully built wheels.

Lack of Components

BMX bikes typically have the following features to improve their performance.

  • One gear only
  • No need for pedaling efficiency
  • BMX does not use freewheel assembly

Lack of Interest in Brakes

Although some BMX bikes have brakes installed, it is not very fashionable or common to use them. Moreover, U-brakes are another difference.

Road bikes do not have U-brakes; whereas, BMX bikes have this feature. Brake cables can tangle with the handlebar. A BMX biker is prone to perform 360-degree stunts, so brake cables influence the lack of braking behavior.

Conclusion

The BMX world is a lot different from the regular bicycle world. BMX is all about fun, style, grace, bravura, no fear, and elegance. A BMX rider thinks differently and acts in his way. A newcomer might not understand the BMX culture and all the knowledge, gear, and other stuff that comes along with it.

With all the different models and specifications on the market today, it is only normal you don’t know where to begin or what to buy. This blog post has discussed all the crucial factors related to the BMX types, styles, and how you can make the right choice.

If you want to ride BMX to perform stunts, you should purchase a Freestyle BMX bike. If you are intrigued about BMX racing, you ought to buy the original, or true BMX. Still, if you are not sure, you should buy the all-rounder BMX bike for a quick run down the stairs or maybe a bunny hop.

Whichever BMX bike you choose for which purpose, go out and have fun and stay safe. That’s the most important thing!

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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