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BMX bikes are becoming increasingly popular because of their plentiful outstanding features and they are much different from ordinary bikes. To pick the right bike, apart from some common features such as two wheels, one seat, and handlebars, you need to know more disparities between a BMX bike and a road bike or a mountain bicycle that amateurs can barely tell. What are they? Let find out in this post.

What is BMX Bike?

The Gary Young Soundwave BMX Bikes

The Gary Young Soundwave BMX Bikes

While the regular bike is one of the most common means of transportation in numerous countries, “BMX” is probably an unfamiliar term.

“BMX” stands for bicycle motocross. It’s famous for the ability to cross different terrains such as dirt, street, and flatland. Based on various features and ideal use, BMX bikes are divided into 3 types which are BMX, Freestyle, and Jump.

When it comes to BMX- a dirt-ready race bike, it used for dirt races, especially, it can go fast through rough and short distances due to a lightweight frame and super strong brake. Freestyle is a perfect option for cyclists who are learning and performing stunts and tricks as it has pavement-ready tires and ultra-beefy frame. Jump (also called Dirt Jump) is a perfect fusion of two types above with dual functions including carving trails and jumping ramps.

So back to our question, what are the differences between a BMX bike and a regular one? We will highlight each characteristic to help you make the right choice.

Purpose

BMX was created for super strength, rapid speed changes, and harsh terrains. In general, BMX bikes have 2 main functions which are performing tricks and stunts in a bike race settings such as ramps and rails and competing on bike races. BMX racing was first introduced as an official sport in the Beijing Olympics.

As regards normal bikes, it has a lot of functions that can address daily needs such as practicing, traveling to schools, and workplaces.

Frame

The Title Elite Pro XL BMX bikes

The Title Elite Pro XL BMX bikes

A frame of BMX varies from 16 to 26 inches, a typical BMX’s measure is 20 inches in diameter, while those figures of a regular bike are 45-inch. You can imagine how smaller a BMX bike is.

Freestyle and jumping vary from 16’’ to 20 ’’, 16-inch type or younger and 20-inch type for most of the riders. Small wheels are inflexible to change direction fast as they heavier to cross big landings

Some brands such as Haro and Sunday provide 24’’ wheel to satisfy the needs of taller cyclists. The big and oversized frames can rapidly over rocks and logs.

Weight

Because of smaller frames, the weight of BMX is just nearly half of that of a normal bike, making it suitable for cross short distances easily.

Moreover, Freestyle BMX bikes are made of chrome steel – a super lightweight material. Apart from lightweight, this material provides enough strength and durability.

The super-lightweight of BMX doesn’t stop there, the BMX wheel can be also made of aluminum which is far slighter than chrome steel, thus, enables riders to across harsh terrains with high speeds.

Handle Bar

Unlike a regular bike, BMX has a “gyro” feature which enables the handlebar to rotate in every direction such as up, down, and side to side. So if you need a bike to practice or make performance in bike race settings, BMX is a perfect choice that can help you do that.

Durability

The Legion BMX Bikes

The Legion BMX Bikes

According to research, a normal bike tire can perform well from 1000 to 3000 miles, and a high-end type can be used at least 2500 miles. The maximum durability of a regular bike is around 15 years.

BMX is much durable than a normal bike as BMX is made of best bike materials such as steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Moreover, BMX tires are multi-functional, as it can resist jumps and tricks. Internal tires are also strengthened to avoid puncture.  For this reason, it still performs well whenever you need it.

Gears

BMX has only one gear to cut down on weight, with sharp teeth to prevent clipping shoes, while a normal bike has two with an 11-speed setup and a 12 cassette to maintain a steady speed in every gradient.

Brakes

Brake type is important as each has different functions. BMX and Jump have a solo rear brake to control the speed and bike in various conditions such as cornering and whoops.

Freestyle bike has two brakes: the front and rear as it is more interested in control rather than grip. Therefore, manufacturers prefer U-brakes to provide better modulation as it serves as switches.

In terms of a normal bike, the functions of brakes are relatively similar which are reducing the speed and keep it stationary.

Components

The FatBoy Mini BMX PRO Model 3pc Crank

The FatBoy Mini BMX PRO Model 3pc Crank

To make a BMX bike lighter and faster, manufacturers use fewer components. Compared to a normal bike with two gears, BMX only has one gear. Also, BMX doesn’t have a freewheel, which facilitates stunt performance.

On top of that, fewer components would minimize the risk of falling during stunts.

The Ride

Due to suspension on the front ( or rear) of the regular bike, cyclists can enjoy the much smoother ride.

BMX riders could suffer from more shocks on their legs and arms, thus they need to practice regularly to handle rough terrains and have body coordination.

Summary

BMX Bike

Pros Cons
Easily transportable Not designed for long distances
Fewer components and repairs Not comfortable
Good concrete Difficult to ride up hills
Lightweight Lack of suspension

Regular Bike

Pros Cons
Easier ride Comparatively heavy
Diverse purposes More difficult to transport without removing two wheels

Conclusion

The Dynacraft Magna Throttle Boys BMX StreetDirt Bike 20

The Dynacraft Magna Throttle Boys BMX StreetDirt Bike 20

For amateur bikers, BMX and regular bikes seem to be similar, however, in reality, there is a world of differences between them. Although both have their advantages and disadvantage, it’s safe to say that BMX bike has more dominant features to accompany cyclists to conquer difficult terrains. We hope that this post will make choosing the right bike far easier.