Have you ever wondered what are the different BMX bike types?
In general, there are five types:
From the speedy (1) race BMX bikes, built for lightning-fast tracks, to the robust and responsive (2) park BMX bikes, designed to withstand the most daring stunts.
We’ll also shred through the technical and burly urban style of (3) street BMX bikes, get down and dirty with (4) dirt/trail BMX bikes, and marvel at the artistic precision and balance of (5) flatland BMX bikes.
It’s important to know that BMX isn’t a one-size-fits-all sport.
Choosing the correct type of BMX bike is crucial to your riding experience.
It’s like picking the perfect pair of shoes for a marathon – the right fit can make all the difference.
Your BMX bike should be your trusted partner, perfectly tailored to your style.
Remember, you’re not just choosing a two-wheeled companion but a lifestyle.
This post covers:
- 5 BMX bike types
- Key features to consider when choosing a BMX bike
- BMX bike maintenance tips
- Conclusion: Choose your ideal BMX bike
- FAQs about BMX bike types
5 BMX Bike Types
Race BMX Bikes
Race BMX bikes are all about speed and efficiency. They are typically lighter than other BMX bikes, which helps you zoom off the starting line and maintain high speeds.
You’ll notice that these bikes have a sleek, aerodynamic design. They’re built with a rigid frame, usually made of aluminum or even carbon fiber for high-end models, to give you that extra edge in weight and responsiveness.
The tires are narrower with a smoother tread, ensuring less rolling resistance and faster speeds on the race track.
Plus, the gearing is optimized for quick acceleration (large front sprocket) and maintaining high speeds.
No frills, just pure speed.
The bottom bracket height is also usually lower (around 11.5″), so the rider is closer to the ground.
Note: Get your ideal BMX race bike.
Park BMX Bikes
Park BMX bikes are specially designed for skatepark and transition riding. They’re the acrobats of the BMX family, built to be tough yet incredibly responsive.
These bikes have a unique geometry that allows for quick and agile movements, making them perfect for pulling off those eye-catching tricks at the skatepark.
One of the standout features of park BMX bikes is their lower standover height. This design gives you more control and makes it easier to do tricks like tailwhips.
The frames are made from sturdy materials like Chromoly, ensuring they can take a beating as you practice new stunts.
The tire width is usually thinner, but more and more riders prefer fatter ones.
Also, these bikes often come with gyro brake systems.
This nifty feature lets you spin the handlebars multiple times without tangling the brake cables. However, many park riders ride brakeless.
Note: Get your ideal BMX park bike.
Street BMX Bikes
Street BMX bikes are engineered for the rugged, unpredictable terrain of the urban environment.
They’re the epitome of versatility and durability, designed to tackle everything the city streets throw at you.
These bikes boast a robust frame, made from Chromoly (low-priced bikes have a high-tensile steel frame), built to withstand the impacts of street riding.
The frames are generally compact with a shorter top tube and chainstay, offering better control and maneuverability. Hey, tech wizards!
The tires are another defining feature. Street BMX bikes come with thicker, wider tires (see the best BMX tires for street) with a tread pattern that provides grip on various surfaces, from smooth concrete to gritty asphalt.
This ensures stability and traction as you perform tricks on ledges, stairs, and rails. And lately, they’ve gotten very squeaky.
Additionally, street BMX bikes often have pegs attached to the wheels. These are vital for grinding along rails and ledges – a hallmark of street BMX style.
And let’s not forget: Brakes. Well, in modern street BMX riding, brakes are rarely in use, so more and more complete bikes are brakeless.
Dirt BMX Bikes
Dirt BMX bikes, or trail bikes, as some call them, are specifically designed to handle speed and big jumps.
These bikes have a slightly longer frame than street or park BMX bikes, providing stability and control when flying over dirt jumps or navigating tricky trails.
You can expect a longer chainstay and mellower head tube angle – similar to race bikes.
The tires are a key feature of dirt BMX bikes. They are wider (but were narrower in the past) and have more aggressive tread patterns than other BMX types.
This design ensures excellent traction and grip on dirt surfaces, giving you the confidence to hit those jumps and berms at full speed.
Another standout aspect of dirt BMX bikes is their gearing. They typically have a higher gear ratio, allowing for greater speed and momentum.
Still, main dirt jumps are built on a slow downhill, so pedaling usually isn’t necessary.
Note: Get your ideal BMX dirt bike.
Flatland BMX Bikes
Flatland BMX bikes are a unique breed explicitly designed for the art of flatland riding – a form of freestyle BMX that’s all about creativity, balance, and fluid movements on a flat surface.
These bikes are tailored to help you express yourself through a dance of spins, turns, and tricks.
One of the most notable features of flatland BMX bikes is their geometry. These bikes have a compact frame, often with a shorter top tube to provide a more centered and balanced feel.
This design is crucial for the precise weight distribution needed in flatland tricks.
The handlebars on flatland BMX bikes are also distinctive.
They’re usually narrower and positioned closer to your body (much shorter stem reach) to give you better control and leverage for performing tricks that require a lot of handling and body movement.
Another key aspect is the tires. Flatland bikes typically have smoother, thinner tires.
This allows for less friction and easier spinning and turning on flat surfaces. The tires are also inflated to a higher pressure to aid in the balance and precision required for flatland tricks.
Moreover, these bikes often come equipped with pegs on both the front and back wheels.
Pegs are essential for many flatland tricks, as they provide platforms to stand on while manipulating the bike into various positions.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing A BMX Bike
Hey there, BMX buddies! Are you on the hunt for the perfect BMX bike but feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the choices? Worry not!
Let’s break down the key features to consider when choosing your BMX bike.
Frame Size & Material
Your BMX bike’s frame is like its backbone. Look for a size that fits your height and riding style. Check out my BMX frame size chart.
Smaller frames are great for tricks and agility, while larger frames offer more stability.
Also, pay attention to the material. Chromoly is strong and durable, ideal for rough riding, while aluminum frames are lighter and quicker – perfect for racing.
The BMX tires are your bike’s contact with the ground, so choose based on where you’ll be riding.
Smooth and thinner tires are great for racing and flatland riding, thicker for street while knobbier tires are designed for dirt and trails.
This might get a bit technical, but it’s all about the bike’s gear ratio.
A lower gear ratio is easier for pedaling and tricks, common in street and park bikes.
A higher gear ratio, found in race bikes, makes for faster acceleration and higher speeds.
The style and position of handlebars affect your control and comfort.
Taller bars are currently in vogue for street and park riding as they offer more leverage and control.
Brakes Or Brakeless
This is a big one! Most BMX bikes come with at least a rear brake, but some (many, actually) riders prefer a brakeless setup for a cleaner look and less weight.
It’s all about your comfort level and riding style.
Pegs & Hub Guards
Pegs are essential for grinds and tricks if you’re into street or park riding. Hub guards protect your wheel hubs and spokes from damage during grinds.
One of the best things about BMX? You can customize almost everything!
From colors to components, you can make your bike as unique as you are.
Remember, the right BMX bike is the one that feels right for you.
It’s a blend of personal preference, riding style, and, of course, a bit of flair.
Take these pointers, mix in your style, and you’re on your way to finding your dream BMX bike.
BMX Bike Maintenance Tips
Let’s chat about something super important but often overlooked – basic maintenance for your BMX bike.
Keeping your bike in tip-top shape not only makes your rides smoother and safer but it also helps your trusty steed last longer.
Note: Don’t miss my ultimate BMX bike maintenance guide.
Keep It Clean
First things first, keeping your BMX clean is crucial. Dirt and grime can cause wear and tear, especially in the chain and bearings.
A regular wipe-down with a damp (but a dry one will do the trick, too) cloth and some bike cleaner will keep your bike looking and working great.
Don’t forget to dry it off to prevent rust.
Lubricate The Chain
A squeaky chain is a sad chain. Keep your chain lubricated with a good quality bike lube.
This keeps your ride smooth and extends the life of your chain (including rear cog and sprocket). Remember, a little goes a long way – you don’t want to attract more dirt.
Check Your Tires
Your tires are your connection to the ground, so keep them in check.
Ensure they’re properly inflated to the recommended pressure – it’ll make your ride smoother and prevent those pesky flats.
Tighten It Up
BMX bikes can take a bit of a beating, so nuts and bolts may loosen over time.
Give your bike a regular once-over with a wrench to ensure everything is tight and secure.
Pay special attention to the handlebars, stem, and cranks.
If you’re running brakes, regular checks are a must. Make sure they’re well adjusted and the brake pads are in good condition.
This is crucial for your safety, especially if you’re doing a lot of street or park riding.
Inspect Frame & Forks
Keep an eye out for any cracks or damage, especially if you’re doing a lot of heavy riding. Early detection can prevent bigger problems down the line.
Regularly Check Your Wheels
Check if your wheels are true (straight) and there are no loose or broken spokes. Wobbly wheels can make your ride unstable and frankly, less fun.
Store It Right
Store your bike in a dry, safe place when you’re not riding. Avoid leaving it outside where it can rust or be damaged. For more, check how to store a BMX bike guide.
Conclusion: Choose Your Ideal BMX Bike
I’ve shared the five BMX bike types with you, so you can now choose the right one much easier.
Note: Choosing the right BMX bike isn’t just about picking a cool color or the latest model. It’s about finding a bike that fits your riding style, so you enjoy your session more.
Whether you’re into racing tracks, flipping through skateparks, flowing over trails, shredding street, or dancing on flat, there’s a BMX bike out there that’s perfect for you.
And hey, while talking about bikes, let’s not forget the fantastic BMX community waiting for you out there.
BMX isn’t just a sport; it’s a family. From local parks to online forums and groups, there are tons of spaces where you can share experiences, learn new tricks, and make lifelong friends.
Every session is an adventure, and every trick is a chance to express yourself.
FAQs About BMX Bike Types
What is the difference between a race BMX and a freestyle BMX bike?
Race BMX bikes are lighter and designed for speed on BMX tracks with features like narrower tires for less rolling resistance. Freestyle BMX bikes are sturdier, built for tricks and jumps in skateparks or streets, with wider tires and often more robust frames.
Can I use a street BMX bike for dirt jumping?
While you technically can, street BMX bikes are not ideal for dirt jumping. They are designed for urban environments and lack the necessary features for dirt conditions, like wider, knobbier tires and a stable geometry.
What makes a flatland BMX bike unique?
Flatland BMX bikes have a very specific design for balance and performing intricate tricks on flat surfaces. They often feature a compact frame, smooth tires, a lower gear ratio, and special handlebars that allow for precise control and maneuverability.
Is a BMX cruiser bike different from a regular BMX bike?
Yes, BMX cruiser bikes typically have larger 24-inch wheels, compared to the standard 20-inch wheels on regular BMX bikes. This makes them more suitable for older riders or those looking for a more comfortable ride, especially over longer distances.
Are BMX bikes suitable for commuting?
While BMX bikes are primarily designed for tricks and racing, they can be used for short commutes. However, their compact size and single gear make them less efficient and comfortable for longer commutes compared to other bike types like road or hybrid bikes.