BMX Tips

BMX Stem Clamp (22.2mm Or 1″?)

bmx stem clamp

I think there’s too little talk about the BMX stem clamp.


A bunch of riders already came to me, saying that they bought a handlebar or a stem and it doesn’t fit their stem/handlebar.

What’s even worse?

Friendly Reminder: Save BIG On Dan's Comp! (Click Banner)

When you install that new bar or stem, you cannot go away without leaving marks on it.

What does that mean?

You cannot return it. Yeah, I know, that sucks big times!

You only have two options: 1) get a compatible stem/bar or sell the new one you just bought.

This wouldn’t have happened a few years back when the upgraded OS clamping system didn’t exist.

Nowadays, there’s a bit of a choice to make: 22.2mm or the beefier 1 inch?

Each size has its fans and its perfect place in the BMX world. And understanding the difference is key.

So, buckle up (or, maybe just tighten your stem clamp), as we explore the pivotal role of stem clamps in BMX bikes.

Let’s break down the differences between the 22.2mm and 1-inch options.

So you don’t make the mistake EVER AGAIN.

Understanding Stem Clamps In BMX

bmx stem clamping area size os vs standard

The stem clamp holds your handlebars and fork together.

While technically, there are two stem clamp areas, one for the steerer tube and one for the handlebar; the latter is what we’ll pay special attention to.

Why? Because the steerer tube clamp area is always the same.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll find two popular stem clamp sizes in the BMX arena: the nimble 22.2mm (7/8 inch for our imperial friends) and the robust 1 inch (25.4mm).

Each size has its own charm, catering to different preferences and styles.

Whether you’re into more chill and tech moves or need that extra beefiness for burly tricks, there’s a stem clamp size that’s just right for your BMX.

But is one really better than the other?

Many pros still use the standard size and don’t seem like switching to the OS version.

I’ll say this: If you ride a 10″ or even taller bar and plan on changing both the bar and the stem, then hey, why not go with the 1″ version and be safe?

2 Main BMX Stam Clamp Sizes

Standard – 22.2mm or 7/8″

standard bmx stem clamp size 25.2

Meet the agile 22.2mm stem clamp: This size is known for its versatility and widespread use.

The 22.2mm stem clamp is a classic, offering a perfect blend of strength and flexibility for your BMX sessions.

Why choose 22.2mm? This is your go-to size if you’re into the finesse of freestyle BMX or love flow and transitions.

Plus, it’s the traditional choice, meaning you’ll find a wide range of handlebars compatible with this size.

A match made in BMX heaven: The 22.2mm clamp fits like a glove with most standard BMX handlebars, making it a hassle-free choice for many riders.

This size won’t let you down, especially if your bar is around 9″ tall.

But hey, I have a 10″, ride the standard stem clamp, and have no issues. Still, my riding isn’t burly, so I can’t say how my setup would hold with big gaps and drops.

OS – 25.4mm or 1″

os bmx stem clamp size 25.4

Enter the sturdy 1 inch stem clamp: Think of this as the sturdy oak of the stem clamp world.

It’s all about providing extra strength and rigidity, making it a solid choice for riders who push their bikes to the limit.

When to go for 1 inch? If you’re into high-impact riding styles like big air jumps or aggressive street BMX, this size is your best friend.

(I still think OS benefits street riders the most.)

The added hold strength ensures your bars don’t slip so that you can eliminate that thought from your mind. Put all the focus on pulling that insane stunt instead.

In short, it’s for the BMX rider who demands a bit more from their setup.

Compatibility check: While the 1-inch clamp offers great benefits, ensuring your handlebars are up for the partnership is important.

This size is a bit pickier, requiring handlebars designed to fit the larger clamping diameter.

Luckily, more and more OS stem and bar options are coming to the market – just ensure you read the description so you don’t get the wrong size.

Which BMX Stemp Clamp Do You Need?

Choosing the perfect stem clamp for your BMX might seem like a small detail, but it’s actually a key decision in crafting your ultimate riding experience.

Whether you’re all about the 22.2mm or leaning towards the sturdy 1-inch, here’s a little guide to help you make the best choice.

Consider Your Riding Style

  • Park: The 22.2mm might be your best pick because, in general, park and bowl riding doesn’t contain heavy impacts.
  • Street: Both options work for street, but the 1″ one will be better if you pull many gaps and drops.
  • Trails/flow: Similar to ramp riding, the standard is sufficient because the impacts are low.

Personal Setup & Customization Preferences

Your BMX is an extension of you, so your preference in setting up and customizing your bike is crucial.

Some riders prefer the classic feel and compatibility of the 22.2mm stem clamps, enjoying the wide range of options.

Others might seek the added robustness and distinct feel of the 1-inch clamps, especially if they’re pushing their bikes to the limits with heavy landings and intense tricks.


Whether you’re all about pulling off sleek freestyle moves or dominating the street and park scenes, there’s a stem clamp size that’s just right for you.

Remember, choosing between a 22.2mm and a 1-inch stem clamp isn’t just about following the crowd or sticking to the norms.

It’s about what feels right for your ride!

It’s about creating a bike that feels like an extension of yourself.

One that’s ready to take on every challenge and thrill ride you throw its way.

So, take your time, consider your options, and choose the stem clamp that promises to keep you and your BMX riding strong, steady, and spectacular.

Note: Read the product descriptions twice before purchasing a new stem or bar to avoid accidentally getting the wrong stem clamp size.

FAQs About BMX Stem Clamp

What is a BMX stem clamp?

A BMX stem clamp connects the handlebars to the fork’s steerer tube, allowing for precise control and adjustment of the handlebar’s position. It’s crucial for the rider’s steering and overall bike stability.

Why are there different sizes of BMX stem clamps?

Different sizes (22.2mm & 1 inch) cater to various handlebar diameters and rider preferences. The size affects compatibility with handlebars, so double-check before you buy a new bar/stem.

How do I know which stem clamp size is right for my BMX?

The right size depends on your handlebars’ diameter and your personal preference for bike setup. Measure the clamping diameter of your handlebars, and choose a stem clamp that matches this size. (1″ stem clamp is stronger and reduces the risk of bar slippage.)

Can I switch from a 22.2mm to a 1-inch stem clamp on my BMX?

Yes, but it requires compatible handlebars that fit the 1-inch clamp. You’ll need to ensure that both the stem and the handlebars have the same size clamping area.

Does the stem clamp size affect the performance of my BMX bike?

While the size itself might not directly affect performance, the larger 1″ version grips the handlebar more strongly, preventing slippage. This is ideal for really burly riding, but many BMX riders still prefer the standard 22.2mm version.

Was this article helpful?

Friendly Reminder: Save BIG On Dan's Comp! (Click Banner)
Disclosure: The BMX Dude's content is free & reader-supported. I may earn a commission if you click & buy through my links. Your support helps me create the best content & make a difference. Thanks! 🤘
About Author

Rok has been riding BMX for 20+ years, and when he's not having a session, he binges on videos, new product drops and works on creating the best content (sharing tips, tricks & more to make riding bikes easier for you) for The BMX Dude.