Many of you dudes asked me how to make your BMX bike lighter, so I want to share my ten top tips to reduce weight while still ensuring strength.
In my career of riding BMX for 20+ years, I had a phase when I wanted to have my bike the lightest possible.
I TRIED all sorts of things to reduce weight because I was a firm believer that a lighter BMX would help me progress faster.
But did it actually help?
All it did was create a ton of stress.
Fun fact: My first bike weighed around 33 lbs (15kg). But today’s bikes generally weigh around 26 lbs.
WHAT a difference!
However, I am a street rider, where weight isn’t as essential.
But I talked to many park riders who do a ton of tailwhips and spinning tricks and they saw quite an improvement in reducing bike weight.
And there are those park riders who don’t care about weight, just as there are street riders who care about weight.
However, I’m a firm believer that BMX bike weight doesn’t matter much these days.
Because most parts are pretty lightweight anyway compared to what we rode back in the day.
It’s more of a personal preference.
And if you want to see how a lighter bike impacts your riding, I encourage you to shave off some weight.
How To Make Your BMX Bike Lighter
1. Remove Brakes
One of the first things you can do to save weight is to take off your brakes.
If your bike currently has a front and rear brake, you can at least remove the front one.
More and more riders prefer riding brakeless anyway, so you might also try it.
However, if you prefer brakes, you can always get a lighter brake set (but the weight difference will be minor).
2. Cut Parts
Yes, there are parts on your bike that you can cut without affecting their strength.
You can cut your handlebar to the right width, which is something I always do. But I don’t do it to save weight, but because a narrower bar is easier for barspins.
You can cut two more parts: Fork steerer tube and seat post.
I saw some also recommend cutting hub axles, but I don’t recommend that.
I tried it twice, but I destroyed the axle thread both times, which kept beating my nuts.
Note: When you cut your BMX bike parts, don’t cut too much too quickly because your parts may end up NOT being RIDEABLE anymore.
For instance, you can cut your bar too narrow or cut off too much of your steerer tube so the stem can’t hold on to it firmly.
3. Get Foldable Tires
One common practice to reduce BMX bike weight is to get foldable tires (or Kevlar bead tires).
These tires don’t have the steel tire bead that traditional tires have, making them much lighter.
Example: Regular 2.4″ BSD Donnastreet tire weighs 730g, and the Kevlar one in the same width, 670g.
Need new rubber? Here are my best BMX tires for this year.
Speaking of tires, you can also save weight by replacing your inner tubes with Tubolito Tubo tubes.
4. Plastic Pegs With AL Core
If you’re a plastic BMX peg advocate like me, you might opt for such that have an Alloy core instead of Chromoly.
But, if you do heavy street riding, the Chromoly ones are much safer because they’re nearly impossible to break.
Still, some riders, like Alex Donnachie, ride the Chromoly version in the back and the Alloy version in the front.
Example: A plastic peg with a Chromoly core weighs 170g and an Alloy one only 115g.
5. Get A Multi-Butted Bar
Instead of a straight gauge bar, you can get a multi-butted one. A multi-butted BMX bar has thick tubing where needed and thinner in less stressed areas.
Nowadays, the lighter, multi-butted bars are super solid and can handle almost any abuse.
However, riders like Mike Hoder still prefer straight gauge bars, but he’s an extremely burly rider.
Example: Shadow’s Vultus SG (straight gauge) bar weighs 31.6 oz. and the Featherweight version, 29.6 oz (both in 8.75″ rise).
6. Choose A Slimmer Seat
If you currently ride a fat BMX seat, you can reduce your BMX’s weight by getting a slimmer one.
Some even use a railed seat because it’s slightly lighter than a pivotal or stealth version.
However, one of the lightest versions is the seat and seat post combo (I recommend it for part and trail riding), where both parts are combined into one.
But in this case, you lose the freedom of adjusting the BMX seat angle.
7. Plastic Pedals Instead Of Steel
“Do you still ride metal pedals, dude?”
When plastic BMX pedals first came out, I got myself a pair immediately. But not because of the weight but because of the shin-friendly factor they have.
Example: A pair of Shadow Ravager plastic pegs weighs 13.6 oz. and a pair of Shadow’s Metal pedals weighs 18.5 oz.
8. Use Titanium Parts
This is an expensive approach to upgrading your BMX bike to save weight.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
I did have Titanium bolts a few times, but I kept breaking them.
Besides bolts, you can also use Ti spokes, Ti axle and crank spindles and other small parts.
Remember, even a Titanium BMX frame, bar, cranks and fork exist, but I wouldn’t necessarily get my hands on those. At least not if a beginner or intermediate rider.
Those are very specialized parts and more of a personal preference than anything else.
9. Workout & Improve Yourself
You won’t see it mentioned quite often when talking about saving BMX bike’s weight, but getting your body stronger and just riding more will make the bike “feel” lighter.
Why does this happen?
One of the main reasons is that you start to control your bike more instead of your bike controlling you, which happens to all of us when we start riding.
10. Don’t Worry About The Bike Weight So Much
If I could share advice with a twenty-year younger me, I’d say this: “Dude, don’t worry about how much your BMX bike weighs!”
Instead, ride more and have fun, enjoying the sessions with your buddies.
Your body gets used to everything – including the weight of your bike.
11. Bonus: Replace Parts With Lighter Ones
I already mentioned some of the main parts you can replace to save weight, but you can literally replace every BMX part with a lighter one.
One trick is getting a smaller sprocket and shortening your chainstay length because it’ll also shorten your chain by a few links. (Know that a different chainstay length will make your bike feel different.)
Here’s one more tip: Shorter cranks are also lighter. (Find out the main benefits of short BMX cranks.)
But is it really worth getting new parts just for the sake of shaving off weight? I don’t think so.
However, if you need to replace your part because it’s too beat up, sure, find a lighter replacement.
Before I conclude this list of tips for making your BMX bike lighter, I want to say this:
DO NOT DRILL HOLES into your bike.
I saw some other guides recommend it, but those people likely don’t ride BMX.
Drilling holes in any part of your bike is TOO risky.
The only part with holes in it I’d get is the Fly Bikes Lunar rims.
But I WOULD NEVER drill holes myself.
Conclusion: Do You Really Need To Drop Weight From Your BMX Bike?
In short, no.
However, there are instances when a lighter bike will contribute to progression and more joyful sessions in general.
If you are at an extremely high level of riding, opt for lighter parts (even Ti ones) because they’ll definitely impact your progression.
If you don’t ride that much but every time you do, the session is too tiresome; you might also want to get your bike weight down.
But in general, ride more, get your body stronger and more mobile, and the weight of your bike suddenly won’t matter much. And this is the exact approach I’m aiming for.
You may also be interested in reading my article on how much does a BMX bike weigh to find some additional tips.
For any other tips and advice, feel free to reach out; I’ll be stoked to help you.