Are you searching for the best tips for tall BMX riders so your bike will feel more comfortable?
Trust me, you’re NOT alone.
I’ve received plenty of messages from tall riders all around the world asking for advice.
That’s why I decided to create this list of the best tips for everyone who is 6’+ (more like riders who are 6.2′ and above).
BMX riding is an awesome sport everyone should enjoy, regardless of height.
But let’s be real: When you’re towering over your bike, the usual tips and tricks just don’t cut it.
So go ahead, unfold yourself from that too-small bike you’ve been riding, and let’s dive into how you can make the most of your BMX sessions.
Street, parks, trails and flatland are calling, and they don’t care how tall you are – as long as you’re having fun!
And you’ll have much more fun with a bike that fits you.
Setting Up A BMX Bike For Tall Riders
1. Frame Size
If you are 6′ and above, you want at least a 21″ top tube frame is what most say.
But I’d recommend going for at least 21.25″, but even better, a 21.5″.
The longer top tube will give you a lot more leg clearance, immediately making your bike feel better.
Besides the top tube, you might also want to pick a frame that has a slightly longer chainstay length.
Opting for anything below 13″ might be too responsive and make you loop out of tricks too quickly.
Another great element of a frame for taller riders is a taller standover height.
While it doesn’t necessarily have too big of an impact on riding, it makes the frame look “bigger;” plus, you don’t need to have your seat post pulled out so far.
Unfortunately, complete BMX bikes usually go to max. 21″ – rarely do you see a 21.25″ version.
Luckily, there are plenty of frame options that go beyond the 21″ top tube length.
Don’t miss my guide on BMX top tube length and pick the right frame size for you.
2. Stem Length & Rise
If you need that extra leg clearance, you can get a longer stem, which will place your bars slightly further away from you. We’re talking about millimeters, but it can make a difference.
For instance, instead of a 49mm stem, you can go with a 55mm stem. 6mm isn’t too bad!
But, in my opinion, stem’s rise is even more critical.
First, for a tall rider, I’d suggest you go with a top load stem. And then choose the one that has at least a 30mm rise (a 34mm rise would be ideal, like S&M’s Enduro stem, which also has plenty of length options.).
3. Taller Bar
But one of the first parts every tall rider looks for is taller bars.
In your case, I wouldn’t go anything below 10″. You can even choose a 10.5″ or an 11″ bar. And if you’re really tall, there’s also a 12″ bar (yes, really!).
Feel free to take a peek at my ultimate tallest BMX bars recommendations – I’m sure you’ll find the ideal one for you.
4. Wider Bar
Wider handlebars offer better control and a more comfortable grip position, but don’t go too wide as it can make maneuvering slightly more challenging (but this goes mainly for technical street riding).
For everyone who likes to flow, going fast and riding transitions, a wider bar will do the trick.
Luckily, all the tall bars you’ll find on my list are extra wide.
Still, if you feel the bar is too wide, feel free to cut it to your perfect width. (Find out what’s the ideal BMX bar width.)
5. Extra Spacers
If you get a 10″ rise handlebar and an extra tall top load stem but still think you need to raise your front end some more, use spacers.
But you must not use too many because there must still be enough steerer tube for your stem to hold on to.
Which leads us to:
7. Forks With A Longer Steerer Tube
Usually, a fork steerer tube is around 160mm long (or shorter).
That’s why you’d want to pay close attention to the steerer tube length when you get a new pair of forks for your BMX bike.
Unfortunately, that’s not something too many riders pay attention to.
Some great BMX forks for tall riders options are Odysseys R series, WTP Battleship and Animal Street. But you’ll find other great alternatives on my list of the best BMX forks.
Tip: Look for forks with a steerer tube around 170mm because it offers extra length for extra spacers.
6. Longer Cranks
Instead of going with shorter cranks, which is a common thing these days, you might want to stick to 175mm cranks or even a 180mm version.
But this all depends on the riding style you have, how big your feet are and whether you ride all four pegs or not.
When riding all four pegs, you might want to go with shorter cranks to give yourself some extra space between your back leg and peg.
But for everyone who is more into style and flow, the longer cranks will do the trick.
Check out the strongest BMX cranks this year.
8. Longer Seat Post
Have you accidentally purchased a seat post that’s too short, so your seat needs to be all the way slammed down?
I’ve seen a bunch of tall dudes make that mistake.
For a tall rider, choose a 300mm long seat post so you have room for optimizing. Some riders like to have their seats super far out and some don’t.
You can find what works best for you with a 300mm seat post. And you can still later cut it if you want.
One fantastic option is the Odyssey pivotal seat post.
9. Pedals With Larger Platform
As a tall rider, you likely have larger feet. For this reason, the more traditional BMX pedals may cause discomfort.
The Animal Rat Trap pedals have a large platform that will fit anyone. And it’s a pedal I’ve used for many years and had zero issues with.
10. Flexibility And Core Strength
One thing I cannot stress enough is working on your physical strength and mobility.
And this is of even greater importance when it comes to taller riders.
If you’re flexible and have decent core strength, even a smaller bike will feel more comfortable.
In addition to that, you’ll also likely get rid of lower back pain or never experience it in the first place.
Remember, you don’t have to go to the gym – you can work on your core strength and flexibility at home. And it doesn’t even require a lot of time.
You can even do a yoga session on YouTube and then a few core exercises, like plank, Russian twist and ab roller, to keep it really basic.
You may also be interested in finding out if BMX is a good exercise.
11. Opt For A 22″ Wheeled BMX
Finally, if you are really tall, skip the 20″ BMX bike and go with a 22″ version. At least that’s something I know I’d do.
You can still do exactly the same tricks on a 22″ that you can on a 20″ – but the bike will feel much more comfortable.
Check out these epic 22-inch BMX bikes.
By the way, you can still tweak and improve the 22″ one with the tips and tricks I share above and make the bike exactly how you want it to be.
Conclusion: BMX Doesn’t Care About Your Height
Alright, dudes, we’ve covered a lot, haven’t we?
From snagging a BMX frame that actually fits your long limbs to customizing your setup for optimal comfort and control, there’s a whole world of BMX biking awesomeness waiting for you.
Remember, your height isn’t a hurdle; it’s a unique asset.
So tweak that saddle height, pick out some tall bars, and don’t forget to get a pair of forks with a longer steerer tube.
And remember to stretch!
The streets, the parks and the trails are for everyone. With these tailor-made tips, you’re more than ready to conquer all terrains like the tall riding legend you are.
Keep on shredding!