The different styles of BMX Bikes
Tuesday, 4 October 2016 11:06:58 Europe/London
In the 1980s BMX (short for Bicycle Motocross) bikes became a global phenomenon with their small, lightweight 20-inch wheel bike design. BMX bikes are the perfect choice for those wishing to perform stunts as they feature a small frame with a short wheelbase and a high-rise handlebar perfect for swinging around underneath the riders body during a trick. That said, BMX bikes do come in a number of styles designed to suit different riding styles.
Here is a brief run down of the different styles of BMX bike:
- Race – With their lightweight aluminum alloy frames, larger diameter sprockets, smooth & narrow tyres, Race BMX’s are designed to be rode at speed around specially created circuits. Typically, they feature longer top tubes to make them more stable over long, fast jumps however they aren’t as tough as trick bikes and shouldn’t be ridden with stunt pegs or gyro headsets.
- Freestyle – The frames on freestyle BMX’s need to be strong enough to withstand the hard impacts of tricks and concrete landings so are almost always made from steel. A Freestyle bike will usually come fitted with stunt pegs and a gyro headset, which allow the handlebars to rotate 360° without tangling the brake cables. The tyres will be wider and the chain ring smaller than those on a race bike.
Within the Freestyle BMX range there are several sub-categories that the bikes can be split into to suit the riders own distinct types of riding. These are:
- Park / Street – Need to be agile enough to complete complex manoeuvres and tricks but strong enough to withstand the punishing concrete landings. Key features tend to be smooth tyres, rear brake only and a gyro headset.
- Vert (AKA Ramp, Half-pipe) – Similar to a Street Bike, Vert BMX’s feature stunt pegs, smooth tyres and a robust frame but will often be ridden without brakes and usually have a larger sprocket to help the rider build up more speed allowing them to lauch the bike as high as possible during a jump.
- Dirt Jump – These bikes have strong, steel frames, tyres with a knobbly tread pattern, large chain rings and at least one brake fitted (usually the rear with an accompanying gyro headset).
- Flatland – Characterised by steel constructed, short, solid frames made from steel, small sprockets, smooth tyres and typically front & rear stunt pegs. Depending on the rider’s personal preference. This is to help the riders balance which is an optimum requirement for this style of riding.