Bike riding is one of the most popular activities among children and adults. For children, they consider bike riding as a form of fun and enjoyment. For adults, it is more commonly used as a mode of transportation, recreation or exercise.
When bike riding is mentioned, what first comes to mind to most people is the BMX bike. BMX stands for bicycle moto cross. While many people often use the term BMX generically, it is important to understand that there are different types of BMX bikes designed for different biking styles. These BMX bike types are classified into freestyle bikes and jumping and racing bikes:
Freestyle BMX bikes generally have a 20- to 22-inch top tube and 20-inch wheels. Surprisingly, they are not always equipped with brakes and if they do have brakes, they are normally straight cable brakes. Their grips also have no flanges because they can be bothersome to their riders when certain tricks are performed. Additionally, different freestyle BMX bikes have varying peg sizes except for dirt bikes which normally don’t have pegs. The peg is the part that attaches to the bike’s wheel axle. Tire styles also depend on the surface where the bike will be used. For dirt bikes, a more knobby tire is most suitable because they can provide extra grip on loose grounds.
While some riders buy readily assembled freestyle bikes, some prefer to assemble their own or to make modifications to a ready-made bike. Nevertheless, these bikes have special features suited for different biking styles.
Flatland BMX – Flatland riders often make balancing stunts with their bikes. That is why flatland BMX bikes are especially designed for balancing and spinning. This kind of bike is commonly used on smooth and flat terrain like concrete and asphalt. Basic features include shorter and reinforced wheelbase frames.
Street BMX – Street BMX biking style refers to the riding style wherein riders bike through manmade obstacles such as ledges, steps, poles, curved walls, handrails and other architectural oddities. This kind of bike has the basic features of a BMX bike and is designed to be really sturdy to resist obstacles.
Vert BMX – This is the kind of BMX bike you often see in television as riders perform tricks with their half-pipe set apart. Because of its half-pipe design, riders can take advantage of speed and gravity to gain height and to do difficult tricks.
Park BMX – Park BMX bikes are used by riders in skateparks where they could perform different tricks. Skatesparks can be made from wood, concrete and other materials. This kind of bike is designed to be versatile and usable in different floorings.
Trail BMX – Trail BMX riders maneuver their bikes on a trail made of jumps of compact dirt similar to those used in motocross. There are normally four to eight jumps placed in one row where riders have to build their routine from one jump to another. Bikes used for this biking style are generally flexible yet sturdy.
Jumping and Racing Bikes
Off-road BMX racing has a lot of similarities to motocrosss racing. BMX bikes used for this biking style are generally light and come with special features. They normally have padded seats for more comfort as well as padded bars for protection of their riders in case of an accident. These bikes have long and sturdy frames for stability and safety. Tires used are also double or triple walled for added strength.
When buying BMX bikes, it is important that you consider the riding style where you will use the bike. Different riding styles entail a particular kind of BMX bike.