BMX Bike vs. Mountain Bike: Which is Which?

Bikes are becoming a more prominent type of transportation now. Their compact and sturdy build makes it a ride that can be valuable for various purposes. You may be looking for a bike suited for sports or off-road traveling. If you can’t decide between these two bikes, we’ll help you find what works for you best.

Similarities of BMX and Mountain Bikes

BMX bikes and mountain bikes are two very different types of bikes. A few things to note are their toughness and incompatibility with paved roads. The BMX is made with rough riding in mind, while the mountain bike caters to off-road use, which explains their need to become sturdy. That they are both notable for their slow speed relative to other bikes. They are also bad to use on pavement and are better used off-road. If your bike will see the most use in pavements and smooth roads, these two are not your best choices.

Differences between BMX and Mountain  Bikes

These two have distinct differences that make them unique in their own ways. The BMX bike has a small frame, while a mountain bike has a structure larger than a regular bike. The same principle applies to the wheels of both bikes, with BMX having small wheels and mountain bikes having big ones. 

The gears of a BMX bike are few to cut on weight, while mountain bikes have more for different situations. Mountain bikes are suitable for their comfortability, even through rough roads. It is also the best bike capable of toughing out even the most rugged terrain. On the other hand, the BMX is uncomfortable and is more focused on its affinity for doing tricks and stunts. The BMX has a lightweight, compact frame that is sturdy, making it the best for fast accelerations and high jumps. 

What Makes a BMX Bike?

The name of BMX bikes stands for “Bicycle Motocross,” which references the race bikes they were based on. The first thing to note about a BMX bike is its frame, with a 20-inch long tube. It has a compact, lightweight frame for easy execution of stunts. Its sturdy build makes it endure extended uses even for jumping and tricks. 

The BMX bike wheels are valuable because they account for the possibility of blowing out when the bike lands after a stunt. The wheels are also compact and small, featuring 20-24 inch wheels that may also be reinforced on the inside to add to their resistance to shock. 

This type of bike has a minimal amount of small gears since it prefers fast acceleration over a high top speed and more loads add to the bike’s weight. On a similar note, suspensions are not always fitted onto BMX bikes, as they will add weight to the cycle otherwise. It also uses the lightweight and compact v-brake for the same reason.

What Are BMX Bikes Good for?

While adults also enjoy using this type of bike, its size makes it popular for kids as small as 7 to 8 years old.  They are ideal for sports, racing, tricks, and stunts. Its high mobility and fast acceleration make them ideal for on-road racing tracks with lots of turning and stopping. The lightweight structure of the bike also makes it easy to do tricks and jumps in the air while the sturdy wheels can endure the stress from stunts. 

BMX Bikes: The Pros

1. High Acceleration

The bike has the feature of being small and compact with low gears. This means that, while it hampers its top speed, it can achieve high velocities very fast. This coincides with its turning power, where you can easily pick up pace after slowing down for a turn. 

2. High Control and Mobility

The compact and small frame of the bike gives it handling control and power. The bike’s power in making sharp turns makes it ideal for short roads with lots of turns. The mobility of the cycle makes it suitable for off-road riding.

3. Good for stunts

You may have seen people doing tricks and stunts on their bikes. These are most easily accomplished with BMX bikes. You could say that they were made for the job. These lightweight compact bikes are your companions if you want to do tricks and stunts since they are light and can pull them off. 

They are also sturdy, which means you can do this often without fear of breaking your bike or popping a wheel. If you’re planning to have fun by showing friends cool tricks you practiced, you might want to consider getting one.

BMX Bikes: The Cons

1. Low Top Speed

They aren’t ideal for long rides because of their low top speeds in favor of control and handling. Road bikes and the like typically outpace a BMX bike on long roads where turns are less common. If you’re looking to use it on roads that don’t have as many curves, it tends to get beaten by other bikes. Different bike types will do the job better if you plan to commute often with your bike.

2. Uncomfortable

The bike optimizes mobility and weight over comfort. The small frame makes it uncomfortable and prevents you from fully extending your legs, making even pedaling harder. It also has no suspension, making rides feel bumpy and annoying on continuous rides. BMX bikes are designed to be fun, not comfy, and should be considered when planning to buy one. 

3. Bad for commuting

The BMX bike is not as good for practical use other than for entertainment purposes. Its low top speed and bad comfortability make it ideal for turns and short rides. It is not meant for covering long distances at a time and has its own learning curve to travel long distances. Even then there is still the problem of fatigue and muscle soreness for sustained use. 

What Makes a Mountain Bike?

Credits to: @cloud_mind

Mountain bikes, also called MTB bikes for convenience, are bulkier than BMX bikes. This means they have a big frame, along with big wheels. They tend to have 29-inch wheels that are significantly bigger than a BMX bike. They also have suspension forks at the front wheels and sometimes, on the rear. 

These add to the bike’s control and are great for shock absorption, making rides comfortable. They also tend to have bigger wheels, starting at 26 inches, with 27,5 inches and 29-inch wheels. These giant wheels add to the bike’s maneuverability even off-road, making it easier to ride through bumps in the street and smooth travels.

What Are Mountain Bikes Good for?

Mountain bikes are exceptional for off-road driving. It strives to be the most comfortable ride, even off-road, where terrains can be rough. As the name suggests, it is ideal for mountain paths and can easily traverse rugged trails without much problem. It is also good on other types of off-road pathways such as dirt or gravel and can be used for any kind of surface and be comfortable with it. Suppose you’re biking off-road and on dangerous paths where other bikes find difficulty. Why not consider trying out a mountain bike for the job?

Mountain Bikes: The Pros

1. Can Handle Any type of road

You heard it right. This bad boy can handle it wherever you take it. Like other bikes, it can go through paved roads with no worries and hold itself in gravel and dirt. The part where it shines though is its toughness in even mountain trails, infamous for being rough and generally hard to bike through. This bike is unstoppable and rarely surrenders to even the most unforgiving paths. It’s unique in the sense that nothing matches its versatility off-road.

2. Comfortable

MTBs are very comfortable rides, even on uncomfortable roads. Their adequate suspensions help lower the effects of shock on the body. Their big wheels also work better against abnormal terrain and can easily pass through uneven and bumpy roads. It also has an upright riding position that can support your body and reduce strain on the body even during long periods of bike riding.

3. Very Sturdy

Unlike other bikes, you can take even the rough paths without worrying about them breaking. Mountain bikes are made to go on irregular trails and rough roads. Your bike can weather these situations with little to no effort and barely any damage. Their endurance makes them suitable for rugged use, and they continuously go on the same routes more times than other types of bikes.

Mountain Bikes: The Cons

1. Heavy

A mountain bike can be pretty heavy. The sheer size of it already adds to its weight a lot. It also has a lot of gears and suspensions, which may add to the problem. This may cause it to be slower than other bikes. This can also make pedaling more difficult, especially when going uphill. Carrying it to places may also be more of a bother if you were to ever bring it someplace.

2. Low Speed

Since it favors comfortability and accessibility to off-road terrain, the mountain bike sacrifices a lot in speed. The large frame and build of the cycle tend to weigh it down, thus making it far harder to reach high speeds than other bikes. It loses too many bikes in speed on surfaces such as gravel and dirt or even on paved roads. 

3. Not Optimized for Road

The mountain bike is not the best if you plan to use it on paved roads. It is potent at fighting rough terrain often seen off-road, but it does not do as much when on normal roads. It does not provide as much comfortability, and it is slow compared to other rides of its caliber. If you’re planning on frequently traveling on highways and similar roads, a mountain bike may be far from being your best bet.