While most non-cyclists believe that small bikes don’t give you decent performance, BMX riders actually find them the best companion for performing tricks and jumps.
BMX bikes are small for several reasons, but the main motive is to reduce their “system” weight. Smaller BMX bikes tend to be more lightweight, making it easier to do air stunts and tricks. Thus, the known phrase “small bike, big jumps.”
Aside from that top reason, BMX riders experience numerous advantages with having a small BMX bike, especially on race or freestyle activities. This article will discuss the parts that contribute to a BMX bike’s small geometry, plus a reference for different BMX bike sizes.
Top Reasons Why BMX Bikes Are Small
BMX bikes are popular among teens and adults. They come in different types and sizes (we’ll delve into the names at the end section) that cater to a rider’s weight and height. Regardless, most BMX bike riders, racers, and freestylers prefer their bikes to be small.
1. To lessen the bike’s weight
The BMX bike’s geometric feature influences how heavy or light it would be for a rider. In general, the average weight of a BMX bike is about 25 lbs. (11.33 kg.). Yet, making the bike smaller reduces the weight, tending the BMX bike to be more lightweight at around 10 lbs. (4.5 kg.). Consequently, you’ll be able to maneuver and control the BMX bike easier. Besides, bike frames can be composed of Chromoly steel or aluminum. Aluminum frames are lighter and more rust-proof than steel frames.
2. To let you perform bigger air stunts
As mentioned, BMX riders (or you) can do bigger jumps in the air. Considering how lightweight and small a BMX bike could be, the time needed to perform giant leaps, 360-spin, or barspins would be less demanding. After all, these are the only BMX bikes that can handle more fantastic jumps compared to other sizes.
3. To protect the bike from damages
BMX bikes are well-known in the cycling world as off-road bikes primarily utilized for racing and stunts. Although small, BMX bikes are more durable since they are more prone to be banged around. You won’t have to worry about your BMX bike getting damaged when doing enormous jumps with these in mind.
4. To give a better clearance
Small BMX bikes generally have a low seat, giving any rider ample room for acrobatic or jump motions. Because BMX bikes don’t have suspension, the low seat of a small BMX bike means that if you leap off the bicycle, your legs will absorb the pressure once you land. Likewise, there’ll be sufficient space for your legs to absorb the force and coercion.
5. To get more pedal power
Every freestyle rider or racer understands that when their legs are straight at the bottom of the stroke, they will generate greater pedal power. However, most riders prefer to ride BMX bikes with the seat pressed against the frame for various reasons. Small BMX bikes encompass this feature, thanks to their low seat frame. This would also be excellent protection in smashing your legs (and body) against the frame.
6. To provide more grip
Today, a BMX bike with smaller grips, narrower handlebars, and shorter crank arms make a worthy ride. Because BMX bikes are smaller than conventional or mountain bikes, any rider would find it simpler to grip them and manage air tricks. Handlebar grips have a significant impact on the comfort and handling of your bike. Besides, the grips on the handlebar are just one of three locations on the bike where your body makes contact. Nonetheless, grips have an impact on your ability to steer and shift your BMX bike.
7. To help advanced BMX tricks
Small BMX bikes would have smaller wheels; this means they would have less friction and more tricks. Thus, you’ll definitely get faster acceleration and speed because of its lightweight attribute. The best part of it? You’ll be insanely getting advanced tricks, spins, and air jumps. Well, provided that you’re dedicated and passionate about learning all those stunts!
8. To make it easier to move around
Another advantage of a small BMX bike is that you won’t have a difficult time carrying it anywhere with you. They’re portable enough and easy to maneuver as well. And aside from being mobile, small BMX bikes are responsive to high impacts or pressures on the road.
9. Bonus: BMX bikes are initially created for kids
Among the main reasons why BMX bikes are so small is that they’re manufactured initially for kids and teens. BMX bikes usually have lesser components compared to standard bikes; thus, making it easier for kids to control them. Until BMX bikes caught the interest of adults and started using them for racing and freestyle stunts. Nevertheless, many BMX manufacturers now cater to different frame and wheel sizes; some even promote customization services.
BMX Bike Parts That Contribute to Its Small Size
Here are the other things you should know about why BMX bikes are smaller than your typical mountain bikes.
BMX Bikes have shorter cranks generally intended to create clearance, especially when performing tricks. Most BMX bike stunters favor those bikes with shorter cranks at about 6.5 inches in length on average. Additionally, shorter cranks mean you’ll be pedaling your way closer to the center. It would be easier for you to catch the pedals when whipping or performing a spin than BMX bikes with longer cranks.
We’ve mentioned that small BMX bikes typically have small wheels as well. This attribute creates a more stable platform when accelerating the bike. Moreover, BMX bikes have a general wheel size of 20-in. Yet, you can get other dimensions (like 16-in. or 24-in. wheel size) by referring to the table at the end of this article.
And finally, small BMX bikes have compact sprockets. This feat aims to provide you several advantages: less bendable, sturdier, and more protected compared to its large counterparts. Keep in mind that as opposed to large sprockets, having compact sprockets will cause your chains to break less frequently.
Are BMX Bikes Supposed to Be Small?
The main reason why BMX bikes appear small is because of their weight. Besides, they tend to have lesser components than any other bicycles manufactured in the market.
BMX bikes aren’t supposed to be small. But as mentioned, BMX riders prefer riding small BMX bikes over traditional-sized bikes so they can go “bigger.” Nonetheless, BMX bike sizes can be categorized into nine names. Each has a different frame and wheel size (refer to the table below). Among the categories, we can classify Micro Mini, Mini, and Junior BMX size names as “small” bikes.
Different Sizes of BMX Bikes
Here’s what you need to know about the various “sizes” of a BMX bike. It also pays to know these names as part of your buying process soon.
|BMX Bike Size Name||Frame Size||Wheel Size|
|Micro Mini||15 to 16 in.||16 in.|
|Mini||16 to 17 in.||18 in.|
|Junior||17 to 18.5 in.||20 in.|
|Expert||18.5 to 19.5 in.||20 in.|
|Pro||20 to 20.5 in.||20 in.|
|Pro XL||20.7 to 21 in.||22 in.|
|Pro XXL||21.5 to 22 in.||24 in.|
|Pro XXX||22 in.||24 in.|
|Cruiser||24 in.||24 in.|