CHOOSING A BMX BIKE: FINDING YOUR FIT
Built for ripping around your skate park, launching off dirt jumps, or racing across specially designed courses, BMX bikes are sturdy, maneuverable and designed for fun. But in order to get the most out of your ride and take your performance to the next level, you’ll need to select the right features for your style and, more importantly, find the right fit for your body.
The Right Fit
Because the design of BMX bikes is so different from all other bike styles, the usual guidelines for finding the right fit don’t exactly apply.
For example, because you often stand while riding a BMX bike, the distance from the seat to the pedals doesn’t matter as much. All BMX bike seats are designed to sit low to allow for increased maneuverability during stunts. And instead of adjusting the handlebars based on your arm length, they need to be completely in-line with the angle of the fork legs.
- Provides a firm and shock-resistant ride
- Higher quality steel is lighter and provides better responsiveness
- Offers a stiff and responsive ride for stunts
- Light and easy to maneuver
Geometry refers to the design and size of all the different tubes (top tube, seat tube, downtube) and the angles at which they intersect on your bike – this is one of the primary factors for determining the right fit for your body and the style of riding you’re able to do.
A longer top tube is necessary for taller riders and it’s also better for dirt jumping because it improves control, lowers centre of gravity, and positions you toward the back of the bike – cutting back on the chance of going over the handlebars on landing. Shorter top tubes can improve maneuverability when performing stunts at the park.
Because top tubes on BMX bikes can range from around 19 – 22”, you can select the length that works best for your riding style and preferences.
Pedals & Cranksets
The crankset on a BMX bike is relatively simple but it actually needs to perform more than one function: Give the bike forward motion, and provide a sturdy and secure base for your feet while performing stunts and landing jumps.
- Three-piece Cranksets: slightly more complex simply because they’re composed of more pieces than other cranks, a three-piece crankset for your BMX bike is designed to be stiffer and more durable to allow you to push your bike harder on landings and tricks.
- Two-piece Cranksets: a good mix of lightweight components and overall stiffness, two-piece cranksets also generally feature some of the best bottom bracket bearing systems to help you perform the maneuvers you need while racing or ripping around the park.
- One-piece Cranksets: ideal for beginners and general use on trails and streets, one-piece cranksets for your BMX bike are designed for less aggressive riding and stunts.
Because pedals, seats and handlebar designs for BMX bikes can vary a great deal depending on the style of bike, you have a large variety of styles to choose from when narrowing down your personal riding preferences. It all comes down to what you need to ride your best.