Do you love cycling and enjoy going on riding trips on different terrains? If yes, you must be wondering if your BMX bike can help with mountain biking.
You can ride your BMX bikes on different terrains. Although specially designed for freestyling and racing, it can be used for mountain biking by pro cyclists.
Yes, riding a BMX helps mountain biking. Riding a BMX is an excellent way to improve your skills as a mountain biker. A BMX bike with small wheels is perfect for getting skills like pumping, cornering on the track, and jumping. You can use these skills on the trails, making mountain biking a wonderful experience.
Can You Use A BMX Bike For Mountain Biking?
You can use a BMX for mountain biking, but you should not opt for it because it is challenging and exhausting.
Some reasons why BMX bikes are not suitable for mountain biking are:
#1. BMX Bikes Have A Single Gear
Most BMX bikes have a single gear, which means you would put more strength into pedaling. You will quickly get exhausted if you go mountain biking with a BMX bike.
You might also get cramps in your muscles while cycling uphill. This is an advantage mountain bikes have over BMX, as they come with multi-gears that enable you to adjust freely and quickly.
#2. There Is No Suspension In Bmx Bikes
To cycle uphill, you need a bike that can absorb shock. Unfortunately, BMX bikes lack suspension, which makes mountain biking a challenge.
#3. The Wheels Of A BMX Bike Are Small
BMX bikes have wheels of 20 to 24 inches. These small wheels do not favor mountain biking and are better when used on smooth surfaces.
Also, good friction is not guaranteed on a rough surface like a mountain.
#4. The Compact Frame Of A BMX Is Too Small
The frame of a BMX bike is small and carries a particular size. Compact frames pose more rigidity instead of flexibility while cycling uphill. If you go uphill with a BMX bike, you will strain it a lot.
#5. They Have A Fixed Seat Position
While cycling with a BMX bike, the seats are rarely used because you would do tricks most of the time. Due to this fact, the seats usually have a fixed position.
You are expected to sit when cycling uphill, and you are supposed to keep your body straight which would make you uncomfortable in the long run.
You might be wondering what a BMX bike is used for since it is not suitable for mountain biking. There are two types of BMX bikes: freestyle BMX bikes and race BMX bikes.
Freestyle BMX bikes are designed for stunts and jumping, while race BMX bikes are perfect for racing as they weigh lighter.
BMX bikes Vs Mountain Bikes
Here’s a brief comparison of BMX bikes and mountain bikes:
#1. Brake Type
BMX bikes have V-brakes, while mountain bikes have disc brakes.
This is because V-brakes are not strong enough to be used on steep hills and in wet conditions, while the reverse is the case with disc brakes.
#2. Bike Frame
The frames of a BMX bike are smaller and have a particular size. So you would find yourself struggling to cycle uphill using a BMX bike.
On the contrary, mountain bike frames are large and come in different sizes.
#3. Wheel Size
As stated earlier, BMX bikes have 20 to 24 inches wheels which are small compared to the size of mountain bikes, whose wheels are 26 inches.
Mountain bikes are multi-geared, and it allows you to shift quickly, while BMX bikes are single geared, making shifting impossible.
#5. Shock Suspension
BMX bikes do not have suspension, while mountain bikes have a shock suspension, and it gives you a better experience.
BMX bikes have a fixed seat position which would make you uncomfortable, while mountain bikes have adjustable seats that make ascending and descending easy.
Generally, BMX bikes are best used for:
- Jumps, stunts, and tricks,
- Short runs,
- Park riding,
- Dirt jumping,
- Shot distance riding.
Going mountain biking with a BMX bike is possible, but it’s best to go with a mountain bike solely designed for that purpose.
Can BMX Bikes Improve MTB Skills?
BMX bikes improve bike handling skills as a mountain biker. Therefore, most pro cyclists start with BMX riding.
If you are good at it, you cannot transition to mountain biking, but you cannot do the same if you start cycling with a mountain bike.
Below are some skills you would master if you begin cycling using a BMX bike.
#1. Finding Flow
An essential bike handling skill is finding flow by pumping your bike up and down. The pumping keeps your momentum going.
To generate and maintain speed, you unweight the bike’s front end, transfer your weight back to the front, and push down with your arms and feet on a downslope.
You should pump on all bumps and rocks to generate speed if you are on a trail.
#2. Perfecting Cornering Technique
Cycling around corners is an essential skill because it is very tricky. BMX bikes are best to improve this skill. Put your seat down and place your midfoot on your pedals to do this.
Switch your foot when riding, as this would allow you to drop your heel and go around the corner. Always set your hips and be ready to lift your weight.
Also, learn to lean the bike over by pushing with your inside arm to ride smoothly around the corner.
BMX bikes are smaller and as such, learning how to jump is a lot easier. To jump, rise above your seat and bend your elbows, pull the handlebars, and lean backward while lifting the front wheel without pedaling.
Stretch your arms and pull the handlebars from under you. Slightly jump and take your legs up to your frame. Land on the two wheels simultaneously.
Using a bike with little or no suspension is best for perfecting this technique.
Using BMX bikes other skills like leg spreading, bumping, bunny hopping, and you can only develop aggressiveness.
However, these skills can help you stay safe while mountain biking.
You can use a BMX bike for mountain biking if you are a professional cyclist. However, if you are a newbie, I would recommend mountain bikes.
Mountain bikes are designed solely for mountain riding due to their rigid structure, multiple gear system, brake system, bigger wheels, and their ability to suspend.
These features are perfect for mountain biking.
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