Can BMX Bikes Go Uphill? (Things You Should Know)

Everyone that loves cycling or racing knows that Bicycle MotoCross (BMX) bikes have unique features that make the experience worthwhile.

BMX bikes have unique features that separate them from regular bikes’ wheel sizes, lighter feel, knobby tires, and overall durability.

However, despite these outstanding features, some wonder if a BMX bike is sturdy enough to go uphill.

You’ll get the correct answers here if you’re still unsure whether BMX bikes can go uphill.

Unfortunately, BMX bikes are unsuitable for riding uphill, whether controlled by a professional or a beginner cyclist. BMX wheels are smaller and lighter than regular wheels, making it difficult to paddle uphill because it barely supports your weight. In addition, the single gear on a BMX bike makes riding uphill tedious and dangerous.

In this article, I’ll explain if it’s safe to take BMX bikes uphill and if it’s advisable to go mountain biking with a BMX bike. 

By the end, you’ll know what bikes are best for riding uphill and the strength of BMX bikes.

Can You Take BMX Bikes Uphill? 

You can take BMX bikes uphill, but you’ll have a bumpy and challenging ride most of the time because its features do not support it.

However, some people tend to power through when they have no choice, but there are several reasons to avoid it.

Below are the reasons why you shouldn’t ride BMX bikes uphill

#1. Riding BMX Bikes Uphill Results in Severe Backache

BMX bikes have a trademark for being lightweight and smaller than other bikes to make cycling less tedious for people.

However, this lightweight feature is also a disadvantage when riding uphill because you’d need a lot of force to pedal.

You would also need to stand up on the bike to support yourself properly while pedaling, which puts a lot of strain on your back.

As a result, you’re likely to develop severe back pain after riding a BMX bike uphill, especially if you do it often.

You’ll experience many discomforts while riding a BMX bike uphill, and it multiplies depending on your weight.

Unfortunately, the lightweight feature of a BMX bike makes it harder for people who weigh a lot to support themselves while pedaling uphill.

This is because a BMX bike cannot support a lot of weight while force is being applied to climb uphill.

By default, this feature further puts you at risk of experiencing pain in other joints in your body asides from your back while riding uphill.

It’s been noticed that most people who still go ahead to ride BMX bikes uphill end up suffering from severe back pain.

#2. Riding BMX Bikes Uphill is Difficult Because It Has a Single Gear

Another feature of a BMX bike that makes it unfit for riding uphill is the single gear used to operate it.

To ride uphill, you need to switch gears to one suitable for pedaling slowly upward, but BMX bikes have only one gear.

However, other bikes have between three to eighteen gears or more, allowing riders to switch speeds while riding uphill to maintain balance.

BMX bikes have one gear because they are meant to support short-distance cycling races rather than tedious pedaling uphill.

This implies that if you try to ride a BMX bike uphill, you’d need to control its speed which can be frustrating single-handedly.

You would need to switch to a higher gear while riding uphill, but it would be near impossible without that option on a BMX bike.

#3. Riding BMX Bikes Uphill Puts You at Higher Risk of Sustaining Injuries 

BMX bikes have several features that make them unsuitable for riding uphill and expose you to injuries instead.

These features include a single-gear option, uncomfortable seats for riding uphill, and tires that tend to be unstable.

All of the features, as mentioned earlier, of a BMX bike make the chances of sustaining an injury uphill higher than on other bikes.

Also, while struggling to propel yourself uphill on a BMX bike, you may fall off if you can’t correctly support yourself.

Another possibility that could result in an injury is having to stand up while riding a BMX bike uphill because of the uncomfortable seats.

The tires of a BMX bike also don’t provide the required grip for riding uphill, which equally puts you at risk of getting injured easily.

Can You Go Mountain Biking with a BMX Bike? 

It’s not advisable to mountain bike with BMX bikes because most features do not support the activity, especially its single brake and lesser gear.

However, it’s doable, but the process is more tedious than it would be on a mountain bike, and you’re more prone to injuries while riding.

For further clarity, below are the reasons why you shouldn’t go mountain biking with a BMX bike:

#1. BMX Bikes aren’t Flexible Enough for Mountain Biking 

BMX bikes are sturdy, unlike mountain bikes which makes them unsuitable for any cycling activity asides from short-distance races that require flexibility.

A major prerequisite for bikes that are used on mountain trails is the flexibility that allows you to support yourself adequately while dodging obstacles.

However, since BMX bikes are made for smooth landing jumps and short-distance races, they have sturdy tires that are hard to maneuver on mountain trails.

BMX Bikes don’t have a Gear Mode that supports Mountain Biking

Unlike other bikes, BMX bikes are only equipped with one gear, making it a hassle to ride them on a mountain trail.

Normally, you’d need to change to a higher gear while riding uphill for a smoother ride, but a BMX bike does not offer this feature.

However, some people still ride BMX bikes on mountain trails despite this disadvantage, but they’re either persistent or lightweight enough to pedal better.

#2. BMX Bikes don’t Provide Suspension or Brakes for Mountain Trails

A biker needs a bike that can provide suspension to shield them from shocks they are bound to experience as they hit obstacles on mountain trails.

Unfortunately, BMX bikes don’t provide any suspension for the biker while they descend and ascend mountain trails. 

The lack of suspension by BMX bikes exposes the biker to severe injuries when they hit an obstacle, and the shock isn’t absorbed.

Aside from that, BMX bikes can either have no brakes or just a single brake, making it difficult to ride on mountain trails.

What Bikes are Best for Uphill? 

Road bikes are the best for riding uphill because they possess all the characteristics that ensure riding uphill is a smooth experience.

Road bikes are lightweight, so you can easily ride them uphill without being burdened with extra weight.

They are also made with excellent gearing and a high range that aids your efforts to climb uphill without exerting too much force.

Interestingly the materials used to make a road bike, such as aluminum and carbon fiber, make the force from your pedaling efficient in helping you ascend.

If you live in a place with hills or hilly roads, a road bike is the best way to commute daily for a smooth ride.

However, if you’re wondering why a road bike is suitable for riding uphill and a BMX bike isn’t, below is a table that highlights their differences; 

Features of BMX BikesFeatures of Road bikes
Sturdy and unsuitable for maneuvering past obstacles uphillFlexible enough for maneuvering past obstacles uphill.
Best suited for short-distance cycling sportsBest suited for long-distance and obstacle cycling sports.
Have one or no brakes, which makes them unsuitable for riding uphillMade with enough brakes to control movement uphill.
Have single gears which don’t support rising uphillAn excellent gearing system for smooth uphill riding.
They are low enough to be ridden uphill.They are low enough to be ridden uphill.
They require you to stand while pedaling uphill.They don’t require you to stand while pedaling uphill.
They have big tires which don’t provide enough grip for riding uphill.They have smaller tires with excellent grip for riding uphill.
They increase the risks of sustaining an injury while riding uphill.They vastly reduce the risks of being injured uphill.

How Strong are BMX Bikes? 

BMX bikes are one of the strongest you can find. They are popularly known for being sturdy and durable for cycling.

BMX bikes are also made to support people with different weights, and some BMX bikes are made so strong that they have no weight limit.

Interestingly, the strength of BMX bikes is engineered majorly to support cyclists as they attempt stunts. 

As a sturdy bike brand, BMX bikes have a high endurance rate no matter the rider’s weight.

Additionally, BMX bikes are made from chromoly steel or aluminum, which makes them heavier and stronger than other bikes.

Josh Matthews

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