BMX is a single-speed, short-frame bike that performs stunts on various terrain. In addition, they are suitable for practicing jumps and airborne tricks.
BMX bikes are a variant of motocross motorcycles; the only difference is they are human-powered.
The distance you can effectively and comfortably cover on bicycles varies based on their form factor, and BMX bikes are no different.
The average commuter can comfortably cover two to five miles of city riding on a BMX. However, anything higher than five miles becomes uncomfortable and stressful. Therefore, BMX bikes are only good for town and trail riding over short distances.
Effective biking distance is affected by many factors. In this article, I will explain the steps and modifications you need to be able to commute on your BMX bike efficiently.
Can You Commute With BMX Bikes?
Yes, you can do a lot of cities and mixed trail riding on BMX bikes, but their ability to commute long distances is limited.
BMX bikes are a type of bicycle that are characterized by their small frames, stiff construction, small tires, and single-speed gearing
Commuting in urban areas and cities is expensive and not easily affordable.
This has led to more people searching for better alternatives like bicycles and public transportation.
Getting a bike will allow you to transport yourself from one city block to another without cost and get fit.
There are different kinds of bicycles in circulation today, and we have road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, BMX bikes, etc.
BMX bikes are popular among young adults and kids because of their small profile and the ease with which you can perform cool tricks.
Sadly due to their characteristics like small tires, lower seats, and small frames, BMX bikes excel in a few situations.
#1. Short Trips
BMX bikes are great for short-distance commutes from block to block in a city or to grab a few groceries from a nearby store.
Taking private or public transportation for short trips is costly and wasteful. Getting yourself a good bike is a way to save cash.
It is best not to purchase a BMX bike for long-distance commutes over five miles.
#2. Recreational Riding
BMX bikes are super maneuverable and rigid, so you can perform stunts on the ground or while airborne.
BMX bikes can allow riders to practice and perform stunts that will be otherwise very difficult to perform on other bikes like road bikes and MTBs.
If you have already purchased a BMX and you want to be able to perform some long-distance riding comfortably, there are some modifications you can make.
#3. Padded Seat
BMX bikes usually come from the factory with a small, hard seat that is uncomfortable for long rides.
Invest in a wide, soft, and comfortable padded bike seat if you plan to bike for long distances.
You can order padded seats from Amazon and eBay for a low price
#4. Lifted Saddle
BMX bikes have short seats close to the pedals, preventing riders from stretching their legs comfortably.
You can purchase a higher seat that has better features like shock absorbers. In addition, a higher seat will allow you to pedal with maximum comfort and a better body posture.
#5. Road Tyres
BMX bikes usually have hybrid road tires with threads and groves like those used in mountain bikes.
Those tires provide adequate traction on various terrain, but this grip makes BMX bikes harder to pedal and slower.
If you want more speed and better traveling distance, change your BMX tires to a suitable road tire.
#6. Front/Rear Brakes
BMX bikes don’t usually come with brakes because they will hinder riders’ ability to stunt properly, adding unnecessary weight and complication.
If you want to ride longer distances, you need to install brakes on your BMX to have better-stopping power in emergencies.
What is the Average Distance You Can Cover With a BMX?
An average BMX rider can cover up to five miles on city roads or trails. Deciding on any distance greater than five miles becomes stressful and inefficient.
Different types of bikes are in use today and are built to tackle different riding conditions.
Road/racing bikes can ride quickly on tarred roads and cover more distances, while mountain bikes/BMX are more suited to off-road and short-distance riding.
The table below shows the different types of bikes we have and the effective distance you can ride them.
|Type of Bike||Average Riding Speed||Suitable Traveling Distance|
|BMX Bikes||12-15 Mph||2-5 miles|
|Road Bikes||15-25 Mph||30+ miles|
|Touring Bikes||15-20 Mph||60+ miles|
|Mountain Bikes||12-17 Mph||10 miles|
Here are some things that can influence the average distance a bike can cover.
#1. Bike Profile
The profile of your bike frame affects your seating position, which can seriously influence your average cycling distance either positively or negatively.
BMX bikes have a small profile and small wheel seats lower than the steering bar and short pedals.
Profiles like this don’t encourage sitting, and most of the ride is done standing. This limits the average riding distance because only a few people can ride for more than five miles standing.
#2. Wheel Diameter
The diameter of the bike tire also affects its average riding distance. Smaller diameter wheels cover shorter distances on a full revolution, leading to shorter average riding distances.
BMX bikes have smaller wheel diameters than other bikes, so you have to pedal faster to cover a set distance than another bike with larger wheel diameters.
#3. Gear Ratio
Modern bikes have gear ratios ranging from 7-11 speed gear ratios. Lower gear ratios are easier to cycle, but they are slower, higher gears are faster, but they are much harder to Pedal.
BMX bikes have a single-gear ratio, unlike other bikes with up to 13 gear ratios.
The lack of gearing makes BMX bikes harder to ride because riders can easily tire while climbing hills or inclines.
Are BMX Bikes Good for Long Rides?
No, BMX bikes are not suitable for long rides. BMX bikes are typically ridden while standing, and this, coupled with other factors like a single-gear ratio, makes them unsuitable for long rides.
Here are some features that make BMX bikes unsuitable for long rides.
- Bad seating quality
- Small wheel diameter
- Lack of brakes
- Single gear ratio
BMX bikes are not suited for long rides. They are more suited for stunts and a quick cycle around the block.
Here are some bikes you can buy if you want long-distance rides.
- Road Bikes
- Touring/endurance bikes
- Gravel bikes(off-road riding)
As mentioned above, you can modify your BMX to improve comfort while riding, but it will only extend your riding distance by a few miles.
If you wish to ride longer distances, you should purchase other bikes suitable for long-distance riding.
BMX Vs. Road Bikes: Which is Better for City Riding?
Road Bikes are more suited for city commuting than BMX bikes, while BMX bikes are suitable for short commutes or performing stunts at skate parks.
Here are some situations where BMX and road bikes excel.
#1. BMX Bikes
BMX bikes are more suited to short-distance urban riding, stunting in skateparks, and short-city commuting.
BMX does not have variable gears, so they are not suited for fast riding on roads and up hills.
#2. Road Bikes
Road Bikes are the second most sold bikes in countries around the world. Road Bikes have adjustable seats that are level with the handlebars and allow riders to ride comfortably on roads.
Road Bikes are not suited for off-road or trail riding due to the absence of shock absorbers and off-road tires.
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