Though BMX bikes look small, never underestimate what its capable of doing. If you have ever watched a BMX competition, you will know that they are one of the fast bikes in the world. On average, a standard BMX bike can hit up to 35mph, while a mountain bike can hit 30mph, which is smaller than the average speed of a BMX bike.
However, different factors influence the speed of a BMX bike. For example, you need to consider the type of terrain it passes through, the bike’s condition, the rider’s style, and the BMX model.
Having said this, let’s go into more detail on BMX bike speeds, including tips on how to make it go faster.
Are BMX Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?
As mentioned above, a BMX bike is faster than a mountain bike, but it also depends on where you ride it. You don’t expect a BMX bike to thrive more than a mountain on unpaved surfaces and rough terrains because mountain bikes were designed for these purposes, while BMX bikes were made for smooth and dirt tracks.
Another factor to consider when determining their speed is the bike’s design. A Mountain bike is designed to offer maximum safety for riders on rough terrains, while a BMX bike provides flexibility and enables riders to perform tricks.
This plays a role in the bike’s speed because a mountain bike is equipped with features like suspensions, wider tires, and many gears to achieve this goal, which also adds to the bike’s weight, thereby limiting its speed. Whereas a BMX bike lacks these features, making it lightweight and capable of moving faster under normal circumstances.
Below is a chart comparing BMX bike speed with other bike models.
|Bike Type||Average Speed in (mph)||Average Speed in (kph)|
|BMX race bikes||30-35mph||48-56kph|
|Freestyle BMX bikes||6-9mph||10-15kph|
|Gravel bikes||More than 30mph||More than 48kph|
What Are the Factors Affecting the Speed of a BMX Bike?
Despite the fact that BMX bikes are naturally fast, there are still some factors that determine how fast they can go. Some of them include:
The Type of BMX Bike
As we can see on the chart, a freestyle BMX bike can only cover 6-9mph, while a race BMX bike can cover over 30mph. This is because race bikes were made for sprinting. So, they are always lightweight, enabling riders to easily engage their pedals to attain maximum speed. On the other hand, freestyle bikes are only used for tricks and jumps. So, they are heavier, making them slower than race bikes.
In as much as BMX bikes can go fast, they can only achieve that speed in places like bike parks, smooth surfaces, and dirt tracks. So, if you want your BMX bike to move fast, try to ride it in these places.
A BMX bike can only cover short distances. This is because it was designed for tricks and jumps, which are done within short distances. So, it cannot attain top speed at long distances. This is why mountain and road bikes are much better than BMX bikes because they can perform well on long and short distances.
It takes a lot of practice and failure to master the arts of cycling. As a result, only experienced riders can reach a top speed of 35 miles per hour because you need to be able to control your bike before reaching this speed. So, don’t be in a rush to try it out if you are a newbie. Start by learning the little tricks and building your confidence before increasing your speed.
What Components Make BMX Bikes Fast?
The features of a bike are one of the major things that determine its speed, weight, and productivity. So, let us discuss some of the components that make BMX bikes fast.
- Frames: They are one of the components determining a bike’s weight. The bigger the frame, the heavier the bike. However, BMX bikes always come with smaller frames, making them lightweight and capable of moving faster than most bikes.
- Wheels: Even though bigger wheels enable bikers to cover more ground, they also have some downsides. For instance, due to their large size, it takes a lot of effort to engage the pedals and get the bike up to speed. However, with smaller wheels, you can easily make your bike faster because it is easier to engage the pedals. This is one of the reasons BMX bikes can move faster within short distances.
- Handlebars: BMX bikes always come with two handlebars: a two-piece bar and four piece bar. These handlebars enable you to stay upright, which can boost your speed.
- Bearings: BMX bikes are designed with sealed bearings, which makes them durable. It is easier to ride a durable bike faster because its components can handle the impact of anything that can interfere with your speed.
How Can I Make My BMX Bike go Faster?
Unlike other bikes, BMX bikes are just for stunts and tricks. So, it can encounter some challenges if pushed over its limit. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t modify it to improve its speed and productivity. You can accomplish this goal through the following:
Adjust Your Seat Post
If you want to ride faster, you should ensure your sear post are not too short because it will make it more challenging to engage your pedals. Generally, BMX bikes feature a shorter seat to enable riders to perform tricks and stunts. This can limit your riding speed because you have to stand up to get into pedaling action, which can be uncomfortable over a long time. However, by adjusting your seat post, you make it easier for you to engage your pedals and ride faster.
Lubricate Your Chains
Chains are as important as any other component of a bike. But, they are always subjected to friction, making them prone to early damage or jam. However, you can prevent this by lubricating them. This ensures they move smoothly, promoting a faster and better ride.
Check the Tire Pressure
Bike tires are prone to early damage, especially if they have low pressure. This will not only damage your BMX bike but also slow you down because it will make it more difficult to control the bike. So, you need to check your tire pressure every two weeks to ensure you are using the right one.
Keep Them Clean
You might not know this, but cleaning your bike can improve its speed. Due to the nature of BMXing, the bikes are exposed to dirt and mud, which can cause the chains and other metallic parts to rust. They can also affect the tire’s performance, slowing you down. So, you should always clean your bike to increase speed and ensure the parts are in good condition.
How to Improve Your Speed on a BMX Bike
Though we have discussed the various features that influence your BMX bike speed, you can also boost them by doing the following.
- Seat in an aero position: This is one of the processes that help boost your speed. It puts you in a position where you can cut across the wind, increasing your speed level. You can do this by tucking your elbow and bending slightly to become aerodynamic. However, this can be challenging because it puts you in an uncomfortable position. That is why we only see experienced rides using aero bikes.
- Wear fitted clothes: Avoid oversized clothes because they create wind drags, affecting your riding speed. It is always advisable to wear fitted clothes if you want to go faster because they make you more aerodynamic, which boosts your speed.
- Don’t brake much: Though brakes help keep you out of harm’s way, they also limit your riding speed. This is because the main function of brakes is to slow you down, so when you brake, it often decreases your speed, making it more difficult to achieve maximum speed at a given distance. So, you should brake less if you want to cover more ground faster while riding your BMX bikes.
- Ride with your friends: There are different benefits to riding in groups. For starters, it reduces wind resistance, making it possible for you to move faster. It also allows you to challenge each other, encouraging you to ride faster in order to win the competition.
BMX bikes are fun. They can give you the sensation of combining speed with tricks and jumps, making you a happy rider. BMX bikes were designed to ride fast within short distances, so rest assured they can offer you speed and a comfortable ride.
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The High-Speed Physics of Olympic BMX – WIRED