Bicycles fit all age groups and genders because they come in many forms. If you love adventures and never have enough challenging rides, mountain bikes, and BMX will be your perfect choices. But which is better?
We will give you a side-by-side comparison between a mountain bike vs. BMX. You can also learn all the pros and cons of having each.
So, let’s follow our guide and determine your best companion to conquer the courses!
Mountain Bike Overview
A mountain bike, or MTB, rides on rugged terrain. It’s heavier than regular bikes to improve its efficiency in handling those kinds of landscapes, especially during your mountain biking. The modifications are about the suspension, tires, gears, and handlebar.
You can ride your mountain bike on unpaved surfaces, single tracks, and fire roads. The steep grades and rocks on these surfaces require a sturdy frame, which you can find in a mountain bike.
Multiple types of MTBs meet different disciplines, such as Enduro, downhill, trail, cross country, gravel cycling, and slopestyle.
BMX means bicycle motocross or bike motocross. The bikes aim to handle big stunts and short sprints.
People also use the term “BMX” to refer to a sport performed on a BMX bike.
You can choose your favorite BMX bike from many models because the bikes serve multiple purposes. For example, park bikes are the best for performance, while racing BMX bikes will give you high speeds.
Other BMX models are dirt bikes, flatland bikes, and street bikes. They have different sets of components to enable them to overcome specific challenges.
Differences Between A Mountain Bike Vs. BMX
We use mountain bikes and BMX bikes to achieve different purposes. Hence, they must have particular features to help you accomplish your goals easily.
Due to the nature of tricks and the pedaling style of BMXers, a BMX frame must be solid. There will be much aggression, stop-start movements, and balance on the bike. Its frame is thus engineered for strength.
Meanwhile, the mountain bike’s sturdy frame emphasizes shock absorption. It must be able to absorb as much impact as possible because of the rugged terrain it will ride.
MTB frames also provide space for installing drink bottles, air compressors, and lights. An extremely simple, solid, and robust BMX frame is necessary to accommodate those things.
Additionally, the MTB frames are available in several sizes, allowing a rider to choose their size according to their height. On the contrary, there is only one size of frame for BMX bikes.
Wheels are usually 20 inches or 24 inches. Tires aim to perform on smooth terrain while tolerating the impact of tricks and jumps.
To prevent an unexpected blowout when falling off, BMX wheels have their interiors reinforced carefully.
On the other hand, larger wheels are essential for the MTB to control the rugged and steep terrain of the regular route. MTB wheels will range from 26 inches to 29 inches in size, and it depends on the cyclist’s size.
We often use BMX bikes to perform stunts and tricks that require the ability to turn your handlebars both ways.
These high-end bikes have a specialized braking system to keep the brake wire from getting stuck in the handlebars.
With the BMX bike, you can find the brakes on the rear wheel only, and it’s usually the V-brake system. The brake will squeeze the tire to slow down; then stop the bike.
An MTB’s brakes have to endure high temperatures created by braking when riding up and down steep hills.
Disc brakes may be known as the best solution, in this case, to increase braking power and withstand extreme weather conditions.
As you can guess from the name, mountain bikes can be known to ride up or down mountain and hill slopes. They use gear for incline climbs.
To ride on steep inclines effortlessly, mountain bikes feature a central and rear-wheel cog to adjust a chain to multiple levels. As we know, to navigate different terrains, they have 24 gears.
Meanwhile, BMX bikes will be for short leaps on flat terrain. Riders don’t use them for navigating steep climbs. Hence, the bikes need a single-gear system.
You may also notice large pedals with a flat area and clip-on on BMX bikes. These pedals have the same form and extra straps for your shoes.
The suspension is the framework employed to assist the rider as a method of protection against rugged terrain or surfaces. This feature is essential in MTBs and also common in hybrid bikes.
BMX bikes don’t contain suspensions. These bikes are stiff. Thus, the suspensions would make them much bigger and sometimes counterproductive. Instead, BMX riders mainly endure the shock of the stunts.
An MTB has a full or hardtail suspension. The hardtail suspension stays on the front only, the full suspension system has the suspension at the back and front.
Suspension is a must-have for all mountain bikes because they ride on irregular surfaces. If riders absorb the socks, it will be a terrible experience.
MTBs provide an undeniably more comfortable ride than BMXs. The bike has suspension in the front and sometimes back.
This structure enables the rider to maneuver across rough terrain without overworking their arms, rear, and legs.
Meanwhile, the rider’s arms and knees act as shock absorbers on BMX bikes. The BMX riders should adjust their bodies accordingly.
|Frame||– Built for shock absorption |
– Multiple sizes
|– Built for strength |
– The same size
|Wheels||26 to 29 inches||20 to 24 inches|
|Brakes||Disc brakes||V-brake system|
|Gears||24 gears||Single gear|
|Suspension||Full or hardtail suspension||No suspension|
Pros And Cons Of Mountain Bike Vs. BMX
Nothing is perfect, so expect pros and cons when using BMX and MTBs. We will help you picture both vehicles, so you know what you will encounter.
- Multiple gears in a mountain bike make it easier for you to climb up hills and control your speed.
- MTBs serve more purposes. You can even use them to commute.
- MTBs are more comfortable, thanks to the suspension.
- You can choose the right bike that fits your height.
- Most beginner cyclists don’t use MTBs because of the high price.
- There are more components in an MTB, adding up the total weight. Hence, you will have a hard time transporting it.
- MTBs require more maintenance to ensure that the suspension, gears, and other components are in good condition.
- The frames are much more lightweight, so even children can use the bikes. They are also easier to carry around.
- BMX bikes come in a lower price range.
- Since the bikes don’t have complicated suspension and gear systems, they are straightforward to maintain.
- BMX bikes will be perfect for stunts and performances.
- The bikes can ride nicely in urban areas.
- You can’t use BMX bikes for long-distance rides.
- Because there is only one gear, you won’t ride your bike uphill easily.
- The absence of suspension poses many shocks to riders when riding.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use a mountain bike like a BMX?
No. BMX bikes have a sturdy frame built for strength. Meanwhile, the frame of a mountain bike is mainly for shock absorption, which is not powerful enough to handle the courses.
2. Can I ride a BMX in the mountains?
A BMX bike featuring 24-inch wheels can ride in the mountains. However, pedaling up hills will be much more challenging since it only has one gear. Hence, adhere to mountain bikes when riding in the mountains.
3. Can I do BMX tricks on a mountain bike?
Stunts and tricks are not suitable for every mountain bike. It would be best to ride a freestyle BMX bike to perform the stunts and tricks of the art.
4. What is a BMX bike for kids?
Yes. Kids between the heights of 3’0″ and 3’6″ should use 12″ BMX bikes.
Meanwhile, those from 3’5″ to 4″ tall should go for 14″ BMX bikes. You may have noticed that the suggested age range for BMX bikes differs significantly from that of a typical kid bike.
BMX is popular among kids. This video will give you an example of a little child performing BMX tricks:
5. Is BMX harder than MTB?
It depends on which purpose you intend to use your bike. For example, using a mountain bike is easier thanks to its suspension and gear systems if you want to ride across multiple terrains without suffering from substantial shocks.
Yet, if you like to perform tricks, you will prefer BMX bikes because of their ability to adapt to rapid shifts in speed and power.
6. Is BMX good for speed?
Yes. If you are a big fan of BMX competitions, you may know that BMX bikes will be among the fastest bikes.
A regular BMX bike can travel up to 35 mph on average, whereas a mountain bike travels at 30 mph, which is slower than a BMX’s average speed.
The BMX is perfect for rapid changes in speed, fantastic mobility, and power. Conversely, the MTB is good at climbing, absorbing shock, and handling multiple terrains.
After reading our comparison, we hope our points are clear enough to describe the two types of bikes. So, you can decide on the better two-wheeled vehicle for your needs.
If you have any questions, please comment in the section below. We will reply as soon as possible. Thank you for reading!