Why Are BMX Bikes So Small: Reasons & Explained

I have always wanted to ride a BMX bike, but when I went to buy one in a nearby local store, I noticed they were smaller than other bikes. And this made me wonder why are BMX bikes so small, given that adults can ride them. They are small for many reasons, but the major one is to reduce the bike’s weight. The smaller the bike, the more lightweight it becomes, thus making it easier for riders to perform tricks and stunts.

That said, let us go into more detail on why they are small and the components that affect their size.

The Main Reason Why BMX Bikes Are So Small?

It is one of the best in the world, and most people prefer to ride them regardless of their size because of the following reasons.

To Let you Perform More Tricks

The purpose of riding a BMX bike is to perform tricks and jumps, and the size of the bike has made it easier to achieve this goal. It enables you to reach maximum speed within a short distance to pull off stunts like barspin or 360 spin.

To Protect the Bike From Damage

BMX bikes are designed for tricks and stunts, so they are built with durable material to enable them to resist the powerful impacts of these tricks. So, you don’t need to worry about your bike getting spoilt when taking huge leaps or jumps.

To Reduce the Weight

If you have been cycling for a long time, you must have noticed that BMX bike manufacturers strive to make their products as light as possible to improve their performance. They use materials like aluminum and Chromoly steel to design the frames to ensure the construction is both light and durable. By using lightweight material and fewer components, they have reduced the size of the bike. This makes it easier for you to control the bike.

To Promote Better Clearance

In addition to the construction of BMX bikes, they also feature shorter seat posts. This gives riders enough room to perform their tricks and jumps without being interrupted by the seat.

It Increases Your Pedaling Power

Are BMX Bikes Fast

Have you ever wondered why BMX bikers ride their bike while standing up? This enables them to generate more power into the pedaling action to pull off tricks. The more straight your legs are at the bottom of the pedal stroke, the easier it is for you to generate high-speed within a short distance. It is also an excellent means to avoid having your body or legs hit the frame.

They are Small to Provide More Grip

One of the advantages of BMX bikes over mountain or road bikes is that they provide more grip due to their small size. They feature shorter crank arms and narrower handlebars, making it easier for riders to hold their bike and control air stunts. The handlebars play a significant role in providing comfort while riding, so if it is larger, it makes it more challenging to control your bike, especially when performing tricks.

They Are Easy to Carry Around

Another benefit of having a smaller bike is that it makes it easier for you to carry them around. Since lightweight and portable, moving them around shouldn’t be difficult. The highest BMX bike weighs 28 pounds, which is too little compared to other bikes. So, they are suitable for all movement and the perfect choice for people who can’t travel without their bike.

They Were Initially Created For Kids

One of the main reasons why are so small is that there were initially created for kids and teenagers. They often had fewer components than other bikes to enable kids to control them better. However, as the sports grew in popularity, many adults saw the need to join the community, so they started engaging in BMX activities. This forced manufacturers to make provisions for them, which is also why it has have different frame and wheel sizes.

To Assist Riders in Performing Complex Tricks

The fact that are lightweight and has smaller wheels means that they would be subjected to less friction, making it easier for riders to pick up speed. This enables you to perform complex tricks as long as you are dedicated to learning them, and it will also assist you in controlling your bike under any circumstance.

What Components in BMX Bikes Contribute to Their Small Size?

Now that we know why it is are small let us talk more about the various components that enable them to have such size.

What Components in BMX Bikes Contribute to Their Small Size
Cranks, Sprocket, Wheels

The Cranks

They come with shorter cranks, with a length of about 165mm, to provide riders with more clearance for performing stunts. The smaller crank makes it easier for riders to get into pedaling action since the mechanism is closer to the center. Additionally, the small cranks enable riders to quickly grasp the pedal when pulling off spins.

The Sprocket

They are equipped with small sprockets, which have many advantages over larger ones. For instance, they are more durable, less bendable, and more protected than larger ones. Furthermore, they prevent the chain from breaking easily, so you don’t have to worry about changing them regularly.

The Wheels

As we mentioned above, they come with smaller wheels. You can even see some with 15 inches; however, most of them come with 20 inches wheels. This is the main reason the bike is so small but offers numerous benefits, some of which are listed below.

  • Smaller wheels promote faster speed because it reduces the weight of the bike.
  • It makes them portable and easier to maneuver obstacles.

Are BMX Bikes Meant to Be Small?

Although are not meant to be small, several manufacturers do so to reduce weight. This is because BMXing involves tricks and stunts; the lighter the bike, the faster and easier it is for you to perform these tricks. Additionally, it comes in various sizes, but you will hardly see one that is as big as a mountain bike due to the fact they have fewer components. 

What Are the Various Sizes?

Knowing the various sizes of BMX bikes is crucial because it will help you select the model that is suitable for your weight. Here is a table that shows the various size.

Bike SizeFrame Size  Wheel Size
Micro15-16 Inches16 Inches
Mini16-17 Inches18 Inches
Junior17-18.5 Inches20 Inches
Expert18.5-19.5 Inches20 Inches
Pro20-20.5 Inches20 Inches
Pro XL20.7-21 Inches22 Inches
Pro XXL21.5-22 Inches24 Inches
Pro XXX22 Inches24 Inches
Cruiser21.5-21.75 Inches24 Inches

Final Verdict

I hope this blog post has answered your question on why BMX bikes are so small. They are small because they were designed with smaller cranks, sprockets, seat posts, and wheels to enable riders to pull off air stunts and ground tricks. 


Are BMX Bikes Expensive?

BMX bikes have different price ranges, and you can get them as low as $200; however, this depends on your riding style. An entry-level BMX bike will cost $150-300, while an intermediate level will cost $300-700. On the other hand, a pro BMX bike would cost from $1000 upwards. 

Why is the seat so low on a BMX?

Low seats give more clearance for acrobatic body movements to be performed. This is necessary for bunny hops as well as virtually every other trick that builds on top of this ability.

Read more: Wondering why BMX bikes at the Olympics are so small?

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