BMX bikes are not average bikes and they have different looks compared to mountain and road bikes. They are small and usually have no brakes. Also, BMX bikes have different tires, and they usually have elegant handlebars. BMX bikes are designed for tricks and not for racing.
However, there is one question bikers ask. Are BMX bikes good for long distances? Since I have been curious about this answer since I was little, I finally researched it right now and I would like to share it with you!
Are BMX bikes good for long-distance? No! BMX bikes are not good for long-distance. They are not designed for long-distance rides. The reason why BMX bikes are not good for long-distance rides is because of their lower tires, small frame, and length of bicycle. BMX bikes are usually used for tricks just like skateboarding.
However, even though BMX bikes are not good for long-distance rides, there are still some BMX bike users that use their BMX bikes for commuting. Well, it is not bad. However, it is hard to execute such an act.
The answer I gave you is concise. There is a broader answer below that I would like to share with you. I will explain to you why BMX bikes are not good for commuting. If you are ready to learn more about BMX bikes, let us begin!
Are BMX Bikes Good For Long Distance?
BMX bikes are made and designed for off-road short-distance racing and stunts. BMX riders usually don’t do long rides, since BMX bikes are not designed for long-distance or commuting riding at all.
However, even though BMX bikes are not made for commuting purposes, there are still some people that use their BMX bikes as their commuting tool. As you may well know, when you ride a bike, it is essential that you can extend your legs to the fullest.
If you can’t extend your legs fully, then you will have to put more effort into pedaling, which means that you will get tired quickly.
BMX bikes are made to be ridden standing up. It is very rare to see a BMX rider that sits on his/her BMX bike for more than an hour and not standing up. This is the second reason why BMX bikes are not good for long distances. You don’t want to ride your BMX bike and stand for hours. Right?
Are BMX Bikes Good For Road?
Yes! BMX bikes are good for roads. These bikes were designed for pavements and roads. The tire patterns of BMX bikes are smoother, allowing the BMX rider to spin on the ground with less friction against the tarmac of the street.
However, even though BMX bikes are good for the road, they are still not good for long rides. The reason why is because BMX bikes are small and usually you are standing up while pedaling. You will have a hard time pedaling your BMX bike for hours while standing.
What Are BMX Bikes Particularly Bad At?
BMX bikes are very awful at traveling uphill and road. Everybody who is a cyclist knows how hard it is to climb uphill. It will be awful and very hard especially if the uphill is long! Traveling uphill is one of the most hated things by cyclists. Traveling uphill using a BMX bike is a very bad idea.
When you ride uphill, it requires a lot of effort. It is good training for cyclists. Aside from uphill, there are other experiences worse than approaching a huge uphill.
There are two reasons why BMX bikes are bad at tackling hills:
The first reason why is because BMX bikes are small. Like I have mentioned above, you need to stand up if you want to put your full power into pedaling through the uphill.
If you are traveling uphill using a BMX bike, this will give you a massive strain inside your back. Lots of people that love to BMX and ride uphill using their BMX bike usually suffer from intense back pain.
You have to listen to me. You will not like putting yourself into that situation. If the ratio of your BMX bike is not enough, you have no choice since BMX bikes usually have no gearing. This means again that you have to put a lot more effort into your pedaling.
The seats of BMX bikes are also woeful for long-distance cycling. You have to know that the seats of BMX bikes are very rarely used because BMX riders usually stand up while riding on their BMX bikes.
BMX bikes were designed to be used standing up. When you have finished battling the uphill using your BMX bike and you will sit on your saddle, it will not be comfortable. The saddle is very low and might hurt your knees.
Lastly, most BMX bikes are made with the intention of you braking by putting your foot on the back wheel. Yes! There are some hand brakes available in the store for BMX bikes. However, they are not that high-quality. The hand brakes of BMX bikes are not as strong as the brakes of mountain bikes.
This is a very dangerous idea! Riding a BMX bike for a long-distance and having no brakes is like putting your other foot on the grave. You can’t do that! And even though you have brakes, it is still dangerous since the brakes of BMX bikes are not strong at all.
What Are The Alternatives For Long Distance Rides?
I really suggest that you never use your BMX bike for long-distance rides. There are other bikes out there. Yes! These other bikes are more expensive but very useful if you really desire to have a long-distance ride with your friends.
Below are the three most suitable types of bikes for long-distance rides:
- Mountain Bikes
- Road Bikes
- Gravel Bikes
- Hybrid Bikes
Can You Convert A BMX Bike For Long Distance?
If you have no other choice, there are ways where you can convert a BMX bike for long-distance riding. However, I cannot guarantee to you that it will give you the most comfortable experience in the world. But this is better than nothing to use for long-distance rides. Right?
One of your goals, when you want to convert your BMX bike for long-distance rides, is to try and sort out your bike’s seat. There are two essential things you can do here:
- Invest in better quality, padded seats.
- Raise your seat as high as you possibly can. Yes. It is not as high as a mountain bike but it will make your long-distance ride more comfortable.
The next thing you can do to convert your BMX bike for a long-distance ride is changing the tires on your bike. If you are traveling long distances then you may want to switch these out for road tires. However, if you are also traveling off-road, the normal tires will work.
The road tires will grip the ground a little bit less. This means you can apply less effort when pedaling your bike uphill. However, road tires will give you a hard time traveling in mud places because there will be not enough grip.
The next thing you can do is to add a U-Brake on the back wheel of your BMX bike. Standard brakes will not work on your BMX bike. Also, you are very lucky since installing a U-Brake will require less effort from you and can be completed using a simple set of bike tools.
You have to check your brakes first before you head out and go for the long-distance ride. If your brakes are not working, it is dangerous to go for a long-distance ride.
All of these conversions are possible. But keep in mind that with all of these conversions, it is still going to be difficult to travel long distances on a BMX bike.
Can You Use Your BMX Bike For Commuting?
Now that you know that BMX bikes are not good for long-distance, even though you convert them already, let’s talk about if you can use your BMX bike for commuting.
Since many people are having daily commutes, a BMX bike can be ideal for people that are saving money.
Yes! You can use your BMX bike for commuting. However, never expect that it will be as comfortable as you think. It is still going to be difficult to ride uphill and on paved surfaces. That is never going to change.
BMX bikes are small bikes. That is why if you need to go on public transportation at some point during that daily commute with your BMX bike, you can bring your BMX bike with you.
A basic BMX bike is cheaper than a foldable and road bike. Yes! BMX bikes are somehow big compared to skateboard. But it is not going to be too large. This means you can still bring inside your BMX bike on a train or bus.
However, you may want to avoid using a BMX bike if there are lots of uphill traveling on your desired location. You will be tired before you get to work or school. If you really want to ride on a BMX bike when going to your work, I suggest that you invest in a high-quality BMX bike or convert your BMX bike as I have taught above.
If you have enough budget for a road bike or mountain bike, why would you buy a high-quality, expensive BMX bike? If you have enough money, you can buy a cheap road bike or mountain bike. Trinx and Foxter are the cheapest brands that have good quality.
Are BMX Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?
Yes! BMX bikes are faster than mountain bikes in short-distance races. However, when it comes to long-distance races, the mountain bike will win because the BMX rider will get tired soon. The reason why BMX bikes are faster than mountain bikes is that BMX bikes are lighter than mountain bikes.
BMX bikes are not good for long-distance rides. These bikes are not designed to travel fast like road bikes. They are designed for tricks and to travel fast over short distances. However, you can convert your BMX bike for a long-distance ride. But it will be as comfortable as riding a road bike or mountain bike. It is still better if you have some money to buy a mountain bike or road bike.