The main characteristics of BMX bikes

BMX bikes are very recognizable but some people are unfamiliar with their full range of features.BMX bikes were first used in the early 1970s for racing (‘BMX’ is actually short for ‘bicycle moto cross’). Although BMX racing is still a popular specialist BMX discipline in its own right, at Formby Cycles we find that many newcomers to BMX tend to show more interest in ‘freestyle’ BMX riding in which stunts and tricks are performed.

Freestyle BMX bikes can cover a range of sub-genres including ‘street’ (literally performing tricks around street ‘furniture’ such as stair rails); ‘vert’ (leaping off high ramps); and ‘flatland’ (performing choreographed balancing tricks on a flat surface). There are however many characteristics all freestyle bikes have in common, particularly at the beginner or ‘entry’ level.

Freestyle BMX bikes will usually also have raised handlebars that can turn a full circle without tangling the brake cables; small wheels that come with multiple spokes for strength; knobbly tyres for greater traction; and a generally longer length for the top tube of their frame to permit greater freedom of movement during the performance of some tricks.
The frame of a freestyle bike will generally be made of steel, giving the bike robustness sufficient to perform high impact stunts. More expensive, advance level freestyle bikes may benefit from a lightweight, but equally strong, frame made from a special steel alloy called chromoly.

Freestyle bikes will also usually have detachable pegs that can be used to assist the rider in performing certain manoeuvres.

Finally, all BMX bikes, and not just freestyle bikes, will have one gear only, to help facilitate a more straightforward and controlled ride.
At beginner, or ‘entry’ level of course, tricks and stunt performances will be greatly restricted but the rider will usually be just as thrilled in the early days simply riding a BMX bike around the streets.

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