New to BMXs – what do I need to know?

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  • New to BMXs – what do I need to know?
  • To start with, dont fit 140mm forks to them.

    alcolepone
    Member

    i’m interested too, my hard tail isnt meant for the bmx track 😀

    Premier Icon p7rich
    Subscriber

    Hi CGG. What prompted the idea of weeny wheels?

    abomb7147
    Member

    Something like the we the people bmxs are good value for money have a look at them! Popular bikes because they have a decent spec for the money!

    biker66
    Member

    Be careful. I also used to ride BMX back in the eighties. I started riding again in my early forties. I bought a cheap 24 inch cruiser to start thinking it would be fun to just cruise around the streets on. It’s pretty much taken over my riding life since.
    I still can’t believe how much I got back into it. I spend way more time in the local skatepark then I do on the hardtail. Maybe a kind of mid life crisis thing, but hell of a lot of fun.
    The bikes have changed a lot, and are a lot better. Decide what kind of geo you need for what you’d like to do, more race orientated or more into what we used to call freestyle.
    BMX is cheap compared to MTB. Have a look at the 24 inch cruisers. There are good deals on e bay. Quite a few buy for run arounds and sell after not really using. They are much more comfortable than a 20, and give you that feeling you had of riding a BMX when you were a kid. I ride a 22 inch now, from a small company in the U.K. called Faction. Suits me, as I was getting more into the actual jumping and riding skateparks rather than just cruising around. But not serious enough for a 20.
    The dirtjump forum on ridemonkey is good for info, bit older crowd, so you are not baffled by a bunch of teenage lingo.
    One thing I changed a lot , starting riding again, is my approach to learning tricks or jumping. There is no more ‘just go for it’ , and more a gentle , build up by keeping it smooth. I’ve fallen off a few times but no serious injures , touch wood. I wear a helmet. Elbow pads to start , but now just knee pads sometimes.
    I’ve found the BMX crowd very friendly too. More so than the Mountain bikers ( present company excepted).

    @P7rich: Well I spend half my commute to work balancing on kerbs and sprinting and hopping and the other half wheelieing, and half the commute home manualling and the other half going over jumps with the odd diversion to some more jumps, so it seems the ideal low maintenance singlespeed commuter! And apparently getting good on a 20 makes you much better on a 26. Plus I’d rather take a £200 bike to the shops than a £2000 one…

    Thinking about a BMX as a commuter/play bike, something cheap that’s less costly if nicked or in terms of maintenance. I rode BMXs from ’83 to ’88 but I’ve been on MTBs ever since so am fairly clueless about the technology and pitfalls…

    Thanks Biker, I’m not planning on doing tricksy things, just want to get comfier in the air and better at trialsy moves (especially those that help on the trail). There’s a load of beginnery jumps on my commute built by the local kids over the last few decades and I’ve been riding them on my hardtail but I just seem to flatten them – like my lack of skill plus the steep angles and lack of space means I can’t throw a MTB around quickly enough – once I can ride them with some style I may dare to visit the skate parks (and maybe the big scary dirt jumps?) I’m 5’10 so presumably a middling sized BMX with middling geometry will suit me?

    Lower your forks to 100mm! 🙂

    21″ top tube would be about right for the jump stuff. Get some big bars n all.

    I’m always surprised that people find BMX bikes more comfortable that a Hard Tail DJ mountain bike for jumping etc.

    I would love to get into BMX but everytime I’ve had a go of one I immediately feel out of my comfort zone and desperate for bigger wheels, frame and suspension forks.

    I would love to get into BMX but everytime I’ve had a go of one I immediately feel out of my comfort zone and desperate for bigger wheels, frame and suspension forks.

    Well yes, if you are used to riding a bent bike for dirt jumps, then a bmx will feel strange due to the fact its got correct sized wheels, forks and angles.

    You’d have to give it a bit of time to get used to it.

    Well yes, if you are used to riding a bent bike for dirt jumps, then a bmx will feel strange due to the fact its got correct sized wheels, forks and angles.

    It wasn’t a criticism. Everytime I’ve tried jumping something on a BMX I gain more respect for BMXers. I’m just surprised that the stability of a longer, bigger, ‘softer’ bike doesn’t win out over a small, rigid, twitchy wrist breaker.

    Premier Icon p7rich
    Subscriber

    @P7rich: Well I spend half my commute to work balancing on kerbs and sprinting and hopping and the other half wheelieing, and half the commute home manualling and the other half going over jumps with the odd diversion to some more jumps, so it seems the ideal low maintenance singlespeed commuter! And apparently getting good on a 20 makes you much better on a 26. Plus I’d rather take a £200 bike to the shops than a £2000 one..

    Sounds perfectly reasonable! Not convinced you need a strategy for MTB improvement though, you’re pretty handy already. 🙂

    Mr Taylforth, the forks are great at 140 for MTBing, uphill, downhill, round corners and straight over all the rough – it isn’t a DJ bike! 😉 However I’m aware that riding a smaller steeper bike for other stuff will make me a better rider – hence the 20″ idea – something hard and quick and nervy without (hopefully) being scary or dangerous.

    cfinnimore
    Member

    I’ve just bought a bmx that was going to scrap for £40.

    Took the brakes off.

    Put a new chain on.

    Best P.O.S I ever laid my eyes on. It’s Hi- Ten steel and I look forward to breaking it in two.

    Then I can get a proper one.

    sam69
    Member

    Used to ride and race box I’m now 43 and have two kids,would love a cruiser but I would like daft on one,has I’m 6ft and feel has though I’m trying to live my youth,I see se racing did a 29er pk ripper but they are mega money,anybody on here over 6ft ride a BMW cruiser?if so what model pleas?

    I_Ache
    Member

    If you already have a BMX how do you tell if its designed for the track or jumps?

    I have a very old one that is apparently an S&M, I got is second hand and havn’t used it much. I have been to the BMX track on my BFe (with the forks at 95) but am thinking about taking the bmx.

    Mr Taylforth, the forks are great at 140 for MTBing, uphill, downhill, round corners and straight over all the rough – it isn’t a DJ bike! However I’m aware that riding a smaller steeper bike for other stuff will make me a better rider – hence the 20″ idea – something hard and quick and nervy without (hopefully) being scary or dangerous.

    Well, good luck. You definitely wont regret buying one.

    Andyhilton
    Member

    I bought a BMX recently. Ended up with a Blackeye Parkpro. Seems ok. Dropping into 1/4s ok and just about jumping stuff I’d do on my LT HT. Just getting used to it really. It’s good fun.

    I see some BMXs only have a rear brake and then the lever is on the right – how does that feel when you’re used to UK brakes? Have any of you switched it to the left? (I’m ignoring the brakeless ones, I’m not that young or stupid!)

    kudos100
    Member

    I had a 24″ dj and then a 20″. No comparison. If you want to ride bmx, go for it, but make sure you get one that is big enough. Mine has a 21″ tt, 54mm stem and 8.5″ bars.

    I actually considered selling it today as I want a small hardtail again. One lap round the village and remembered how much fun it is.

    _tom_
    Member

    I would love to get into BMX but everytime I’ve had a go of one I immediately feel out of my comfort zone and desperate for bigger wheels, frame and suspension forks.

    It takes a few minutes to get used to it but I don’t really like DJing on my 26″ now, the saddle constantly feels in the way and the whole bike feels big, cumbersome and flimsy. I think 20″ wheels are better on transitions especially if they’re smaller tighter take offs. Also having no suspension makes it easier to jump as you carry all your momentum through. Jumping on a bmx is awesome, the lack of gears or anything bouncing around makes it feel so smooth and quiet.

    sheephills
    Member

    i ride a 24″ cruiser suit my lower back much better..

    i do have a faction w.22″ wheels for sale (cheap) FYI..

    cheers

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    I see some BMXs only have a rear brake and then the lever is on the right – how does that feel when you’re used to UK brakes? Have any of you switched it to the left? (I’m ignoring the brakeless ones, I’m not that young or stupid!)

    I’m not sure there is actually any legitimate reason for this apart from that’s just how bmx’ers run their brakes. Americanism maybe? I have my rear brake on the right too , maybe just because the cool kids do.

    I would say don’t mess about getting cruisers and enlarged bmx”s and all that, get a 20″ and just ride it. Great fun. I wear my jeans halfway down my butt too , the kids say I’m ‘all that! ‘, at least I think that’s what they’re shouting …. 😉

    A gearing question:

    Another old codger here thinking about buying a BMX so that I can break myself improve my skillz…seems they either come with a mahoosive chainring for racing, or a teeny chainring for tricks ‘n’ stuff.

    What should I be looking for for general larking around…mostly (but not exclusively) to practice pumping, jumping, manualing on a track, but definitely not racing!

    ta,

    GW
    Member

    The actual gearing isn’t all that different between a racebike and a DJ/park bike. Park/street bikes have smalller chainrings for clearance but have micro sized rear sprockets to make up for the smaller chainring.
    Both are swappable cheaply if you don’t get on with the standard gearing.
    Biggest difference going to a pure race bike will be weight, nice light race bmx’s accelerate soooo faaaast! (But don’t expect one to last too long dirtjumping if you’re a beginner)

    GW
    Member

    Kayak – it is indeed a US thing to run your rear lever on the right. But if you only ride one brake it also makes sense to use your stronger hand.
    I run just a rear brake on both my bmxs but as I ride much more mtb/road than bmx I run the lever on the left.

    AntLockyer
    Member

    But if you only ride one brake it also makes sense to use your stronger hand.

    You don’t really need the strength. Peiople run them on that side as an affectation. You can’t do hand signals and slow at the same time. 🙂

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    What should I be looking for for general larking around…mostly (but not exclusively) to practice pumping, jumping, manualing on a track, but definitely not racing!

    I found the biggest thing was top tube length. Try to find something with a 21 inch top tube. You might be fine on a 20.5 but being a bit taller than most I find a longer frame much more stable in the air. However, horses for courses – I only really ride tracks and don’t go to the skate parks much.

    _tom_
    Member

    21″ TT feels right to me. As for the brake thing I have mine on the right so I can still have my comfort blanket of covering the brake whilst I try to do tabletops (need to be able to twist my left hand round the grip).

    messiah
    Member

    Excuse the crap photo but this is what I got for my 40th and where I take it some lunchtimes… not during the school holidays though 😥

    I was advised by friends who I used to BMX with back in the day (and who still ride and own the local specialist BMX shop 20twenty) that the best way to choose a BMX is by colour or brand/rider allegiance. Top tube length becomes an issue if your very tall but at 6ft I as advised not to bother with a longer one… you’ll get used to whatever you get.

    Mine’s a FIT Brian Foster… Brian is a hero of mine and we share the first name 😉

    AntLockyer
    Member

    Agree’d on the top tube. I’m 6’1″ and have has bikes from 19.5 to 21.5

    Andyhilton
    Member



    With new nicer chain

    alcolepone
    Member

    anyone tell me if this is a good deal?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=70482

    seems like a lot of money off, any idea why?

    i’m tall, and want a bike good for the bmx track/pump track. unlikely to end up on the vert ram or anything similar.

    My last BMX cost £30 secondhand – first thing I remember buying with my own (pocket) money. All I remember is that it was white with a red plastic saddle and had two brakes (and possibly red tyres). It’s predecessor was a red and yellow tiny Raleigh which I got for my fifth birthday – a v big day! Have spotted an orange Mongoose Logo locally for £85…

    klumpy
    Member

    I’ve often thought of getting a BMX. Trouble is that a mid 30’s bloke hanging around the local skate park is pro’ly gonna end up on a database.

    Still, as I’m under 6′, it sounds like 20″ top tube is the thing?

    And as for gearing, is the tiny cogs and giant cogs choice really more about a clearance/wear-rate trade off than actual gearing…?

    (Used to have a raleigh super burner in gold and black. It was my first mountain bike. Cos there weren’t actual mountain bikes in Surrey back then…)

    GW
    Member

    Unless you are going to be hitting 50ft doubles on a supercross bmx track I wouldn’t worry too much about exact gear ratios.

    Apparently you’re not spinning until you hit 180rpm according to Greg Romero – so if you can hit that cadence you’ll be going plenty fast! 😉

    Still, as I’m under 6′, it sounds like 20″ top tube is the thing?

    Depends how muc under 6′ and what sort of riding you’re doing.

    But of my friends that still ride trails and park, most run between a 20.7 to 21″ TT.

    I’d go for a 21″ personally

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 123 total)

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