Is BMX a mountain bike?
At first glance, mountain biking and BMX may seem similar. They both involve using a bike to ride on off-road terrain. However, BMX is a subcategory of mountain biking that is known for its freestyle elements. It involves more flips and tricks than riding down the trail. If you’re still not sure what BMX is, we’ve broken it down for you in this article.
Is BMX a mountain bike?
There are two different definitions for mountain biking: one focuses on the use of mountain bikes and another on the sport itself. In this article, we will clarify what is meant by the first definition and how it applies to BMX.
What is a BMX bike?
BMX is an acronym for Bicycle Motocross. Its roots can be traced back to the 1960s when BMX racers were first seen at bike races and surf competitions. No other discipline of bicycle racing was being done as much in those days as BMX. The first jumps and sets were made on dirt tracks or skating (roller) parks with little regard for mountain biking proper; by about 1970, however, riders began to make more gravity-oriented maneuvers, and the roots of BMX were planted.
What is a mountain bike?
When the term “mountain bike” is meant to refer specifically to a type of bicycle, it means several things. The most popular BMX bikes are known under this label and are mountain bikes (hence the use of skateboarding as a qualifier). You can get affordable mountain bikes for beginners.
Main differences between BMX and mountain bike
BMX bikes are also usually not functional as mountain bikes, and they don’t classify under the same category: There is no suspension, few high-end gears, or braking systems of any kind. The bike itself is more like a BMX motocross bicycle (BMX) with disc brakes at both ends. However, “mountain” isn’t used in conventional biking circles anymore because it applies only to off-road riding when mixed with trail running or mountain biking. Let’s discuss the main differences one by one.
One of the most glaring differences between BMX and mountain bikes is their designs. BMX riding entails jumps and tricks on dirt tracks, while competitive mountain biking consists of cross-country treks or races across varied terrains that include steep ascents, rocks, trees, and mud (thus the reason why these bikes don’t use suspension systems).
Another feature in common is terrain: Mountain bikers try to ride over heavy off-road terrains, such as rocks and mud puddles. BMX riders usually only ride on flat cemented surfaces or smoothness.
Another important difference lies in the type of suspensions systems used by mountain bikers and BMXers (also called wheelies). The most popular suspension system at present is front forks that feature a bicycle fork with valve shock absorbers inserted inside them, which make up for smaller-sized front wheels (fork) on mountain bikes. Few people use a BMX-like rear suspension system with shocks that act as a shock absorber for smaller-sized back wheels.
Another feature that helps differentiate between BMX and mountain bikes is their braking systems. A typical mountain bike has mostly 2 or 3 speeds with a freewheel system integrated into the rear wheel (most often used by city bikers), while competitive BMXers buy at least 5 gears to make up for more difficult passages. Many BMX riders have their brake system integrated into the front wheel.
Slightly less relevant than the abovementioned differences is wheel dimension, but as a rule of thumb, BMXerss use smaller-sized wheels for more speed and rugged terrain, while mountain bikers tend to preserve their steering precision when riding over longer distances.
The most relevant feature, especially for BMX drivers who want to take part in a race, is the frame that acts as an engine. Mountain bikers tend not to adopt completely different frames from bikes but only substantially modify them by using stronger and lighter parts (like seat rails). There are also alternatives such that some people use ones made from aluminum alloy with frames of their choice, resembling more forms and designs.
Bikes used by competitive BMX drivers come with girder-type frames and handlebars, which are generally very hard to control. The engine part of the bikes is made from light carbon fiber or aluminum alloy for mountain biking. Cruisers tend to put into practice comfortable suspensions where road riders try out controlled features, although some kind of suspension system and disc brakes can be found on this type as well (some people place them at the ends so that not as much weight rests on the rear wheel).
Suspension systems can be variable and incorporate telescopic forks or shocks, both of which are characteristic features for BMX’s chain-driven “tricycles” (3 wheels). These suspensions can also be rear-mounted in mountain bikers’ bikes. The differences between the two types might not appear so clear, but if you take them along national borders, some extra components have been put into use by each motorcycle driver to make up for these differing approaches — take Oakleys and earpieces that saddle bikers put into place on their bikes, for example.
Mountain biking tires are suitable for switching between lots of different terrains, while other types have wheels specifically designed by them (Primo has been made in Japan, the Japanese market is more known to manufacture those). The common characteristics of all those types include the fact they’re fast but do not move as well otherwise, which means there is cooperation with the terrain.
Riders from BMX and the hardest types often have a chance to check out top speed on their bikes, especially when it comes to racing. The fastest one among them is participating in races for more than 400km/h (240mph).
The advanced techniques of mountain bikers, as compared with road riders, appear instead of riding immediately after taking off tipping forward like Cossa on his bike, which results in having shifted the weight to the front and allows him to have a very good view over what is going on.
If you are a biker, it is very important to know that there are so many different types of bikes and equipment. You can also choose which bike will be best for you. Some people think that BMX is a mountain bike, but it’s not. Bmx is a type of bike which has been developed by combining the features of the skateboard and BMX bikes.
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