BMX riding breaks down into a few main styles. It can the speed and competition of racing to the thrill of big air when doing dirt jumps. Depending on the type of riding you want to do, you may benefit from a bike optimized to that type of riding.
This is where all started. Super fast sprint races around a dirt track with jumps, berms and corner. BMX racing is growing in popularity again in Ontario including races at the indoor track in Orangeville and Track 2000 in Milton. Check your local cycling association or the local bike shops to find out where the BMX racing is in your area. Fast, fun and easy to get into, BMX racing is a great way to get into racing for kids.
BMX race bikes are light and fast. Frames are usually aluminum or light cromoly steel with light parts. They stand up to the jumps on the race track but are not designed for the abuse of dirt jumping or park riding.
As close as you get to bicycle ballet. Do a search of YouTube for flatland bmx to see these artists in action. As the name indicates, you do flatland on a open level area like a parking lot. You only need the room to manouver your bike around without running into anything.
Flatland BMX bikes are a lot like a park freestyle bike but aim to be lighter with a slightly different geometry. They will have pegs to stand on and usually lockable brakes so you can take you hands from the bar. Along with BMX racing, you can find Flatland Bikes made of aluminum to save weight.
Dirt Jumping BMX
This is one of the most DIY sports out there. All you need is some empty space and a shovel and you can make jumps. While it has now grown to the scale where dirt jump parks like bike park are popping up, dirt jumping started in empty lots and forest trails. In the beginning, just landing a jump was the goal but now tricks like back flips and 360s are seen even on a local level.
Dirt jump BMX bikes are built tough, with more aggressive tires than you would use from street and park riding. Parts are beefy and they usually have a rear brake only and no pegs.
Urban / Park / Vert BMX
Halfpipes, bowls and railroads.Just about everything is a possible stunt for this type of riding. Launch off a stair case and land on the handrail with your pegs to grind down X-games style. Ride up the halfpipe and do a bar spin. A combination of big air and style points are the hallmark of street and park riding. The bike equivalent of skateboarding, the whole urban landscape is a playground. Combine this with the skate parks around like in Cambridge and the world is your oyster.
This type of riding is both aggressive and beautiful. When you watch a good rider attack the vert ramp or park course they perform moves that seem to defy physics while at the same time looking effortless. Street and park BMX bikes are built tough. While higher end ones are lighter, beefy is the name of the game. Cromoly steel three-piece cranks, 48 spoked wheels, rotors to spin your bars and smooth, high pressure tires are the most common setup.
You can do different styles of riding on any bike but if you want to specialize then you will need to get the right machine for the job. A good all round bike would be a dirt jumper as you can ride urban, park and even enter a few faces. A plus to BMX riding of all types is that no spandex is needed. You either kick it in baggy jeans or look moto.
Source by Winston Endall