This post contains affiliate links.
We often see BMX bikes on the street, and some of the younger generation riders would prefer these small and lightweight bikes to help them perform stunts and various tricks. However, a BMX bike is also used for riding down the street, which is why many wonders are BMX bikes good for commuting around town.
Are BMX Bikes Good For Commuting? In general, a BMX bike does not offer the best features for commuting, and it often lacks in certain areas. They might be great for riding one or two miles, but the setup is a bit uncomfortable for longer distances and this means that you would be enduring an uncomfortable ride.
If you still believe you can transform your BMX bike into the ultimate commuter, you should consider looking at the rest of the article.
I prefer the use of a road bike and especially a mountain bike, but I have tested a BMX bike to see how effective of a bike it would be to commute. We will explore some of the facts.
If you own a mountain bike and wonder whether it is good for commuting or not, I encourage you to read this article: Are Mountain Bikes Good For Commuting? with their 10 Pros And Cons.
9 Must Know Facts About Commuting With A BMX Bike
I have found a few interesting things about commuting with a BMX bike, which indicates that it might not be the best option for commuting purposes.
In the following section, we will explore the different facts and reasons, which many people would classify as pros and cons when it comes to riding your BMX bike:
1- Uncomfortable Riding Position
BMX bikes are designed to promote aggressive riding, often encouraging the rider to stand up while riding. It is often uncomfortable to sit down on your BMX bike, and this would make it much harder to pedal.
While the BMX bike works wonders for stunts and tricks, it does not bode well for sitting down.
Many people might say standing up while riding is no real issue. However, when you are constantly standing up, it might turn into an issue.
After about the second mile, you could notice that your legs are tiring, and you want to sit down and pedal at a specific cadence to ensure overall momentum. Unfortunately, BMX bikes make this impossible.
2- No Way To Mount Accessories
One of the main characteristics of a BMX bike is the ability to mount certain accessories, which would allow you to carry some of your gear. Once you can carry these accessories, you would be comfortable and balanced on the bike. A rear mounting rack is often the most comfortable option for carrying your gear.
Unfortunately, the BMX bike would make this impossible, and from what I have seen, there is virtually no real space for you to mount any of these accessories, which could make it frustrating.
Essentially, you will need to carry all your gear on your back. When coupled with standing on the BMX, it is very uncomfortable to do.
Best Rear Bike Racks:
3- Gearing Issues
People often debate gearing, and when you are riding your BMX bike, you could be left with a lack of gears that would make pedaling easier. However, many of the top commuter bikes are also single-speed. This means that if you can use a single-speed bike for commuting around town, you can do it with a mountain bike.
When we look at the gearing ratio, we can see that you would only move forward about 55-inches with each forward pedaling motion, and this could be frustrating when you want to save energy. By urban standards, 55-inches is very small, and this would mean the BMX only offers limited speeds you can use for cycling.
When compared to the traditional single-speed commuter bike, you will find that these bikes can move you forward between 65 and 75-inches with each rotation of the pedals. This would give you far better speeds and more comfort when you are riding your bike.
4- Lacks Solid Braking
Most BMX bikes will have U-brakes or V-brakes, which are still far better than your coaster brakes. However, the braking capacity is not as great, and you could take a lot more time to come to a stop. Some of the best bikes on the market today would make use of disc brakes, which offer almost instant stopping power.
The problem with the BMX bike is that it would build up plenty of momentum, which would essentially limit performance and braking capabilities.
The lack of solid braking is one of the many downsides that we would use to discourage people from using the BMX bike instead of the reliable commuter bike.
5- Uncomfortable Geometry
One of the other downsides stems from the geometry of the bike. The shorter chainstays are perfect for performing stunts and allowing the rider to be slightly more aggressive whilst they are riding their bike. The main goal is to help the rider shift back and forth on the bike in an attempt to provide them with more maneuverability.
Unfortunately, you don’t need snappy handling for a commuter bike, and consistency is the main thing.
Longer chainstays often provide more stability on the bike, making the commuter bike a far more comfortable option for riders. The BMX bike is designed for steeper angles, which makes it functional for performance, but not for gentle turns.
6- BMX Bikes Price The Same As Commuters
One of the other important factors to keep in mind is the bike’s price. The BMX bike has the same price as many of the top commuter bikes, and when we factor in the different styles or materials of these bikes, you will notice that some BMX bikes are far more expensive relative to the features they offer.
You can often find a much cheaper commuter bike with the same features, and the comfortable geometry would offer you more stability. This would encourage the rider to ride more, and they could sit down as well.
7- Wheels Don’t Matter
One of the upsides we can speak about is the wheels. Yes, we all know that BMX bikes have smaller wheels than other bikes, making them ideal for performance. However, the smaller wheels would mean that more pedaling is required.
Both BMX bikes and commuter bikes have the same 16/20-inch wheels. However, the knobby and hardness of the BMX tires could make them uncomfortable. You should keep in mind that these tires are designed for durability and to endure massive landings. The commuter bike will have softer wheels, which are more comfortable.
To better understand if the BMX would be comfortable for commuting, we would need to look at the purpose of these bikes. You must focus on why the bikes were made. The BMX bike is designed to offer the user a snappy bike with faster handling, which makes it comfortable for stunts and aggressive riding.
On the other hand, the commuting bike is slightly heavier and larger. It does not turn as quickly as you would expect the BMX bike to turn, but it would offer you a gentle turning radius, which can be done at slower speeds.
9- Bike Size
Finally, the size of the bike is one of the most essential aspects. If you are a bigger person, you would need a bike that would offer you an adequate amount of clearance from the ground. This additional clearance would not only help to avoid obstacles, but it directly affects your sitting position and overall levels of comfort.
BMX bikes are notoriously small and low, hindering the clearance needed to overcome certain obstacles and often making life a bit harder for the rider.
If you are performing stunts, you want to be as low as possible for aerodynamic benefits. Additionally, it would ensure that you can land much better and generate better speeds.
You might also enjoy reading: 9 Best Commuter Pedals (And how to pick yours)
Is The BMX Good For Commuting?
With 9 reasons pointing in the opposite direction, you could take our word for it that a BMX would not be the best bike for commuting. Yes, short commutes, like 1 or 2 miles, would be fine. However, you might need to sit down and take a breather at some point. This is where the BMX bike would lack, and you could have some problems.
If you are serious about buying a bike for commuting, we would suggest that you stick to a more traditional commuter bike.
Not only would it be more comfortable, but it could be much cheaper. With all this being said, we would love to see some of your comments on which bike is the best for commuting.