Are BMX Bikes Fast / BMX vs Mountain Bike Which One Is Faster?

Are-BMX-Bikes-Fast

BMX bikes are faster and great!

BMX vs mountain bikes which one is faster?

Compact, rugged, and ready to hit the dirt, BMX bikes are a ton of fun in a sturdy little package.

A lot of people gravitate towards BMX style riding to explore the fun and freestyle type of cycling that breaks all the rules. 

Are BMX bikes fast? The average top speed of BMX race bike is 35mph (56 kph) descending a starting race ramp. The average top speed for a mountain bike is 30 mph (48 kph) when riding downhill, which is 5 mph (8 kph) slower than a BMX bike. However, both models are quite fast.

The world of BMX is low key and relaxed compared to the sometimes tightly-wound vibe of road riders or fitness fans. But one question persists…are they fast?

This article will explore the construction, utility, and capabilities of a BMX bike. Let’s hit the dirt. 

Are BMX Bikes Good: What is a BMX Bike?

BMX stands for “Bicycle Motorcross”, a name paying homage to their original inspiration.

These bicycles were designed after motocross motorcycles to replicate their runs on the dusty tracks and dirt jumps.

BMX racing rose in popularity during the 70s and has had a stronghold on youth culture ever since.

Fast and zippy, BMX feature lightweight frames, smaller wheels measuring 20”, and are designed for off-road racing and stunt work.

You’ll find neighborhood kids on BMX bikes jumping homemade ramps and you’ll see televised pro-level competitions with sponsored riders.

There is a range of models of BMX bikes, such as the following:

✔️ Race: these bikes have high gear ratios and brakes. They are designed for speed.

✔️ Dirt: bikes with durable tires that can take on major dirt and debris. 

✔️ Park/Vert: made specifically for bike-park ride and tricks

✔️ Street: a heavier frame with metal pegs on the rear wheel for grinding (or buddy riding)

 Are BMX bikes good? Yes, BMX bikes are usually considered the most robust bikes out there – many owners find them indestructible and the compact frame makes them suitable for kids, and for taller adults.

Though there’s a variety of bike types within the BMX model range, all bikes consist of a similar structure.

There will be differences among the designs above, as their main utility requires so.

Mostly, BMX bikes are smaller, non-suspension, trick-ready bicycles. 

Here’s what you’ll find in a standard BMX build:

✔️ Steel or aluminum frame

✔️ Average 21” top tube

✔️ Standard 20” wheel size

✔️ Mostly utilize cassette-style hubs (just like a mountain or road bike)

✔️ Wide platform plastic pedals, or clip-ins for race bikes

A few common brands of BMX bikes include Colony, Fit Bike Co, Haro, and GT.

BMX are kind of in a league of their own. Although the very popular brands such as Trek or Giant carry a wide range of bikes, BMX models are not typically among them. 

You can purchase great accessories & tools for your BMX bike today! Just follow the links to Amazon where you can see current pricing.

? Best BMX Bikes Adult Size

? Best BMX Bikes Helmets

? Bike Floor Pump with Gauge

? Topeak SmartGauge D2

? Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

Are BMX Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?

Now that you know the main setup of a BMX bike, we can circle back to our question of interest, are BMX bikes faster than mountain bikes? Yes, BMX bikes are on average 5mph (8kph) faster than mountain bikes when riding downhill.

Before we break it down, let’s take a look at how the construction of a BMX bike compares to other bike designs, as this is relevant to the question at hand.

Generally, the larger the wheel diameter, the less effort it takes from the rider’s pedaling to travel further and faster. 

From our description of standard BMX bikes above, you know that the typical wheel size is 20”.

Compare that to a 29” mountain bike wheel, and physics will tell you that a mountain bike will be able to move faster. 

Beyond bicycle construction, many factors contribute to the bike speed. The number one limiting factor is the rider! A bicycle is only as fast as its rider.

The average Joe on a BMX bike and Lance on a BMX bike are quite the different stories.

Also of concern for average bike speed is the terrain in question.

A BMX bike is going to move much faster over a BMX race track than a road bike will be able to do. Yet, on flat streets, a road bike takes the cake.

However, BMX bike bombing down a ramp can pick up some serious speed. You can see there is a lot at play here…

Below is a roll-out table of what you might be able to expect (BMX bikes vs Mountain bikes) from different types of bike models. 

Bike ModelsAverage Bike Speed (mph)Average Bike Speed (kph)
BMX Race Bikes35mph descending a starting race ramp56
Mountain Bikes30mph48
Road Bikes50mph descending a hill80
City Bikes20-25mph on city streets32-40
electric Bikes28mph with electric assist45
Gravel Bikes>30mph on standard paths>48
Cruiser Bikes15mph down the beach boardwalk while holding your margarita29
Fitness Bikes25mph on flat paths40
Average Bikes Speed Chart

This range of top speeds is very dependent on the skill of the rider and the terrain at use. The unique track of a BMX race lends to the specific design of the bike itself. 

So many factors, like those described above, can alter available speeds and play a big role in accessible miles per hour.

Terrain and design must complement each other! We’ll cover where a BMX bike will excel in speed and capability. 

Read also: Are Touring Bikes Fast? (The TRUTH)

Natural Habitat of the BMX Bike

You’ll see BMX bikes everywhere, but where they shine is a dirt track with loads of curves and banks.

There will be city rats jumping stairs, grinding walls, and bunny-hopping curbs. There will be bike park groms running paved ramps combos and flowing through the halfpipe.

And there will also be kitted-out riders shredding the dirt race track at full speed.  

Riding a BMX bike is a unique experience compared to a mountain or road ride.

It is akin to riding a roller coaster but instead of being at the whim of a machine, you’re in control.

A lot of BMX don’t have brakes, so it completely changes your riding intuitions. 

Overall, the goal of BMX is fun. This isn’t what you want to choose as your commuter bike or to harness extreme speed.

Instead, you’ll be grappling with extreme air and mental gymnastics to avoid eating dirt. 

How To Make a BMX Bike Go Faster?

How to make a BMX bike faster? To make a BMX faster, some of its components must be checked, such as the wheels, the bearings and the tires:

? Check your wheels (make sure that your wheels spin nice and smooth)

? Check your bearings (too tight, unseal bearings)

? Check the air pressure in your tires

? Lube your chain

If you want to know more how to make a BMX bike go faster >> Check out the video below:

Comparing the Bikes 

We’ve covered the basics of BMX and where they excel. Now, how do they lineup next to your other standard bikes? Let’s cover the major differences.

BMX Bike

? Designed for: tricks, jumps, sprint riding

? Ideal terrain: pavement, dirt race tracks, bike parks

? Excels at: creative riding, maneuverability

? Outstanding features: Durable, lightweight, small wheel diameter 

? Are BMX bikes good for long distance? No, BMX bikes are not made for long distance. Since BMX have only a single gear, this would be extremely uncomfortable.   

A BMX is meant to get fast on jumps and ramps. With small diameter wheels, it kicks like a throttle at the start, as riders can get a great pedal cadence from the get-go.

Those small wheels also lend to the ability to spin on a dime and get tricky. 

Mountain Bike

? Designed for: rough terrain, nature trails, off-roading 

? Ideal terrain: rocky trails, downhill dirt

? Excels at: taking a tumble, holding up on the trail

? Outstanding features: large frames, suspension full-frame, or front fork, rugged tires

Trail and mountain bikes are made to hit the trails. By forest, cliffs, open plains, mountain bikes can adapt to their terrain.

Riders like this versatility and many choose this type of bike to allow great flexibility in riding location.

BMX are also capable of trail riding, but not to the distances that mountain bikes are intended for. 

Road Bike

? Designed for: smooth pavement, racing

? Ideal terrain: roads and smooth bike paths

? Excels at: super-fast speeds, logging lots of miles

? Outstanding features: thin tires, sleek frames, aerodynamic rider posture

Road, racing, and time trial bikes are speed demons. They’re designed to be the most air slicing construction to improve the efficiency of the rider.

Take it to the peloton, criterion race, or solo workout.

A road bike was made to cover major miles. It’s standard to log upwards of 30 miles in a ride. A road race between a BMX bike and a road bike would be a comedy sketch.

Cruiser Bike

? Designed for: leisurely rolling, going short distances

? Ideal terrain: smooth paths, road, maybe some sand

? Excels at: looking super chill and low key 

? Outstanding features: large tires, angled top bar for easy mounting

A BMX bike and a cruiser bike couldn’t be more different. Fast and stunt-bound, a BMX could be labeled pretty hardcore.

Cruiser bike, not in the slightest. Cruisers are for surf bums that need to mount their board to a bike and get from home to the beach to the smoothie shack and back. 

City Bike

? Designed for: commuting, urban riding

? Ideal terrain: roads, sidewalks, bike paths

? Excels at: bike-packing capabilities, speed in the streets

? Outstanding features: capable of adopting accessories like racks, lights, and saddlebags. 

A commuter’s choice, the city bike is like a mix between a road bike and a hybrid.

It’s fast and lean, can handle some weather and city muck, and will help you get to where you’re going.

It would perform terribly on a BMX race track, but on the urban scene, it’s a rockstar. 

Summary

So, you are after speed! A BMX can give you a major thrill by combining speed and risk with tricky drops and ramps.

You’ll be more than happy with BMX style riding to curb your appetite for the fast and furious. 

No, you won’t be as blazing fast as a road bike, but for the trails you’re hitting, you don’t want to be.

Bicycles are designed for specific uses, to provide the most reliable and consistent ride.

For BMX riding, you’ll get exactly what you need to fit the bill. 

You might also like:

You can purchase great accessories & tools for your BMX bike today! Just follow the links to Amazon where you can see current pricing.

? Best BMX Bikes Adult Size

? Best BMX Bikes Helmets

 ? Bike Floor Pump with Gauge

? Topeak SmartGauge D2

? Teflon Bicycle Chain Lube

References:

https://www.bikeexchange.com/

https://www.wired.com/

https://www.cruiserrepublic.com

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John Muranko

John is Founder and Senior Bike Editor at ProBikeCorner. John is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 17+ countries and doesn't really have any plans of stopping. He´s passionate about helping others by creating technical resources, in-depth reviews and more…

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