Are BMX Bikes Good For Long Distance? (Do This Instead)


Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if BMX bikes are good for long distance or if you can even commute on a BMX? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

BMX bikes are not like your average bike. They are shorter. Have slightly different tires, and many of them do not have brakes. They are designed for a specific purpose in mind.

Are BMX bikes good for long distance? No. BMX bikes are not designed for long distance. The reason why BMX bikes are not so good for long distances is due to the lower tires and the lower overall height and length of the bicycle.

This, of course, has resulted in many people wondering whether BMX bikes are good for long-distance. That is a question that we are going to try and answer for you on this page.

Are BMX Bikes Good for Long Distance?

BMX bikes are designed for off-road short-distance racing and stunts. They are not designed for long-distance or commuting riding at all.

As you may well know, when you ride a bike, it is important that you are able to extend your legs fully.

If you can’t do that, then you will have to put more effort into pedaling, and this means that you will tire out a lot quicker.

You can do this for short periods of time, but you won’t be able to do it over long distances.

BMX bikes are designed to be ridden standing up. It is very rare that anybody using a BMX bike properly will be sitting on the seat for more than a few minutes each session.

We are positive that you probably are not going to want to ride a bike standing up for hours and hours on end, right?

What are BMX Bikes Particularly Bad At?

BMX bikes are awful at traveling uphill. As everybody who rides a bike knows, traveling uphill is going to be awful even on the best bikes.

It still requires a lot of effort to travel up that hill. It is a good workout, but there are few cycling experiences worse than approaching a huge incline after a day of cycling.

There are two reasons why BMX bikes are bad at tackling hills:

? The first is that these bikes are small. As we said before; you are going to need to stand up if you want to put the full amount of effort into pedaling.

If you are traveling uphill, then this is going to be putting a massive strain on your back. A lot of people that regularly ride BMX bikes uphill will suffer from intense back pain.

Trust us, you do not want to be putting yourself through that.

If that wasn’t enough, the gearing ratio on BMX bikes is not going to be suited for cycling uphill.

This, again, means that you are going to need to be putting a lot more effort into your pedaling.

Since long-distance cycling is all about trying to conserve energy over multiple miles, this is probably not something that you want to deal with.

The seats are also going to be woeful for long-distance cycling. You have to remember that the seats on BMX bikes are very rarely used.

They are designed to be used standing up, after all. This means that when you do finally sit down on the BMX bike, it is not going to be the most comfortable experience in the world.

We certainly wouldn’t want to be doing it for multiple miles at a time.

? Finally; most BMX bikes are designed with the intention of you braking by putting your foot on the back wheel.

While there may be some basic brakes built into the BMX bike, they are going to be nowhere near the quality that a normal bike would have.

They can’t be. The shorter size of the BMX bike would have the brake cables get tangled up when doing stunts.

Since we can’t imagine that anybody would want to cycle long distances without brakes, because it is exceedingly dangerous, we really cannot recommend BMX bikes for long-distance riding for that reason alone.

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

What Bikes Are Good For Long Distance?

What bikes are good for long distance? Here are 3 most suitable bikes for long distance:

  1. Mountain bike with front suspension
  2. Touring bike or Cyclocross
  3. Hybrid Bicycle

? Purchase: You can purchase bikes for long distance today! Just follow the links (above) to Amazon where you can see current pricing.

Where Do BMX Bikes Thrive on Long Distance Rides?

It isn’t all bad for BMX bikes over long distances. There are times that they will thrive.

Not as much as a ‘normal’ bike, but we don’t want you to walk away with the idea that BMX bikes are completely terrible because they are not.

BMX bikes work especially well if you are doing a lot of traveling off-road. They have been built for that, after all.

So, while a BMX bike wouldn’t really be ideal if you are commuting along the road, but it could be if you are doing a lot of off-roading, assuming you have the right set of tires installed on it. 

The reason why BMX bikes are so brilliant for off-roading is due to the lightweight nature of the bike, plus the superior handling when you are faced with bumpy terrain.

Again, we cannot stress enough how we would not recommend riding one for long periods of time, but if there is a huge off-roading section on your route, then we can probably let it slide.

Can You Convert a BMX Bike For Long Distance?

If you have little choice, you may be able to convert a BMX bike for long-distance riding.

It is still not going to be providing the most comfortable experience in the world, but it is better than nothing.

One of the main aims when you are converting a bike for long-distance is to try and sort out your bike’s seat. There are two things that you can do here:

? Invest in a better quality, padded seat. You can also get a quality seat cushion.

? Try to raise the seat as high as you possibly can. It won’t be as high as a normal bike, but it will still make your ride more comfortable.

You may also want to change out the tires on your bike. The chances are pretty high that your bike comes equipped with off-roading tires.

If you are traveling long distances, then you may want to switch these out for road tires (unless you are almost always going to be traveling off-road).

The road tires will grip the ground a little bit less, which should result in a more effortless cycle. Although, they are going to be awful when traveling on mud. There won’t be enough grip.

The final conversion will be the addition of a U-Brake on the back wheel. Standard brakes will not work here. Luckily for you, fitting a U-Brake shouldn’t be that much effort and can be completed using a simple set of bike tools.

Of course, make sure that you extensively test your brakes before you head out there on a long cycle.

Of course, this is something you will not need to do if your BMX bike already has a back wheel brake built onto it.

Remember; even with all of these conversions, it is still going to be difficult to travel long-distances on a BMX bike.

This means that if you are heading out for hours and hours at a time, do expect things to take a little bit longer than they normally would because you will need far more regular brakes, and the rest of the time you will be traveling at a slower pace.

Can You Ride a BMX Bike For Your Daily Commute?

Now, we have talked about how you shouldn’t be riding a BMX for long distances. We figured we would talk a little bit about riding a BMX bike for your daily commute.

After all, some people have long daily commutes. A BMX bike may be ideal for some of these commutes.

To start with, just because it is your daily commute, it does not mean that your bike is going to be magically good.

It is still going to be difficult to ride uphill and on paved surfaces. That is never going to change.

However, we would still recommend a BMX bike for certain commutes.

BMX bikes, by their very nature, are small bikes. So, if you have to hop on public transportation at some point during that daily commute, then you may want to have a BMX bike.

A basic BMX is cheaper than a foldable bike. While it is a little bit larger, it is not going to be too large. This means that you can easily bring it on a bus or a train. 

Once again, you would probably want to avoid using a BMX bike if there is a lot of uphill traveling on the commute.

You will be tired before you get to work. If you absolutely must ride a BMX bike on your commute, then we suggest that you invest in a decent quality BMX bike designed for park and street riding.

However, if you need to purchase a whole new bike, why not just buy the right tool for the job to begin with? it is going to be so much easier for you in the long run.

Are BMX Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?

Are BMX bikes faster than mountain bikes? Yes, 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.

In the table below you can see the average speed of the 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


BMX bikes are not good for long-distance rides. These bikes have been designed to travel fast over shorter distances, or for a bit of stunt jumping.

While you can convert a BMX bike for long-distance, it isn’t really recommended.

You would still be better served investing in a decent touring bike.

You might also like:

? Bicycle Repair Bag & Bicycle Tire Pump

? BMX Bike Helmets

? Garmin Edge Explorer Bike Computer

Purchase: If you are interested in the Garmin Edge 130 Plus Bike Computer then just follow the link to Amazon where you can see current pricing.


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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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