BMX Bike Racing – A “Bicycle” Sport
BMX bikes are specially designed bicycles that are different from mountain bikes or racing bicycles. They have the smallest wheel design of the 3 types of bicycles, being at only 20″. The bikes are often used in races on sandy and hilly tracks. They also perform equally well on wooden ramps, flat ground, and/or obstacles found in streets, etc. Back when BMX was first starting, kids would take their plain bicycles and modify them to the best of their ability. Such modifications would include adding motorcycle handlebars, specialized tires, and work on the frame, to make it stronger. Although many wanted the actual thing, most would settle for the general look of it, even if it performed the same as a regular bicycle.
BMX racing bikes became specialized, like other forms of cycling competition, as soon as BMX racing gained popularity. That was when the companies knew this would last and started getting more involved. Mongoose, one of the first BMX bicycle manufacturers, was responsible for building the “perfect” BMX bike. Durability was the focus point on earlier models, but weight slowly came into picture as racing became more popular. R&R Racing Products paved the way for light weight frames. They were constructed to be very light, but strong enough for racing. Steel rims, coaster brakes, and mag wheels were replaced by aluminum rims with freewheels and caliper brakes. Many companies started up in hopes to fill a void for BMX fans every where. Some of these companies include GT, Schwinn, MBK, Torker, Huffy, Murray, Diamondback, and the others mentioned above.
Times have changed since then and it seems that freestyle BMX has become more popular of the two types. Freestyle BMX is the process of being imaginative while riding a bike. They have almost the same exact look as the racing bikes, but with some differences. There are many more areas in which to place your feet, which could be considered as the cornerstone of freestyle BMX. A gyro will usually be placed on this type of bike and is located near the headtube. A Gyro allows the handle bars to be spun 360 degrees without changing the breaks performance. This also helps add an extra flare to the tricks that are done on the bike, along with the creation of some tricks in itself.
After you have selected the type of bike you want, be sure to know what type of activity you will be doing. You do not want to buy a BMX racing bike, when you will be doing freestyle BMX, and vice versa. Always research the bike you are going to buy, there are people who will tell you what is good to have and what is not. If the majority of sources say good, then its good. Trust your own instincts when its comes to the bike. Its nice to have the opinion of others, but they are not the ones buying it, are they?