Bike Guides

BMX Bikes

BMX bikes refer to extreme racing on bicycle motocross  usually over dirt tracks. BMX bike racing started in southern California in the 1970s when kids started racing their standard bicycles over dirt tracks. This eventually evolved into the extreme sport that we see today. Now, “BMX bike” is a fairly generic term that can relate to any number of styles of bicycle, including all-terrain bikes and mountain bikes. The type of BMX bike you buy will depend on what you want to do with it and where you want to use it.

What are the different types of BMX bikes?

  1. There are three different types of BMX bikes: the true BMX bike, the freestyle bike and the dirt jumper or jump bike. True BMX bikes are imitations of real motocross motorcycles. They were designed specifically for dirt racing, especially over jumps. They usually have a lightweight frame made out of aluminum or chromyl steel, knobby tires and a strong rear brake. The more expensive a BMX bike is, the lighter it will be. Freestyle bikes are predominantly used for flatland tricks. They are good for street or pavement riding or for “getting vertical” at your local skate park. They tend to be beefy as they have to withstand multiple impacts when coming down from stunts. These bikes often feature extra appendages, such as axle pegs to stand on during stunts, and both front and rear brakes. Dirt jumpers, as their name implies, are designed for dirt tracks and dirt jumping. They are a compromise between the lightness of a BMX and the beefiness of a freestyle bike. They’re specifically designed for cross-country dirt riding.
  2. What type of wheel strength do I need?
    Like everything else on your bike, the type of wheels that you should buy depends on what you’re intending to use your bike for. BMX bikes use lighter wheels because they help you accelerate out of the starting gates faster when racing. However, BMX wheels won’t survive the harsher environments of freestyling or dirt jumping. Freestyle bike wheels are always ultra-sturdy because of the landing impacts they have to constantly withstand. It’s common for freestyle bikes to sport 48-spoke wheels that provide maximum rim protection. On the other hand, dirt bike wheels tend to be more varied, ranging from the extra sturdy to being only slightly sturdier than BMX wheels.
  3. What sort of tires should I use?
    BMX bike tires vary between pavement and dirt designs because even the dirt tracks used for off-road racing tend to be packed fairly hard, which requires tires with low rolling-resistance. The tread of a BMX bike’s tire should maximize speed as well as provide traction and grip for cornering and accelerating. Freestyle bikes require your standard tire for pavement and indoor surfaces, but many people inflate their tire to higher pressures than normal to provide more protection for their rims. This also helps balance the decrease in tire pressure that occurs on landings. For dirt jumpers, speed isn’t as important, and your tires should provide maximum traction. This is because the terrain that you’ll be riding on isn’t controlled and is often unpredictable, so knobby tires will serve you best.

Comfort bikes 

As the name implies, comfort bikes are just that with the following features:

1) Frame design is laid back and long to reduce road feel, lower the center of gravity, and provide an upright posture;
2) Heavily padded saddle and possibly suspension seatpost;
3) “Mountain Bike” diameter wheels with smooth tires;
4) Possibly equipped with high frequency suspension fork to absorb lots of little bumps rather than single hits;
5) Upright handlebars, possibly with adjustable stem

Comfort bikes are great for those who wish to slow down and smell the roses, but be warned that for long distance cycling, they can prove rather tiresome, causing butt, lower back and shoulder pain.

Cruiser Bikes

A cruiser bike is designed for short, slow rides on flat terrain. They are suitable for short trips on level ground. Not much use for commuting or rushing around on.

Electric Bikes

An electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike, is a bike with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. There are a great variety of different types of e-bikes available worldwide, from e-bikes that only have a small motor to assist the rider’s pedal-power to somewhat more powerful e-bikes which tend closer to scooter-style functionality. All however retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider and are therefore not electric motorcycles in the truest sense. E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and the lighter varieties can travel up to 16 to 20 mph, depending on the laws of the country in which they are sold, while the more high-powered varieties can often do in excess of 28 mph. In some markets, such as Germany, they are gaining in popularity and taking some market share away from conventional bicycles, while in others, such as China, they are replacing  small motorcycles.

Depending on local laws, many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles rather than motorbikes, so they are not subject to the more stringent laws regarding their certification and operation, unlike the more powerful two-wheelers which are often classed as motorbikes. E-bikes can also be defined separately and treated as a specific vehicle types.

Exercise Bikes

A stationary bicycle (also known as exercise bicycle, exercise bike, or exercycle) is a device with saddle, pedals, and some form of handlebars arranged as on a bike, but used as training equipment rather than transportation.

An exercise bicycle is usually a special-purpose machine resembling a bicycle without true wheels, but it is also possible to adapt an ordinary bicycle for stationary exercise by placing it on bike rollers or a bike trainer. Rollers and trainers are often used by racing cyclists to warm up before racing, or to train on their own machines indoors.

A cycloergometer, cycle ergometer or bicycle ergometer is a stationary bicycle with an ergometer to measure the work done by the exerciser.

Exercise bikes are used to increase general fitness, and for training leading up to cycle races. The exercise bike has long been used for physical therapy because of the low-impact, safe, and effective cardiovascular exercise it provides. The low-impact movement involved in operating an exercise bike does not put much stress on joints and does not involve sporadic motions that some other fitness equipment may require Stationary bikes are also used to exercise for weight loss.

Fixed Gear Bikes

fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, commonly known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism. The freewheel was developed early in the history of bicycle design but the fixed-gear bicycle remained the standard track racing design. More recently the “fixie” has become a popular alternative among mainly urban cyclists, offering the advantages of simplicity compared with the standard multi-geared bicycle.

Most bicycles incorporate a freewheel to allow the pedals to remain stationary while the bicycle is in motion, so that the rider can coast, i.e., ride without pedalling using the forward or downhill energy of the bike and rider. A fixed-gear drivetrain has the drive sprocket (or cog) threaded or bolted directly to the hub of the back wheel, so that the rider cannot stop pedalling. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction. This allows a cyclist to apply a braking force with the legs and bodyweight, by resisting the rotation of the cranks. It also makes it possible to ride backwards although learning to do so is much more difficult than riding forward. 

As a general rule, fixed-gear bicycles are single-speed. A derailleur cannot be fitted because the chain cannot have any slack, but hub gearing can, for example a Sturmy-Archer fixed-gear 3-speed hub, in which case is a fixed-gear multi-speed arrangement. Most fixed-gear bicycles only have a front brake, and some have no brakes at all.

Why fixed gear bikes are in fashion…..  controversial?

 

 

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