A Brief History of BMX Bikes

Since it was first conceptualized, BMX (bike motocross) racing has come a long way. Indeed, the sport’s humble origins are often cited as stemming from the 1971 opening of the motocross documentary, On Any Sunday. The opening scenes of that movie followed children riding dirt tracks and imitating motocross riders on their Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycles.

Such scenes, of course, are focused on something already existing. It is generally acknowledged that BMX was established in California as a sport. The bicycle races were predominantly made up of children who wanted to take part in motocross but couldn’t afford it. Instead, they’d be grooming their own dirt courses and using their bikes. Today’s BMX racing tracks trace back to this origin, with inline starts and expressive obstacles.

While there have been those who have sought inventions and techniques since the advent of the bicycle, many bicycles have been designed primarily as a means of transportation up to this point. That was modified by Schwinn’s Sting-Ray. The Sting-Ray was released in 1963 at a time of popularization of custom cars and motorcycles. It was designed for high-speed off-road riding and landing jumps. These bikes quickly became famous, and quickly became one of the country’s best-selling bikes. More manufacturers subsequently noted and started to design bicycles with similar custom features, such as twenty-inch wheels.

As the popularity and design evolution of custom bikes continued to grow, riders continued to test the limits of what they could do. BMX came to be about more than just racing, as this trend continued throughout the 1980s. Riders started to perform tricks in the skateboard style, and this is how BMX’s freestyle division was born. As a result, modern bicycles are built to provide optimum conditions for ever more complicated tricks to be done.

By the 1990s, the sport was almost omnipresent. BMX has been featured on ESPN as an important part of the X-Games. That trend has continued to this day, where BMX racing is bigger than ever before. The discipline has evolved to have its own global governing body, and for the first time in 2008, BMX events were organized as an Olympic sport.

The bikes themselves continued to evolve along with the sport. Anyone interested in BMX biking today has available a large and varied number of bikes. Depending on how you plan to ride, which bike is best for you?

BMX bikes are, in fact, simply a type of mountain bike built to stand out on off-road surfaces. The 18-to 24-inch wheels of these bicycles were built to be lightweight and sturdy. Their design makes them particularly ideal for racing and tricks.

In addition, there are three types of BMX competition, with specially designed bikes in each category; cycling, freestyle, and jumping bikes for particular. Whether you’re competing or just having fun on home-made trails, these categories can still be useful in determining which type of bike is best for you.

Racing BMX designs are made with the idea of speed in mind in particular. These are made up of lightweight frames and carry unique tires built for excellent off-road surfaces.

With thick frames and pavement-ready BMX tires, freestyle bikes are very sturdy. These bikes are best for Skate Park riding, where stunts and tricks can be learned and practiced.

Last but not least, jump bikes feature powerful, sturdy frames, competent suspension systems, and knobby tires. These are meant to handle hops easily, as the name suggests, whether as part of a loop or as part of a home-made backyard hop. These bikes on the trails are also good.

If you’re just beginning off-road riding at high speeds, you might want to start off with a BMX game, as this will encourage you to get out on the track, and you’ll learn the basics in no time. Often, calling the local bike shop for guidance on which cycle should fit for your purposes and with your design is never a bad idea.

In contrast to these types, it is becoming more widely available to configure the bike. This helps you to adapt your bicycle to your unique tastes for riding and aesthetics. Whether you want a bicycle, you can drive off-road at high speeds from time to time, or you want to become a committed BMX competitor, today’s BMX enthusiast has more cycling options available than ever.


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