BMX bikes are so versatile that some of us fancy the idea that it’s okay to use them for just about anything. I’ve tried mine to go long distance, do a few simple tricks and complex stunts, and cruise on different trails. But are BMX bikes good for cruising in the first place?
BMX bikes are good and bad for cruising. You can cruise on the bike for about hour, but they become uncomfortable thereafter. Built specifically for stunts and riding in short bursts of speed, BMX bikes are the worst kind that you can hop on for a long distance ride.
Even if you were to use a BMX bike for cruising, you really would do so at high speed. That’s because, by the very current standards, BMX bikes have one gear, which is unlike what you get from an actual cruiser bike.
And lest we forget, BMX bikes have low seats, which make them uncomfortable to pedal for an extended period.
We’ll get into more details in a few. But first, let’s make sure you understand what cruising on a BMX means.
What Does It Mean To Cruise On BMX Bike?
Cruising on a BMX bike means riding like you normally would a beach cruiser bike. Apparently, you’re riding from one point to another without doing any type of trick or stunt.
For what it’s worth, cruising on a BMX bike could be as simple as commuting to work or simply doing a general cycling exercise. If anything, cruising is just the general cycling that most people do on standard bikes.
The one thing that’s clear about cruising on a bike is you don’t need to put too much effort into it. Even if you were into it for exercise, you wouldn’t want the pace to be nothing more than leisurely.
Now that this is clear, let’s dive deeper into why it’s such a bad idea to use a BMX bike for cruising, even if you’re constantly getting that inner push to do so.
3 Reasons Why BMX Bikes Are Not Good for Cruising
There are three reasons why I wouldn’t recommend using a BMX bike for cruising, even if it’s a model with 26-inch wheels.
1. BMX Bikes Generally Have Low Seats
BMX bikes seats are in a lower position for a number of reasons, one of which is to give riders more clearance so they can perform tricks and stunts without the seat getting in the way.
The seat isn’t in such a low position so that you can use it for cruising.
The problem with a lower seat is that it doesn’t give you the proper leg extension necessary to ride a BMX the exact same way you’d ride a cruiser bike. There’s simply no enough power to pedal extensively while seated.
If anything, the only way you get the best input into the pedal is when you’re in a standing position. But you can’t stand on a BMX bike for long.
My suggestion is you leave BMX bike for bmxing, because you get tired a lot faster when you ride when standing. And even if you think you can go against the odds, think of the time when you need to ascend or descend when seated low and you get the idea.
2. BMX Bikes Can’t Ride Uphill
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that you can’t ride a BMX uphill and be comfortable about it. I’ve tried pedaling one uphill myself, and it’s the one bmxing mistake I never want to repeat again.
The whole climbing experience was 100% horrible
BMX bikes have a gearing ratio that’s good for tricks and stunts but bad for everything else. There’s only one gear, so climbing uphill is going to be hard, especially if the trail is steep.
Add to this the low seat and a short frame, and you can be certain that you will use more power to pedal a BMX bike uphill than you need to ride a different type of bike.
The demand for more pedaling energy also makes the experience further worse. And if I’m being honest, the last thing you want to experience is joint injuries because you weren’t willing to bring yourself to the reality that you can’t use a BMX bike for cruising.
3. BMX Bike Require More Force to Pedal
The low seat on a BMX bike doesn’t give you sufficient leg extension. That’s why you will need more energy to pedal the bike, which means the worst cycling experience.
You will get full pedaling power when you’re in a standing position. But then you can’t be standing for an extended period either.
So When Can I Use BMX Bike for Cruising?
You can cruise on a BMX bike for short distances just fine. So if you’re planning to cruise for 60 minutes or less, you should be fine. They seem to be quite great when dealing with trickier terrains and trails with some jumps along the way.
But things start to get a little more uncomfortable for a ride that you take past the one-hour mark.
Of course the duration isn’t cast in stones. Some people seem to be able to cruise for more than an hour just fine. But it’s definite that the experience will start to get more uncomfortable somewhere along the way.
To be clear, cruising on a BMX bike isn’t going to be nearly as comfortable as using an actual cruiser bike. And we’ve looked at why already.
What Are The Best BMX Bikes For Cruising?
First, I wouldn’t recommend a BMX bike for cruising. I wouldn’t buy one for this very purpose myself.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t BMX bikes that you can buy and use for cruising. There are a few options that are quite good for this very purpose, although you should keep in mind that they’re only good for short distance.
Made of a lightweight aluminum frame for optimal performance, the Redline Bikes Roam BMX Bike is one of the top cruising BMX around.
You can even upgrade it to a cruiser bike if you wish, and that kind of flexibility makes it a good option to consider.
Another great BMX bike that you can use for cruising is the Eastern Bikes 00-191664 Growler.
Featuring a chrome alloy frame and fork, this 26-inch BMX bike is lightweight and cruises quite smoothly thanks to the low rolling resistance wheels.
It’s also the first BMX bike that has mechanical disc brakes, which are better than the linear pull up brakes.
What Are BMX Cruiser Bikes?
In my opinion, the phrase cruiser BMXis one of the mostly misunderstood concepts in biking. To be clear, just because it’s a cruiser type of BMX doesn’t mean it’s as good as beach cruiser bike is.
Here’s the thing:
Cruiser BMX bikes are in no way cruiser bikes in their entirety. We appreciate that brands make them in such a way that they are adaptable to various uses. But they still can’t hold up to being good enough like actual cruiser bikes are.
The difference between standard BMX bikes and cruiser BMX is the size of the wheels. Cruiser BMX bike wheels can be either 24 or 26 inches.
Besides that small difference, these bikes share the same features that make cruising for longer extremely difficult. For instance, the frame is short and the seat is inarguably low.
I haven’t come across a cruiser BMX that’s agile enough to move around a track for long. Even these are stunt bikes that are only quite great for rolling and jumping.
Is It Possible To Covert A BMX Into A Cruiser Bike?
You can convert a BMX bike into a cruiser bike. But you won’t be able to adjust it to the level where you can cruise on it for an extended period. Which is to say you won’t get the best riding experience from a BMX as a cruiser bike.
Still want to convert your BMX into a cruiser bike?
- Interchange your BMX bike’s current wheels with 24 or 26-inch wheels to get an improved pedaling efficiency
- Raise the seat post of the BMX. If the one you have is shorter, consider getting a new seat post and use it as an extension
- Change the saddle. BMX seat can get uncomfortable if you sit on them for an extended period. So you should consider upgrading to a more cushioned seat if you wish to use your BMX for cruising.
- Make sure the bike has two brakes. If yours has only the front or rare, add so that you have two.
That’s about it.
You still have the issue with the frame to deal with. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this because bike frames have never been so flexible that you could adjust them.
As you can see, there’s only so much you can do to convert a BMX into a cruiser. And until bike technology improves to a point where you can do that, you’ll have to stick to the little improvements that you can actually make.
As you can see, BMX bikes aren’t that good for cruising, at least not in the case of long distance riding. They have lower seats, shorter frames, small wheels, one brake, and one gear, all which make them unsuitable to use as cruiser bikes.