We know Bicycle Motocross to be short with small tires and suitable for short rides and performing simple tricks and trying new stunts. But are BMX bikes good for long distance or should you stick to standard bikes instead?
BMX bikes are not good for long distance because they have lower tires, lower heights, and frame lengths that don’t allow extended riding. While they’re perfect for off-road short-distance racing and performing stunts, it’s difficult to manage them on a long distance ride or daily commuting.
If you think about it, riding a bike for an extended period demands the ability to extend your legs fully, which is something you can’t do on a BMX bike.
Again, the low seat on a BMX means you’ll rarely ride the bike for more than a few minutes seated. And if anything, you wouldn’t want to commute for an extended period standing.
So if a BMX bike isn’t good for long distance cycling, what is?
Depending on where you live and what your riding style is, it’s best to get a standard road, mountain, hybrid, or standard commuter bike.
In a hurry? Here are the best bikes for long distance riding.
Best Commuter Bikes for Long Distance Riding
- Vilano R2: Best Road Bike for Commuting
- Schwinn Loop Bike: Best Adult Folding Bike
- 6KU Fixie Urban Track: Best Single Speed Road Bike
- Vilano Diverse 3.0 : Best Hybrid Bike for Commuting
Are BMX Bikes Good for Long Distance? (3 Reasons Why They Are NOT)
I’m a big fan of BMX bikes, but there are limits beyond which you can’t take them with you.
While they’re good for short races and performing simple to complex stunts, they’re bad for long distance bicycling for the following reasons.
1. BMX Bikes are Small and Difficult to Pedal Uphill
A BMX bike is hard to pedal uphill because they are small in design.
More often than not, the bike puts a heavy load on your and it doesn’t have a gearing ratio that makes it easy for a ride to ride uphill.
You tend to put a lot more effort on pedaling than you would if you used a regular bike instead. That explains why cyclists who attempt to ride BMX bikes on raised terrains tend to complain of intense back pain.
2. BMX Bike Seats are Low and Rarely Used
The design of a BMX bike is such that you’ll ride it when standing.
The low seat provides a clearance for acrobatic body movement and stunt performance beyond which you’ll hardly ever use the seat.
If you think about it, cycling on the BMX bike over a long distance when standing can deplete your pedaling energy really quickly, as it’s practically impossible to adapt to the riding style of a BMX bike.
From a cyclist’s point of view, going long-distance requires you to conserve energy over multiple miles. And a standard bike saddle lets you do that especially when ascending.
3. BMX Bikes Hardly Have Robust and Stable Brakes
First, many BMX bikes don’t have brakes, which means you won’t have the stopping power to control how fast the bike moves.
To be clear, the missing brake isn’t a design mistake. They were designed with the intention that if you ever needed to stop, you can do so by putting your foot on the back of the wheel.
Some BMX bikes have brakes, but the quality isn’t as good as what you get from the brake set of a standard bike. And since these bikes are shorter, brake cables might tangle up when performing stunts.
Furthermore, it’s not safe to ride a bike for a long distance without breaks. That alone is a good reason never to use a BMX bike for travel or daily commuting.
Best Bikes for Long Distance Reviewed
The best bikes to ride for long distance instead of a BMX are as follows:
1. Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike
Made of 6061 aluminum frame, the Vilano R2 Commuter is one of the lightest road bikes for long distance trips.
It features a 21-speed system with thumb shifters that allows you to navigate through any terrain.
The Presta valves 25c tires have a lower rolling resistance that offers a great response to your pedaling effort.
The water bottle cage isn’t something you need for everyday use. But in the days when you have a long trip and staying hydrated is necessary, it will be useful.
While not as powerful as hydraulic disc brakes, the alloy caliper brakes give you the stopping power that BMX bikes s simply don’t have.
2. Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
Built for riders 56 to 74 inches tall, the Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike is a perfect option to bring to long distance trips.
The seven-speed gear system, with smooth twist shifters, let you navigate hilly terrains and ride faster on smooth roads.
It features strong and durable front and rear linear breaks, which give you the full stopping power to make emergency breaks if you ever have to.
And the detachable rear carrier with heavy gauge lets you carry heavy items with ease.
3. 6KU Fixie Urban Track
The 6KU Fixie Urban Track is a lightweight bike with a strong visual appearance. Its frame is made of aluminum and its single-speed system makes it an ideal option for urban cycling.
The caliper brakes are not only solid but also feel responsive, so you get the maximum stopping power to control speed and easily navigate the bike on different terrains.
The chain comes lubed, but it’s important to lubricate it every once in a while so it stay in good condition.
For the 6KU bike, the seat does need a little touch up because it’s moderately comfortable.
Also, the brake pads aren’t the best we’ve seen, but they’re still perfect for the job although you may have to replace them after a while.
4. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike
You can ride 400 miles or more in just 7 days with the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike.
Featuring a 24-gear system with smooth shifters that makes it easy to change gears, you can keep riding and maneuvering the bike regardless of the nature of the terrain.
Vilano Diverse 3.0 has a maximum carrying capacity of 250 lbs, which makes it suitable for most riders.
The model includes mechanical disc brakes, which give you the power to make emergency stops and control speed wherever you go.
Unfortunately, Vilano Diverse 3.0 doesn’t have a front or rear suspension fork. So you will experience some impact when riding on bumpy roads.
1. Can You ride BMX Bikes on the Road?
By their very nature, all BMX bikes are small with low seats, which make them ideal for short distance ride.
However, this bike won’t be effective in areas where there are rugged, hilly terrains. So make sure you map your route first before you consider using a BMX bike.
2. Are BMX Bikes Good for Commuting?
You can use a BMX bike for commuting provided you don’t intend to ride on it for an extended period.
The bike tends to get uncomfortable the longer you ride. Not to mention they have a limited braking power – and some models have no brakes at all.
Also, don’t forget they also have smaller wheels, which tend to make them hard to ride for long hours.
3. Can You Use a BMX Bike for Travel?
You can use a BMX bike for travel provided you raise the seat as high as possible.
The raised seat won’t be on the same level as the seat of a normal bike unless you replace the entire seat post, but at least it will make it possible for you to cycle comfortably.
There you have it. BMX bikes are not good for long distance riding. So unless you plan to use them for the purpose for which they were intended in the first place, you should stick to standard commuter, mountain, or road bikes.