Can BMX Bikes Pedal Backwards?

My undying obsession with BMX bikes had had me researching and experimenting different riding techniques lately. And one of the techniques I’ve been dying to try out is pedaling backward on a BMX.


Can BMX Bikes Pedal Backwards? (Quick Answer)

BMX bikes can pedal backwards. By pedaling forward and backwards, a rider can easily maintain control over the bike when performing complex and unique tricks on the streets and commuting in cities. However, reverse pedaling won’t cause the bike to move in the opposite direction.

Even with their small frames, reverse pedaling on a BMX bike is just as easy as forward pedaling.

how to reverse pedal a bmx bike

For what it’s worth, the rear hubs that allow for backward pedaling make it possible for you to perform complex tricks such as 360 degrees and fakie.

How Do BMX Bikes Pedal Backwards?

You apply force on the BMX cranks by pedaling. The crank engages the sprocket, which sets the chain in motion.

As the chain turns, it drives the rear hub, which turns the rear wheel from the power transferred to the cranks from the pedal.

It’s important to note that BMX bike feature three unique types of rear hubs that make it possible for riders to pedal in reverse.

These are:

1. Cassette Hubs

You mostly see cassette hubs on standard mountain and road bikes, but they’re also quite common on BMX bikes.

These hubs drive the rear wheel by turning an independent cog fitted to its outer shell. The wheel moves backwards and the pedals spin in the same direction.

The LITEONE 8 Speed Cassette is a good example of a cassette hub that can fit BMX bikes.

Its gearing ratio is decent enough to allow efficient transfer of energy via cadence control. And with a claimed weight of just 442 grams, you aren’t adding too much to your BMX bike.

LITEONE 8 Speed Cassette main

 Not only do cassette rear hubs have a simple design structure, they also offer you more control, which makes it easy for you to perform different tricks in different terrains.

Just remember that if you choose to fakie on a BMX bike with cassette rear hubs, you’ll have to pedal backward so you aren’t stuck.

2. Coaster Hubs

Coaster hubs are quite common in entry-level BMX bikes. They act as backpedal brakes the very moment you stop pedaling the bike.

3. Freecoaster Hubs

Freecoaster hubs feature a detailed internal clutch system, which engages the shell when pedaling BMX bike forward and disengages it when pedaling in reverse direction. The mechanism allows you to coast backwards without necessarily turning the cranks.

Freecoaster Hubs

Common in some advanced BMX bikes, and popular among flatland riders, freecoaster hub give you the flexibility to perform more elaborate tricks in backward and forward motion.

As the rear wheel moves backwards, the pedals spin in the same direction. Note that with freecoaster hubs, you won’t have to pedal backwards to fakie out.

How Often Should I Reverse Pedal a BMX Bike?

Just because a BMX bike can pedal backwards doesn’t mean you should do so more often. It’s important to know when to fakie and when not to do so.

From what I understand, you might want to consider pedaling backward when you’re about to hit on a barrier. That way, you can easily transition into simple as well as advanced stunts and tricks on the bike.

I can’t particularly think of another reason why you would want to pedal a BMX bike backwards.

Look at it this way:

A BMX bike has one gear, so there’s technically no difference between pedaling forward and backward. And given that pedaling backward won’t move bike backward, gradual backpedaling can make the bike difficult to control and possibility cause damages.

Keep in mind that backpedaling to some degrees can bring the rear wheel to an abrupt halt, which can be potentially dangerous especially if you’re new to bmxing.


1. Are BMX Pedals Reverse Threaded?

It’s important to note that BMX bikes have double threading. One pedal features a normal threading and the other one has a reverse thread.

The right and left threading are opposites of each other for the effect of precision. The rolling of one object in another in the opposite direction provides a better clearance between the two pedals.

2. Is Pedaling Backwards Bad for Your Bike?

Pedaling backward is bad for your bike because it wears down the chains and gears for absolutely nothing. Again, pedaling in reverse doesn’t translate into motion and therefore there lacks resistance to engage your muscles.

Given that pedaling backwards doesn’t provide the force required to balance your bike better, you shouldn’t bother doing so. It’s even worse if you have the gear in the wrong position because the chain can as easily come off.

Some bikes feature coaster brakes, making backpedaling completely pointless in such a case. Built into the rear wheel hub and activated by reverse pedaling, such bikes end up in abrupt halt and could potentially cause injuries.

You shouldn’t even try to pedal backwards on a bike without freewheel mechanism. Doing so will not only slow you down and stop you eventually but can also cause knee strains.

Some cyclists argue that pedaling backwards can help with lubrication. But even if that’s a case worth the consideration, you still shouldn’t be backpedaling too much.

3. What’s the Right Way to Pedal a BMX Bike Backward?

I should say this:

Fakie isn’t something you can do in an instant.

You need to be really good at BMX bikes to get this right. So a lot of practice can go a long way to make a big difference.

As you continue to advance your bmxing skills, keep it at the back of your mind that you can only best pedal backwards when or if:

  • You want to ride on a wall or over obstacles
  • You wish to slow down and bend your need over the back wheel
  • You wish to prop against a barrier but at a slower pace
  • You feel like you’re falling to one side and want to balance back

Final Words :”Can BMX Bikes Pedal Backwards?”

As you can see, BMX bikes can pedal backwards quite well, but you shouldn’t be doing fakie all the time, and especially if you’re new to the bicycle motocross sport.