Bike suspension has been a big hit since their initial debut, so much so that many riders often prefer bikes that feature the system to those that don’t.
When you think about a smooth riding experience on bumpy and rugged terrains, buying a bike without a suspension probably doesn’t make sense. But do BMX bikes have suspension?
BMX bikes don’t have a suspension setup because riders need maximum power and thrust during their sprints. If a BMX had a suspension, it would be difficult for a rider’s legs and body to absorb impacts and pump through rhythm section. A suspension is important, but not as ideal for a BMX as for MTB.
The function of a suspension system is quite significant in the cycling scene. If anything, it offers better control by cushioning a ride even on irregular grounds.
However, a BMX bike doesn’t come with a suspension setup. BMX bikes need to be as performance optimized as possible, which is why they lack many of the component that you see on other bikes.
For example, adding a suspension would increase the weight of the BMX bike. The bike ends up being heavier than it was initially, and it can be hard to pedal faster and get the short burst of speed in seconds.
Why Do BMX Bikes Not Have Suspension?
BMX bikes don’t have suspension to keep the overall weight to the minimum. That way, a rider can easily maneuver the bike and at the same time perform simple tricks and complex stunts.
From my experience and those of other riders, a BMX bike has to be a nimble as possible to perform well. And that means adding any component that can add more weight to the bike shouldn’t be a consideration to make.
It’s not just about the weight.
You also do need more control for the bike, which is impossible with the suspension system attached onto the bike. Given that a suspension setup adds to the initial weight of the BMX bike, it becomes difficult to make the bike jump higher than it should.
Don’t expect a BMX bike without suspension to be steady. For what it’s worth, the suspension makes the bike bob up and down as it absorbs impact and smoothen your path, and that makes the bike difficult to use.
Even if you haven’t been in the BMX game for long, you so far understand that there’s need for more power to the wheels of the bike. And introducing a suspension setup to the current geometry of the BMX is a good way to waste energy.
Is A Bike With Suspension Better?
A bike suspension is a setup that offers a smoother ride even on bumpy and rugged trails. It makes bike-riding feel less shaky, allowing you to experience a decent riding experience than you will if you ride a bike without suspension.
A suspension system puts less strain your wrist and arms, not to mention it ensures your body absorbs the least impact possible from the trails on which you ride a bike. You experience a higher level of comfort riding the bike on any road, including those with bumps and potholes.
Given that a suspension setup guarantees support and strength when you hit the bike’s brakes, you do have more control of the bike especially when cornering.
That’s all good, but then there are drawbacks to having a suspension setup on a bike.
- No matter how light the suspension fork you get is, it will still add more weight to the bike, which will definitely affect its performance.
- A suspension fork slows the bike when climbing up. Even the models with lockout options don’t feel as rigid and therefore can’t help with riding up the hills.
Can You Put Suspension On A BMX Bike?
The idea of having a suspension setup on a BMX seems quite reasonable from the face value. But it’s not so from a real sense. Putting a suspension on a BMX can cause the following problems:
1. Lost Connection With The Ground
We get it.
Suspension forks are such a big deal because they absorb all the irregularities of the road. The result is a smooth ride even on paths that are completely unfriendly to cyclists.
But while they may be good for mountain bikes, they are far less effective for street and tricks. In bmxing, you need to connect with the ground in such a way that your legs and body absorbs the impact for better performance.
BMX riding can’t be complete if you lose connection with the ground.
2. Suspensions For 20-inch BMX Bikes Aren’t Easily Available
It’s hard to find a suspension fork that can fit a 20-inch wheel BMX bike and work in unison. While you may get offers here and there, they may be expensive, custom, or pulled straight from mountain bikes built for kids.
So technically, it’s a waste of time even trying to look for a suspension fork that can fit on an average BMX bike.
3. A Negative Impact To The Geometry
Adding a suspension to the frame of an average BMX bike will cause the problem of raised front end and steep head tube angle.
- Raised front end: The suspension fork ends up appearing longer than the rigid model, causing the head tube to slack. Not only is the bike likely to slide to the front, it will even become difficult to maneuver.
- Steep head tube angle: A compression of the fork causes the end of the bike to get close to the ground. This causes a steepness in the head tube angle and a shift of the rider’s weight to the forward position. Given that manufacturers haven’t engineered the frame for suspension, it’s possible that a rider can get into an accident.
4. A Suspension Fork Makes Some Tricks Difficult To Do
First, adding a suspension fork to a BMX means additional weight to the bike. And given that it can’t work in union with the geometry, it becomes difficult to do some tricks with the bike.
For example, it become harder to do a nose manual with a BMX bike with a custom suspension fork because such a bike already lacks the stable base underneath.
Are There BMX Bikes With Suspension?
A BMX bike with suspension is a new concept that hasn’t materialized yet, but creative designers are seeing early successes in what might be the future of BM revolution.
From what we’ve found after extensive research, there is a BMX bike that actually features a full suspension setup.
While the concept is still in its infant stage, we’re eager to see if the full suspension design in BMX will be something worth upholding for the long-term.
Fingers Crossed BMX Bike by Ruben Alcantara
Fingers Crossed is a new concept, one that has fortunately proven to be quite successful. In fact, it’s the first BMX bike with full suspension, a good option for riding MTB parks with freedom, comfort, and confidence.
The bike’s geometry is different from that of traditional BMX bike because the fork is somewhat longer than usual.
The top tube is 21.8 inches long, so we expect the fit to be quite to the standard. The stem of the Fingers Crossed full suspension BMX is also longer than what traditional BMX bikes have, so riders can expect more stability.
Ruben states that these roll well on loose dirt and mud and the experience isn’t anything different from riding a pit bike.
If you look at the bike closely, you’ll notice that the stem is not only longer but also flipped. Ruben states that the reason for this design approach is so that the stem doesn’t feel longer.
Speaking of speed control, the Fingers Crossed BMX with full suspension comes equipped with disc brakes, which are more powerful than regular caliper brakes. The elimination of rim brakes is justifiable because, if anything, they don’t hold up well in wet condition.
Final Thoughts: DO BMX Bikes Have Suspension?
BMX bikes don’t come with suspension setup. Even the Fingers Crossed model isn’t in mass production yet.
So until the day comes when the BMX division can finally have suspension bikes in surplus, the best BMX-like bike that has a suspension is going to be the 24-inch mountain bikes.
A 24-inch mountain bike has a number of advantages over the standard BMX bike:
- There are notably many 24-inch MTBs on the market than there are 20-inch BMX bikes with suspension.
- The 24-inch tires of MTB can give you the riding experience of BMX than the 26-inch models ever can.
- It’s easier for 24-inch MTBs to conserve kinetic energy once you get them to speed. As such, you will need fewer crank revolutions to use the bike in between tricks.
- Because 24-inch tires have extra cushioning with great roll over ability, they ride so well over obstacles that you can’t compare their roll ability with the standard 20-inch wheels of BMX bikes.
- The 24-inch frame design is suitable for suspension so much so that the head tube doesn’t bend because of fork compression.