Does BMX Tire Width Matter?

BMX bikes come with tires of different sizes. Some are knobby, and others are chunky, while others are wide. So, you may wonder, with all these various sizes, does BMX tire width matter?

Yes! With all certainty, BMX tire width does matter. A BMX tire width determines the overall bike control, tire traction, handlebar grip, and tire endurance. In that case, wider tires offer better control, grip, traction, and endurance.

In the long run, tire width dictates the general bike performance. Like mountain bikes, BMX tires are wide enough to withstand all the punishment and offer you stability and balance. They make it easy to do stunts and land safely.  

But since there is a lot to stomach, this guide will explain why tire width matters and the factors to consider when buying your BMX tires.

Here we go!

zol velocita tire

Why Does BMX Tire Width Matter?

BMX tire width primarily matters in four areas, affecting your cycling experience. These areas include bike control, tire traction, handlebar grip, and tire endurance.

Let’s discuss them:

1. BMX Tire Width Determines Bike Control

Compared to thin tires, wide BMX tires give you more bike control. They give you a big footprint on any terrain you are riding on.

The wider they are, the more space they will take on the ground, which means better tire rollover. You will also feel comfortable and stable riding a bike with wider tires than their thin counterparts.

That explains why BMX bikes are generally friendly to kids and beginners.

2. BMX Tire Width Determines Tire Traction

A tire’s width determines if you’ll slip and fall off your bike on a wet surface or stay in control. Simply put, it determines the tires’ ground traction.

Overall, wider tires give you more traction on slippery surfaces than slimmer ones, and BMX’s wide tires give you that. They limit the chances of you falling or getting into an accident.

The wider the tire width, the better traction they provide, which explains why BMX bikes have wide knobby tires.

3. BMX Tire Width Determines Handlebar Grip

Tire width determines not only the tire’s traction but also the handlebar grip. Usually, the wider the tires, the more handlebar grip you enjoy, making it easy to go over obstacles and negotiate slippery terrains.

In the long run, a good handlebar grip gives you better bike control (explained earlier) and balance. After balancing, you also need a tire that can offer you adequate cushioning while performing high jumps and stunts.

Wide BMX tires give you precisely that. They ensure a safe landing after the jumps and stunts.

4. BMX Tire Width Determines Tire Endurance 

Lastly, BMX wide tires make offer extra endurance. Remember, all the pressure goes to the tires when performing stunts and landing heavily. For that reason, the tires should be wide enough to tolerate it.

To an extent, the tires absorb the heavy impact, and that’s why they don’t explode after a heavy landing.

I know you wouldn’t want a bike that can break easily after performing a few jumps, right? Well, that’s why you should get wide tires for your BMX bike.

kenda tire

Tire Size for Street BMX (Freestyle BMX)

If you own a street BMX bike and need tires for replacement, the 2.15-inch-wide tires are better.

Remember, riding on the streets requires tires that give you better control and good bike balance. The 2.15-inch-wide tires are wider enough to promise that. This tire width is perfect for pro and expert BMX frames.

However, if you own a mini BMX frame, the 1.1-inch tire width is ideal, while the junior frames match perfectly with 1.3-inch-wide tires. These two tire widths are smoother and come with slider treads that are perfect for street riding. 

Tire Size for Racing BMX

Mostly, racing BMX comes with a tire width of 1.75 inches. If you own the pro BMX frame, the 1.75-inch tire is ideal, while if you have an expert model racing BMX, the 1.5-inch tire width will fit perfectly.

Though both tire widths are slimmer than other options, the 1.75-inch tire width will likely come with treads that allow a better grip.

That means that you get better traction on-road without so much resistance. This comes in handy when you want to maintain maximum speed.

Tire Size for Jump BMX

When considering jump BMX bikes, you should go for tire widths slightly slimmer than the freestyle category but broader than the racing options.

You should get tires that are 1.9 inches to 2.0 inches wide if you own a pro BMX, but if you have the expert model frame size, you should pick 1.6-inch-wide tires. The tire sizes give you a good grip and ensure that you land safely on the ground after the jumps.

cts operative wire bead 20 inch tires

Factors to Consider When Choosing the BMX Bikes Tire Size

When choosing the tire width for your BMX, below are a few things to consider:

1. Your Preferred BMX Riding Style. 

Before anything, the first thing to ask yourself is, ‘what is my preferred riding style?’ Remember, we’ve three major styles (racing, jumping, and freestyling), and they all determine what BMX bike and tire to use.

a) Freestyle BMX

If you want a freestyle BMX, look for a tire width of 2.15 inches if you want a pro BMX frame and 1.75-inches if you own an expert freestyle BMX frame. And if you have a junior freestyle frame, the 1.3-inch tire width should suit the junior freestyle BMX more.

However, if you are looking for a mini BMX frame for your kid, then look for a tire width of 1.1 inches.

Below is a table that should help you match your freestyle BMX frame size with the correct tire width:

Freestyle BMX FrameTire Width ( In Inches)
Mini 1.1”
Junior 1.3”
Expert 1.75”
Pro 2.15”

b) Jump BMX

Go for a 1.9-inch tire width for a pro frame of a jump BMX. In contrast, the 1.6-inch tire width is perfect for the expert model.     

Below is a table you can refer to:

Jump BMX Frame Tire Width ( In Inches)
Expert 1.6”
Pro 1.9”

c) Racing BMX

Lastly, if you own or want to buy a dirt-track racing BMX, the 1.5-inch tire width can fit perfectly on the expert, junior, and pro model frames.

avasta bmx bike

2. PSI (Pound Per Square Inch)

PSI is the measure of tire pressure, and it usually dictates the overall tire width. Typically, the higher the PSI, the narrower the tire is likely to be, and the less the Psi, the wider the tire width.

The PSI recommendations may vary because BMX bikes come in three types (racing, freestyle, and jumping type).

So, when choosing the tires, PSI is something you shouldn’t overlook. A PSI of about 40-70 will be excellent if you have a freestyle BMX. But again, if you have the spin-style freestyle BMX for performing advanced tricks, you should go for a tire with a much higher PSI.

When jumping BMX, you should go for a PSI limit of about 40-70. That will give you a better landing.

But if your BMX is a dirt track racer, you should choose the tires with over 100 PSI. That is because these tires have high pressure and will allow you to ride quicker.

Below is a table showing the PSI of different BMX types:

Freestyle 40 – 70
Jumping 40 – 70
Dirt-Track Racing Over 100

3.  BMX Tire Tread

One thing that is of great importance when choosing a bike tire is the tread. Naturally, the tire treads make the tires knobbier and broader.

Strive to have a good feel of the treads, enabling you to have great control of the bike.

Tire threads also determine how you will land after a jump. So, my advice is to choose knobby grooves, slicker and smoother treads if you own a freestyle BMX and ride on flatland. But if you are riding on urban tracks, you should choose gripper treads.

If your BMX is the jumping type, you should go for the deep-knobby treads. They give you an excellent landing.

If you want a dirt-track racing BMX, your ultimate tread type should be knobby, grippy treads. However, avoid deep tire tread as they will bring resistance, which you wouldn’t want when racing faster.

bmx tire tread

People Also Ask

1. Are All BMX Tires the Same Size?

No! BMX tires vary in their tire width. That is because we have different BMX types used for various purposes. Also, BMX bikes come in different frame sizes, and for this reason, every size may require different tire width. Furthermore, the terrain you ride on also has a say on the width of your bike tire. 

2. Why Do BMX Bikes Have Thick Tires?

BMX bikes come with thick tires to withstand all the abuse you throw at them. Remember, these bikes are used explicitly for performing tricks and stunts. So, you need to have a good landing after the jumps, which is what wide BMX tires give you.

3. What Is the Widest BMX Tire?

The widest BMX tires are widespread on pro and expert frames of freestyle BMX. The tire width is usually 2.15 inches. That is because you need to have optimal balance and overall bike control when using freestyle BMX, and this tire width gives you just that.

4. Why Does Tire Width Matter?

Bike tire width matters as it determines the bike’s overall stability and control. For example, wide tires give you more footprint on any terrain and promote bike stability.

5. Can Tire Width Affect a Bike’s Speed?

With all certainty, tire width can affect your overall speed. Wide BMX tires have better ground contact and thus give you more grip. The wider the tires, the low resistance they will have, and the easier you will ride faster on-road.

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Does BMX Tire Width Matter? Closing Remarks:

As seen in this guide, BMX tire width matters. The width will have a say in the bike’s overall control, traction, grip, and endurance. Choosing between the tire widths largely depends on your BMX and your general expectation.