When I first set my eyes on a BMX bike, I couldn’t quite understand why their seats are low. An actual ride over a span of about 3 months gave me a completely different perception on the sitting position of the BMX two-wheelers.
To be honest, I feel a lot more hooked to a BMX than I am to my Huff Hardtail Mountain Bike. But why do BMX bikes have low seats?
BMX bikes have low seats to give you more clearance for acrobatic body movements and easy pedaling without leaning far back behind the tires. With the seat low, it’s easy to perform tricks such as no-footed cancan whips, bunny hops, bar spins, and suicide no handers.
Let’s explore further to learn about the benefits of the low seats on BMX bikes.
Why Do BMX Bikes Have Low Seats?(3 Reasons)
You’ll ride a BMX bike more when standing than on a sitting position. More often than not, BMX riders argue that you shouldn’t even sit on the saddle in the first place.
While you’ll do so once in a while, especially when going for a casual ride to the park, the design and purpose of the bike is that you’ll be riding off the seat most of the time.
So what’s the point of the BMX seat if you won’t be using it quite as often?
Well, here’s why:
1. BMX Seats are Low to Provide Clearance for Acrobatic Movements
Imagine throwing a tail whip only to have a bike seat catch your feet. It becomes straight out impossible to land the trick and you risk injuring yourself.
Since BMX bike seats are low, they provide more clearance for easy and advanced acrobatic body movements, so you can perform nearly every trick from bunny hop to suicide no handers.
In BMX cycling, long distance riding is never the goal and speeds tend to be relatively low. As such, the pedaling efficiency from a higher sitting position is not much of a priority as opposed to vertical maneuverability.
2. BMX Seats Provide Additional Point of Contact
BMX seats are significant to the design and function of the bike because they provide additional point of contact, which is quite handy for advanced riding.
The point of contact makes it easy for a rider to perform no-handers tricks such as bar spins and advanced stunts like no-footed cancan whip and tail whip.
3. BMX Seats Get You More Power to Pump
BMX bikes generally have their seats lower to give you more power and momentum for better power pumps.
In case you land from a high impact jump, you won’t have to worry about hitting into the bike’s frame. Moreover, your legs will easily absorb damage from high-impact landing without damaging your groin region.
Are BMX Seats Supposed to be Low?
BMX bike seats are supposed to be low to provide a better clearance over the frame for proper body movements. The lower position of the seat makes it easy to pedal the bike, and it allows you to grab the seat with your legs and pedal the bike in different positions for advanced tricks and stunts.
The lower seat on the BMX bike also makes it easy to land from a higher or large impact jump without worrying about hurting yourself.
Can You Raise the Seat on a BMX Bike?
You can raise the seat on a BMX bike to a position that allows you to perform your tricks easily. Use an Allen wrench to loosen up the seat clamp, raise the seat to a desired height and angle, and then fasten the seat in the new position and angle by tightening the bolt.
There’s no one-size-fits-all seat height for BMX biking. Quite too often, how high or low you want the seat to be depends on the tricks or the stunts you’d like to do.
Before you raise and tilt the seat to new positions, consider getting the appropriate theoretical height and angle for the seat. You can use this BMX seat height calculator to do that.
What I particularly love about this tool is that it suggests BMX seat height based on your height, and then it gives you a starting position to set your saddle height.
Treat the recommendation from such a tool with a grain of salt. That’s because you may need to alter the figure a little to get a comfortable height and angle for you.
How to Raise the Seat on a BMX Bike
Now that you have a starting point that you can use to raise or lower the BMX seat, it’s time to adjust the seat in readiness for some adventure. To do this:
- Insert an Allen wrench into the clamp and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the clamp. We do this to move the seat side by side or up or down easily.
- Use the wrench to adjust the bolt inside the slot or slit of the seat. Keep rotating the wrench counterclockwise until the screw loosens up.
- Raise the seat to a new height. You can use the information you generated from the tool I recommended above for guidance.
- Insert the Allen wrench into the clamp and rotate it clockwise to tighten.
- Adjust the angle of the seat to a position you it to be and then use the Allen wrench again to tighten the seat into position.
You’ll follow these exact steps if you want to lower the height of the seat. The only change would be in the third step, where you push the seat further down from the current height.
Why Are BMX Bike Seats Slanted?
BMX seats point up to give you full control when cycling and performing stunts. With the seat at an angle, it’s easy to lever and pivot the bike, especially when jumping.
Just as the seat is low, the angled up position further provides additional clearance, so you can move easily without hurting your genitals or perennial areas.
This kind of an incline, which isn’t something you’ll see in a road or mountain bike because they can’t ride fast over obstacles, let riders perform unique tricks while sprinting quickly and flying over jumps without losing balance.
With the set a bit slanted, you can protect yourself from slamming onto the bike’s frame or accidentally sliding forward onto the handlebar.
As good as the angled up is, you wouldn’t want to sit in a slanted position when commuting. It’s always a good idea to push the seat back to the correct position to commute properly.
At What Angle Should a BMX Seat Be?
The angle depends on the direction to which you ride the bike.
You should slant the seat upwards if you’re riding downhill to pivot your position and keep yourself from sliding forward when going down. Adjust the seat to slant downwards if you’ll be riding uphill for easier navigation.
Final Words- Why BMX Bikes Have Low Seats.
I hope this guide clearly explains to you why BMX bikes have low seats. As you continue to perform known tricks and trying out new ones, you’ll grow fond of and appreciate the true value of the lower seat on BMX bikes.