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Are BMX Bikes Good for Cruising? No But Here’s What to Do Instead

Are BMX Bikes Good for Cruising
Written by Joshua Fernand
Last Update: May 23, 2023

If you’re eager to cruise around the town on a bike, there’s no doubt that cruisers or road bikes are the best option.

But with a BMX bike, the whole world is your playground! No matter what is in front of you – curbs, embankments, city parks, loading docks, stair sets, or roughed-up alleys – you can turn every ride into an adventure!

BMXing is a different world and if you’re now into it or an ex-BMXer with enough stamina and strength, you’ll be fine cruising with your 20” though this will be taxing and you’ll have a good workout.

If you’re a newbie, we recommend that you focus on your tricks and stunts for now. And for cruising, get a beach cruiser or a road bike.

But if you really insist, there are ways to make your BMX bike a little cruiser-friendly. Let’s see what’s there to know.

Are BMX Bikes Good for Cruising?

Cruiser bikes are specifically designed for comfort and recreation while BMX bikes are for stunts and racing.

So, if you are wondering if BMX bikes are good for long-distance riding or cruising, the answer is no for the same reason.

If you try cruising with a BMX, soon you’ll notice that it requires a lot more effort than a road bike would take.

Riding for too long will drain you down immensely and may cause muscle fatigue. If you are not physically fit, you should not give it a try.

What Makes BMX Bikes Bad for Cruising?

  • Very low seating position

One of the features that makes BMX bikes bad for cruising is their low-lying seats. Cruising requires an upright posture to be cozy and flexible.

You won’t be able to continue biking for long without having aching muscles sitting in such low-lying seats.

BMX bike seats are low to allow the rider more freedom of movement while performing stunts and tricks. Also, BMX riding often involves riding in a crouched position, which is easier to maintain with a low seat.

  • Less space for leg extension

The low seating position also enables BMXer to easily dismount from the bike and control it during spins and jumps. But this results in a shortage of legroom that will strain your knees if you keep pedaling for some time.

  • Restricted gear system

Cruising on rough, rocky terrain is way more difficult and demanding than cruising on paved roads; even more so when you attempt it using a non-cruiser bike.

So, are BMX bikes good for trails and hilly tracks?

For stunts and racing, yes! But for cruising? Not really.

Besides being struggling on uneven terrain, you will have little control and flexibility due to the limited number of gears.

  • Specialized frame and tires

The frame and tires of a BMX are built quite differently than commuter bikes.

BMX frames are smaller for improved maneuverability but come at the cost of reduced leg extension room.

On the other hand, the tires are more robust so they can withstand high impacts and handle various types of terrains. But this exceptional ability reduces control and makes it harder to ride over long distances.

Are There Any BMX Bikes Suitable for Cruising?

Are There Any BMX Bikes Suitable for Cruising

Is a BMX bike good for cruising under any specific circumstances? Or is there any specific BMX model that will be a good option for cursing around?

The answer to both of these questions is no, unfortunately.

What’s more, some think BMX Cruiser bikes are for cruising or commuting since there is the term “Cruiser” in it.

BMX Cruisers are a type of BMX bike designed for racing on a velodrome track. Unlike traditional BMX bikes, which are built for off-road riding and stunts, these cruisers are optimized for speed and efficiency on a smooth, oval track.

They typically have larger wheels (either 24″ or 26″) and a larger frame, which allows for higher speeds and improved stability. They are also equipped with a more comfortable riding position, including a higher seat and a more upright handlebar setup, making them well suited for longer races.

But all of this is compared to the traditional BMX bikes and if you do the comparison with a cruiser bike, a BMX cruiser is far behind its comfort level.

Can a BMX Bike be Modified for Better Cruising?

Yes, that’s possible but the results won’t be that satisfactory. Here are some ways to go about it:

1. Choose the right bike

Since BMX bikes are smaller with less leg extension room, you’ll need a larger size. You can also consider the Cruiser type as they come with larger wheels.

Larger wheels provide more legroom and pedaling flexibility. This feature along with other modifications, can make a BMX a decent commuter bike.

2. Extend the frame length

One of the reasons BMX bikes are bad for cruising is their short frame length. Fortunately, some BMX cruiser bikes come with a frame-length extension feature.

Using this, you can slightly increase the frame length. But remember, it’ll still be smaller than the length of a traditional road or cruiser bike.

3. Fix the low seat position issue

Get an extra long seatpost (around 350mm) and an extra seat that you can easily swap out in a minute or two with a hex key if you choose to use your BMX for cruising.

You can also add some padding to raise the seat height a little.

Wrapping it up

By now you know the answer to the question “are BMX bikes good for cruising?”

The answer is no but there are ways to make it possible though that won’t be much comfortable as expected. If you already have a road bike or a cruiser, stick to it for a casual ride around the town.

If you have a BMX, use it for stunts and tricks. And if you have the craving, do the modifications mentioned above for some fun time.

FAQs

Q. How far can I travel with a BMX bike?

Ans. There isn’t any definite answer for this, but the highest estimated distance may be close to two miles. This will vary according to the rider’s height, weight, and stamina by a lot.

If you’re young and fit, you might be able to sustain cruising on a BMX a bit longer. But old and sick people should avoid using them.

Q. What issues can casual cruising with BMX bikes cause?

Ans. A short bike ride with a BMX will not do any harm but you’d rather enjoy it. These bikes are designed for short rides filled with action and adventure. But if you use them daily for cruising or commuting, you are likely to face issues like foot pain, back pain, numb hands, muscle fatigue, saddle sores, and many others.

About the author

Joshua Fernand

I’m a 38-year-old father of two and an avid adventurer with a history of road bike racing in the mountains. I’m also a member of the Mountain Top Cycling Club, Colorado. I took part in several cross country rides across the states with my cruiser bike.

Tell you what, each tour was over a thousand miles long and it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t studied bike mechanics. Most of the fixes required during my travel had to be fixed by myself. Cruiser became my favorite category since then.

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