Skip to Content

Are BMX Bikes Good for Mountain Biking? (Explained!)

BMX is a popular favorite among adventure loves for a lot of good reasons. They are sturdy, lightweight, and have a prominent construction that lasts for years.

This popularity often leads to many riders thinking if they can take their BMX bike up on those rocky mountain roads. Find out if that’s such a wise idea.

Are BMX bikes good for mountain biking?

BMX bikes are not great for mountain biking because they are designed for smoother pavements and are ideal for fun races, and stunts. BMX bikes come in only one gear and no suspension. With smaller wheels, riding on mountains can be quite a challenge with BMX bikes.

A BMX bike is a single speed bike that is also considered to be an off-road vehicle. However, the roads on the mountain ways are both roughened and wet, and sometimes muddy.

On such a road, where riders have to change their gears to higher speeds and need great suspension to absorb sudden shocks, a BMX bike becomes unsuitable

Unlike mountain bikes, BMX rides are ideal for urban settings, allowing quick stints and jumps to be played, thanks to its lightweight, brakeless specifics.

Can you use a BMX bike for mountain biking?

It is possible to use a BMX bike for mountain biking. However, it is not the best for it. A BMX bike is mainly designed for fun races, stunts, and jumps. While they are incredibly sturdy in construction, BMX bikes are also quite light in weight.

Due to their weight, it can be fairly easy to transfer BMX bikes through compact areas and rougher hard surfaces of the mountains. They can also be useful in manmade mountain trails, where it is comfortable to maintain a good flow.

However, mountains also have many muddy and gravel terrains. When it comes to that, it is almost impossible to ride smoothly with a BMX bike

Few more problems may occur when a BMX is used on range roads. Since such a bike is not made with special brakes, your bike will be at risk of skidding a little out of control if you are driving fast. This problem is aggravated by the narrower tires of a BMX bike.

Another big obstacle with using a BMX on rugged roads is that by the end of the ride, you might be too tired to do anything else. It requires a lot of hard work to ride a BMX bike into and out of a saddle.

If you are willing to use a BMX bike for mountain biking, it is only worth giving a thought if you are an expert in the field and can perform some experimenting. As for kids or new riders, a BMX is not so suitable for mountain biking.

BMX bike vs. mountain bike – Which one to choose for mountain biking

A mountain bike is specially designed to be used on rough terrains and off-road biking. On the other hand, a BMX is more of a stunt bike, constructed and equipped to be taken on races, jumps, and stunts.

Hence, when the two are compared side by side, a mountain bike is best for mountain biking:

Here are the following reasons why:

Mountain bikes have multiple gears:

When one is going for an off-road adventure, multiple gears are important as mountain biking requires you to ride, walk and climb.

Mountain bikes are equipped with at least 20 of these gears. On the other hand, BMX bikes always have only one gear, making it difficult to be taken on tough mountain paths.

Mountain bikes have adjustable saddle positions:

The saddle position on BMX bikes is fixated on one position. However, when you are riding to cliffs and narrower structured hills, you may have to sit higher or lower for which an adjustable seat position is desirable.

Mountain bikes allow the seat position to increase or decrease in height when needed.

Wider wheel size of mountain bikes:

With BMX bikes, the tire size is narrow, which makes it fragile to be ridden on choppy surfaces. Mountain bikes have tires that are as thick as 29 inches, thus they travel on mountain pathways with great stability.

Moreover, bigger wheel size also makes mountain bikes more durable on such surfaces.

Mountain bikes have suspension:

When riding on a mountain, it is imperative that the bike has full suspension. On the other hand, a BMX bike has no suspensions at all. Although this makes it more ideal for lightweight stunts and racing, a no suspension bike on a mountain road is likely to leave you exhausted.

Which is faster mountain bike or BMX?

A mountain bike, compared to a BMX bike is faster. Mountain bikes are made to be on the roads for longer periods and hence are equipped with many different gears.

One such gear allows the speed to be increased considerably. The same gear allows the mountain bike to be decelerated for climbs.

This is one reason why mountain bikes are used in highland tournaments. Although BMX is much lightweight, and portable, the absence of a special speed gear does not allow you to accelerate as much.

Are BMX bikes good for trails?

BMX bikes are not considered to be a good option for trails. BMX bikes have a lightweight construction and are ideal for rides around the park, races on smoother surfaces. They are also great if you want to perform stunts, plunges, and quick sprints.

Trial riding is also a type of mountain biking of single-track, where there are lots of uphill and downhill climbs for the rider.

 One of the biggest reasons a BMX is not great for such rough roads is because it does not have suspension. This means, when there is an impact landing or jump, the bike is likely to absorb the damage on its body.

Moreover, with tires that are thinner in size, its stability on tough paths is also not the best. In addition to that, a BMX has only one gear, as opposed to any other bikes suitable for mountains, which needs higher speed variations.

Is mountain biking harder than road biking?

If mountain biking and road biking is compared to be ridden on the same surface, a road bike is much more difficult to ride. If we consider riding on the road and riding around the rougher edges of the mountain’s roads, in that case, mountain road will require more effort.

Mountain biking requires bikers to climb on steeps and ride down on droppings, as well as sharp edges.

This is why an MTB is designed with sturdy wide base wheels, good suspension, and multiple gears to make the adventure more satisfactory. Road biking on smoother roads does not require so much effort.

How dangerous is mountain biking?

Mountain biking is a rough sport and is considered to be dangerous. Although it is one of the best sports if you want the adrenaline rush, along with fun and recreation, riders tend to get cuts and bruises quite often.

Due to the steep and sharp surfaces of the massifs, falls and subsequent injuries are not unheard of. However, without proper expertise and protective gear, riders have also faced worse injuries like broken ribs and collar bones.

Experts say that if you are aware of your own mountain biking ability, you can steer away from serious injuries. If you discover an unfamiliar terrain, with steeps that are too high, you may want to avoid it unless you have finessed your skill of riding on rougher roads.

Additionally, to make sure your adventure is also a safe one, be sure to check the bike thoroughly before riding. Lose chains or faulty parts have caused many accidents in the past.

What is a mountain bike good for?

Mountain bikes are one of the most versatile rides that are mainly used for triathlon sports. They are designed to be stable and sturdy during off-road adventures such as cobbled surfaces and natural rough pavements.

Mountain bike ride in steep and sharper ways needs good experience and expertise. The rider must have a great sense of technical navigation skills, as well as fitness, balance, and stamina. Furthermore, the different gears that come with mountain bikes allow riders to travel on various gradients.

The best feature of a mountain bike is its surpassing versatility. You can as easily commute on a smoother surface as you can on choppy hills. With a solid full suspension, your ride uphill and sudden downhill jumps will also be safe with a mountain bike.

What is the best mountain bike brand?

There are mountain bikes on the market, but some of them excel in both functionally and reliability. These bikes are designed and manufactured by the most trusted brands. When looking for premium, and durable mountain bikes, you can trust the following brands:

  • Trek Bikes
  • Giant
  • Santa Cruz
  • Specialized bikes
  • Pivot Cycles

Between a mountain bike and a BMX bike, both considered off-road vehicles, although only one is more suitable for the real wavy mountains. BMX bikes are brakeless and have no gears.

They also don’t have a full suspension system or wider wheels. All the while, these features are all present in mountain bikes, making mountain bikes much suitable for mountain biking than BMX bikes. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can BMX handlebars be raised? 

Why are BMX bikes so expensive?

How do BMX bikes work?

Are BMX bikes good for long distance?

Are BMX bikes good for trails?

Are BMX bikes good for wheelies?

Are BMX bikes good for cruising?