BMX – Equipment
BMX racing is an adventure sport in which the rider has to show some stunts while racing. In freestyle BMX, there is no racing and the rider wins the game according to the trick he shows in the event. In this chapter, we will discuss the equipment used in this sport.
BMX bikes are off-road sports bicycles that are mostly used for racing and stunt riding purpose. Except motocross tracks, these bikes are used in skate parks, dirt tracks, vert ramps, streets, and flat lands.
These bikes are strongly built and are made of various types of steels whereas in most of the race bikes, frames are made of Aluminum. High-performance bikes are mostly made of generation 3 Chromalloy (high tensile steel).
The wheel size of a standard BMX bike is between 16 inches to 24 inches. The bikes with 24 inch wheel size are also known as cruiser bikes. The players can use these bikes to jump easily as compared to 20 inch wheel size bikes.
The wheels of this bike mainly consist of 36 spokes, however some aggressive riders use bikes with 48 spokes.
Cassette hubs are used in small gearing of BMX bikes because of its lightweight and more clearance during grinding.
Axle pegs are often used in free riding bikes to help riders while performing stunts.
In case of dirt jumping and freestyles, BMX bike wheel sizes are around 20 inches for experienced bikers and 16 inches for young bikers. They usually don’t have front brakes whereas freestyle bikes have both front and rear brakes with more sturdy constructions in order to handle the aggressive riding.
Based on their game type, design and tracks used, different types of BMX bikes are used. Some of them are −
Park bikes − Lightweight bikes mainly used in skate parks and vert ramps. Excess weights are avoided during construction for smooth transition of the bike.
Dirt bikes − Dirt bikes are same as park bikes but the tyres have comparatively thicker tread to make grip on loose surfaces.
Race bikes − Race bikes are mostly used in motocross tracks and feature both rear and front brakes for better control. They are lighter than freestyle bikes and also contain a large front sprocket which enables the rider to pedal at high speed. These bikes are built for speed and are mostly made of Aluminium.
Street Bikes − These are often used in streets and rails and have metal pegs for grinding on rails. These bikes are stronger and heavier as compared to other BMX bikes with almost no brake and brake cables which enables the rider to spin the bar easily.
Flatland bikes − These bikes are used mostly in flat surfaces and don’t include any jumps or ramps. Using this kind of bike, the player performs many tricks on various parts of the bike. A rear brake cable de-tangler is added in order to prevent the tangling of brake cables while rotating the bars.
In order to allow riders to perform stunts while taking those bolts as support, front and rear bolt-on pegs are also added.
Because of the extremeness of the sport, accidents and injuries are pretty common in the game. While racing or trying to pull off a stunt, spills or crashes are very much likely to happen. In order to keep these injuries to minimum BMX riders take many safety measures.
The equipment that are used in BMX for the sake of player’s safety and protection are −
Helmets − In order to avoid serious head injuries, helmets are used in BMX. In case of BMX racing, full-face helmets are used for avoiding injuries during collision with other racers.
Body armours − These armours can be kneepads for the player’s knee injuries and pain. Similarly shin pads and wrist and elbow pads for arms are also used.
Gloves − As during the race, player’s hands get too sweaty, gloves are used for better grip and protection.
Shoes − Specially designed shoes for BMX racing are made for racers which cover their entire feet. The shoes have grooves on their soles to fit properly on the pedals.
Pants − Lightweight Motocross racing pants that are made of nylon or sail clothes are used in BMX. These pants cannot be torn easily.