Why are BMX Bikes so Small?

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Why are BMX bikes so small?

The word BMX stands for “bike motocross”. These bikes are popular among bikers due to their portable and mini size. 

Most people ask this question “why are BMX bikes so small?”

There are various reasons for their smaller size. Initially, these bikes were built for kids but later on, their small size served many benefits, and not only kids but even adults and pro bikers also use them.

BMX bikes are also part of the Olympics as well. 

They are typically smaller because they are meant for tricks and stunts, which require the rider to be low to the ground. This allows the rider to have better stability when performing stunts and tricks. 

Additionally, a smaller bike requires less energy to maneuver, which can come in handy when jumping or traversing tight spaces.

Reasons Why BMX Bikes are Small

1- It allows you to do cool tricks

One of the best benefits of a small bike is that you can do some cool tricks and stunts on it. 

Small sizes make them perfect for performing stunts and tricks like jumps, wheelies, and 360-degree spins. With a smaller bike frame, you can easily maneuver around tight spaces and have better control when doing tricks. 

Additionally, the lighter weight of these bikes makes them easier to lift off the ground or perform other aerial maneuvers. 

These bikes normally have one gear, and their smaller wheel does the trick in helping them for superior mobility and flexible maneuvering.

2- Small bikes jump higher

Smaller size bikes jump higher. 

Why are BMX bikes small? This was a trending topic once during 2016, and google answered itself via a tweet stating that “Little Bike = Big Jump”.

With a lightweight frame and small wheel size, BMX bikes fly a little higher than traditional-size bikes. They have a thrilling combination of speed and excitement. They have a lightweight frame that has the tendency to absorb the shock and withstand the impact of landing after jumps, along with strong handlebars, and durable wheels.

3- Small components

A bike is made of different components. And the size of its components directly affects the overall size of the bike. Below is a list of components that differ in size as compared to other bikes:

1- Small Sprockets- BMX bikes are renowned for their small, compact sprockets. The main benefit is that they make the chain harder to break and make BMX bikes significantly sturdier and less bendable.

2- Small Cranks- The shorter the crank length of a BMX bike, the better it is for riding tricks and racing. It is preferable for most freestyle riders as it provides good ground clearance. Not only will you have more leeway when performing tricks, but your bike will also be lighter and easier to maneuver with the pedals being close to the center of the frame. 

3- Low Saddle- In addition to giving you more control while making rad moves, the low seat also helps makeing it easier to stand up and pedal when you need a burst of extra speed or just want to take your bike for a spin.

Pros and Cons of BMX Bikes


1- Provides powerful paddling

Due to their smaller size, you get the opportunity to pedal fast. 

When your legs are straight at the bottom of the peddling stroke, you generate a higher speed in a short time. This way, you protect yourself from accidentally hitting your body or legs on the frame. 

You can also ride while standing, as it is even better than sitting down because this generates more power since standing up will allows you to adjust to the gravity center and make better turns or changes in direction while in airborne maneuvers. 

2- Fast Drive

When you can pedal quickly, you are also able to travel quickly. Small wheels size facilitates quicker acceleration and higher speed on the track. 

Not only will it help riders better maneuver tight turns and quick changes of direction, but it also allows riders to generate faster drive, enabling them to reach impressive speeds and more advanced tricks when compared to regular sizes bikes. 

Additionally, shorter wheelbases enable the rider’s weight to be shifted more quickly, providing an additional layer of control over the bike during jumps or other airborne maneuvers. 

3- Improved grip

Along with speed, BMX bikes provide better grip to the rider.

Coupled with their lightweight and fast acceleration, as well as easy handling due to their more limited access to winding and zig-zagging paths through trails, the extra layer of grip this unique bike provides will quickly help you become a more confident rider no matter what surface you are travelling on. 

In even the trickiest sections of the trail, the improved traction of your BMX bike will make it easier for you by providing a better grip.

4- Reduced weight

The smaller size directly contributes to lightweight. 

Due to their small size, the frame and components of BMX bikes are lightweight and easy to move around. 

In addition, modern lightweight materials like aluminum offer greater stability and better shock absorption, making these bikes as durable as the bigger alternatives. 

Overall, a multitude of factors makes small BMX bikes an attractive choice for riders who are looking for agility, stability and ease of handling.


1- Not ideal for taller persons

Due to their smaller size, these bikes are hard to drive with tall people. Taller people often find it difficult to accelerate on these smaller bikes due to the limited space between the seat and pedals, making their legs feel cramped. 

2- Not suitable for long rides

BMX bikes lack the stability needed for longer rides. The stability of the bike is compromised by its lightweight design, which makes it harder to handle during a longer ride, resulting in an uncomfortable experience. 

3- Not suitable for riding hills

BMX bikes are not designed for riding hills because they do not have the same level of stability and power as larger mountain bikes. Smaller BMX bikes lack both speed and traction, which could lead to dangerous situations when riding on large hills.

Size guide for BMX Bikes

Rider HeightFrame Size Wheel Size (Inches)
3.5 – 4.1Micro15″ – 16″
4.2 – 4.4Mini16.5″- 17″
4.5 – 4.7Junior17.5″ – 18.5″
4.8 – 5.1Expert18.5″ – 19.5″
5.2 – 5.4Expert XL19.5″ – 20″
5.5 – 5.7Pro20″ – 20.5″
5.7 – 6.0Pro XL20.5″ – 21″
6+Pro XXL21″ – 22″

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