There are several bike models available for commuting, including BMX Bikes. Though they are not traditionally used for commuting, they can work just fine in the right conditions.
Commuting with a BMX bike is possible for short commutes under five miles. Commuting with a BMX bike comes with the advantages of durability but the drawbacks of limited gears to use on hills and rough terrain.
BMX bikes can make perfectly good commuter bikes in certain conditions. Read on to discover some of the benefits and drawbacks of commuting to and from work with a BMX bike, as well as which BMX bike may be the right choice for you.
Can you commute with a BMX bike?
You can commute with a BMX bike under the right conditions. BMX bikes come with a simple frame design that allows for optimal durability and handling, making them good choices for commuting given the right conditions. BMX bikes have limited gearing options, so as long as your commute is short with few hills, you will do just fine on a BMX bike.
Benefits of commuting with a BMX bike
There are some clear benefits to commuting with a BMX Bike. BMX bikes offer sturdier, more durable, and compact frames with fewer components prone to breaking down. The smaller frame of BMX bikes makes them more agile, especially when trying to navigate through tight city streets.
The durability of a BMX bike
BMX bikes are one of the more durable types of bikes on the market. They are usually made with higher quality materials with fewer components, making them lighter and more agile overall.
Some of the more quality BMX bikes come with:
- High-Grade Aluminum
- Durable Frames
- Lighter Alloys
- Weight Saving Features
Most BMX bikes can last 1000-3000 miles, so depending on how long your commute is, your BMX bike could last for years.
The handling of a BMX bike
BMX bikes are generally meant for use on dirt tracks or courses, so optimal handling is a standard feature on most BMX bikes. BMX bikes come with more compact frames meant for tricks and agility on the course, but they can make for easy maneuvering through city streets and crowds in an urban setting.
Designed for quick changes in speed and extreme mobility, city commuters may find that these advantages of a BMX bike worth more than some of the disadvantages associated with them.
BMX bikes generally require less maintenance
BMX bikes require less maintenance than their counterparts because of their lack of gears. BMX bikes come with fewer gears and, because they are designed to be used for explosive speed, have much larger chains. Smaller, more fragile chains and a higher number of gears can create more areas that require maintenance.
The drawbacks of commuting with a BMX bike
Though there are several benefits of commuting with a BMX bike, there are also numerous drawbacks. BMX bikes come with few comforts, so many modifications will need to be made if you are looking for a comfortable commute. For those commuting longer distances or on terrain with several hills, a BMX bike’s drawbacks may outweigh the benefits.
BMX bikes come with limited or no gears for hills
While the fewer gears and larger chain could be a benefit when commuting on the smooth city or suburban streets, it is a significant drawback when hills are present. BMX bikes are not meant to handle hills at slower speeds, thus eliminating the need for multiple gear changes.
BMX bikes are designed to handle hills at maximum speeds and, because they are usually operated at high speeds during tricks and jumps, are manufactured with fewer gears and larger chains.
How to commute comfortably with a BMX bike
BMX bikes will require some modifications for commuters. The smaller frames of BMX bikes leave you little room to carry items with you, as most commuters do. BMX bikes also come with a standard seat that should be upgraded for comfort. Though none of these modifications cost much money, to get the benefits of comfort on a BMX bike, you’ll have to spend some time modifying it.
- Seating Modifications
- One recommended modification for commuters using a BMX bike is the addition of a more comfortable seat.
- Most BMX bikes come with a standard seat that is made from more rigid and uncomfortable materials like plastic, as they are generally operated in a standing position.
- Adding a padded seat will make for a more comfortable ride no matter the length of your commute.
- Adding a Bike Rack or Purchasing a Quality Backpack
- In order to carry all of the supplies you’ll need for work on your commute, a BMX bike will require a rack with a pannier if there is room for the addition.
- BMX bikes may only have room for a smaller bike rack to be outfitted on the smaller frame.
- If a bike rack is not an option on your BMX, you will need to spend the money to purchase a quality backpack to transport everything you need to and from work.
The disadvantages of commuting with a BMX bike may outweigh the benefits for some riders. Those commuters navigating longer commutes or commutes with a higher number of hills may find that a BMX is not the ideal commuting bike for them.
Which BMX bike is best for commuting?
There are BMX bikes on the market that offer various features. Let’s look at two options on the market and compare some of their advantages and disadvantage to get a better idea of the right option for your commute.
The Mongoose Legion Freestyle
The Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX bike is sold on Amazon for $249.99. Some features of this BMX bike include:
- High-Quality steel frame with removable brake mounts
- A U-brake and brake levers for superior speed control
- Hi-Ten steel handlebar and fork
This BMX bike is an example of a bike made with high-quality materials with features that will benefit a commuter with a short distance to ride and even terrain to ride on.
Tony Hawk Jargon Freestyle
The Tony Hawk Jargon Freestyle BMX bike, also sold on Amazon, has a retail price of $179.99. Some features of this BMX bike include:
- This BMX bike provides the option to choose 20″ or 24″ alloy wheels, allowing a wider range of heights that can use this bike comfortably.
- Custom grips
- Front and rear caliper brakes
- A high-quality steel frame and chainguard
The Tony Hawk Jargon Freestyle BMX bike offers a few more advantages than the average BMX bike, including front and rear caliper brakes. Most BMX bikes come with only a U-break. This model provides additional braking safety features and a lower price.
There are many things you should know when commuting with a BMX bike. BMX bikes are generally made for speed and agility on courses, not for commuting uphill or on long rides. Some commuters can find advantages in the superior handling and durability of a BMX bike as well as the minimal amount of maintenance required.
Commuters with long commutes or commutes with several hills may find that the limited gears of a BMX bike may make for a challenging ride. There are some modifications to perform on a BMX to ensure a comfortable ride, including padded seats and a way to carry your belongings. Consider the terrain you are riding on and the distance of your commute to choose the right BMX bike for you.
My Recommended Gear for Year-Round Cycling on a Budget
It took me years of trial and error to figure out the best and most affordable setup for my daily bike commuting. I would only recommend the gear that is good quality for a good price. Here’s my full year-round gear recommendation guide.
Want to know how much your cycling gear should cost? Check out my guide with different budget options here.