Bicycle Motocross. That’s what BMX stands for. You’ve probably played this kind of sport in a park near you. On the other hand, you might know it from playing the infamous Tony Hawk’s PlayStation 2 game. Either way, BMX is cool and you should try it now and then. It doesn’t have to be a career that you delph into, but playing with a BMX bicycle as a form of recreation can be freeing and good for your mental health.
If you’re not really sure what a BMX really is, then we’re here to help you clear the air. There are two kinds of BMX, racing and freestyle. In a BMX racing competition, you’re going to face other players and compete to the finish line. However, you need to get really creative when entering a freestyle BMX competition. If you’re good enough, you probably can enter the world championship. Heck, you might even dream of winning the gold medal at the Olympics, since its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
1. BMX Started in the Early 70s… WRONG! It Originated from the Netherlands in the 1950s
People really dig BMX. It’s a huge sport that has a big community and a large number of enthusiasts. But the sports game that we all come to know and love has a really humble beginning.
People generally regarded the birth of BMX in the early 70s, when kids played with their bikes on various motocross tracks around Southern California. They loved motocross, but the more accessible bikes became a better option for them, since they can also modify it easily. However, it appears that BMX is much older than that.
Videos and documentations have surfaced and they claimed that BMX races and events started in the Netherlands during the mid-1950s. Young kids in Sint Anthonis beat the Southern Californians in imitating motocross with their bikes. However, these documentations proved that there could be an even older beginnings to the BMX. We just have to wait and see.
2. The First Ever BMX Brand
This is an interesting question that rarely pops up, but have you ever wondered about the first ever brand to release a BMX bike? The title of the original BMX “brand” falls to Redline Bicycles. The legendary manufacturer was founded in 1970.
However, their early products were related to motorcycle tools and equipment. It wasn’t until 1974 that they started releasing BMX bikes. It didn’t take long for people to notice and regard them as the go-to BMX brand.
3. The Godfather of BMX and Its Community
Every sports game has its own organization. FIFA monitors Football all around the world, and the NBA helps to govern American basketball games. The same rule applies to BMX.
When BMX was just getting started, Scot Breithaupt went on to organize the very first BMX race and the very first community group for its racers: the Bicycle United Motocross Society (BUMS). To this day, Scot is hailed as a living legend and the godfather of the BMX.
After some time, the International BMX Foundation was founded to help the cause. But more recently, BMX has been integrated into the Union Cycliste Internationale. The UCI oversees various kinds of cycling events like track cycling and mountain biking too.
4. BMX Bikes Should Not Be Used Like a Regular Bike
People might want to argue that BMX bikes are a lot like regular bikes. They’re not entirely wrong, as they both have two wheels and a similar structure and shape. However, they are not entirely right either. There’s a lot of things that force you to think twice about using BMX as a mode of commuting.
BMX bikes are much lighter than an average one, as it enables you to jump and freestyle more. But it does have a low seat and short size, making it much harder to climb hills. All BMX bikes are also made with a single speed with a roughly 55” gearing. It certainly makes it harder for you to speed up, as it will require a lot more work.
There’s nothing wrong with riding BMX bikes for a short distance commute. However, if you really have another way of transportation, we strongly recommend you to choose the latter for your own sake!
5. The Most Expensive BMX Bike Ever
Although BMX has a simple design that can’t match elegant cars and motorcycles, it turns out that certain BMX bikes can still be sold at a high price. According to BikeFinest.com, the Zooz Urban Ultralight 1100 is available for a retail price of around $3,100! It features high-end technology and quality components to deliver the best experience for the rider.
While the Sunday Soundwave Special Cassette is hailed as the most expensive BMX ever, there are other BMXs with high value too. The list includes top BMX bikes such as the Sunday Soundwave Special Cassette, We The People Envy BMX Bike 2021, and the GT Street Performer BMX Bike.
6. BMX Bikes Have No Brakes
It’s really illegal to ride a bike with no brakes on the street. And guess what, BMX bikes rarely, if any, have one! It’s becoming more concrete that you should avoid riding BMX bikes as a way of commuting. Professional BMX riders prefer to have no brakes so that they can avoid any limitations when they are doing barspins.
Some BMX bikes still have caliper brakes, but you will rarely find these types of BMX nowadays. And if you’re still looking to use your BMX bikes for commuting, you can still install a brake manually.
7. The Five Disciplines of BMX Freestyle
Previously, we have mentioned the two subsections of BMX competitions: racing and freestyle. However, the freestyle competition is a little bit more varied compared to the former. In fact, there’s five different disciplines that you really need to know, and that includes: street, park, vert ramp, trails, and flatland. Let’s dive a little on these five disciplines.
- Street: A free form of BMX. Riders will use anything available in the public space to perform their tricks, like curbs, stairs, and ledges.
- Park: This discipline uses the skatepark as their venue.
- Vert Ramp: Racers will use a half pipe that consists of two quarter pipes to do their stunts.
- Trails: Racers will jump using their bikes through trails. Trails are paths that lead to the jump, and it’s often made up of dirt.
- Flatland: Now this form of BMX can literally be done anywhere. You don’t need anything to support your tricks, because the tools that you need are your own creativity.
8. Hardest BMX Skills and Tricks
The term “hard” is often challenging, as it is really subjective. Some people may consider a skill to be hard and challenging, whilst others might complete it easily. Still, we’re going to be providing a list containing some of the most difficult skills. Do not try these tricks by yourself without any expert supervision!
- No Footer: One of the oldest tricks in the book. BMX bikers will accelerate at a high speed towards a ramp to jump. As they went airborne, they would shoot their feet up in the air to perform an awesome trick.
- Tail Whip: When a rider gets airborne, they will release themselves from the bike and perform a circular motion with their hands.
- Euro Table: When a biker gets airborne, they will try to rotate themselves for a 90-degree turn.
- Superman: As soon as a driver gets in the air, they will release their feet from the bike and push their hand forward to form a Superman pose.
9. Records are Always Made to be Broken
The world has seen a lot of awesome and cool BMX racers and riders. It’s only natural that some of those riders managed to write their name in the history by breaking awesome records. Here are some of the best records made by various riders:
- Longest bicycle manual attempt: Max Ganakovsky with a total distance of 648.3 meters and lasted two minutes
- Most Front Hops in ten seconds: Martin T. with a total of 46 front hops.
- Most Time Machines: Takahiro Ikeda with 83 Time Machines in one minute.
10. The First Victory in the Olympics
As popular as BMX is, it just got into the Olympics in 2008. It’s also natural that all the BMX experts were present during the historic event. But there can only be one winner, and that title falls to Maris Strombergs from Latvia. He managed to get past Donny Robinson and Mike Day from the USA.
At that time, Strombergs was just 21 years old. However, he has been riding BMX for more than 16 years by 2008, hence acquiring the title of veteran.
Strombergs’s career in the BMX was far from over. In 2012, he retained the title as a gold medalist during the 2012 London Olympics Game. In 2018, he decided to call it quits and retire from the world of BMX. Truly an inspiring and awesome career!
11. Anne-Caroline Chausson: One of BMXs GOATs
Maris Strombergs was the first male to ever win a BMX race in an Olympics Game. But it really feels wrong to exclude the winner of the female category, especially when it is really breathtaking. The race is said to be over in just 35 seconds, with Anne-Caroline Chausson of France taking the honor of first position.
Her teammate Laetitia Le Corguille finished as the runner-up. It’s safe to say that France really dominated the competition that year. But unlike Maris Strombergs, Anne-Caroline wasn’t able to retain the gold medal for the 2012 Olympics. That year, Marianna Pajon won the first position in 37.706 seconds.
12. Alise Post: Too Fast and Too Young for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing
Anne-Caroline will always be immortalized as the first ever Women’s BMX Olympic winner. However, the outcome could very well be different if a young Alise Post wasn’t denied a spot on the 2008 Olympic team. Back then, she was just 17 years old, just two years younger than the age limit set for BMX Olympic qualification.
Prior to that, she has already won various BMX competitions, such as the UCI BMX world championship in the cruiser glass (class for girls aged 15-16). She also won the national championship for elite women in 2010. Such a shame that she couldn’t compete with Anne-Caroline back then!
13. Be Very, Very Careful with BMX
If riding a normal bicycle can cause you injuries, imagine what horrors await BMX riders. Riding a BMX bike requires you to be careful and precise. That’s the reason why many people are scared to start learning BMX.
In 1985, three hundred cases of bicycle-related injuries were found in the span of 60 days, and almost half of them were related to BMX. In fact, BMX riding has a high injury risk of 1190 injuries per 1000 competition hours. Be very careful when you’re playing this sport!