From Academic Kids

Missing image
BMX rider at Santa Monica beach

BMX (an abbreviation for bicycle motocross) is a form of cycling on bikes, generally with 20 inch wheels. It originated in California, United States in the 1970s, where teenagers imitated their motocross heroes on their pedal bicycles. The sport features races on sandy and hilly tracks as well as performances of tricks and stunts on flat ground, wooden ramps or obstacles found on the streets.

BMX bicycles generally have 20 inch wheels and a corresponding frame size, although there are BMX racing classes for 24 inch and larger-wheeled bikes. The smaller size of BMX bikes allow riders to achieve greater precision and acceleration than on bicycles with larger dimensions. Many BMX bicycles have handlebar configurations which can spin completely around, allowing either the bars to spin independently of the tail (in what is known as a barspin), or the tail to spin around independently of the bars (in what is known as a tailwhip). Until recently, Freestyle BMX bicycles were heavier than the ever-popular low-end mountain bike, as designers made them stronger using materials such as chromoly. However, there has recently been a trend toward lower-weight freestyle bicycles, bringing them closer in weight to traditional BMX racing bikes.

Since 1982, there have been World Championships for BMX racing, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and 1987 saw the first Freestyle World Championships. Freestyle BMX has been growing in popularity since it became part of the ESPN X-Games in 1998.


Freestyle BMX

Bob Haro is considered by most to be the the inventor of Freestyle BMX when he started riding skateparks in 1978. But OG Dogtown skaters and BMXers John Palfreyman and Thom Lund were riding pools on BMX bikes in 1975. [1] ( But, you have to know that the man that started freestyle was a man named Eddie Fiola when he was only a kid, he started doing tricks on his bmx racing bike, today he is one of most talented bike stunt coordinators in the film industry. There are several different styles of Freestyle BMX:

Street Riding is performed on unimproved obstacles found on typical streets. Handrails, ledges, slanted walls, and other common features are used to perform tricks.

Dirt Jumping is similar to BMX racing in that the rider jumps mounds of dirt. It differs in that the jumps are usually much larger and designed to lift the rider high into the air. Additionally, the goal is not to complete the course with the fastest time, but rather to perform tricks with style.

Flatland BMX is performed on smooth, flat pavement and riders test their hand-eye and foot coordination. The riders travel at low speed and stand on various parts of the bike, while spinning it around in various ways beneath them.

Vert riding is done on a halfpipe and allows riders to go higher than any other obstacles. Consequently this is the most dangerous form of BMX and is considered somewhat elite. Mat Hoffman, also known as the godfather of BMX, has taken vert to the next level with "airs" (vertical jumps) as high as 26 feet above the top of a vert ramp.

Park Riding is performed in a skate park, and BMX bikes are increasingly being allowed to ride terrain that used to be exclusive to skateboarders. This is the most versatile type of riding and the types of ramps available are unlimited, incorporating elements of all of the various types of riding.

BMX Racing

Racing is where BMX got its start and continues to this day on specially constructed courses emulating motocross tracks, but generally smoother, of roughly 900 to 1,100 feet in length. Riders are grouped with others of the same relative age and experience level and in a typical day will race several times with their group to determine the day's finishing order and awards.

BMX racing will be part of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

BMX racing has two American sanctions, the National Bicycle League (NBL ( and the American Bicycle Association (ABA (


Notable BMX racers include legends Stu Thomsen and Greg Hill. Newer racers include Robbie Miranda, Kevin Tomko, and Brandon Meadows. Freestylists like Dave Mirra, Ryan Nyquist, Mat Hoffman, Vic Murphy, Chris Doyle, Troy McMurray, Mike "Rooftop" Escamilla, Colin McKay, Ronnie Chalk, Van Homan, Ruben Alcantara, Taj Mihelich, Jay Miron, Gary Young, Corey Martinez, Matt Beringer, Mike Aitken, and Jim Cielencki.

Old School

BMX racing—not freestyle/tricks—seems to have waned in recent years, but there has been an interesting return to the sport from those who participated in it during the sport's peak. A growing number of older racers and collectors, active participants in their youth, are returning to the sport. Well known vintage bicycles include SE Racing, (Red Line (, JMC Bicycles.

The early days of BMX - both racing and freestyle - was chronicled in the low-budget movie Rad (Yahoo! Movies entry (

"A talented BMX rider has to make a choice between competing in a race and taking his college entrance exams. For BMX racing enthusiasts only."

The movie featured many talented and famous BMX rider's of the 80's as stunt riders.

See also

External links

  • - (formerely know as Den's)
  • - The American Bicycle Association
  • ( - The National Bicycle League
  • ( - Large Online BMX-Community.
  • Rider-Hookup Map ( - find other riders from your region
  • FatBmx ( - The biggest bmx site.
  • University of BMX ( - Site with history about BMX
  • BMX Talk ( - UK Online BMX-Community.
  • ( - BMX Site with messageboards.
  • BMX and More ( - One of the biggest Dutch/European racing sites
  • International racing rules ( (PDF file from UCI website)
  • Vintage BMX ( - featuring history for old school BMX fans. It includes message boards for collectors and

fr:Bicycle motocross it:BMX nl:BMX ja:BMX pl:BMX sv:BMX


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