Do BMX Bikes Have Gears? (ALL EXPLAINED)

Do BMX bikes have gears? The answer to this good question supplies information on whether gears are an integral part of BMX bikes. If gears are, what are their significance? If absent, what mechanism has the BMX bike adopted to function?

Do BMX Bikes Have Gears?

Do BMX Bikes Have Gears?

The answer to this intriguing question is Yes. There is an old model and a more improved new model of BMX. The old model has a bigger gearing system of 44/16, while the new one has a smaller one, which ranges from 22/8, 23/8, 28/10, 30/11, up to 36/16. Easy cycling and clear grinding are made possible by the presence of a small gearing system.

What Is A BMX Bike?

A BMX bike is a lightweight off-road sports bike that represents Bicycle Motocross. BMX bikes are used for racing, performing stunts and tricks, dirt jumping, and fun riding. They have petite frames, low seats, a short pedal reach, and wheels ranging from 12 to 27.5 inches. The 20-inch wheel is the standard wheel size for adults and the uncommonly found 27.5-inch wheel for very tall adults, like the 190cm tall adults.

How Many Gears Do BMX Bikes Have?

A gear is a rotating wheel or disc having cut teeth, which mesh with another toothed part to transmit force. BMX bikes mostly come with one gear. It is rare to see a BMX bike with multiple gears. The single-speed gear (one gear) contributes enormously to ensuring that the bike maintains a lightweight.

The multi-speed gears are less durable and more challenging to maintain than single-speed gear. Other benefits that come with a single gear configuration are less cost in repairs and mechanical simplicity.

Pedaling with ease and generating speed are connected to the ratio of BMX gears.

What Is The Ratio Of BMX Bikes Gears?

They generally have a gear ratio of around 2.8. However, calculating the BMX gear ratio is easy. The chainring and sprocket are the parts to be considered to get your gear ratio. You can get this by dividing the number of teeth on the chain ring by the number of teeth on the sprocket.

The table below explains how to calculate the gear ratio of a BMX bike.

Name Of BMX BikeNTCNTSNTC/NTSCalculated Gear Ratio

From the table above, the number of teeth counted on the chainring of BMX bike C is 28, and that of the sprocket is 10. If you divide 28 by 10, the result would be 2.8. Therefore, BMX bike C has a gear ratio of 2.8.

Pedaling is more challenging when the gear ratio is high. A 2.78 gear ratio like 25/9 will be easier to pedal with the least effort because it has a lower gear ratio. A BMX bike with more teeth on the front of its sprocket will have a higher top speed, while fewer teeth will produce a lower top.

What Is The Best BMX Bike Gear Ratio?

Going for the best gear ratio will make your cycling experience a wonderful one and improves your cycling performance, especially if you’re into stunts and dirt jumps.

The newer models of BMX gear ratios are 22/8, 23/8, 25/9, 27/9, 28/9, 30/9, 28/10, 30/11, 33/12, 36/13, and 36/16. The gear ratio with the highest and lowest value mentioned above are 30/9 and 36/16, respectively. Since 36/16 has the lowest value of 2.25, can we say it is the best gear ratio?

The best gear ratio predicates what an individual prefers and is more comfortable with. Some people prefer the old model, 44/16, which has 55 gear inches, while young people prefer the 27/9 and 28/9 ratios. You are at liberty to choose any of them, but it is advisable to choose the 2.8 ratios or less because it has a lighter weight and more effortless pedaling.

What Are The Different Types Of BMX Bikes?

It is essential to know the different types of BMX bikes, just as you should know your gear ratio.

The different types of BMX bikes are pure BMX bikes, freestyle bikes, and dirt jumper bikes. They are named after their function.

Pure BMX Bikes

Pure or True BMX bikes were the first BMX bikes to be used. The use of these bikes began in the late 60s. They have a lightweight frame, knobby tires, and a strong rear brake. They are designed for racing and stunts.

Freestyle Bikes

These bikes are super-sturdy stunt and trick bikes that came after actual BMX bikes. They have the following features: Ultra-beefy frame and wheels, cable-detangling headset, axle pegs, and pavement-ready tires. They come with front and rear brakes. They are designed to perform several stunts, spins, and mid-air maneuvers on streets, trails, flat land, skate parks, and verts.

Dirt Jumper Bikes

They are also known as jumpers, urban or street mountain bikes. They are lightweight off-road bikes (to be ridden on unpaved surfaces like sand). They are characterized by their sturdy frame and wheels, knobby tires, and rear brake. They are used for executing high-flying jumps with aerial acrobatics and jump landing.

What Are The BMX Bikes Made Of?

BMX bikes consist of various parts, and these parts require specific materials for their production. Materials like aluminum, steel, and carbon fibers make BMX bikes.


Chromoly, also known as 4230 metal, is a steel alloy of chrome and molybdenum. It is considered to be the best material for manufacturing BMX frames. Carbon steel is used when constructing frames for children and beginners. Other materials are 1020 Steel, carbon fiber, and titanium.

These materials are used because of their ability to produce frames that are durable, strong, stiff, and still light in weight.


Handlebars are responsible for the steering, handling, and maneuvering of the bike. They serve as a mounting place for brake levers and shifters and support part of the rider’s weight. Chromoly and aluminum are used to manufacture them because of their strength and durability.


Plastic is used because it complements the lightweight frame. Though metals can be used in place of plastic, they’re more expensive and are not as grippy as plastic.


Rubber, wire, and nylon were used to make BMX tires. During acceleration, the fine smooth tread provides optimal speed, traction, and grip. Dirt jump tires have a greater number of treads for friction and traction.

Sprockets And Chainring

BMX sprockets are made from steel or aluminum, while their chainrings are made from aluminum.


BMX seats are made from molded plastic, polyurethane foam padding, and natural or synthetic leather cover.

The lightweight of BMX bikes is maintained by the materials used to manufacture them. The proportion of materials used to make BMX bikes differs from regular bikes. In addition, some features of BMX bikes differ from traditional bikes.

How Are BMX Bikes Different From Regular Bikes?

A significant difference between BMX bikes and regular bikes is the number of gears. BMX bikes have one gear which comprises a chainring in front and a sprocket behind. Regular bikes have multiple gears. The number of gears is calculated by multiplying the number of chainrings by the number of sprockets. Most regular bikes have 2 chainrings, while others have 1 or 3. The number of sprockets is between 9 and 12. Hence, a regular bike can have 18 gears consisting of 2 chainrings in front and 9 sprockets behind.

BMX bikes have a much smaller frame than regular bikes. This small frame of BMX bikes accounts for their ability to execute different spins, stunts, and jumps. The low seats mounted on the frames of BMX bikes play the role of creating space for acrobatic movements. Regular bikes are designed for on-road racing and do not have low seats.

Regular tires have smooth and skinny tires for racing on paved surfaces, while BMX tires have knobs for better grip. The wheels of BMX bike tires are smaller than regular bike tires.

Final Verdict

BMX bikes have a single gear configuration. If you want to get a BMX bike, go for one that has a gear ratio of less than 2.8.

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