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Long distance?

Old 03-21-16, 12:04 PM
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Long distance?

I never ridden a BMX bike...because I'm not really into tricks.

I wanted to challenge myself. For a group ride last year, I rode 20 miles in a beach cruiser-like bike with 3-speed in 3 hours. And that was easy (pretty flat terrain).

This year, I want to up the game.
Is it possible to ride a BMX:
* 20 miles (within 3 hours)?
* 40 miles (within 6 hours)?

Last edited by mtb_addict; 03-21-16 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-21-16, 01:44 PM
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This guy rides his single speed vintage BMX on RAGBRAI and other mega tours every year (usually wearing vintage BMX gear, too). He's a funny dude and a lot of fun.
RAGBRAI XLIII 2015! TEAM FLY - Old School BMX mongoose kos kruiser - Karras Loop 1979 BMX Mongoose Motomag

However, he does "cheat" by riding a 26" wheeled "cruiser" BMX (a re-production Mongoose KOS Kruiser).
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Old 03-21-16, 08:38 PM
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I ride 20 to 40+ kilometers in a 20" BMX (left side of the pic). I just bought a long metal tube to be a seatpost and it becomes as comfortable as a regular bike.
image post
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Old 03-21-16, 09:59 PM
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I thnk you would have more fun on a 26" BMX.

I ride a 20" bmx around the neighbour everyday but only for 15 to 20 minutes to exercuse my upper leg muscles. For a longer ride I would prefer a 26" BMX cruiser or the fixie I currently ride.
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Old 03-26-16, 04:54 AM
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I would love to, but here in my country (Philippines), 24" and 26" wheel bmx are very rare, that is why I only have 20" bmx which is my childhood bike,. 24 years on hand and I'm 32 years old
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Old 03-26-16, 12:06 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I never ridden a BMX bike...because I'm not really into tricks.

I wanted to challenge myself. For a group ride last year, I rode 20 miles in a beach cruiser-like bike with 3-speed in 3 hours. And that was easy (pretty flat terrain).

This year, I want to up the game.
Is it possible to ride a BMX:
* 20 miles (within 3 hours)?
* 40 miles (within 6 hours)?

You could try riding a bmx bike on an actual bmx track ---- its a gut busting workout for an adult if you didnt grow up doing it everyday -- roll the jumps, you dont have to do 'em --- in fact the kids today can ride around a bmx track now without jumping anything (but they manual and pump their way through which is a different skillset entirely --- but is safer than trying to clear 20 foot doubles for beginners)

Long distance i wouldnt even attempt unless it was on a 26" bmx -- SE even makes a BMX inspired 29'er --- you just cant get enough seatpost extension out of the little bikes to get comfortable for a seated ride -- plus 20 miles in 3 hours is 7 mph --- not to be a buzzkill but that seems like it would be miserable unless it was with other people on similar bikes also going 7 mph
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Old 03-26-16, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
This guy rides his single speed vintage BMX on RAGBRAI and other mega tours every year (usually wearing vintage BMX gear, too). He's a funny dude and a lot of fun.
RAGBRAI XLIII 2015! TEAM FLY - Old School BMX mongoose kos kruiser - Karras Loop 1979 BMX Mongoose Motomag

However, he does "cheat" by riding a 26" wheeled "cruiser" BMX (a re-production Mongoose KOS Kruiser).
I looked at his RAGBRAI blog ----- fun stuff



His machine is not too far removed from my '85 Diamondback MTB



On BMX'ish machines like these , if a guy is moderately fit, then i would think 10-12 mph is fairly easilly attainable for long distances
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Old 03-26-16, 12:35 PM
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I'd have thought the biggest challenge would be the seat height, and that seems to be borne out by the bikes in this thread, one with a banana seat and a couple of 26ers.
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Old 03-26-16, 01:18 PM
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Yes, it's easy to get/buy a long metal tube (altrnative for a seatpost if you have difficulty on finding a much longer one, available in metal shops). I use a piece of galvanized iron sheet rolled on the surface of a tube to make it thicker because my metal tube is thiner for the seat post clamp. I also recommend banana seat for comfortability specially taller riders.

image sharing sites
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Old 04-01-16, 06:59 AM
  #10  
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Ha, Cool idea! Tricks in a long journey, Yes you maniacs!

Last edited by MartinKiller; 04-25-16 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 04-03-16, 03:30 AM
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Lol xD. Actually I also have two 26ers for long distances...




images upload
... But 20" bmx is not that bad for long distances if the setup is good, it's just slower and a bit tiring because it's small wheel and single speed, but single speed = less maintenance
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Old 04-03-16, 09:30 AM
  #12  
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BMX, aka bicycle moto cross . is , as seen in the London Olympics a humpy jumpy dirt group sprint race.

the above posts are about 20" sidewalk bikes and other sorts ...

Bike Friday's international travel bikes also use 406 rim 20" wheels , but they are Not BMX track or Skate bowl bikes ..

just using the benefits of the smaller wheels..
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Old 04-06-16, 08:23 PM
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I use a Yess seatpost extender to warm up before bmx races. It lets you get the correct leg extension for seated pedaling. With that and the proper gearing I imagine you could ride a bmx bike just as far as you could ride any other singlespeed bike.
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Old 04-08-16, 01:47 PM
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Yes it can,I ride BMX in almost everywhere, just a longer seat post and it's alright, although I still want to touch my feet on the ground while sitting on a saddle.
There's some people who ride BMX for casual uses and it seems it's okay to them, here's some pics...









imgurl
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Old 04-08-16, 01:48 PM
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.... Unluckily yesss seatpost is not available in my country.
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Old 05-01-16, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
This year, I want to up the game.

Is it possible to ride a BMX:

* 20 miles (within 3 hours)?
* 40 miles (within 6 hours)?
Is it possible? Absolutely! I just rode my stock (20-inch) Haro F1 63.1 miles (with around a half-mile of vertical climb) across the Texas Hill Country for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS.

Route: Hill Country Ride 2016 -- 65 Mile Route in Marble Falls, TX, United States | MapMyRide
Haro F1: http://www.vitalbmx.com/product/guid...6/Haro/F1,1364

Riding long distances on a BMX *is* possible but it is *much* more difficult and much less comfortable—especially on hills—than if you were using a road bike or even a mountain bike. If you haven't taken a BMX for at least a few 30-milers, you may want to reconsider and use a bike on which you're more comfortable. The mechanics of a BMX are very different than a bigger bike, and your body needs to be familiar with them. Going from commutes on my girlfriend's 26" carbon-fiber road bike to weekend rides on my significantly heavier, hi-ten steel Haro with its lower seat, smaller frame, and higher rolling resistance is a huge shift that hits me every time.

In terms of speed, if you are in good shape, I think your times are well within reach. I finished 63 miles in 5 hours (averaged 12.6 mph) and my usual rides also average between 12-14 mph, so 20 miles in 3 hours or 40 miles in 6 hours should be very doable (for comparison, my weekend rides of 30 miles clock in at around 2.5 hours and a recent 40 miler came in at 3h20m). These speeds reflect near-constant, high-intensity peddling; lots of standing on the pedals; and aggressive handling. Also, some skilled maneuvering around pedestrians and all the other cyclists you'll pass on their fancy $3,000 bikes. :-P

If you are serious about going the distance on a BMX, I'd advise you to be in excellent shape (upper leg strength is a requirement, as are strong forearms and biceps/shoulders, since your upper body will take up a lot of the work that you'd otherwise be putting into longer extensions of your legs on a bigger bike). Also, be prepared to stand and pedal for extended periods of time, and pretty much any time you're on a grade more than 1%. A hilly course will mean you're standing all the time except for the flat stretches and the blessed downhills. Raise your seatpost as high as possible, but not past the max listed on the post. Be sure that your brakes are in good condition (you'll want both front and rear) and absolutely, absolutely be sure that your chain is properly lubricated. Anything you can do to decrease the rolling resistance will help; you want as little drag as possible. I keep 45-50 psi in my tires when riding on asphalt but if your tires are rated for it, and if you're going to be riding on smooth asphalt, you may want to go as high as 60 psi (or the max spec for your tire). Choose a comfy saddle; racking up the miles on a BMX is *not* friendly on your lower back.

If you're going to be riding hills, train on hills to see how they feel with your gearing ratio. My gearing ratio is something like 56.5 (39 teeth on the chainring, 14 teeth on the freewheel, and I've got 20x1.95 tires). To me, this feels good for flats and moderate inclines. This course had a maybe 800-foot long hill that was between 9-11% grade and it was *nearly* impossible to make it to the top without having to bail to avoid rolling backwards—it became almost impossible just to lock the pedals with enough downward force to keep from slipping backwards. But it *can* be done—with lots of effort. Train for it, if you can.

As a practical matter, you may want to install Slime tubes (self-sealing tubes) in your tires before riding long distances. Whereas road bike riders can easily take their wheels off with a lever, on a BMX, fixing a flat tire is going to require a ratchet, socket, a socket extension bar (if you have pegs), a hex wrench (or multi-tool), tire levers, and a pump to get the nuts out of the pegs, a brake pad off, the wheel off the frame, and the tire inflated (after replacing the tube, or patching the puncture). These tools add quite a bit of weight to your ride and you won't want to carry them with you. Self-sealing tubes are cheap and will keep you rolling through the most common types of punctures.

I'm not sure of your stats, but I'm 29, male, and 5'8". If you're much taller, maybe a 20" frame isn't a good idea, but it works fine for me. I don't train much but *do* BMX 20-60 miles on the weekends, so you don't really need to be super athletic to BMX long distances—a BMX is still a bike, and it's still much more efficient to bike than, say, run the same distance.

Others have mentioned installing new tires, longer seatposts, new handlebars, or changing the gearing ratio. While you *could* do these things to make your ride easier, I personally think too many modifications detract from the sheer challenge (and resulting self-satisfaction) that comes from finishing a race on a "real" BMX. Thinner, slicker tires would definitely help, as would the longer seatpost (to increase the effective power of your legs while seated). More racing-friendly handlebars (drops on a BMX? uh…) would help over long distances—the constant bumps of the road are really tough on the wrists and forearms with straight bars—and a more favorable gearing ratio would help depending on your terrain. But these modifications all kind of feel like cheating to me. If you're going to spec up a BMX to make it easier to ride, why not just get a "real" road/mountain bike with a bigger frame and adjustable gears?

If you decide to ride your race on a BMX, good luck! If it's anything like my recent ride, you'll pass a lot of people on much more expensive road bikes and will get a few sneers, a bit of stunned disbelief, but mainly a lot of respect and amazement from other riders. Plus, when you cross the finish line, it's pretty ****** to have done something that not many others would even consider possible (or sane)!

—Justin

Last edited by austin_bmx; 05-02-16 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 07-27-16, 10:16 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by austin_bmx View Post
—Justin
I had allmost given up on the idea. Until I recently reread your inspirational post.

Now I'm determined to get a bmx & start practicing.
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Old 07-28-16, 02:03 PM
  #18  
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I think time wise it depends on your level of fitness.

Way BITD when I was only a 13-15 year old teen. My best friend lived in the next town over which was about 15 km away. So to hang out we would ride our bikes over to each others towns after school. For me it took at least an hour, probably 1 1/2 hours. (felt longer). Where as he was one of those naturally super fit wiry types, and he could do the trip in 29mins flat every time. He would somehow manage to keep a 30km/hr pace the entire time. That or he was cheating somehow! lol.

If you have the peddling power, one trick we used to do was either use a 48T chainring, or a 52T chainring off a road bike. But where I live it's really flat and there isn't any major hills.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-02-16, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
You could try riding a bmx bike on an actual bmx track ---- its a gut busting workout for an adult if you didnt grow up doing it everyday -- roll the jumps, you dont have to do 'em --- in fact the kids today can ride around a bmx track now without jumping anything (but they manual and pump their way through which is a different skillset entirely --- but is safer than trying to clear 20 foot doubles for beginners)
There's a track about 45 minutes away. But I think I'm too self conscious to ride it, due to my age 41 and lack of skill. I imagine bmx racing is a young person's game.

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Old 10-13-16, 12:28 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I never ridden a BMX bike...because I'm not really into tricks.

I wanted to challenge myself. For a group ride last year, I rode 20 miles in a beach cruiser-like bike with 3-speed in 3 hours. And that was easy (pretty flat terrain).

This year, I want to up the game.
Is it possible to ride a BMX:
* 20 miles (within 3 hours)?
* 40 miles (within 6 hours)?
So Mr mtb addict did you ever take on this bmx group ride? If so tell us what happened and how it turned out!
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Old 10-17-16, 07:19 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by TaintedRide View Post
So Mr mtb addict did you ever take on this bmx group ride? If so tell us what happened and how it turned out!
I chickened out and went out and bought a 20" folding bike instead.
The folding bike rides like a luxury cruiser compare to my Walmart BMX.
And it looks just as ridiculous as a grown man on a BMX.
Just too lazy to go make my BMX comfortable enough for long distance for me.
I saw alot of people on BMX at the starting line...but they were nowhere to be seen at the finish line.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 10-17-16 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 09-30-18, 01:25 AM
  #22  
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No problems with BMX. I cycle 40 miles every week on my BMX. My gearing is 28/9......
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Old 10-01-18, 01:59 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I chickened out and went out and bought a 20" folding bike instead.
The folding bike rides like a luxury cruiser compare to my Walmart BMX.
And it looks just as ridiculous as a grown man on a BMX.
Just too lazy to go make my BMX comfortable enough for long distance for me.
I saw alot of people on BMX at the starting line...but they were nowhere to be seen at the finish line.
Are you thinking of "modern" BMX? Everything new these days seem to have tiny chainring & not too great for grinding. And ridiculous low seats - probably only bolted there as a legal requirement to protect your butt squatting the tyre?

i have some midskool BMX in the fleet, these come from era where they had decent sized chain rings. Rebuilt them recently and took them out to bomb the pavement... not bad, they'll cover decent mileage imho. Traditional knobbly tyres are draggy; flatland/racing BMX slicks are glovesoft probably inviting too many flats. I'd be wanting to try some good road tyres, haven't gotten around to it yet.

yep I too no stranger the overgrown-gorilla-on-clownbike look I too like small wheel folders

but nothing beats the Raleigh Chopper wedge frame
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Old 10-03-18, 08:43 AM
  #24  
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just wandering through. in case it wasn't mentioned (just noticed and skimmed the thread)...

maybe keep an eye out for one of the old f1 bikes. didn't notice if you mentioned your height, and i guess it would be kind of purpose specific, but i'm guessing if you stumbled across one (except for the hutch/hanebrink bike) it might not be too much, and theorecticly it is a bmx bike.
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Old 10-31-18, 08:54 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I never ridden a BMX bike...because I'm not really into tricks.

I wanted to challenge myself. For a group ride last year, I rode 20 miles in a beach cruiser-like bike with 3-speed in 3 hours. And that was easy (pretty flat terrain).

This year, I want to up the game.
Is it possible to ride a BMX:
* 20 miles (within 3 hours)?
* 40 miles (within 6 hours)?
Yes, it is possible.

However, for a couple hundred dollars on a used-goods website you could find a road bike that would allow you to ride those 40 miles in three to three and a half hours, and then you would have the bike available for the next time you decided to ride that sort of distance.
The same bike would take you 20 miles in 1h30 to 2h.

I understand the BMX is fun, but it's not necessarily the optimal tool for riding distances.
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