BMX bike VS Mountain Bike

BMX Bike VS Mountain Bike: Which Bike Should You Choose?

BMX Bike VS Mountain Bike? Which one is best for you!

If you’re looking to get into adrenaline biking sports, you already know BMX riding and mountain biking are two viable options for you. But you might be wondering which is better; mountain bike or BMX?

Learning about these biking sports before dabbling into them is a great way to make an informed decision. You’ll know which of these you might be compatible with and go for it with all your heart.

Here, I’ll do a BMX vs. Mountain bike comparison and answer other budding questions you might have about them. Keep reading.

BMX Bikes

BMX bikes are the main characters in BMX biking. Basically, it is a type of cycling bike that isn’t suited for the road. They are mostly framed for off-road adventures.

You’ll never find BMX riders performing stunts on the highway. Because of the construction of the bike, they are confined to pump tracks, the streets, or skate parks. BMX bikes are small in size; you could almost refer to them as children’s bikes.

Are BMX bikes hard to ride? Read the article here.

Pros & Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Great for tricks
  • Durable
  • Tires are reinforced to prevent damage from all the intense landings.
  • Not suitable for commutes



Mountain Bikes

One of the similarities between a mountain bike and a BMX bike is that they were designed for off-road adventures. Aside from that, they branch out into different builds and qualities. You’ll often catch mountain bikes on terrains that are heavy with gravity.

Pros & Cons

  • Great brakes match the energy of the friction you’ll encounter when riding up and down the hill.
  • You can ride mountain bikes on any terrain- but you’ll have to make a few changes to ride them on roads and smooth terrains.
  • The suspension system is top-notch.
  • You can’t perform tricks with this type of bike.



BMX Bike vs Mountain Bike

Now that you know what a BMX bike and a mountain bike are, here are the differences between these two adrenaline-wired bikes.


Generally, the design of the mountain bike and the BMX bike is physically different. That’s because they were designed to accomplish different goals.

For starters, BMX bikes were designed with superior responses to changes in speed. For instance, BMX riders require their bikes to engage in short speed before launching the bike in the air, performing a stunt and then settling on land again.

They are also carved to be strong as they tend to take a lot of hits. A hallmark of the mountain bike is the shock absorber it has. The reason is that it is flexible enough to ride in the roughest terrain.

So, it needs all the shock-absorbing support to run on diverse terrains successfully.

Size and Price

The sizes are a common physical feature that differentiates mountain bikes from BMX bikes. A typical BMX bike is usually small.

The seeming small size of the BMX bike contributes to its lightweight.

Nevertheless, the lightweight of the BMX makes it easy to toss in the air and perform stunts. Mountain bikes are heavier due to their frames.

They are also bigger than BMX bikes. More so, they are the more expensive option. While you can get a BMX bike at an affordable price, you’ll most likely spend more to get a mountain bike.

Bike Brakes


The first BMX bike vs. Mountain bike difference is the brakes. Some BMX bikes might not come with brakes. But the ones with brakes use the caliper brakes to help riders try out stunts easily.

This brake usually sits at the rear and front of the bike. Typically, the brakes at the rear are designed as the central brake system, while the front brake system comes in handy for balance during tricks.

Other times, both brakes count be designed to work together. However, the brakes are designed; they make it easier for BMX riders to be in control of the bike while they’re pulling off a trick.

On the other hand, Mountain bikes use disc brakes that are immune to weather and situational changes.

Although the older designs of Mountain bikes used caliper, they couldn’t handle changes in temperature and other factors.

You’ll need a high-quality braking system that responds well and can navigate up and down the mountain regardless of the temperature or situational changes, like when the mountainside is covered in mud.

Disc brakes have that ability. That’s why modern mountain bikes use them. Their braking ability is impeccable and helps riders run up and down steep mountainsides efficiently.


The frame is another vital difference between these two bikes. The frames of BMX bikes are primarily lightweight, except when necessary. When they seem heavy, they’re not the heaviest frames in existence.

Their frames have to be lightweight to ensure BMX bikers can easily try jumps and stunts however they please. Frames that are too heavy would make these jumps and stunts challenging to pull off.

The frames for mountain bikes have to be flexible and absorb vibration. They often look rugged but are not as tough as BMX bikes. But they are also functional.


Up next are the wheels of both the BMX and the Mountain bike. For BMX bikes, they use a 20″ wheel size. The reason is that it keeps the overall body of the bike lightweight and easy to lift for core tricks.

They also boost the speed of your bike when in a game. Since mountain bikes would run over rocks and heels, the wheel size is 29″. This wheel size is essential to prevent accidents.

For instance, attaching a smaller wheel to your mountain bike would naturally reduce the ability of the bike to run over rough terrain.


BMX bikes are not designed with suspension. The reason is that your BMX bike requires as much power as possible to pull off your stunts and tricks.

However, introducing suspension would drastically reduce the amount of energy that flows to the bike. The lack of suspension also boosted the lightweight feature of the bike.

However, mountain bikes survive off the suspension as they help the bike successfully run down and up a hill or mountain. Suspension guarantees mountain bikes run smoothly on rough terrain.


One thing about BMX bikes is that it has 360-degree steering. Both the wheels and the front bar could do a complete rotation.

They also have top-notch maneuverability, which is helpful in jumps and other BMX riding tricks. Unlike a mountain bike, the maneuverability is not as solid as on a BMX bike.

But that’s because the steering and handlebar were wired to run on rocks. Although it’s not 360-degree steering, it does well to maintain balance on the bike while you run on gravel and muddy grounds.

Bike Gears


You’ll most likely love that BMX bikes only have one gear. Although BMX bikes can have different sizes, they generally have a single gear.

That’s why they are better suited for stereotyped terrain, specifically dirt tracks. However, Mountain bikes are flexible as they have more than 20 gears. All the gears exist to help you modify mountain bikes to suit the terrain you want to ride them on.

For instance, if you want to take your mountain bike on a road cruise, you’ll have to change gears to make it better suited for the context.


The saddle position on BMX bikes is fixed. You can’t move it or modify it. The sad part is that it’s placed in a not-so-comfortable position. For mountain bikes, you can modify the saddle’s position to fit the context. For instance, riding down a typical mountainside requires adjusting the saddle to a dropper post.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are mountain bikes faster than BMX?

Because of how they are forged and their purpose, mountain bikes are faster than BMX bikes. Thanks to the gears that keep them rugged, they can run miles charged with speed. BMX bikes are mostly stunts and tricks bikes.

Can you use a BMX bike for mountain biking?

Yes, you can, but we do not advise it. BMX bikes come with a single gear, making it difficult to adjust them to the total requirements of mountain biking. It would require a level of finesse to mountain bike with a BMX bike.

Is mountain biking the same as BMX?

No, Mountain biking and BMX biking are two different sports. The only similarity is that their bikes are carved for off-road adventures. Aside from that, they are two distinct and unique sports.

Is a racing bike faster than a mountain bike?

Yes, racing bikes are faster than mountain bikes.


Now that you know the BMX bike vs mountain bike difference, you can decide which is better. Truthfully, they are both unique off-road sports that appeal to different audiences.

To determine which is better, you have to consider your passion and what intrigues you. Do you want to do stunts and tricks on a bike? Or would you instead run up and down a steep mountain? The choice is yours to make.

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