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  1. #1
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    Any BMX racers around here?

    If there are I could use your help.

    I understand how frame sizes work on MT bikes, but how do they work on BMX bikes?

    I'm looking into racing and was wondering what size toptube I would need. I'm like six foot three/fourish.

    I'm assuming toptube is the important measurement?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    JWA
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    I don't race BMX, but I have an indoor BMX track the next town over so I have bought a BMX bike and done some practice days. You are right that the top tube is the most important measurement. They generally list sizes in a XL, XXL type measurement that corresponds to the top tube. At your size you'll want the biggest one they make, which for most companies is going to be a 21.5" or maybe a 22".

    You may also want to consider a Cruiser class bike, which means 24" wheels instead of the 20's. Those don't always come in sizes, a lot of times they just make one. Depending on where you're at and how competitive you want to be you may also consider a 26" 4X/Dirt Jump type bike like a Giant STP or a Specialized P bike. You can race them in the Cruiser class and in a lot of places they're getting quite popular and you'll see whole gates of mostly 26'ers. A STP SS or one of the newer single-speed P bikes would make for a ton of fun, be a good intro into BMX riding, and give you some versatility for other types of riding.

    Be sure to gear up, especially if you go with a 20" or 24" - those suckers will spit you out in an instant. BMX is surprisingly the most injury-prone sport I've ever been involved in and I ride Motocross, Supermoto, MTB, skateboards, snowboard, and race shifter karts, RallyCross and Formula cars. It seems like child's play, but damn if a lot of people don't go down hard and get hurt.
    Last edited by JWA; 12-12-2010 at 06:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    I race BMX, you will likely need at 21.75 inch top tube for a your size, maybe 22 if you can find it. Top tube is the measurement most races use for sizing. But a Pro XL on one frame may be different on another. Also, pay attention to chain stay length as well as a shorter chainstay makes for easier manualing. Keep in mind you can play with stem length as well to give you a little more room as well. You would probably be ok with a 21.75 w/ a 60mm length stem

    Check out http://www.supercrossbmx.com/. They make great frames. I'm 5'9" and I ride a 21.25 inch top tube on my 20 inch w/ a 53mm stem. This is about what most ride in my size. A friend of mine is 6'2" and rides a Pro XXL in the Supercross Envy.

  4. #4
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    FWIW, I'm not a serious BMXer by any means, I just enjoy riding and sometimes racing. (20 and Cruiser) That being said...

    I would recommend a 22". The problem is nobody makes a complete bike that big. The closest will be a Redline Pro XXL at 21.7 or Pro Cruiser at 21.8. Redline Flights are really nice completes for the money, $800ish. Or you could always build a bike from the frame up, but of course it gets pricey, just like any other bike. I have almost $900 in my Standard and over $1k in the new Cruiser I'm building; and those aren't even super nice builds AND I don't pay retail.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info guys.

    I'm thinking something like DJ bike may be a better option.... Do the classes for those just vary depending on where you are?

  6. #6
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    26" bikes typically run in cruiser class. I've heard of some tracks having enough 26s for a special class, but I don't know how it plays into sanction rules which only allow for 20 (<22) and cruiser (>22)
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  7. #7
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    And would I have to have rigid forks or does it matter?

  8. #8
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    No, you can use suspension, but my experience is that it messes me up in the rhythm sections.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  9. #9
    JWA
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    You can even run gears if you want. The classes just go by wheel size as noted above. A decent dirt jump fork works well, similar to how they work for pump tracks.

  10. #10
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    Interesting...

    I'll keep that in mind. A DJ bike would be more useful for me probably. Just because I can use it for multiple things.

  11. #11
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    The gears thing is funny... you can race a geared bike, but only in cruiser. The rules specifically prohibit them in 20" classes. I think its that way so people can try it out on their mtb before investing in a real bmx bike.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  12. #12
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    I would get involved with BMX tracks on your DJ bike first, if you like it and take to it go from there, Maybe you will just want to race your 26" there are a good bit of guys here in SLC that do just that. As you spend some more time out there, ask questions and you can probably put your feet on the pedals of many different bikes out there as you get to know more people, to help find a 20/24 that really steals your heart. Most people at the races seem to be pretty open and good people and love bikes and racing as much as anyone on here.

  13. #13
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    My kids started racing BMX a couple years ago and I hadn't raced since I was young, so I thought it would be fun to do it again, even if it was just riding at practice. I'm 6'1" ride XC and have a 29er and tried a couple 24" cruisers but they just felt too small coming from the 29er. I ended up picking up a used 26" SE OM Flyer pretty cheap. I got rid of the cruiser bars and put some lower rise bars on it to make it a little more compact. Anything 24" or larger is in the cruiser class. You see a lot of guys putzing around on 26" bikes during practice, but not that many racing. Now I've started taking the racing a little more seriously and would like to get a 24" cruiser for racing and a DJ bike for playing around on, but the OM Flyer served both purposes and been a lot of fun.

  14. #14
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    I race BMX (12-15 nationals a year + our OH state series and misc. locals) and have been on a 26" for the last two complete seasons. I have mostly been on a Black Market, but also played on a custom 26" that Standard built for me.

    I found that I was just fine on a 21.5" which was the same as my 24" before I moved up, but now I am on a 22" Mob and love it. I raced 2 seasons on a rigid fork believing that the suspension fork would rob power out of the gate. I just installed a 2011 XFusion Velvet and raced with it at the Indy indoor and was competitive with a guy I race at nationals and know where we are against each other. No loss in first straight.

    For gears, I got the calculator out and found an option that fit between the 2 options I used on my 24". They are tick harder to get moving out of the gate, but are very fun and EASY to race BMX.

    Here are some pics of me racing a 26" at various BMX races:
    2009 Christmas National in Louisville. 35-39 Cruiser Main (I am in green and black).


    2009 NBL Grands:


    2009 NBL National in Warsaw, IN. I am in middle front, green and black.





    Last edited by Chris C; 12-19-2010 at 12:42 PM.

  15. #15
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    I am also looking to try it out next season. There's a couple tracks within 20 minutes of me.

    One thing I found out when I spoke with each track and on other forums is that most (if not all) tracks don't run a novice cruiser class. I have no intentions of winning, but I like the idea of being able to run with novices.

    That being said, a DJ bike may be more versatile for you and you may get more miles out of it. I already have a BMX bike too, so if I don't like the racing, I'm not stuck with a bike I'll never use.
    --NC
    2008 Kona Cowan // 2005 Kona Cowan // 2009 Giant Modem // 2009 department store IronHorse // 1970s Schwinn roadie

  16. #16
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    And Chris... that looks wicked fun!
    --NC
    2008 Kona Cowan // 2005 Kona Cowan // 2009 Giant Modem // 2009 department store IronHorse // 1970s Schwinn roadie

  17. #17
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    26" Race Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C
    I race BMX (12-15 nationals a year + our OH state series and misc. locals) and have been on a 26" for the last two complete seasons. I have mostly been on a Black Market, but also played on a custom 26" that Standard built for me.

    I found that I was just fine on a 21.5" which was the same as my 24" before I moved up, but now I am on a 22" Mob and love it. I raced 2 seasons on a rigid fork believing that the suspension fork would rob power out of the gate. I just installed a 2011 XFusion Velvet and raced with it at the Indy indoor and was competitive with a guy I race at nationals and know where we are against each other. No loss in first straight.

    For gears, I got the calculator out and found an option that fit between the 2 options I used on my 24". They are tick harder to get moving out of the gate, but are very fun and EASY to race BMX.
    COOL! I'd like to stick with a 26", but wasn't sure what direction to go so I've just been looking at 24" stuff. I had been thinking along the line of a dirt jump bike with a rigid fork and a lighter wheelset. So I'm not too far off if you're running a MOB? Any insight as to what you're running for wheels? How about stem and bar size diameter? I'd really appreciate any help.

    Kona- There's no classes for cruiser, but it's not really an issue at the local district level. I'm in the 35-39 age group, but often they need to mix different ages together just to get enough people to make a moto. There's a couple guys chasing points that are pretty fast and when I race them I just try my best to keep up. There's a lot of other dads, guys that haven't done it since they were young, or whatever. It's a really good group of people. I'd like to try some state races in the next year if I can get a better bike together.

  18. #18
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    Guys, I'll help however I can - as a firm believer the 26" will continually take over the cruiser classes.

    I have found that most guys racing BMX on these things are running 33-16 or 34-16. For stem, I run the Black Market Underboss now, but also had an Atomlab. For bars, I love the Atomlab Pimp in 2" rise. My wheels are 9-speed Profile hubs with single speed conversion and a set of Sun Single Tracks. I am likely getting a set of Alienation Runaway rims - mostly because we are now sponsored by Alienation and they make killer products.

    It's a ton of fun and I can use this bike to race competitively, hit the trails at Ohio Dreams, or go ride Rays (yeah, living in Ohio is pretty good for cool places to ride).

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