The cranks on a BMX bike are smaller than those on a typical bicycle. This is because BMX bikes are designed for racing and stunt riding, which requires riders to generate a lot of power. Smaller cranks make it easier for riders to pedal quickly and perform tricks.
BMX bikes first became popular in the 1970s, when kids began racing them on dirt tracks. Today, BMX racing is a professional sport with its own set of rules and regulations. riders must be able to generate a lot of power to make sharp turns and jump over obstacles.
While the smaller cranks on BMX bikes may seem like a disadvantage, they actually give riders an advantage when racing and performing stunts. Smaller cranks make it easier for riders to generate power quickly, which is essential for making sharp turns and jumping over obstacles.
In this article, we will discuss the history of BMX bikes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of having small cranks. We’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right size cranks for your BMX bike.
Why Do BMX Bikes Have Small Cranks?
BMX bikes have small cranks for two reasons: to make them lighter and to make them easier to maneuver. Smaller cranks also mean that the chainring is smaller, which can help keep the chain from coming off the bike.
BMX bikes are designed for racing and stunt riding, so they need to be lightweight and easy to maneuver. Smaller cranks help make the bike lighter and easier to control.
Some people also believe that smaller cranks help BMX riders generate more power. This is because when the rider pedaling has a shorter distance to travel for each revolution, they can put more power into each pedal stroke. This extra power can help the rider go faster and perform better stunts.
Whether or not small cranks actually help riders generate more power is still up for debate. But one thing is for sure: BMX bikes with small cranks are here to stay. So if you’re looking to get into BMX riding, be prepared to have a smaller crank on your bike.
Pros and Cons of Smaller Cranks:
While smaller cranks do have some advantages, there are also a few potential disadvantages to consider. Let’s have a look at both sides of the debate:
Advantages of Smaller Cranks
Increased Pedaling Efficiency:
The main advantage of having smaller cranks is that they offer increased pedaling efficiency. This is because the smaller crank arms result in a shorter distance that the pedals have to travel in order to complete one revolution. This in turn means that each pedal stroke requires less energy to complete, making it easier for you to maintain a high level of pedaling power for extended periods of time.
Another advantage of smaller cranks is that they tend to be lighter weight than their larger counterparts. This is due to the fact that there is less material required to construct a smaller crank arm. This can be beneficial for two reasons. First, it makes your bike easier to handle and maneuver. Second, it can help to reduce the overall weight of your bike, making it easier to carry around with you.
Greater Ground Clearance:
Having smaller cranks is that they offer greater ground clearance. This is due to the fact that the pedals are mounted closer to the center of the bike frame, which leaves more space between the bottom of the pedal and the ground. This can be beneficial if you frequently ride over rough terrain or obstacles.
Easier to Handle for Smaller Riders:
Another advantage of having smaller cranks is that they are generally easier to handle for smaller riders. This is due to the fact that the shorter crank arms require less effort to turn, making it easier for shorter riders to maintain control of the bike. Additionally, the reduced distance between the pedals also makes it easier for smaller riders to reach them.
Better for Tricks and Stunts:
Smaller cranks are also generally considered to be better for tricks and stunts. This is because the shorter crank arms allow for more clearance between the pedals and the ground when performing certain maneuvers. Additionally, the reduced distance between the pedals makes it easier to perform certain types of stunts.
Disadvantages of Smaller Cranks
One of the potential disadvantages of having smaller cranks is that they offer reduced leverage. This is due to the fact that the shorter crank arms result in a shorter lever, which can make it more difficult to generate high levels of pedaling power. Additionally, the reduced distance between the pedals can make it more difficult to maintain a high level of pedaling power for extended periods of time.
More Difficult to Handle for taller Riders:
Another potential disadvantage of having smaller cranks is that they are generally more difficult to handle for taller riders. This is due to the fact that the shorter crank arms require more effort to turn, making it more difficult for taller riders to maintain control of the bike. Additionally, the reduced distance between the pedals can make it more difficult for taller riders to reach them.
As you can see, there are some pros and cons to using smaller cranks on your BMX bike. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and what you will be using your bike for. If you are a smaller rider, or if you plan on doing a lot of tricks and stunts, then smaller cranks may be the way to go. However, if you are a larger rider or if you want more stability and gear options, then you may want to stick with traditional-sized cranks. Whichever route you choose, just make sure that you are comfortable and that your bike is set up correctly for your riding style.
Is crank size important in a BMX bike?
The size of the cranks on a BMX bike is important because they need to be strong enough to withstand the extreme forces that are exerted on them during tricks and stunts, but they also need to be small enough so that the rider can easily maneuver the bike.
BMX bikes typically have shorter cranks than mountain bikes or road bikes. The length of the crank arms is usually between 8 and 10 inches (20-25 cm). This gives the rider more leverage to pedal the bike, but it also makes it easier to perform tricks and stunts.
One of the benefits of having shorter cranks is that it makes it easier to spin the bike around. This is important for tricks like the 180s and 360s. It also makes it easier to balance on the bike when you are riding at high speeds.
Another benefit of having shorter cranks is that they are less likely to get caught on objects when you are riding off-road. This can be a problem with longer cranks, as they can get tangled up in roots and rocks.
The main downside of having shorter cranks is that you will not be able to generate as much power when pedaling uphill. This can be a problem if you are planning on doing any serious off-roading.
Ultimately, the decision of what size cranks to use on your BMX bike is up to you. If you are mainly going to be riding on flat ground, then shorter cranks will be fine. If you are planning on doing a lot of off-roading, then you might want to consider using longer cranks. experiment with different size cranks to see what works best for you.
In conclusion, we have seen that BMX bikes usually have smaller cranks than other types of bicycles. This is because BMX bikes are designed for racing and jumping, and smaller cranks make it easier to pedal quickly and perform tricks. However, not all BMX bikes have small cranks, so if you’re looking for a BMX bike with larger cranks, they are out there!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are BMX cranks so small?
The smaller the crank, the easier it is to spin. That’s why BMX bikes have cranks that are much shorter than those on a road bike. The trade-off is that you don’t get as much power with each pedal stroke, but that’s not as important when you’re doing tricks and jumps.
Are all BMX cranks the same size?
No, there are different sizes for different riding styles. For example, a freestyle BMX bike will have a shorter crank than a racing BMX bike.
Can I put bigger cranks on my BMX bike?
Yes, you can put bigger cranks on your BMX bike, but it’s not recommended. The smaller cranks are there for a reason – they make it easier to spin the pedals. If you put bigger cranks on, you might find it harder to do tricks and jumps.
Why do new BMX bikes have small sprockets?
The smaller sprockets help with starting the bike and with pedaling around tight corners.