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Why Use a Smaller Back Tire on a BMX Bike?

by
author image Philip Foster
Philip Foster has been writing professionally since 2010. His work has been featured in the literary-arts magazine "The PEEL" and the weekly newspaper "The Mountain Xpress." Foster is an expert in various extreme sports. He cooked in a restaurant that offered organic and vegetarian cuisine for over three years. Foster received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Appalachian State University.
Why Use a Smaller Back Tire on a BMX Bike?
The back tire has a smaller diameter than the front. Photo Credit homydesign/iStock/Getty Images

BMX or bicycle motocross refers to an extreme discipline of bike riding. As opposed to conventional cycling, BMX takes place on dirt ramps and obstacle courses. The compact design of the BMX bike allows you to execute aerial tricks. Many avid BMX riders equip their bike with two different-sized tires. A smaller back tire on the BMX offers numerous benefits.

Shock Absorption

As opposed to mountain bikes, the BMX bike does not feature a built-in suspension system. According to Transworld BMX, BMX tricks usually consist of high-altitude jumps and spins. The tires of the BMX bike absorb the majority of the impact as you land a trick. The larger front tire holds more air than the back tire of the BMX bike. This helps to cushion the impact on your wrists as the tires of the BMX make contact with the ground.

Increased Traction

The tires of the BMX bike have been designed to offer traction on asphalt as well as dirt riding terrains. According to Vital BMX, equipping your BMX bike with a larger front tire will help to increase the traction. The front tire acts as the control center and allows you to maneuver the BMX. The more surface area of the tire that makes contact with the ground, the better the traction. While the diameter of the back tire is generally smaller, the width of the two tires remains quite similar.

Pedaling And Tricks

Unlike mountain and road bikes that feature multiple speeds, the BMX bike has a single-speed cassette system. A smaller back tires helps to make pedaling easier as you ride up steeply inclined ramps. Most BMX tricks involve lifting the front tire off the ground. Riding with a smaller back tire allows you to easily shift your weight backward while lifting on the handlebar grips. The heavier front tire enables you to level out the bike during aerial tricks.

Decreased Weight

The frame of the BMX bike contributes the majority of the overall weight. Bike manufacturers strive to make the BMX as light as possible with specialized frames and components. Equipping your BMX with a smaller back tire will help to lessen the weight of your setup. The lighter the BMX frame, the easier it is to maneuver the bike for trick riding techniques. Decrease the rolling resistance of your BMX bike by inflating the back tire to the maximum PSI number.

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