BMX bike for MTB training (again)?

Hey there Lee
I am a mediumly ordinary MTb rider, who does not get out often enough. I have bought Mastering Mountain Bike Skills edition2, and it is a great book, however I really do not to get to session stuff much which would imprint skills into my old brain. And so often ” just riding” gets in the way of actual learning.

Recently a couple of pump tracks have been built where I live ( In Wellington, NZ ) and they are of course just ideal for sessioning and skills. I am just starting to ride awkwardly on them.

My question is this: might is be worthwhile getting a BMX bike for the purpose of fun and skill acquisition?

I have a peferectly excellent MTB (an Ibis Mojo) however in a way having a completely different bike would make riding a pump track an event, and I would be more likely to session it and not be tempted by the nearby MTB trails?

I do not want to build a hard tail MTB as the Mojo is just fine for all the trails, and in some ways a HT is an unbalanced beast compared with a fully rigid BMX or a fully sprung MTB ?

Your BMX book does look enticing!

Wellington, NZ

Ian prefers the responsiveness of the little bike.

Hey Rob,


Get a BMX bike.

If you want a bike just for the pump track, and you want to earn your PhD in Pump, a BMX is ideal:

Efficient. Tiny and tight with awesome angles of incidence.

Immediate feedback. When you’re on you’re On. When you’re off …

Cheap. You don’t need a carbon this and that race bike. Just get something that fits. See links below.

FUN! BMX bikes are freaking fast!

If you’re an awkward bike handler, start with a 24″ cruiser. If you’re ready to start your thesis, step right to a 20″ race bike. Get knobby tires. Don’t even think about clipping in.

Treat riding your BMX bike on the pump track as a job. It’s your job — no, your duty — to master pumping technique. It’s fun on its own and …

… when you get back onto your mountain bike, everything will feel like slow motion. Which means you have to speed up!

More on this topic:

What is the best pump track bike?

Pump track weapon: small and inexpensive

Pump the trail bike or get a 20?



PS: The book Pro BMX Skills has insane detail on pumping technique.

Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. chance says:

    So Lee you would recommend going with a 20inch over a 26inch hard tail, like a P bike? I am currently working on getting a pump track built in my town and was looking at bikes. I thought it would be more beneficial to stay with the same size wheels and just get 26″ dialed to a science. I came from a BMX back ground and found that it took a little time to get use to the bigger bike, for jumping, bunny hopping and manualing ect. I can ride anything but now when I go back to a bmx bike I feel like a fat man in a little coat, haha, awkward!

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    I suggested a BMX bike to Bob because he said he doesn’t want an MTB hardail.

    For most mountain bikers who want to ride a bike that feels familiar, but still has tons of braaap, a DJ hardtail is ideal.

  3. chance says:

    ok thanks Lee, I just wanted to get the best bike for the job. Obviously I would love to have a 20″, 24″ and 26″ bike for that and would have a20″ had it not got stolen a year ago, oh well, some day 🙂 haha

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    I have a 20, 24 and 26. These days I’m mostly a mountain bike coach, so I spend pretty much all my time on the 26.

    Except when I’m giving the babies Strider lessons on the 20!

  5. Mike says:

    BMX bikes are plain dumb fun. I mainly use mine to ride down to the shops / pub and it makes me smile every time. Plus all the standing up makes you strong…

  6. chance says:

    For sure I use to ride mine to class in college, until it was taken, and loved jumping off the stairs and riding the planters- getting all the funny looks and as for standing I still get funny looks because I ride my reign like a BMX bike standing 75-80% of the time anyways! I might get a used one just to have around for when I want to feel really fast! haha

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