Constantly crashing on the BMX bike

Hi Lee, I’ve got a question for you that your blog readers might find entertaining, if not useful. I’m a lifelong cyclist and have been riding (small “r”) for over 30 years. Road, track, cyclocross, triathlon, touring, commuting, mtb, and have just recently started to dabble in BMX. For some inexplicable reason I crash nearly ever session. Sometimes it’s the front tyre that washes out. Other times it’s the rear. Sometimes I have no idea what happened – I just find myself rolling in the dirt trying not to get run over. Sure I crash from time to time on the mtb and during cyclocross, and have gone down on the road a few times as well – but I generally know why and have *never* crashed as much as I seem to on the BMX. Any idea as to what’s up?


Hey Khai,

Great question! Thoughts:

BMX bikes are sketchy. Especially if you’re used to bigger bikes with bigger wheels. In the right hands, a 20 is incredibly quick. In the wrong hands, it’s a tempestuous little beast.

Crushing the front of my Intense Factory Alloy 20 into a loose corner. Now that I’ve been riding a 29er, this would take some getting used to.

BMX tracks are technical.
Lots of changes in pitch, elevation and direction. Unless your balance and range of motion are dialed, you’re gonna be out of position most of the time. If your front or back wheel is washing out, you are likely too far back or forward on the bike.

Check out this BMX madness. From the book Pro BMX Skills.

BMX racing is intense. You’re putting down full power and aggression, and so are the other seven guys. Riding and racing are very different, and racing tends to reveal weakness (and strength!).

Given all this, if you’re not Riding with a capital R, a BMX adventure is gonna make you crash more often than your average road or MTB spin.

It’s no wonder good BMXers tend to embarrass mountain bikers even on mountain bike trails. BMX bikes, terrain and situations develop — and require — a whole lot of kung fu.

• Learn to Ride. Tons of info in the book Pro BMX Skills.
• Slow down and lay off the big stuff until you are more dialed.
• If you can’t give full anger to the 20, try switching to a 24-inch cruiser or even a dirt jump 26.

I can ride my Intense Factory Alloy 20 just fine, but I’m more confident (and in turn faster) on my Specialized P3 dirt jump/pump machine.

Taming the tempest. The amount of pump you get from a 20-inch BMX is incredible compared with a mountain bike.

Bikes are rad.


Know more. Have more fun!

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