Updated on August 18, 2022
What Size of Wheels Does a Adult BMX Bike Have
To begin with, BMX gained popularity in the early 1970s when it was discovered that youngsters were riding their bicycles around dirt tracks like motocross racers would, complete with a race number pinned to the front. Since street and freestyle BMX racing became more competitive, equipment became more specialised, and subcultures arose spontaneously, the sport has evolved into its current form.
BMX racing is now UCI-sanctioned and included in the Olympic Games, proving that the sport has truly made a name for itself in the 21st century. The X-Games and other adrenaline-fueled competitions in the world of freestyle BMX include professional riders and teams funded by large sponsors.
Considering the type and size of wheels is an important consideration when shopping for a new BMX bike.
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Bike wheel diameters range from 20 inches to 29 inches for adult BMX bikes.
The 20-inch wheel is the most common BMX bike wheel size. It’s for this reason that
Because of their reduced size, they are able to sustain the force of jumps and harsh landings with greater vigour.
As a result, the bike is able to accelerate rapidly out of the starting position.
For BMX racing, freestyle, and jump bikes, the most common wheel size is 20 inches. Finding a good BMX in this wheel range is considerably more likely.
Some of the best BMX bikes, ranging in wheel size from 20-inch to 29-inch wheels, have been included below to assist you in making a decision.
Having a hard time deciding which BMX to buy? If you’ve ever wondered what the distinctions between BMX bikes really are, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
Rims with a single inner wall are referred to as “Single Wall Rims” on wheels. Single-wall rims have a single horizontal wall and are the most common rim type. Single-wall construction can be assumed unless otherwise specified.
With double wall rims, you’re getting twice the strength of a standard rim. You may expect a higher quality product if it says “Double Wall” on the rim, regardless of how the walls and ribs are formed.
Sizes of Bicycle Wheels Described
In addition to the standard bicycle wheel sizes, folding bikes, recumbents, and other specialised bikes offer a wide range of wheel sizes. What’s the point of having so many choices? It’s puzzling that the same size may go by so many different names. What’s the greatest way to figure out what’s ideal for your riding style? We’re here to demystify the subject of bicycle wheel sizes, so don’t be intimidated.
Let’s Start Small
Inch-wide rims (ISO 305 mm)
16-inch wheels are the smallest on an adult bike, yet they’re most typically found on children’s bikes. In order to reduce the size of adult folding bicycles, they are used, but riding quality is sacrificed as a result. 16-inch wheels may be ideal for small children learning to balance, but they struggle on bumpy or uneven roads. Potholes may swallow a 16-inch wheel whole, and even the tiniest pieces of debris can cause damage.
The control and experience of riding a bicycle with 16″ wheels will be much different than the full-size adult bicycle you’re used to. As a result of the shorter wheelbase and shorter turning radius, the steering can be too sensitive. Larger gear ratios are needed for smaller wheels to keep up with other bicycles. Hill climbs become significantly more difficult as a result of this.
20-Inch Rims (ISO 406 mm)
20″ wheels are the norm for BMX bikes, and the most frequent size for “small wheel” folding bikes. Because of their mobility, which makes flatland and aerial stunts easier, they’re popular among BMX riders. However, many of the previously listed small wheel limitations still apply to conventional riders. Despite being marginally better than the 16-inch wheel, the 20-inch wheel still suffers from pebbles and impediments to a greater extent than bigger standard wheel sizes. To maintain a regular upright stance for the rider, smaller wheels necessitate unusual frame design and an extended handlebar stem. This may worsen the car’s handling by allowing the steering column and frame to flex more than necessary.
As an additional point of clarification, ISO 451 refers to a slightly bigger wheel size that is commonly referred to as 20”. This is the rim of the ISO 451 standard. The wheels of this size can be seen on a small number of BMX race bikes and vintage British shopping cycles. Modern bikes with ISO 451 wheelsets are quite rare, thus it’s safe to conclude that a 20-inch wheel is ISO 406.
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Wheels with 24′′ Diameter (ISO 507 mm)
Most commonly seen on juvenile mountain bikes and BMX “cruiser” models for larger riders, 24″ wheels are a somewhat uncommon size and are most commonly found on BMX “cruiser” models. The 24′′ junior mountain bike category is developing as a result of more emphasis on youth racing and an increase in high-end features for kids mountain bikes.
Typical 26-inch Full-Size Rims (ISO 559 mm)
The 26-inch wheel has been around for a long time in the bicycle industry. Almost a century after it was first used on American-made cruisers, it became the most popular wheel size for mountain bikes and has remained so for decades. Old 26′′ cruiser wheels were the only bicycle wheels available with wide enough tyres to meet the needs of mountain biking pioneers like Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelly, and Gary Fisher. Many high-performance folding bikes, such as Montague’s Paratrooper brand, adopt this size as the ideal for mountain bikes.
The word ’26 inch’ does not relate to the wheel’s diameter, but rather to the wheel’s width.
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Wheels with a diameter of 27.5′′ / 650b (ISO 584 mm)
The usage of different labels for the same size is one of the things that make bicycle wheel sizes infamously difficult to understand. 650b is the old name for wheels with an ISO diameter of 584 mm, which were initially seen on French touring cycles in the 1960s. They were still used on small and more road frames that couldn’t hold a 700c wheel since they were significantly shorter than modern road bike wheels. In the mountain bike business, the size has still been referred to as 650b, although it has also been accepted and rebranded.
When 650b was repurposed for off-road use, it was renamed 27.5′′. If you’re looking to get the best performance out of your mountain bike by rolling over obstacles more easily and with greater contact patch and rotational inertia than you can with 26″ wheels, then 27.5″ wheels are the way to go. First folding bicycles in the world with 27.5′′ wheels are Montague Paratrooper Rope tow and Paratrooper Elite.
Hey, all I am Joe Marino I love to ride bikes and teach others how to ride them. Most of my articles are about which bike is best for others. I am passionate about cycling and it shows, whether I am writing about a $25 bicycle from any random website or a $5000 Santa Cruz.
I have always been the guy who gets calls from friends while at work asking which bike they should buy. I have written about the best city bike for commuting, the best folding bike for use on public transit, and even what to keep in mind when shopping for kids’ bikes.
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