The Short Answer is:
The size of BMX tires you should get depends on the type of riding you plan to do. For racing BMX bikes, the best tire width is 1.75 inches wide. Flatland and freestyle riders prefer tires that are 2.125 inches or wider. The tire width for a standard race BMX (20-inch wheel size) varies from 1 ⅛ inch to 1.75 inches depending on the frame size.
If you’re new to BMX riding, one of the most important things to consider is the size of your tires. The right tire size can make a big difference in how your bike handles and performs, depending on the type of riding you plan to do.
In this article, we’ll explore what size BMX tires you should get based on your riding style and needs. We’ll draw insights from various sources to provide you with a comprehensive guide on choosing the right tire size for your BMX bike. So let’s explore “What Size BMX Tires Should I Get?”
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Factors to Consider When Choosing BMX Tire Size
BMX tire size is an important factor to consider when choosing the right tires for your BMX bike. Here are some key points to keep in mind when understanding BMX tire measurements:
- Tire Width: The size of a BMX tire is determined by its width, which can range from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches. Standard BMX tire widths typically range from 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches. Narrow tire widths work well for BMX racing, while wider tires are better suited for freestyle BMX riding.
- Discipline: The type of BMX discipline you participate in will also affect the size of the tires you need. For example, thin tires are recommended for racing BMX bikes, with pro frames typically using 1.75-inch tires and expert models using 1.5-inch tires. On the other hand, wider tires are better suited for freestyle BMX riding, with a recommended size of 2.15 inches for street riding.
- Diameter: Bike tires are typically measured in two dimensions: diameter and width. The diameter measurement is an approximation of the tire’s outer diameter and is usually given in inches. It’s important to choose a tire with the correct diameter to ensure it fits your bike’s rims properly.
- Variation in Width: While tire diameter should be an exact match, you do have the option of putting on a tire with a slight variation in width. However, it’s important to make sure that the new tire is not too wide or too narrow for your bike’s rims.
In summary, when choosing the right size BMX tires, consider the type of BMX discipline you participate in and choose a tire width that is appropriate for that discipline. Make sure to also choose a tire with the correct diameter and avoid putting on a tire that is too wide or too narrow for your bike’s rims.
Common BMX Tire Sizes and Their Uses
BMX bikes come in four main sizes: mini, junior, expert, and pro. The tire size you choose for your BMX bike will depend on the type of riding you plan to do. Here are some common BMX tire sizes and their uses:
- 20 x 1.75 inches: This is the most common tire size for BMX bikes and is suitable for all-around riding, including street, park, and dirt riding.
- 20 x 2.125 inches: This tire size is slightly wider than the 1.75-inch tire and is suitable for riders who want more stability and traction when riding on dirt or loose surfaces.
- 20 x 2.3 inches: This tire size is wider than the 2.125-inch tire and is suitable for riders who want maximum traction and stability when riding on dirt or loose surfaces.
- 20 x 1 1/8-3/8 inches: This is a skinnier tire size that is commonly used for racing BMX bikes. It provides less rolling resistance, which can help riders achieve faster speeds.
- 24 x 1.75 inches: This tire size is commonly used for cruiser BMX bikes and provides a smoother ride than the smaller 20-inch tires.
It’s important to note that the skinnier BMX tire and rim sizes (20 x 1 1/8-3/8 and 24 x 1 1/8-3/8) are not interchangeable with each other or with the 20 x 1.75-inch tire size. Additionally, some riders prefer wider tires while others prefer narrower ones. Ultimately, the tire size you choose will depend on your personal preference and the type of riding you plan to do.
Selecting the Right Tire Size for Your Riding Style
When it comes to selecting the right BMX tire size, there are a few factors to consider, including your riding style and personal preferences. The width of the tire is an important consideration, as it can affect your control and stability on the bike.
For freestyle or flatland riding, tires that are approximately 2.125 inches wide are recommended. This width is considered the average size and provides good control and stability without being too big and slowing you down.
For racing BMX bikes, a tire width of 1.75 inches is generally preferred. This narrower tire allows for faster speeds and better maneuverability on the track.
It’s also important to consider the type of terrain you’ll be riding on. For pavement riding, ultra-wide tires with smooth treads (around 20 x 2.3 to 2.4) are popular. On the other hand, if you’ll be riding on dirt or other rough terrain, you may want to opt for a tire with more tread for better traction.
Ultimately, the right BMX tire size for you will depend on your personal preferences and riding style. When selecting a new bike, be sure to consider the top tube measurement as well as the tire size. With the right tire size and bike fit, you’ll be able to ride comfortably and confidently no matter where your BMX adventures take you.
Tire Clearance and Frame Compatibility
When choosing the size of BMX tires, it is important to consider tire clearance and frame compatibility.:
- Tire Clearance: A tire must have typically 1 cm clearance, 2 cm if a fender will be installed, but do not use a wheel that is much smaller, or a pedal is too likely to strike the ground in cornering. We recommend a minimum of 3 mm clearance between your tires and the closest part of your bike. Any less, and you risk having your tire rub under.
- Frame Compatibility: For the best performance, you’ll want to choose a tire size that’s compatible with your frame, fork, and rims. If you can find the manufacturer’s specifications for your bike, many bikes may list a maximum tire width – however, cheaper bikes are less likely to have those specs published, and older bikes may have had that documentation lost to the sands of time.
- Rim Width: The WTB Tire & Rim Compatibility Chart is used to determine what tire and rim width combinations provide optimal performance and compatibility. As an example, you can see that a rim width of 19mm should be compatible with a tire width of 28mm/1.10″ through 62mm or about 2.5″.
It is important to choose a tire size that fits your bike properly. Unfit tire size could damage the rim and put the riders in danger. If the tire is not wide enough, you’re risking more pinch flats and blowouts; if it is too wide, tire burping and poor stability may occur.
When choosing a tire size, it is recommended to check with the manufacturer to double-check. It is also suggested not to choose the largest or smallest values of a size range. For example, with a range from 1.9” to 2.1”, 2.0” is an optimal option for most riders.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Topic
What is the difference between 20-inch and 24-inch BMX tires?
The main difference between 20-inch and 24-inch BMX tires is their size. Here are some differences that come with the size difference:
- 20-inch BMX bikes have shorter chainstays because the tire is smaller and does not require as much clearance as 24-inch wheels.
- A 20-inch bike picks up speed faster, but a 24-inch bike is better at maintaining it.
- A 24-inch cruiser has a cockpit that is the same as a comparable 20-inch, but the bigger wheels make it feel a bit more like a mountain bike.
- The choice between 20-inch and 24-inch BMX tires depends on what you want to do with them.
Can I use different tire sizes on the front and rear of my BMX bike?
It is not recommended to use different tire sizes on the front and rear of a BMX bike. It is best to use the same size tires for optimal performance and safety.
How often should I replace my BMX tires?
BMX tires should generally last six months to a year, depending on riding frequency and style. However, the lifespan of a bicycle tire depends on many factors, such as riding frequency, style, and quality of the tire. It is recommended to replace your BMX tires when they show signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, punctures, or worn-out treads.
Conclusion: What Size BMX Tires Should I Get?
In conclusion, choosing the right BMX tire size is important for optimal performance and comfort. The standard BMX tire size is 20 inches in diameter, with a width ranging from 1.75 to 2.2 inches, which generally suits riders between 4’0” and 6’4” tall.
However, there are non-standard options such as sizes 16, 22, and even 24 inches. The best tire width for racing BMX bikes is 1.75 inches wide, while flatland and freestyle riders prefer tires that are 2.125 inches or wider. Tire width affects a BMX bicycle’s performance in different ways, including traction, stability, and speed.
The diameter and width determine a BMX bike tire size, with tire diameters ranging from 12 inches for kids to 29 inches for tall adults. Personal preferences and riding style ultimately determine the choice of BMX tire size. It is important to consider your riding style and the type of terrain you ride in order to determine the best tire width for you.