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Extreme: BMX Bikes

BMX rider in the air doing trick
Source: US Army

BMX stands for Bicycle MotoCross. It's a form of bicycling that is meant to mimic MotoCross motorcycles. There are all sorts of competitive BMX sports including racing and stunt BMX, however, BMX is also a recreational activity enjoyed by millions of kids throughout the world.

You should always where good shoes and a helmet when riding any type of bike. With a BMX bike it is recommended that you also where gloves; pads; and arm, thigh and shin guards. This sounds like a lot of stuff, but if you are going to be racing or doing BMX stunts or jumps you need to protect yourself.

About the Bike

The typical BMX bike is designed for racing and usually has 20-inch wheels. It will have knobby tires for good traction on the dirt and upright handlebars with a crossbar and rear wheel brakes. They are often made from steel or aluminum. Aluminum is usually lighter weight, but more expensive.

Another type of BMX bike is the Freestyle BMX. The freestyle BMX is made more for tricks and stunts than for racing. The tires are usually smoother for street riding and the bikes are often more heavy to withstand the pounding of tricks. They often come with rear and/or front axel pegs to stand on for stunts and usually rear and front hand brakes.

In between the BMX racer bike and the freestyle bike is the BMX jumper. This bike may have more knobby tires, a medium weight, and is designed for jumping or aerial stunts.

BMX Racing

BMX racing is where BMX got its start. The courses are similar to motocross tracks, but are generally smoother, and are about 900 to 1,100 feet in length. Many BMX races are short sprints that last less than a minute.

BMX racing will be a sport in the 2008 summer Olympics. Right now there will be an individual women and an individual men's event. The trace will be about 350 meters with jumps and turns. Eight riders will race per heat with the top four riders advancing to the next round.

Flatland BMX

Flatland BMX is where riders perform stunts and tricks on BMX bikes (the freestyle kind) on a flat area of concrete or asphalt. In competition, judges award points to riders for the difficulty of tricks they perform and how they link tricks together. Riders lose points when they touch the ground. Some flatland BMX tricks include the hitchhiker, the dump truck, and the steamroller. Flatland BMX riders also do something called scuffing where they rub their feet on the tires to speed up the bike or to slow it down.

Street and Park BMX

This is BMX riding similar to flatland except there is a course with jumps and ramps similar to a skateboard park. Riders perform tricks and stunts around the course using various ramps and other features to get air.

Stunt Vert BMX

BMX vert is a very dangerous and extreme form of BMX bike riding. In BMX vert there are two 8 to 10 feet tall quarter pipes which face each other. BMX riders will go up and down the sides of the quarter pipe gaining speed until they get airborne. They perform tricks in the air or off of the lip of the ramp.

Extreme summer sports:

BMX In-Line Skating MotoX Skateboarding Surfing

Extreme winter sports:

Skiing Snowboarding Snowmobile

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