Riding a BMX bike without brakes may seem like a reckless and dangerous choice, but for many BMX riders, it’s a way to take their riding skills to the next level.
However, going brakeless requires a lot of technical know-how and skill to control your bike.
In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why some BMX riders prefer to go brakeless, how to stop if your BMX bikes no brakes and a couple of other FAQs.
Do BMX Bikes Have Brakes?
Most BMX bikes come with a rear brake. A rear brake is a mandatory requirement for racing bikes and is also a safety measure.
Moreover, it’s illegal to manufacture BMX bikes without brakes in some countries. For example, the CPSC requires all bicycles, including BMX bikes, to be equipped with at least one working brake.
While rear brakes are the most common type of brake found on BMX bikes, some bikes are also equipped with both front and rear brakes, or just the front brakes.
Yet many BMX riders take the brakes off their bikes to avoid the brake cables getting in the way during tricks, and for a couple of other reasons which we’ll discuss next.
Why Ride Brakeless BMX?
Riding without brakes may seem crazy to some, but for BMX riders, it’s a way to achieve more control and push their limits. Here are some of the main reasons:
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One reason people ride BMX bikes with no brakes is because it has become fashionable.
Many BMX riders, including professionals, have been seen riding brakeless bikes, and this trend has caught on among newbies.
Easier To Do Stunts
It’s not just about following the crowd, though – there are practical reasons why some riders prefer to ride without brakes.
Removing brakes can make it easier to perform tricks like spins and tailwhips as it can’t be hindered by brake cables, which would usually get in the way and even cause accidents.
Brake cable can restrict the movement of the frame or handlebars and it can get tangled or caught up.
Some riders prefer to ride without brakes because they feel that using a brake takes away from the challenge and excitement of performing tricks.
They see it as a test of their skills and control to be able to execute maneuvers without the aid of brakes.
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This mindset can be especially prevalent in the BMX freestyle community, where riders are constantly pushing the limits of what is possible on a bike.
How To Stop A Bmx Bike With No Brakes
Stopping a BMX bike with no brakes can be challenging if it’s your first time or if you are riding fast. Here are a couple ways to stop it:
Foot braking is the easiest way to stop a BMX bike with no brakes.
Stand up on your pedals and put one foot on the ground. Then, use the sole of your shoe to put pressure on the ground and slow down your bike until you come to a full stop.
Keep in mind that it might not work too well for sudden stops.
Instead you could also jam your leg into the rear wheel. But it’s dangerous and I wouldn’t recommend it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Skidding is another way to stop a BMX bike with no brakes.
To do this, shift your weight towards the back of the bike, and lean the bike forward slightly. Then, while pedaling backwards, use your feet to lock the back wheel and slide the bike to a stop.
Keep in mind that skidding requires a lot of practice and may cause excess wear and tear on your tires.
Ditch The Bike
In an emergency, it may be necessary to jump off your bike and bail to a stop. This is a last resort method and should only be used when other methods are not possible.
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Always ride at a speed you can control, don’t go too fast. If you always find the braking part difficult, I suggest you install brakes.
Can You Put Disc Brakes On Bmx?
Yes, it is theoretically possible to put disc brakes on a BMX bike.
However, it is an expensive process that requires some modifications to the frame and fork to accommodate the necessary mounting points for the brake calipers.
Plus, you’ll need to make sure the wheels are compatible with disc brakes – which means the hub must have the appropriate mounting points for a disc rotor.
It’s also crucial to remember that adding disc brakes to a BMX bike can affect its handling and weight distribution.
Overall, adding disc brakes on BMX bikes requires a ton of time and effort. And money!
How To Put Disc Brakes On BMX Bikes?
There are 4 ways you could install the disc brakes.
- You can do it yourself, which requires replacing the wheels, welding mounts to the frame and fork, installing the brakes, and routing the cable.
- The second option is to use a pre-made disc brake kit that mounts to the rear axle and dropouts.
- The third method is to buy a frame or an entire disc-ready bike.
- Or you can install a 20″ trials fork with disc mounts.
How To Drift On A Bmx Bike With No Brakes?
To drift on a BMX, you need to pedal quickly towards the turn to increase speed and lean in the direction of the turn. Next, shift your weight forward over the handlebars and extend the inner leg slightly above the ground.
After completing the turn, bring your body and bike back into an upright position to help your rear tire regain traction.
Should BMX Bikes Have Brakes?
Yes, BMX bikes should have brakes. Brakes are an essential safety feature on any bike, including BMX bikes, and can help prevent accidents and injuries.
Selling BMX bikes with no brakes is an unlawful act.